"Chickens are a perfect starting point for anyone who wants to be more connected to their food," says Justin Rhodes, creator of Asheville's newest chicken-raising film tutorial. Photo of key film contributors from Justin Rhodes' Kickstarter page

Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfundi­ng campaigns

Crowdfunding platforms make it possible for individuals and organizations of any size to harness social networks and raise startup capital for projects that might otherwise fail due to lack of funding. This week: self-reliance through chickens, new adventures at Firestorm Books and a re-published Tarot classic.

Three out of five worker-owners of Firestorm Cafe and Books show off their new space, located at 610 Haywood Road (the space formerly occupied by Pro Bikes). Photo by Hayley Benton

Firestorm Café and Books finds a new West Asheville home

Firestorm Café and Books is coming back with a bang — revamped, refurbished — and in West Asheville. Soon to be located at 610 Haywood Road (formerly home to Pro Bikes), Firestorm Café and Books originally opened downtown in March 2008 in the Commerce Street space now occupied by the new Ethiopian restaurant Addissae. In April 2014, […]

Sunny Side Salad: Brunch can be breakfast, it can be lunch — or it can be anything in between. Sunny Point's breakfast salad is one dish that bridges a gap between meals. Photo courtesy of Sunny Point Café

Asheville: Brunch City, U.S.A.

Walking through the streets of downtown Asheville on a chilly Sunday morning, it’s hard not to be tempted by the smell of fresh-roasted coffee wafting from inside cracked doors. Outside, eye-catching rows of sandwich boards line the sidewalk. “Lobster omelette; local eggs,” reads one. “Fresh-squeezed pomegranate mimosa,” reads another, adorned with a colorful chalk-drawing of a tasty-looking […]

FARM-SPECIFIC: "Like a single estate wine, a farm-specific coffee allows the terroir of the region to show through," says Dynamite Roasting Co. co-owner Andy Gibbon. Photo courtesy of Dynamite and City Bakery

Single origin, double quality: Asheville gets Honduran coffee

Praline, caramel and buttery notes co-star in the latest small-batch brew available from City Bakery and Dynamite Roasting Co., and this is one buzz you won’t regret in the morning. Certified organic single-origin coffee from Honduras’ Finca La Esmeralda farm — expertly grown, carefully selected and recently transported — has made its way to Asheville, […]

Highland Brewing Co. employee Jay pours his favorite brew, the Gaelic Ale, for attendees of the 2014 Food Blog Forum. Photo by Maria McReynolds

Asheville hosts 120 hungry bloggers

Ashevilleans, more so than residents of many other cities, know where their food is raised, grown or picked and can often participate in the process with little effort. This reverence for cuisine afforded Asheville the honor of hosting Food Blog Forum’s 2014 conference, a three-day networking and educational event for 120 food bloggers from across the nation.

The Whole Foods mobile kitchen will donate its Aug. 18 sales to Brother Wolf Animal Rescue. Photo courtesy of Whole Foods

Whole Foods Market to set up mobile kitchen on Tunnel Road

Upscale grocer Whole Foods has planned a week of mobile kitchen feasts in anticipation of the grand opening at its 4 S. Tunnel Road location. The campaign kicks off with a “community giving day” on Aug. 18, at which nonprofit Brother Wolf Animal Rescue will be the sole beneficiary of all food sales.

Renovations continue at Ben's Penny Mart. Photo courtesy of Ben's Tune-Up

Ben’s Tune-Up brings new convenienc­e store to South Slope

“Everybody needs sodas and cigarettes and snacks,” says Ben’s Tune-Up co-owner Meg Alt. Now, individuals who work and play downtown have an expedient means to get these items. Ben’s Penny Mart, Asheville’s newest convenience store and hangout, is scheduled to open on Friday, Aug. 15, at 195 Hilliard Ave. adjacent to Hi-Wire Brewing. The hours […]

TO A TEA: Barista Nathan Lily makes the chai at Tod's Tasties from scratch. Photo by Cindy Kunst

Chai love: Asheville embraces India’s ancient healing drink

When ordering a chai in the Western world, a customer may receive any number of concoctions. A simple black tea with spices is one possibility, but it is significantly more likely that the beverage will be prepared with a powdered mix of sugar and corn syrup solids, with tea nowhere to be seen on the ingredient list. Fortunately for Asheville residents, local businesses are taking the making of chai back to the basics.