SYNERGY: Eagle Street Coffee Emporium owner Teresa Johnson, right, says she hopes her business will become an integral part of a community on the rise. EMSDC’s Stephanie Swepon-Twitty, left, says a primary goal for The Block is to preserve the past and prosper in the future. Photo by Elizabeth Reynolds McGuire

The fika files: The art of community

Look down Eagle Street from Biltmore Avenue, and you’ll see the historic YMI Cultural Center and on the corner, a little coffee shop. Eagle Street Coffee Emporium moved into the neighborhood last November, pulling up roots from its Wall Street location to join a neighborhood with a rich, African-American history. Owner Teresa Johnson says her […]

LIKE A FAMILY: Old Europe owner Melinda Vetro, left, thinks of her employees, including Manager Anna Beth Eason, right, as family. Photo by Elizabeth Reynolds McGuire

FIKA FILES

Fika is the Swedish tradition of taking time each day to share and savor coffee with family and friends. In the middle of downtown Asheville, I found the perfect little coffee shop to visit whenever I am homesick for a good, strong European espresso: Entering Old Europe Patisserie is like stepping into a typical café […]

BEAN THERE: The interior of Blitmore Coffee Traders is decorated with locally made items and burlap sacks of coffee beans. Photo by Elizabeth Reynolds McGuire

Fika Files: Biltmore Coffee Traders

Blogger, minister and globe-trotting coffee aficionado Elizabeth Reynolds McGuire spends her downtime checking out local coffee shops and promoting the idea of fika, a Swedish custom of relaxing and savoring a cup o’ joe. Her regular series examines Asheville-area coffee culture one cup at a time. I first visited Biltmore Coffee Traders’ cozy red cottage […]

STAFF OF LIFE: My Gluten Free Bread Company provides job training and life skills to youth who are at-risk or homeless. Pictured, from left to right: company founder Pannavati, Anthony Peterkin, Shaquill Mitter, Debbie Hofland, Jay Wilson, James Bland, Matt Wright and Aaron Toney. Photo by Elizabeth Reynolds McGuire

Rising fortunes

I used to believe that sitting still and taking time for myself meant that I was lazy and selfish. As I’ve grown older, and hopefully wiser, I’ve come to understand that the opposite is true. Taking time to meditate, exercise or read actually inspires and energizes us to take action. And no one knows that […]

HAVE A FIKA: The Swedish concept of fika promotes contemplation, mindfulness and a spirit of community. Photo by Elizabeth Reynolds McGuire.

The fika files

Editor’s note: Blogger, minister and globe-trotting coffee aficionado Elizabeth Reynolds McGuire spends her downtime promoting the Swedish idea of fika and checking out local coffee shops. This week, she begins a regular series that will examine Asheville-area coffee culture one cup at a time. Fika 101 I love coffee.  I also love photography, writing and […]