When Massachusetts born Leo Gaev first came to North Carolina and saw wildflowers in the highway medians, he thought, “This place has it all figured out.” Leo now owns a metal shop in Carrboro. He bought his equipment and rented his initial shop space half an hour after it was posted on Craig’s list. Leo and his dog Ella now spend their days with two full time employees, including Colton Winchester (pictured wearing mask). Relationships with clients are the keys to his success and Leo relishes his village blacksmith role. Now on the hunt for more space, he wants to stay in Orange County. Leo used to co-run an organic vegetable farm that hosted farm dinners “before they were even a thing.” Without hesitation, Leo said that persimmons are his favorite food that grows here.