Small bites: Mother Ocean Seafood Market set to open

OPEN FOR BUSINESS: Mother Ocean Seafood Market celebrates its grand opening on Tuesday, March 3. The shop is owned and operated by Greg Kilpatrick, left, and Sam Kosik. Photo by Thomas Calder

UPDATE: Mother Ocean Seafood Market’s March 3 opening has been delayed. 

Since 2017, Mother Ocean Seafood Market has been a staple at a number of local farmers markets. The business, co-owned by Sam Kosik and Greg Kilpatrick, has also regularly set up shop in the parking lot of Vinnie’s Neighborhood Italian on Merrimon Avenue.

But on Tuesday, March 3, the two-man operation will fold up its tent and open a brick-and-mortar location at 640 Merrimon Ave., next door to The Hop Ice Cream Cafe.

The shop will offer a variety of fresh seafood, with the majority sourced from the Carolina coasts. “We deal mostly with day boat fish,” Kosik explains. “These are fish that are one to two days out of the water.”

Special orders will also be sourced from the Northeast, Florida coast and the Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic. “If it’s swimming in the ocean, we can find it,” says Kosik

The new space will also provide Kilpatrick the opportunity to demonstrate his culinary skills. Soups, chowders and cold sides, including shrimp salads and crab cakes, will be available right out of the gate. The eatery will also supply preordered dinner and party options for pick up. Later, Kosik adds, Mother Ocean Seafood Market plans to expand its counter service with made-to-order options like po’ boy sandwiches, blackened fish sandwiches, and fish and chips.

Mother Ocean Seafood Market will feature products from Western North Carolina vendors, including Goddess Ghee and Serotonin Ferments, and will source fresh produce from local and regional farmers. “We just want to feed people in Asheville healthier, better options,” says Kosik.

Though their tent outside Vinnie’s might be gone, regular market shoppers will still find Kosik and Kilpatrick setting up shop at the West Asheville Tailgate and Downtown City markets. “We want to remain available to those who enjoy the market experience,” says Kosik.

Mother Ocean Seafood Market is slated to open Tuesday, March 3, at 640 Merrimon Ave. Regular hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. For more information, visit

Leap year beer dinner

The Whale: A Craft Beer Collective is teaming up with 12 Bones for a leap year beer dinner on Saturday, Feb. 29. The five-course pairing will feature exclusive and rare beers. Participants will also take home a 12 Bones and The Whale commemorative beer glass. Menu highlights include koji smoked shrimp and grits, a smoked salmon board and beef short ribs. 12 Bones Brewing Co. will supply Table Beer, Hazy IPA and Booty Shwarts; meanwhile, The Whale will supply Smoked Helles-Aecht Schlenkerla, Gueze Bouton and Bourbon Barrell Stout. Tickets are $80, including sales tax and gratuity. Seating is limited.

The pairing runs 5:30-9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 29, at 12 Bones, 5 Foundry St. To purchase tickets, visit

Girls on the Run of WNC

Noble Cider hosts its fifth annual chili cook-off on Sunday, March 1, to benefit Girls on the Run of WNC, a nonprofit that empowers girls through experience-based activities that integrate running. All proceeds from the event support the nonprofit, and Noble Cider will also donate a percentage of its sales that day. This year’s chili categories include traditional, vegetarian and most creative. Tickets are $10 per person. Entry fee for competitors is $15. According to the Facebook event page, attendees are encouraged to come early, as chili typically runs out within the first hour. This event usually sells out.

The cook-off runs 3-5 p.m. Sunday, March 1, at Noble Cider, 356 New Leicester Highway. For tickets, visit

The Ethical Meat Handbook

On Monday, March 2, Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe welcomes writer and butcher Meredith Leigh to discuss the second edition of her 2015 book The Ethical Meat Handbook. Leigh will be joined by soil scientist Laura Lengnick and fellow author Keia Mastrianni. “Meat and fat are some of the most popular fodder for dietary quibble but can serve as the metaphorical deep tissue and stored bounty for our collective conversation about food,” the event description reads. A book signing will follow the discussion. The event is free to attend.

The discussion runs 7-8 p.m. Monday, March 2, at Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe, 55 Haywood St. To learn more, visit

Root Down Kitchen at Salvage Station

Root Down Food Truck is launching a brick-and-mortar location, Root Down Kitchen, at Salvage Station on Riverside Drive. According to a recent press release, Root Down Kitchen will allow the food truck’s founder, Dano Holcomb, to expand on his classic training in country French and New Orleans cuisine. The eatery offers a rotating, seasonal menu, including a pulled pork sandwich with grilled pepper cheese, catfish po’boy with jalapeno-avocado tartar and crawfish poutine. Vegetarian-friendly options are also available, including a vegan sausage sandwich with grilled seitan and a black bean burger.

Root Down Kitchen is inside Salvage Station, 468 Riverside Drive. For more information, visit

Remembering Ben Mixson

Ben Mixson, co-owner of White Duck Taco Shop, died on Feb. 17 while vacationing in Florida. At press time, the cause of his death was still under investigation. “This was a shock,” says Laura Reuss, Mixson’s former wife and ongoing business partner. The pair launched White Duck in 2011. “He was the person we all went to for guidance,” she says. The company has seven locations in three states with additional restaurants slated to open soon. Reuss will continue managing White Duck’s daily operations. “Some staff members will be elevated to other positions to help fill the giant hole that we have with the loss of Ben. That is what he would have wanted us to do,” she says. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the The WaterWheel Foundation.


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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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