Conscious Party: Artisan food for all

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WHAT: Blue Ridge Food Ventures’ Stir Crazy Fundraiser

WHEN: Thursday, July 24, from 6-9 p.m.

WHERE: The Boathouse Riverside Pavilion at 318 Riverside Drive

WHY: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and check out the lineup that Blue Ridge Food Ventures is serving up this July. Blue Ridge Food Ventures (BRFV) will host an evening full of Asheville specialties, including artisan food, craft beer, signature cocktails, wine and, of course, live music. Proceeds will support BRFV in their mission to aid aspiring food entrepreneurs as they move food product ideas from the test kitchen to the marketplace.

BRFV’s shared-use manufacturing facility has already helped to launch roughly 250 food-related businesses, but now faces dwindling financial support from the state. Executive Director Chris Reedy says that BRFV is in the process of “finding new and different ways to become more self-sufficient,” which will include fundraising events like Stir Crazy as well as a promising new co-packing operation.

“We’re going to have loads and loads of our producers’ products,” says Reedy of the fare for Thursday’s soiree. “Everybody from UliMana Chocolate to Smiling Hara Tempeh will have product at the event.” Reedy is also excited that attendees will get a sneak peak of the adjacent Smoky Park Supper Club, which opens later this summer or in early fall.

Asheville musicians One Leg Up will provide the musical backdrop for the party, playing their signature mix of upbeat gypsy jazz, Latin, swing and original jazz tunes.

Tickets to Stir Crazy are $20 ($25 at the door) per person and include all food, beverages, and entertainment. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit blueridgefoodventures.org. — Kat McReynolds

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