Teresa Webb Gregory Class of 1979
Co-owner, Gregory Vineyards, Lanes Seafood and Steak House, Angier, NC

Hospitality, relaxation, enjoyment we think of these as essential elements of life. Teresa Webb Gregory and her husband make it their mission to provide their customers with an exceptional experience. My husband and I own Gregory Vineyards / Lanes Seafood and Steak House in Angier, NC, south of Raleigh, explains Teresa. Until I recently turned over the management duties to our daughter, I enjoyed all the facets of both businesses.

I get great pleasure in preparing for guests to arrive by arranging the tables and tablecloths, stocking wine on the shelves, working with the chefs who prepare wonderful meals, and collaborating with the servers who enjoy providing our customers with a great dining experience. From the time guests arrive at the restaurant / winery, my desire is for them to feel like they are home for a visit. The experience starts with a welcome greeting from the front staff and continues through the meal until we wish them a good evening and tell them we will see them next time. Each employee, from the chefs to the wait staff to the kitchen workers plays an intricate part in the overall experience.

We have been in business for over thirty years, and we provide about sixty jobs. Many of our employees started out with us when they were young and have stayed. Some have gone on to different successful careers. Many employees have said that their success was enhanced because of their experience working with us. We are easy to work with and desire to allow people to build and enjoy their strengths. We find positions for our employees where they can grow, develop, and flourish. Work can be a pleasure and can be enjoyable and rewarding. We are like one big happy family working and enjoying company together.

I also truly enjoy the muscadine vineyards, the winery, and the visitors we have from all over the world who come to taste our wines. I enjoy giving tours, showing people around the working farm, and talking about the history and health benefits of muscadine grapes. My husband is the wine maker. He says it is like baking a cake. We have seven varieties of delicious muscadine grapes. and we received double gold on the first batch of wine that I took to competition. He knows how to prepare good food and make good wine. However, we still need help with planting, harvesting, crushing, and selling the grapes, with training and pruning the vines, with filtering wine, and with running grapes through the still for the brandy that we then blend with wine to make brandy wines.

I have had over 400 weddings at the vineyards. I hire horse drawn carriages to take my brides to the wedding sites and then the husband and wife for a ride through the vineyards after the wedding. The weddings are beautiful, and I truly enjoy having them at the vineyards.

Before owning the restaurant and vineyards, I was an insurance agent with Allstate. I enjoyed that career very much also. I learned so much being an insurance agent, and I had a 98.9 percent renewal ration. Before my current license to make, sell, and serve wine and a ServSafe certificate, I had a property and casualty license along with a life insurance license. I worked at Dean Witter Reynolds and was a newscaster for WCCE at Campbell University, where I was a pre-law student and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree.

Teresa has fond memories of East Burke High and remembers many of her teachers as inspirations. Martha Wetmore was my debate coach during high school. I praise God she was a part of my life. Mrs. Wetmore went with me and my parents to Campbell University and showed us around. I am so thankful she took an interest in my life and helped guide me to Campbell. The training that I had practicing and debating helped me grow and develop to be more prepared for college and life. Mrs. Wetmore challenged me to debate, which involved talking, negotiating, learning, and following through without missing any significant points.

Phyllis Garrison also had a great impact upon my life. She showed happiness and joy all the time, and it was a pleasure to see her walk past my classrooms or see her across the building. She was always smiling and pleasant, and it was like seeing a bouquet of flowers, hearing a nice song, or feeling a nice breeze. School was kind of dull for me most of the time, but I am so thankful that I saw her around the building regularly.

Geraldine Rector was one of my teachers at Drexel Junior High. She inspired my confidence and made learning and school fun. I enjoyed the year she was my teacher more than any other year of school. Her class was exciting, and she made me want to learn. It was so much fun learning very hard words. She made it clear that everyones position was important; even the ones in the audience of a performance are important. We are all important.

I also remember memorizing two life lesson poems for Mrs. Rector. One was a passage by Edward Everett Hale,

I am only one, but I am one.
I cannot do everything, but I can do something.
And because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do the something that I can do

This passage has helped me through life and has also prepared me to find positions for people that enhance their talents and abilities.

Another poem had the words,
I can do any task without worry or weight.

I have repeated the parts of those two passages in my thoughts for years. They have been a big part of my success. I have shared those words with many others, and I would love for Mrs. Rector to have an idea of how much she positively influenced my life.

I also remember the fable called The Tortoise and the Hare, and I like the meaning of the story. Slow and steady wins the race. If you want to be somebody and get some place, remember, slow and steady wins the race. These three simple sentences are so inspiring. Sometimes it is necessary to start over, reevaluate, look at things from a different angle, get additional training, or take the same training again.

Denny Young was the best history teacher I ever had. He made history exciting and interesting. He liked to hear me read, and his encouragement influenced my decision to be a newscaster for WCCE during college. Dan Hoyle is another person I have appreciated. His kindness and steadfastness have been greatly appreciated.

Teresas warm and welcoming attitude, her desire to help all people do their best, her words of encouragement and inspiration, and her tributes to the ones who taught her all go to together to help her contribute in a positive ay to the community and to the world around her.

Published December 2023

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