Small bites: Help for Hendo

A FORCE FOR GOOD: On the third Monday of each month, Sanctuary Brewing Co. hosts Help for Hendo, offering free meals and haircuts to those in need. The haircuts are provided by local hairdresser Michael Cohen, left. Also pictured is Lisa McDonald, co-owner of Sanctuary Brewing Co. Photos provided by Cohen and McDonald.

Since opening in 2015, Sanctuary Brewing Co. has sought unique ways to give back to the community. One of its earliest and ongoing projects is the “kindness wall” — patrons hang donated goods on a wire line that extends across a portion of the brewery’s outside lot.

More recently, in 2018, the brewery began hosting Help for Hendo, a monthly event that offers services to people in need, including free meals provided by the brewery and grab-and-go lunch options donated by VegReady. On certain occasions, local chiropractors and massage parlors have donated their time and services as well. And at Sanctuary’s upcoming event on Monday, Aug. 26, the brewery will be joined by the Blue Ridge Humane Society, which will supply complimentary pet items, including flea and heartworm medications.

The gathering’s main mission, however, is to offer people free haircuts. “It can be really life-changing,” says Lisa McDonald, co-owner of Sanctuary. Part of the transformation is the self-confidence that comes with getting a fresh new look, McDonald notes. But a more significant component, she adds, “is just being respected as an individual.”

Michael Cohen, owner of Saluda Hair Garage, is the man behind the scissors. A native Bostonian, Cohen has offered free trims to those in need throughout his 30-year career. For the last seven years, his good deeds have benefited residents of Western North Carolina.

In 2018, the hairdresser launched the website with the mission of encouraging other hairstylists to offer their time and services to those less fortunate. The vision, Cohen notes, is to see the model spread across the United States.

Like Cohen, McDonald wants to inspire other business owners to find creative ways to use their space and talents for the betterment of the community. This could include events similar to Sanctuary Brewing’s Help for Hendo. But offering free haircuts and complimentary meals is just one way to assist, says McDonald. Regardless of how you help, the brewery owner stresses, “If you’re a business that isn’t open 24/7 and you have a safe space, why not use it for something good?”

Help for Hendo runs 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday, Aug. 26, at Sanctuary Brewing Co., 147 First Ave. E., Hendersonville. For more information, visit

The Hop celebrates 41 years

On Tuesday, Aug. 27, The Hop Ice Cream Cafe will celebrate 41 years in business. To honor the day, owners Ashley and Greg Garrison will offer free kiddie scoops to all who visit the shop’s Merrimon Avenue location.

Free kiddie scoops will be served 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 27, at The Hop Ice Cream Cafe, 640 Merrimon Ave. For more information, visit

Family Meal at Ivory Road

Ivory Road Cafe & Kitchen recently announced a new monthly dinner series, Family Meal at Ivory Road. The inaugural event takes place Wednesday, Aug. 28. Subsequent dinners will be held on the last Wednesday of each month, with exceptions during the holiday season. These gatherings will feature four courses prepared by chefs Jill Wasilewski and Susie Sharples. Ticket prices for the series range from $45-$65, with the option for wine or beer pairing.

Family Meal at Ivory Road begins at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 28, at Ivory Road Cafe & Kitchen, 1854 Brevard Road, Arden. For more information, visit

Chefs for Seniors

Chefs for Seniors is a personal culinary service that provides fresh meals to seniors prepared in-house by trained chefs. Launched in Madison, Wis., in 2013, the company now has locations throughout the country. Local chef Brandon Whitfield recently began services in Buncombe County. A native of the area, Whitfield graduated from the culinary school at Johnson & Wales University in 2008. According to a press release, Chefs for Seniors offers rotating menu options. Weekly meal plans begin at $130 for entrées with 10-12 servings.

To book meals with Whitfield, call 828-775-2529 or email To learn more about Chefs for Seniors, visit

Native Kind encourages kindness

Native Kitchen and Social Pub seeks to encourage kindness through its new initiative, Native Kind. Residents are asked to nominate community members who make a positive impact in the region. Each month, the Swannanoa restaurant will treat two Native Kind winners to dinner on the house.

Native Kitchen and Social Pub is at 204 Whitson Ave., Swannanoa. To nominate an individual, visit

Sixty pounds of blueberries

Throughout the summer, churches in Polk County have participated in Feed-A-Kid, a program that provides meals for children facing food insecurity. Though the summer program is nearing an end, volunteers continue to deliver goods. Earlier this month, nearly 60 pounds of blueberries were gleaned from Trickle Creek Farm and brought to 61 families. Volunteers are seeking additional gleaning opportunities, including apples, peaches and melons.

To donate excess produce, contact the Congregational Church in Tryon at 828-859-9414.

Skybar to close

Earlier this month, in a Facebook post, Skybar announced plans to close. “It is with a heavy heart we inform you this will be Skybar’s last season,” the post states. “Thank you for your support over the years. We hope to see you again before the season comes to an end. Asheville, it’s been a good run.” In a subsequent update, the bar reported that it would remain open as late as November, depending on weather.

Skybar is at 20 Battery Park Ave. For more, visit


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 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.

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.

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.