Small Bites: Devil’s Foot Beverage Co. eyes the future

SODA POP: Earlier this month, Devil's Foot Beverage Co. received a $50,000 grant from NC IDEA. Co-founders Ben Colvin, left, and Jacob Baumann, pictured at Social Lounge, have used some of the money to hire the company's first part-time employee. Photo by Thomas Calder

Devil’s Foot Beverage Co., a local company that specializes in all-natural sodas and sparkling waters, formed in late 2017. “We were just a group of friends making mixers for ourselves … until we got to a point where we realized what we were making was really good,” says co-founder Jacob Baumann. “At that point, we thought it’d be a good idea to try it out as a business.”

For the majority of the company’s existence, Baumann and co-founder Ben Colvin have managed all daily operations, from production and distribution to sales and community outreach. But more recently, Devil’s Foot added its first part-time position, with plans to hire up to three more part-time employees.

The expansion comes courtesy of a $50,000 grant from NC IDEA, a private foundation that supports entrepreneurial ambition and economic advancement in the state. “The grant is going to allow us to scale up at a quicker pace than we would have been able to,” Baumann explains.

Along with new staff, Baumann says some of the money will be allocated for marketing outside the region, with sights set on the eastern part of the state, as well as South Carolina and Virginia.

“We’ve only been doing this for a year and a half, and it’s literally been me knocking on doors and walking into stores and selling it,” Baumann says. “We’re mostly in bars, restaurants and brewereis. But the idea is to up our retail game. … The grant will help with that.”

For more on Devil’s Foor Beverage Co., including its current distribution sites, visit

Square dance and potluck

On Saturday, May 25, The Lord’s Acre, a local nonprofit that builds community by growing produce for those in need, will host its 11th annual square dance, potluck and raffle fundraiser. The family-friendly event will include garden tours, garden games and a raffle featuring local items. All who attend are asked to bring a dish for the potluck dinner. A $10 donation is suggested for individuals and $25 for families.

The square dance and potluck run 5:30-10 p.m. Saturday, May 25, at The Lord’s Acre, 26 Joe Jenkins Road, Fairview. For more, visit

Garden party and community cookout

Green Opportunities Southside Kitchen will host its latest community cookout and garden party at the Arthur R. Edington Education and Career Center on Saturday, May 25. Fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, corn on the cob, rolls and banana pudding will be served, along with vegan and gluten-free main course options. Pathways to Parks, a nature group committed to encouraging people of color to explore public lands, will also be in attendance. The free event is supported by the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, the Conservation Trust for North Carolina and Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation.

The free family lunch runs 1-4 p.m. Saturday, May 25, at the Arthur R. Edington Education and Career Center, 133 Livingston St. To RSVP, visit

Blue Dream Curry House celebrates four years

Blue Dream Curry House will celebrate its fourth year in business with a scavenger hunt. Keep an eye on its social media platforms for clues on how to win a free entrée or two free appetizers. The hunt will take place at six participating breweries and cider houses: Bhramari Brewing Co., Burial Beer Co., Ginger’s Revenge, Pisgah Brewing Co., Urban Orchard Cider Co. and Zillicoah Beer Co. These establishments are also collaborating with Blue Dream Curry House to create specialty brews that will be on tap during the anniversary celebration.

The anniversary party runs noon-10 p.m. Saturday, May 25, at Blue Dream Curry House, 81 Patton Ave. Scavenger hunt cards will be redeemable that day. For more, visit

Rise Southern Biscuits & Righteous Chicken opens

On Saturday, May 25, Rise Southern Biscuits & Righteous Chicken, a Durham-based restaurant, will open its first Asheville location. The eatery serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. For its grand opening, the store will donate 10% of its total sales to Haw Creek Elementary School.

Rise Southern Biscuits & Righteous Chicken is in the Peaks Shopping Center on Tunnel Road. The grand opening takes place Saturday, May 25. Hours are Monday-Friday, 6:30 a.m.-3 p.m., and Saturday-Sunday, 7 a.m.-3 p.m. For more, visit

Memorial Day fundraiser

On Monday, May 27, Lookout Brewing Co. will grill hot dogs (with meat and nonmeat options) as part of a Memorial Day fundraiser. All donations will benefit the N.C. State Veterans Cemetery in Black Mountain.

Hotdogs will be available 2-8 p.m. Monday, May 27, at Lookout Brewing Co., 103 S. Ridgeway Ave., Black Mountain. For more, visit

Grain-free, sugar-free, dairy-free

Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe will host author and nutritionist Leah M. Webb on Tuesday, May 28. Webb will discuss her new work, The Grain-Free, Sugar-Free, Dairy-Free Family Cookbook. The event is free to attend.

The talk begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 28, at Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe, 55 Haywood St. For more, visit

Klinker Brick wine dinner

Bone & Broth will team up with Metro Wines and Klinker Brick Winery for a wine pairing dinner on Wednesday, May 29. Menu highlights include seared scallops with citrus brown butter and mango pico de gallo paired with Albarino; bitter greens, poached peach, smoked blue cheese, pistachio and Vidalia onion vinaigrette paired with Farrah Syrah; and dry-aged braised short ribs paired with 2015 Old Ghost Vine zinfandel. Tickets are $75 and include tax and gratuity.

The pairing begins at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 29, at Bone & Broth, 94 Charlotte St. To purchase tickets, visit

Local teacher awarded grant

The N.C. Restaurant & Lodging Association’ s N.C. Hospitality Education Foundation recently announced its 2019 scholarship and grant recipients. ProStart teacher Jacqueline Brown of Asheville High School was the sole educator recognized with the $1,500 Ted Fowler Educator Grant, which supports program development in the field of hospitality education. ProStart is a nationwide, two-year high school program that reaches nearly 140,000 students in more than 1,800 high schools, according to the association’s website. ProStart’s curriculum offers real-life experience opportunities and builds practical skills.

For the complete list, visit


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About Thomas Calder
Thomas Calder received his MFA in Fiction from the University of Houston's Creative Writing Program. His writing has appeared in Gulf Coast, the Miracle Monocle, Juked and elsewhere. His debut novel, The Wind Under the Door, is now available.

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