FRIENDLY FERMENTS: Shanti Elixirs owner Shanti Sunshine Volpe, pictured with sons Narayan, 7, and Taraka, 11, says there is more support than competition among craft ferment entrepreneurs. “I think that there is no need for us to have concerns or anxieties around competition,” she says. “People will connect with the people and flavors that resonate with them.”

Cultivatin­g a subculture­: Asheville’s bubbling craft ferments industry

Creating a subculture around symbiotic cultures? That’s precisely what is happening in Western North Carolina’s fast-growing fermented food and beverage industries. Cultivating beneficial microorganisms to yield tasty drinks and foods that benefit the mind, body and spirit is being embraced as a business opportunity by an ever-increasing number of locals. A trend that started quietly in […]

PAYING TRIBUTE: "We are are asking for your donation to launch our Women Who Made Music History concert series," Peggy Ratusz, left, and Paula Hanke write online, "where we entertain and educate while we honor and pay emotional tribute to an array of influential divas, dames and darlings."

Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfundi­ng initiative­s

Each week, Xpress highlights notable WNC crowdsourcing initiatives that may inspire readers to become new faces in the crowd. This week features a female duo’s traveling tribute to iconic songstresses before them; a parent’s efforts to end lunch debt shaming in local schools; and a team of Erwin High track athletes’ trip to compete at nationals.