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How a saucy local side-gig led to an extra kick for food everywhere



PITTSBORO — Around the turn of the century, Page Skelton was working a corporate job at a telecommunications company in Research Triangle Park. In his spare time, though, he was concocting the recipe for a sauce that would eventually be tasted around the country.

He bottled it in Mason jars and sold it to his office buddies.

“I was doing what I thought I was supposed to be doing, and that was working my way up the corporate ladder,” Page said.

One day, his wife Caroline, who was working on her Master’s degree at UNC’s Kenan Flagler Business School, told him that maybe it was time for a change.

“I just picked up the phone one day and said to Page, ‘Hey what if you left your corporate job and did this full time?’ and he quit the next day. So we never looked back,” she said.

Now Page and Caroline, along with their son Harry, 13, are running the hot sauce business Cackalacky out of a warehouse that used to be a Chevrolet dealership in Pittsboro. Made up of just the three of them, the company fulfills internet orders to sauce-lovers all over the country, and Page attributes much of their luck and success to their decision to settle down in Chatham County.

“It felt really organic, the way the business community and the local community at large just really seemed to get what we’re doing,” he said.

“It didn’t require any explaining,” added Caroline.

Back in the days when Page was still making and bottling the sauce himself, he took a few jars to a party to share with his friends.

“We’re standing around the fire pit and one of my buddies is like, ‘Hey man, pass me some of that Cackalacky sauce.’”

Page froze. “What’d you call it?” he responded.

The name stuck, and the family trademarked it soon after that. Years later, Page now sees Cackalacky bumper stickers on cars while he’s stuck in traffic, and thinks about how lucky he is that Caroline convinced him to leave that telecommunications job.

“We’re not just some multinational conglomerate putting some stuff in a bottle or on a t-shirt or wherever, saying ‘buy our stuff and your dollars go somewhere,’” Page said. “You’re actually supporting our family.”

The company’s flagship product, Cackalacky Spice Sauce, is made with sweet potatoes and the brand’s “secret spice.”

“It’s not incredibly hot, which is kind of the whole point,” Page said, but then added, “A lot of people would say, ‘Hey man, you got anything hotter than that?’”

So they worked up the Cackalacky Hotter Sauce, with Carolina Reaper peppers that provide an extra kick.

When Page decided to devote himself to his new business, he spent years hustling around the country at trade shows — in Baltimore, Austin, Houston, New York and other cities — where he would pitch his sauce to customers. They were asked to cook for the Panthers Super Bowl tailgate party in 2004, and were able to start selling their products and merchandise at the then-popular, but now-closed Chapel Hill food store Southern Season.

Page credits Caroline and her business savviness for the brand’s explosion. She once offered him a piece of advice that would go on to define their route forward.

“Caroline said to me years ago, if you want to stay in business, you’re gonna focus on selling locally,” he said.

And so they did. They moved the operation from Chapel Hill to Chatham County, where they’ve been stationed for nearly a decade, and Page said he’s proud of the ties he has built with the community.

“I don’t know if it’s a case of Pittsboro aligning with fate or providing more opportunities for us, or both. It felt like people here really got what we’re doing,” he said. “People recognizing each other and lifting each other up, and that’s what’s been great about Chatham County. It just feels right here.”

A few years ago, Page said he launched an expansion with “a big box chain” that put him in 13 locations across a few southern states, but when that led to him and his family not seeing each other as much, they decided that bigger is not necessarily better.

“Part of our success is knowing when to say no,” he said. “It’s a balance between taking advantage of opportunities, and not just jumping on any opportunity that comes along.”

Page started Cackalacky as an adventurous side-gig. It soon became his career, and now, for Caroline and him, it’s a generational pursuit. Their son Harry is involved in the business, pitching ideas for products and helping with social media outreach, and they look forward to the day when they can pass the reins to him.

“It went from a kind of whimsical idea,” Page said, “to this adventure seeking quest, to a little more humble ends, to now —”

“Now we’re looking at it as, ‘Could it be generational?’” Caroline added.

Harry completes the team of three, who by themselves handle most of the business’ needs.

“I’m looking forward to eventually taking control and actually running the company one day once I’m an adult,” Harry, a rising 8th-grader at Pollard Middle School, said.

Cackalacky has defined its place in the community by teaming up with other local businesses. Together with Bear Creek Brews, they make Cackalacky Hot Red-Rye, and donate a portion of the sales proceeds to CORA, the Chatham Outreach Alliance, which provides food to those in need in the county.

With Cheerwine, they developed a “sweet ‘n savory ‘tomato based’ dipping-grilling sauce & marinade,” made with both the Cheerwine formula and the “secret Cackalacky spice blend,” according to the company’s website.

In the executive boardroom of Cheerwine’s headquarters in Salisbury, Page pitched the soda brand on a one-time collaboration, but left the meeting with an agreement to start a longstanding partnership.

“We just really hit it off with the folks at Cheerwine,” Page said.

Both companies are family-owned N.C. businesses. He said when the deal was struck, that was the moment in which “we went from having big dreams to realizing big dreams.”

Cackalacky collaborates on a coffee blend with Aromatic Roasters — located next door, just north of Pittsboro — and the “Cackalacky Chop” sandwich is available at 22 Biscuitville locations.

The company’s sauces and nuts are available at Lowes Foods, Food Lion, Harris Teeter, Wegmans and Publix. Locally, Cackalacky products can be found at a number of locations throughout North Carolina, like the Chatham Marketplace, Carolina Brewery, Carolina Cravings and Pittsboro Feed. Products can be bought online at

Despite the economic effects the COVID-19 pandemic has had on county businesses, Cackalacky has managed to power through the changing times. Their business model is widely built around internet orders and deliveries, so it’s been able to withstand the pressure.

“We’ve definitely seen an uptick in the grocery business since people are eating at home,” Caroline said. “We’ve been O.K. We haven’t had too much of an interruption, just some changes.”

Despite his transformation from selling mason jars of homemade sauce on his lunch breaks, to collaborating with Cheerwine and other staples of N.C. business, Page likes to think humbly about his business, and above all, he just loves to make sauce.

“I don’t know if I had the idea to start a business, or if I just wanted to make a really good sauce,” he said. “I’ve never taken the time to analyze our customer data, but it’s a pretty broad spectrum of people, and I feel the same way about Chatham County.”

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Will It Snow In Gig Harbor? Here’s Your Winter Weather Forecast




GIG HARBOR, WA — Winter weather is coming to Western Washington, and it’s coming fast.

As the National Weather Service explains, a weak weather system is moving out of the region overnight Thursday and Friday morning — after that, it’ll be replaced by a forecast containing freezing fog, and even a chance for snow in the lowlands.

Before any potential snow, however, first comes the cold. Friday and Saturday will be largely dry and chilly, with freezing temperatures joined by patchy freezing fog in the overnight hours and early a.m. During that time, the NWS says to keep any pets and sensitive plants indoors.

Saturday night is when things will really start to get wild, as forecasters predict a new system will begin bringing a mix of rain and snow to the lowlands. And once it’s here, it’ll be here for a while. Meteorologists say lowland snow is possible all the way through Thursday, after which temperatures will warm up and any snow will give way to rain.

As expected, snow will be more likely in the hillsides: forecasters say most of the snow would be between 500-1000 feet above sea level. Anywhere below that is more likely to see a mix of both rain and snow over the coming few days. The NWS says most of the Puget Sound will likely see under an inch of snow total, though there is a small chance the interior could see over two inches.

Gig Harbor in particular is unlikely to see snow Saturday or Sunday, but the chance for a mix of rain and snow becomes more likely Tuesday through Thursday.

Meanwhile, the Seattle weather blog is forecasting about an inch of snow north of the emerald city.

While the snow likely won’t be sticking around, it does make the roads significantly more hazardous. That’s why the Washington State Department of Transportation is asking everyone to get prepared ahead of time — which means stocking your car with all the supplies you might need if you get stuck, like a blanket, water, gloves, tire chains and ice scrapers. WSDOT is also reminding drivers to drive for the weather, slow down and leave extra space between your car and other vehicles.

Here’s a look at the 5-day outlook for Gig Harbor:

Friday: 45°/30° (Sunny)
Saturday: 43°/38° (Mostly sunny)
Sunday: 44°/36° (Rain)
Monday: 43°/33° (Chance rain)
Tuesday: 42°/32° (Chance of rain and snow)

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GiG to provide compliance tool to Nano Casino




Gaming Innovation Group (GiG) has signed an agreement with Finnplay Group-owned Nano Casino, for the provision of its affiliate marketing compliance tool, GiG Comply.

The supplier said the automated marketing compliance solution enables operators to scan web pages for content including links and igaming ‘code red’ words.

It works by using its rules engine to analyse snapshots from affiliate marketing campaigns, and provides operators with the promotional content that is being used to promote its brand.

GiG says the tool is flexible and allows operators to set up their own criteria and checklist parameters that can be tailored to their own market-specific requirements.

“At Nano Casino we strive to ensure not only player satisfaction but also compliance with the different legislation applicable in each jurisdiction we operate in and we believe that our partnership with GiG will make us reach this goal much more efficiently and holistically,” said Daniel Lilja, Nano Casino’s head of marketing.

Jonas Warrer, managing director at GiG Media, added: ‘’It’s now more important than ever for operators to ensure that their marketing efforts meet market-specific legislation and advertising standards globally.”

“We are proud to add Nano Casino to our partners’ list and are happy that they have chosen GiG Comply as their partner of choice to help support them with their marketing compliance strategy for 2021”

The intellectual rights to Nano Casino were transferred to Finnplay Group’s Viral Interactive B2B subsidiary from Global Gaming in July 2020.

Nano is the latest brand to incorporate GiG Comply into its offering. LeoVegas struck a deal with the supplier in December to include the tool into its platform, and it has been used by Betfred since September 2019.

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automation: From automation to gig economy, India needs to work on its skilling program




For a labour surplus economy, India faces acute shortage of skilled workers. The recent Human Development Report 2020 highlighted that one out of five workers in India is skilled. According to the report, skilled labour as a percentage of the labour force in India stands at 21.2%, and other countries which share a similar position include the likes of Sudan, Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Liberia. Amidst the pandemic’s adverse blow to the country’s

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