Street renamed to honor businessman Charles Hardesty

Street renamed to honor businessman Charles Hardesty
April 30
00:00 2015

By Tevin Stinson, For The Chronicle

On Sunday, April 26, members of the community gathered on the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. and Lawrence Street to honor Charles Hardesty, founder of Forsyth Seafood, who died in early 2013.

Forsyth Seafood has been a staple to the community, known for giving youth opportunities for employment, and giving back to the community.

On Feb. 16, the Winston-Salem City County unanimously voted to rename Lawrence Street to Hardesty Lane.

Hardesty and his wife, Virginia, started Forsyth Seafood in 1983 in a truck at Cooks Flea Market. In 1984, they opened a market on Liberty Street In downtown Winston-Salem.

In 1991, they moved to the current location on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive when they converted a convenience store into a market and take-out grill. The Liberty Street market closed in 2012 to make room for the BB&T Ballpark.

“We always knew we wanted to open a business; it was just a matter of deciding which direction to go,” Virginia Hardesty said.

Charles Hardesty grew up in Beaufort, N.C., where he was a standout quarterback and pitcher at East Carteret High School. He went on to attend Elizabeth City State University, where he earned a degree in industrial arts.

After college, he returned to Beaufort, where he worked as a recreation site director. It was there he began to instill his belief in his dedication of hard work and giving back to others.

Growing up on the coast, both Charles and Virginia’s parents were commercial fishermen, so the choice to open a seafood restaurant was a no-brainer. During the early years, Charles and Virginia would travel back and forth from Beaufort to bring fresh fish to the community.

During the ceremony on April 26, a number of Charles Hardesty’s friends talked about how he lived by the same hard-work principles he preached.

John Tyson, a hometown friend and football teammate of Charles, talked about how he was a very hard worker on the field as well.

“Charles was the quarterback and I was the lineman. I was in charge of protecting him,” Tyson said.

As a member of Goler Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church, at 620 N. Patterson Ave., Charles Hardesty started a ministry that fed the hungry and homeless every Wednesday. The program has been serving the community for more than10 years.

The Hardestys have been a staple in the community and have instilled those morals into their daughter Ashley, who graduated from N.C. State in 2013. Ashley now works at the restaurant full time and has kept the business up to date.

“Ashley is very creative. Things have changed a lot from a marketing standpoint from when we first started,” Virginia Hardesty said. “She keeps us up to date with things like Facebook pages.”

Former N.C. Sen. Earline W. Parmon spoke at the ceremony. She said she believes that the location of the street couldn’t have been any better.

“When you look up at that sign, you will know two great men, who made a impact in the African-American community,” she said.

About Author

WS Chronicle

WS Chronicle

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors