Out in the county: New food and seasonal favorites in Fairview

Colleah Habif at Mountain Mojo Coffeehouse with house-made, gluten-free cinnamon doughnuts with dark chocolate ganache and pecans Max Cooper
Colleah Habif at Mountain Mojo Coffeehouse with house-made, gluten-free cinnamon doughnuts with dark chocolate ganache and pecans Max Cooper

Despite its proximity to Asheville, Fairview remains obscure to lots of folks, explains Colleah Habif.

When someone asks her about the location of her new business, Mountain Mojo Coffee House, she tells them it's “out in the county.” The community to Asheville's east is a mixture of suburban housing and family farms. This time of year, the area is buzzing as produce ripens and hikers venture out to Chimney Rock.

Habif and her husband, Ross, have worked in the Asheville restaurant industry for 16 years. Most recently, they co-owned the Sugar Beet — also in Fairview — which opened in 2009. A year and a half later, Habif sold her share in the business to her partner, Ashley Rosenkoetter. The popular Fairview breakfast spot closed in 2011, and The Local Joint reopened in its place.

The Habifs got their start selling baked goods out of Natural Mystic Coffee on Lexington Avenue in the mid-’90s (where the Emerald Lounge is now). They also launched Over Easy Café on Broadway, which they ran for several years before selling it to current owner Carson Lucci.

This spring, they opened Mountain Mojo in partnership with Colleah’s aunt, Shelley Habif. They hope to make Fairview's agricultural strength part of the concept. They're planting gardens, the kind “the kids can wander through,” as Colleah puts it, that will produce strawberries and mint, among other things, and hosting a weekly market for farmers and craftspeople — The County Market — on Fridays from 2 to 6 p.m.

With Mountain Mojo, Colleah hopes to provide a communal space, the sort a restaurant doesn't always offer. Colleah plans to offer live music and other events. She says the coffee house will be more versatile than a restaurant, “It serves the community in a different way,” she says. “We really wanted to have a meeting place. We wanted to facilitate that for Fairview because there isn't anything like that on this side of town.”

In the neighborhood

Accordingly, Colleah’s pulling in food producers from around the area, although the Habifs also bake many of the shop's offerings in-house. Look for coffee from Dynamite Roasting in Black Mountain, Auntie M's mini quiches and sandwiches from Troyer's Country Amish Blatz.

Troyer's is worth a visit in itself: The deli, bakery, grocery and furniture store hybrid is tucked into a charming white farmhouse just a couple of miles from Mountain Mojo.

The Troyers take inspiration from the Amish of Holmes County, Ohio, so you can get shoofly pie and other specialties. They also custom order furniture from the craftspeople of that region.

After you stock up on coffee and sandwiches at Mountain Mojo and Troyer's, check out the cheese at Looking Glass Creamery.

The cheesemakers' family farm has a brand new shop for hosting visitors on Thursdays and Saturdays. Sample the goat and cow milk cheeses, and take in the views from the farm. Make a picnic of it — the shop stocks local sausage, crackers, mustard and chocolate to enjoy with the cheese.

Over at Hickory Nut Gap Farm, berry season is starting. Pick organic blueberries, raspberries and blackberries, or purchase a pint from the farm store, which stocks produce as well as grass-fed beef, pork sausage and plenty of locally produced dry goods and souvenirs.

Just down the road from Hickory Nut Gap Farm, Flying Cloud Farm sets up a self-serve produce stand (pay by the honor system). The farm grows herbs, berries, flowers and a wide array of vegetables.

Want to get Fairview's offerings all in one place? Trout Lily Market stocks many of the products mentioned above.

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