The View from the Lake

Katy Kindred: Owner of Kindred, Hello, Sailor and milkbread

Walking into Kindred restaurant in Davidson is akin to walking into the living room of a group of dear friends for a dinner party. The room glows with warmth and positivity, and everyone is happy to be there to share the time together. Pasta dishes are fresh and made with simple ingredients showcasing the skill of the chefs. The staff brings homemade Play-Doh to the tables for kids with a friendly warning not to eat it, but a quiet word to the parents that it’s all natural and organic just in case they do. When you find out that the restaurant is named “Kindred” not for the spirit it evokes but because that’s the last name of the owners, it almost tests the existential bounds of possibility.

Once you’ve dined and been a guest to the hospitality of Kindred with its local college servers who are learning the ropes and the wine staff with a depth of knowledge, it’s the least surprising thing in the world that one of the other standout restaurants on the shores of Lake Norman is owned by the same couple. That restaurant, Hello, Sailor, with its long lake views and expansive patios is a destination for the lake and well beyond.

The road to Kindred for Katy and her husband Joe goes from early morning baking shifts, through France and Italy, with time in a Michelin-starred restaurant in Chicago where they met, and back to Lake Norman. She’s worked in nearly every aspect of the restaurant industry learning the craft before opening standout North Carolina spots.

“I can recall, very vividly, a conversation Joe and I had way back in Chicago when we were just friends at that point, we weren’t even dating yet, where we talked about how we felt like we would make a great team,” she said. “Maybe one day we could open a restaurant. We could call it Kindred because that’s your last name, and it’s perfect.”

It would be easy to say ‘the rest is history’ if there weren’t so much for Katy on the horizon. She’s also owner of two milkbread restaurants, one in Davidson and one in the Charlotte area. Milk Bread is served as a complimentary appetizer at Kindred, with a friendly word that you’re limited to one per person — a warning that you’re about to discover something new and delicious. Try it once, and you’ll be checking to see the nearest milkbread location so that you can add it to your daily routine.

On weekends, you’ll find Katy and her family, including three children and a two-year-old Weimaraner named Olive, cruising the lake. The kids are taking turns tubing and wakeboarding or just floating with friends.

Katy has settled into raising her family in Davidson where they’ve lived for 12 years. Her husband grew up going to the fish camp and playing on the dock that used to exist in Cornelius on the site where Hello, Sailor is now. It’s quite a circle, from Chicago through San Francisco, and Europe, and back to the same dock.


Jenna Ryan:  Retail Marketing, Charlotte Vintage

Jenna Ryan, a newbie to the Lake Norman area, is from Hope, NJ. She attended Montclair State University and worked in marketing prior to starting at Charlotte Vintage a few months ago. Over the summer, Jenna paid a visit to Charlotte Vintage after discovering the showroom on Instagram. She instantly felt a connection to the product and it’s history and now feels grateful to be working in an environment that speaks to her creative side where she can apply her background in retail marketing.

Jenna and her husband, Dylan, have a 2-year-old daughter who they adore. Her hobbies include “consignment clothing shopping, decorating, running, cooking, visiting bookstores and coffee shops, her favorite being Main Street Coffee & Coworking, day trips exploring charming and historic downtowns, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.”  Jenna likes to explore the inlets and trails along the lake and feels the best part about living here is that “you get the beauty and charm of lake life while being in close proximity to all that Charlotte has to offer. In addition, we’ve enjoyed meeting and getting to know some really nice families.” Jenna and her husband celebrated their first anniversary with a trip to Italy. “Venice is the most magical place on earth and the food in Rome is better than I realized food could be. The meal that brought me to tears was a simple handmade spaghetti in a butter cream sauce with fresh shaved truffles. The simplest joys can be the most memorable.” Now, Jenna and Dylan enjoy checking out the local breweries and neighborhoods of Charlotte.


Jim Mahan: Author, Owner of Liz Garnet the Salon

Jim Mahan, originally from Knoxville, Tennessee, has lived in the Lake Norman area for 30 years. He attended Lees-McRae College, East Carolina University, and North Carolina A&T. He has worked in construction and real estate prior to being an author and opening his business Liz Garnet: The Salon. Jim’s hobbies include sports, woodworking, investing, and his favorite, water skiing. He has three sons, one daughter, and grandchildren to keep him busy.

“My life has had the rewards and challenges of a motivational speaker, educator, real estate broker, contractor, skin care developer, hair salon owner and a run for Governor of North Carolina. I suppose the greater “stories” of my life would be my strong faith and motivating belief in prayer. The birth of my daughter…she is the only thing that I have really prayed selfishly to have. Her mother had radiation treatment and was told it was medically impossible to give birth. I told the doctor every daddy should have a baby girl and that I would pray for one. Nine months later Liz Garnet Mahan was born as healthy as she could be.”

“A second miracle happened in 1985 when physicians told me I would never walk again, as a mysterious virus had attacked my nervous system. I was paralyzed from the waist down in the hospital. I did walk out of that hospital, another “miracle” inexplicable in medical terms.”

“My prayer today is that my story gives you another reason to have faith and the motivation to have belief in the power of prayer.”


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