Most folk know Angela Shur as a profitable businesswoman in downtown Mount Ethereal who additionally helps function a household farm and orchard, whereas nonetheless discovering time to help quite a few charitable causes.
However there’s extra to the story of the native resident with a thick New York accent — a hold-over from her former life — who resists being caught with a label typically connected to transplanted Northerners.
“I imply, folks don’t know who I’m — they only assume I’m this rattling Yankee from up north,” Shur mentioned lately from her Miss Angel’s Heavenly Pies operation on North Important Avenue. “I’m a Yankee, however I ain’t no rattling Yankee.”
One thing one learns fairly rapidly after assembly “Miss Angel” is that there are two predominant influences in her life which have served to form just about all the pieces she does: household and meals — maybe extra precisely, a mixture of the 2.
That first grew to become evident throughout her childhood on Lengthy Island, New York, the place Shur spent concerning the first 45 of her 61 years — and love typically proved to be a worthy substitute for lack of cash.
“We had been raised in poverty,” Shur mentioned of a household that additionally included three brothers.
“I imply, my dad as soon as offered blood for us,” she defined, “simply to get Christmas items.”
Household patriarch James Nolfo had loved a profitable profession in a administration place with Fairchild Plane, however battled persistent coronary heart illness for 10 years, hampering his capacity to work. Shur’s mom, in the meantime, was a stay-at-home mother elevating the 4 youngsters.
Meals offered bond
Regardless of their financial hardships, life for the Nolfos was wealthy in different methods, paying homage to the quintessential Italian households portrayed by motion pictures and tv reveals.
“Household was so essential,” Shur mentioned, recalling that every Sunday, anyplace from 20 to 30 folks, together with uncles, aunts and their youngsters, would collect for a feast.
“Except we had been dying, we needed to have our massive household dinner each Sunday proper after church companies.”
All the pieces — pasta, sauces, desserts, no matter — was ready on the spot.
“And nobody spoke English,” Shur added. “It was all Sicilian on the desk.”
Other than these giant get-togethers, Shur’s quick relations embodied the identical sense of unity.
After all, all the crew gathered across the desk every night time for dinner, and Mr. Nolfo — after an extended shift at work — nonetheless had loads of time to listen to about everybody’s day.
“He instilled the significance of household in me,” Shur noticed concerning their close-knit bond. “I used to be at all times Daddy’s little woman.”
Her mother was at all times baking and cooking, a precursor to how Shur would spend a lot of her time after transferring to Surry County.
“The kitchen smelled like Christmas daily,” Shur mentioned. Different members of her household additionally ran a bake store in Brooklyn which she visited incessantly.
Father instilled kindness
The household would endure a blow throughout the Nineteen Eighties, nevertheless, when Shur’s father succumbed to his persistent coronary heart illness — an occasion that made an indelible impression on a daughter then solely in her mid-20s.
Mr. Nolfo was in a coma, on a ventilator for every week and at one level was clinically lifeless for about quarter-hour earlier than being revived. Shur is grateful for having an opportunity to speak along with her father on the finish.
“I used to be there when he died,” she mentioned of an expertise that equipped “my check of religion” as a non secular particular person.
“He at all times known as me by my nickname, Angel,” she mentioned. “I used to be his angel at his facet on his deathbed.”
Shur admits being angered by her father’s dying, nevertheless it additionally allowed her to study a significant lesson concerning the capacity for somebody to stay on in a way, even after she or he is gone.
Miss Angel sought to have her father’s energy, and concern for others, survive by her, a generational continuation Shur additionally has sought to instill in her personal three youngsters.
“We by no means had a lot, however he would donate his final penny when he needed to feed somebody,” she recalled. “My father was most likely the most-kindest man you ever met in your life.”
Earlier farming roots
After Angela’s marriage to Randy Shur, the couple was concerned in an agricultural enterprise lengthy earlier than their farm and orchard operation would grow to be actuality in Surry.
“We had a 16-acre farm in New York,” Shur mentioned, which specialised in nursery inventory of unique bushes and was situated close to the Atlantic Ocean. Randy’s work additionally included a big irrigation operation earlier than he was sidelined by a damaged backbone in a farm-related accident.
“So we determined we might transfer,” his spouse mentioned of their relocation to the Mount Ethereal space in 2005.
North Carolina was a pure alternative, since Angela had relations in Raleigh. But there was nonetheless a query of precisely the place the household would settle within the sprawling and various Tar Heel State.
Angela had one requirement for the choice: “I wished to go inside one hour of tradition,” translated as someplace within the neighborhood of metropolitan areas together with Charlotte, Raleigh or Winston-Salem.
“I didn’t need to be within the sticks.”
Randy then launched into a search through laptop which crisscrossed the state, checking on crime and different statistics specializing in 30 to 40 totally different localities. That course of finally narrowed the sphere to 5 finalists, together with Surry County.
There the household would purchase a 62-acre horse farm owned by Phil Marsh, now the president of the Downtown Enterprise Affiliation.
“I mentioned, “Wow, there’s simply one thing about this land,”’ Angela thought on the time, together with an internal realization that “that is going to be house.”
The positioning west of city close to Interstate 77 reminded her of the property they’d in New York, solely mountains had been the distinguished function moderately than a big physique of water.
Regardless of his spinal harm, it wasn’t lengthy earlier than Randy Shur — who holds levels in horticulture and agriculture from The State College of New York — had planted a few fruit bushes. This finally grew to become a big pick-your-own orchard bearing such merchandise as peaches, apples and blackberries, with greens additionally grown on the farm.
“I at all times thought it was my future,” Angela mentioned of occupying the previous horse farm and launching a significant agricultural enterprise.
She couldn’t assist there at first because of working as an alternative instructor in Surry County Faculties for 3 years, which included making treats for college students.
That later advanced into advertising and marketing her fruit delicacies at a harvest pageant of Shelton Vineyards and at a small location on the Dairy Queen enterprise middle close to I-77.
Because the orchard blossomed, Angela determined to broaden its attain by opening the Miss Angel’s Heavenly Pies bakery in downtown Mount Ethereal in 2013, as soon as once more using the culinary expertise realized from her mom and aunts. “When these apples grew to become plentiful, Miss Angel’s was born.”
Supportive of group
The rising success of Shur’s enterprise endeavors has been matched by her monetary assist of many charitable causes regionally.
This has included making ready and donating meals for soup kitchens, homeless and kids’s shelters and individuals truly residing on the streets.
Earlier this yr, Miss Angel’s Heavenly Pies was one among 10 winners in a nationwide promotion sponsored by Daybreak Meals, and Shur contributed the $5,000 money prize she acquired consequently to Trinity Episcopal Church.
The native church gives entry to groceries for these in want although its meals pantry, medical gear and luxury for the sick, amongst different companies.
Extra lately, Shur mounted a six-month effort to feed front-line health-care suppliers serving coronavirus sufferers which culminated with a feast for them at her farm on Labor Day.
That effort was triggered by the very fact Shur’s daughter, Jamie Buhagiar 34, is a nurse at Forsyth Medical Heart, who relayed to her mother the pressure medical personnel had been present process as COVID-19 instances started infiltrating space hospitals.
“She mentioned, ‘we don’t even have time to eat,’” Shur’s daughter reported shortly after encountering her first coronavirus affected person.
Shur’s different youngsters are Melanie, 23, pursuing a profession within the psychology discipline, and Brandon, 19, who has acquired a $66,000 scholarship to check horticulture at N.C. State College.
When requested to call which group exercise is nearest and dearest to her coronary heart, Miss Angel talked about that at current, it’s a trigger as soon as once more referring to a scenario confronted by a member of the family.
“Most likely Alzheimer’s, as a result of that’s what I’m residing with.”
Shur’s mom Angie, 88, who “has at all times been my angel,” she mentioned, was recognized with the illness in 2017, which led to her transferring onto the farm to be correctly cared for and spend her final days in a tranquil setting.
It additionally has prompted Shur to help others dealing with the identical ordeal by launching the Miss Angel Charitable Belief in Mrs. Nolfo’s honor.
When established in 2019, Shur mentioned it will be a personal, non-profit basis to offer annual satisfying actions for Alzheimer’s/dementia sufferers, caregivers, relations, memory-care-associated residential nursing services and professionals within the Surry County space.
The continued support rendered to her fellow man displays a need by Miss Angel to embrace her house in Surry County, whereas additionally not forsaking her roots.
“I’m happy with New York — however proper now I need to be a part of them,” she mentioned of native residents. “I’m serving to them — a rattling Yankee wouldn’t do this.”