“Our main goal is to carry on the legacy [of the business],” says one of the West End Bakery’s new owners, Cary Hitchcock. “This place has been around forever, and it is an icon in the community.”
Friends, family and fools are frequently cited as the most promising sources of capital for small businesses. And that networking approach to financing — called crowdfunding when it’s leveraged online — seems to suit Ashevilleans, who’ve raised almost $2 million to date for creative ventures funded via Kickstarter.
If you’ve lived in the Asheville area for any length of time, you know there are certain city roads that you simply avoid at key times of day. And with tourism booming and more people looking to move here every day, traffic concerns on already crowded city streets loom large in the minds of many residents, as well as city and state officials.
With the popularity of locally made artisan cheese steadily growing in the Asheville area, local cheesemakers have planned a new festival to spotlight the craft — the Carolina Mountain Cheese Fest.
Habitat for Humanity International recently ranked the Asheville ReStore second in gross sales among the parent nonprofit’s nearly 800 such retail shops. Habitat’s corporate headquarters, which mentors stores in other cities, has even begun looking to Asheville for answers.
“I was, and am, extremely saddened by the closing of Katuah [Market] and have the utmost respect and appreciation to Swann for creating such a meaningful and healthy place…. But I am not convinced that it’s due to people not willing to purchase locally.”
Raw milk comes straight from the cow — it hasn’t been pasteurized (heated to high temperatures for specific lengths of time to kill potentially harmful pathogens). Though both the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn against unpasteurized dairy products in no uncertain terms, the product remains in high demand.
Can a community initiative rise from the ground up, with no leaders and no set agenda? The answer is yes, and it’s apparent in newly affixed “Ole Town Candler” bumper stickers and a CleanUp Candler campaign that’s taking off via a Facebook page. And on Thursday, April 9, the initiative takes another step forward with a community meeting at Enka Middle School.
An article published last month in Governing magazine examined 191 cities around the country, comparing average hourly wages with each city’s cost of living. The analysis included big cities like New York, Miami and Los Angeles, as well as smaller cities like Asheville. Xpress sifted through the numbers to find out how Asheville compares with the rest of the country.
The 3 ½ day conference brought together industry leaders and community business activists to advance local economies, and it convened dozens of breakout sessions.
From the Get It! Guide: Julie Osburne traveled the country as a busker — exchanging goods and skills with those she met. That gave her the idea to found the sharing economy website, Exchange Tree.
Despite efforts to tweak the store model and cut costs, new competition in the past year from national brands like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods made it nearly impossible for Katuah Market to compete, says owner John Swann.
Perhaps not surprisingly, topics of discussion mirrored the diverse mix of folks who came together for the daylong event at A-B Tech’s Enka campus: small-business owners, investors, employees and assorted individuals with an interest in collective prosperity.
From the Get It! Guide: Whichever way employers define “sustainable,” incorporating the effort into the workplace requires creative thought and effort.
Longtime downtown favorite Laurey’s Café is closing effective immediately.
From the Get It! Guide: For a business to succeed long term, it has to factor in supply and demand, market trends, technology and, according to one of Asheville’s newest ventures, climate change. The Collider calculates climate change data to present trend predictions as an asset for businesses new and old.
Local bartenders to square off during Bar Wars AVL, French Broad Food Co-op seeks community input on expansion plans, the Mills River Farmers Market lines up new vendors and the Barefoot Wine founders to offer business advice at UNC Asheville workshops.
Asheville’s inaugural Bringing it Home economic conference aims to break new ground, and so does Xpress with its community-based approach to covering the event via tweets by both journalists and attendees at the conference.
From the Get It! Guide: Alternative energy has long been considered a fringe service provider. But with efficient and affordable advances in technology, juicy state and federal tax incentives and the ability to keep both jobs and cash local, proponents say its time to consider alternative energy a serious plan for the future.
Information-technology industry group Meet the Geeks invites Asheville’s IT professionals to wander from their computer screens on Wednesday, March 25. The local nonprofit is holding its 10-year anniversary celebration at Scully’s that evening, from 5:30 p.m. until 8 p.m.
This Wednesday’s inaugural Bringing it Home economic conference aims to break new ground, and so does Xpress with its community-based approach to covering the event via tweets by both journalists and attendees at the conference.