MATTHEWS – Rob Jacik took a chance on Downtown Matthews six years ago.
After opening Carolina Beer Temple Charlotte in 2013, the business owner put his faith in Matthews, bringing Seaboard Brewing and Temple Mojo to the downtown area as the town began to redevelop.
“It wasn’t overrun with large, national chains,” Jacik said. “There was just a bunch of small, independent businesses around us. That was a big draw because we wanted to support local and be part of that environment.”
Jacik and his wife were traveling through Belgium after Jacik left his corporate job at Microsoft. The two noticed the majority of the beer Belgians were consuming was made in their own country, and they wanted to do the same thing for North Carolina.
Jacik said he and his wife also noticed the connection in Belgium between monasteries and breweries, and decided to name their business Carolina Beer Temple as a tribute to what they saw in Belgium.
Jacik has committed to providing beers exclusively brewed in North Carolina. He also only serves beer from independent businesses instead of corporate brands and he has a commitment to “supporting the little guys.”
Seaboard Brewery, Taproom and Wine Bar, located on Trade Street, offers a variety of beers and wines. Visitors can also order small snack plates, cheese and charcuterie boards. There is also a pizza place next door, allowing visitors to have pizza delivered to their table.
Temple Mojo, also located on Trade Street, offers a full craft beer bar featuring growler fills. They serve wine and coffee too. Visitors can get pizzas delivered to their table from the Exchange Pizza Depot as well.
Jacik said he has partnered with almost all of the local surrounding businesses to build up Matthews.
“I don’t want my business to operate on an island,” Jacik said. “I want to be surrounded by successful businesses. So, my goal was to get people to Matthews first. I was pretty confident if you’re into craft beer and you get to Matthews, you’ll find us and you’ll have a good time and see what we offer. My philosophy was to work with other business owners to create strong events and collaborate with each other.”
Jacik said when Downtown Matthews was in its early phases, there were many open spaces in the area. Now, he said there is no vacancy because Matthews has grown so much.
Building relationships is a key part of successfully running a business in Jacik’s eyes.
“Everywhere we can build a relationship is an opportunity,” Jacik said. “That’s not just with our customers, though they are our number one priority, but we want to do beyond that. We’ve created relationships with town hall, we’ve created relationships with neighbors and in the general community, as well as our vendors and our delivery drivers.”
Jacik is part of the Red Brick Partnership in Matthews, which aims to increase economic development in the downtown area.
Matthews Commissioner John Urban works alongside Jacik in the partnership. Urban said Jacik has put a lot of faith in Matthews.
“Rob has been really, almost solely, instrumental in driving a lot of new businesses downtown,” Urban said. “He has been one of the driving factors in why downtown has grown the way it has grown.”
Urban appreciates Jacik’s work ethic and his approach to bringing new businesses to the area. He enjoys working with him.
“He continues to invest in downtown,” Urban said. “I hope other business leaders do the same thing. We really appreciate him being a big component of Matthews and it’s really a pleasure to work with him.”
Jacik plans to continue to invest in Downtown Matthews. He hopes to see all of his businesses grow and bring more people to the area, really putting Matthews on the map as a destination in the Charlotte region.
“We just want to keep on growing,” Jacik said. “We want to get more people to Matthews. We want Matthews to be seen as a bigger destination in the Charlotte market. When they’re thinking of places to go for an evening, I want people to think of Matthews as one of those destinations.”
Want to learn more?
Carolina Beer Temple is located at 131-1C Matthews Station St., Matthews. Call 704-847-2337 or visit www.carolinabeertemple.com for details.