Charlotte's food and music community lost a beloved leader last week when Kelly Call passed away suddenly at 50 years old.
Call was a fixture in the Plaza Midwood and NoDa neighborhoods; she's owned or co-owned a number of popular Charlotte haunts, including Creation and Stash Pad, and served as a manager at Charlotte staple Lupie's Café.
- Anita Overcash
- Kelly Call with her Tip Top Daily Market co-owner Scott McCannell shortly after they opened the business in 2015.
At the time of her death of an apparent stroke on Feb. 7, Call co-owned Snug Harbor in Plaza Midwood and the Tip Top Daily Market near NoDa.
Rather than try to explain Call's inspiration to those in her circle, Creative Loafing reached out to some of her closest friends to describe what she meant to their lives and how they will be affected by her loss.
"Kelly has always been the person I turn to for advice. She's always been there to help talk me through my problems no matter how big or small and has always been honest...sometimes brutally. We've suffered a huge loss to our family and I've lost my big sister."
-Larkin Duran, co-owner of Lupie's Cafe
"I didn't know Kelly very well until she opened Tip Top Daily Market just a few shops away from me at Hattie's. The first few conversations we had were almost intimidating. I felt like I was talking to a rock star. She not only knew absolutely everything about the service industry, but she knew everything about the neighborhood and its people.
When I had an event coming up, Kelly gave me three pointers. I used all three, and I would have been screwed if I hadn't taken her wise advice.
From time to time, she would swing into Hattie's after work. We would sit on the back patio and share anything from funny stories in the industry to our personal lives. One patio chat left us both crying in each other's arms. Kelly gave me some of the best advice that I will carry with me forever. I will never forget her gracious attitude in mentoring and befriending me.
Kelly looked out for our community, for me, and for Hattie's. She made our neighborhood better and stronger. She was an amazing person and I looked up to her greatly. Kelly will be sorely missed in our community, but she left enough of a mark that I'm sure her presence will never be too far away."
-Jackie DeLoach, owner of Hattie's Tap & Tavern
"Kelly was a giver and a hard worker. She cared deeply about her friends, and would always offer a helping hand; an ear when you needed to get something off your chest. I think she always wanted to see people succeed at doing what they truly loved doing, and was generous in any way that she could be to help facilitate that. She was also fun, and I shared many good laughs with her. She truly fought for the underdog, and judged people only by their actions and their heart and never the superficial. I always thought that if she could cook for the world and make sure that no one went hungry, she would. I already miss her a lot. We need more Kellys in this world."
-Scott Weaver, founder of Shiprocked at Snug Harbor
"To the one that was a leader and not a follower.
To the one that was a giver and not a taker.
To the one that was a great friend, a nurturer, a believer, an ear, a pillar, a mentor, a role model and so, so much more.
Since we met, I wanted to be Kelly Call when I grew up.
I will always love you and will always think the whole entire world of you.
Rest In Power, my unbelievably beautiful friend. There will never be another like you."
-Molly Poe, close friend of Call's