Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfunding initiatives

FIND YOUR TRIBE: Pie Tribe, an Asheville food-truck-to-be, will serve wood-fired, organic pizzas made with local ingredients. "We look forward to creating a small business that not only is sustainable but focuses on helping and supporting other small businesses in the area," says co-owner Jason Broaddus.

Crowdfunding platforms make it possible for individuals and organizations of any size to harness social networks and raise start-up capital for projects that might otherwise fail due to lack of funding. Each week, Xpress highlights notable Western North Carolina crowdsourcing initiatives that may inspire readers to become new faces in the crowd.

Pie Tribe’s launch

Two years after moving from Richmond, Va., to Asheville, Jason Broaddus and his fiancé Kara Haskins are making the transition from service industry employment to food business ownership. “I have always had the dream to start a food truck focusing on local, fresh, organic ingredients,” Broaddus says, calling Asheville the perfect place to launch that venture. “Pie Tribe will serve personal pies with seasonal ingredients, so the menu will be constantly changing.” At 700 degrees, the couple’s wood-fired oven takes roughly 90 seconds to bake Pie Tribe’s from-scratch pizzas, including the vegetarian Market Pizza. It will feature ingredients picked up from a local market that day. “Our home base is going to be at the Asheville Food Park in the River Arts District,” Broaddus says, “but we will be all around the Asheville area.” The two have already purchased and renovated a cargo trailer for the operation, but they aim to raise an additional $5,000 by Tuesday, March 1, to get the trailer professionally wrapped, conduct more product testing, purchase additional equipment and pay various licensing fees.

Logo from Pie Tribe's facebook page
Logo from Pie Tribe’s facebook page


Scott Williams and Steven White are calling their latest outdoor sports invention “one board for all seasons.” What began as a riverboard prototype has been modified to add safety, comfort and performance features that stand up to rivers, lakes, beaches and snow-covered mountains. Plus, the design puts riders at face level with the terrain, adding exhilaration to each adventure, according to the designers. Boards come in three sizes: the Tadpole for kids, the Frog for average-sized adults and the Bullfrog for larger thrill seekers. With their combined experience in water sports, manufacturing and business management, Williams and White believe their prototypes are ready for production. They aim to raise $162,500 by Friday, March 4, to pay for molds, tooling, business fees and other manufacturing costs.

Send your crowdsourcing campaign news to kmcreynolds@mountainx.com. A limited number of campaigns will be highlighted each week, at Xpress’ discretion. Campaigns must be locally based and should represent a current project with an achievable goal. Conditions are subject to change. Read about more Western North Carolina projects here.


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Kat McReynolds
Kat studied entrepreneurship and music business at the University of Miami and earned her MBA at Appalachian State University. Follow me @katmAVL

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

2 thoughts on “Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfunding initiatives

  1. boatrocker


    Any plans to crowdfund the Asheville homeless (no, not a recent transplant folk band from Brooklyn, a jam band at the Xmas Jam or a sports team- actual homeless people), women in danger of losing access to reproductive services for Cruz control ™, affordable housing, a local livable wage, body cams for the APD, resisting local out of towner gentrification, legal fees to fight Duke Power for dirtying our air/water?

    Oh well, we can always paint a bird on it, or pave the developers’ way with yoga mats.

  2. I’m sure they appreciate the promotion and free advertising for their private sector for-profit business when so many have to pay for that. Good luck with your food truck downtown, and you’re welcome.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.