Small bites: Poppy Handcrafted Popcorn celebrates one year

EAT YOUR ART OUT: After a year of growing her artisan popcorn business in Asheville, owner Ginger Frank is ready to party down. Her family-friendly anniversary event will include plenty of popcorn samples and live entertainment for all ages. Plus, supporters can visit Poppy Handcrafted Popcorn's Merrimon Avenue shop leading up to the event for extra freebies. Photo by Cindy Kunst

Poppy Handcrafted Popcorn is approaching its one-year mark, and to celebrate the occasion, owner Ginger Frank is planning a night of music, entertainment and giveaways for Sunday, Nov. 1, at Twin Leaf Brewery.

“The year has been amazing,” Frank says. “People have been so supportive and encouraging, and I am forever grateful.”

Frank’s appreciation will manifest in many forms, including free popcorn samples for party attendees. Also, in anticipation of the anniversary, she’s giving away free bags of her sweet and savory product line (on Wednesday, Oct. 28) and free youth trick-or-treat bags (on Saturday, Oct. 31) to those who stop by her shop at 640 Merrimon Ave., Suite 201.

Fans who make it to the party at Twin Leaf can enjoy the hosting brewery’s regular and fall beverage selection, including a pumpkin chocolate-chip milk stout and Oktoberfest beer. Bluegrass quartet Buncombe Turnpike also plays a set, and Hazel Twenty mobile fashion boutique will roll in for the afternoon occasion.

Frank’s raffle includes both items and gift cards from local establishments like Eagle Nest Outfitters, Urban Burrito, The Hop, Asheville Brewing Co., Crooked Condiments, Waynesville Soda Jerks (now available at Poppy with free samples at the anniversary party), UNC Asheville’s basketball program and event host Twin Leaf. Proceeds benefit local nonprofit organization Sleep Tight Kids — one of three organizations Frank has been working with over the past year.

“Asheville is an incredible community, and Poppy has been received with open arms,” Frank says. “I have gained loyal customers and a gracious helping hand from fellow business owners who have been so open with advice and encouragement. I have an amazing staff — without them, I wouldn’t be here. I could really go on and on. I think I just kind of did.”

Poppy’s first anniversary celebration is at Twin Leaf Brewery, 144 Coxe Ave., Sunday, Nov. 1, 1-4 p.m. Visit lovepoppyofasheville.com for more information.

Standard Pizza Co.’s new location

Standard Pizza Co., is taking over another slice of Asheville — this time on Biltmore Avenue. The casual eatery’s second location has the same menu as the company’s West Asheville flagship, but the new space is larger (seating about 150 people inside and on the patio) and comes with amenities like ping-pong and shuffleboard tables plus a cornhole setup. Owner Jim Coleman calls the storefront more modern, but with the same Standard vibe. The expansion adds yet another new food-and-drink dimension to the Biltmore Village area. Hi-Wire Brewing Co.’s new production facility and taproom opened in late July next to the new Standard Pizza location, and the Virginia-based chain Sugar Shack Donuts is due to open a store cross the street in 2016.

Standard Pizza Co. is now open at 755 Biltmore Ave., 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and noon-11 p.m. Sunday. Visit standardpizzacoasheville.com or call 412-3190 for more information.

Asheville Gluten-Free Educational Event and Vendor Showcase

Ingles Markets’ corporate dietitian Leah McGrath has helped to organize gluten-free food expos for years, and she says the focus has previously been on introducing and sampling gluten-free foods. This year’s iteration, however, emphasizes the restrictive diet’s health implications. With new labeling guidelines set forth by the FDA, McGrath says: “We felt it was easier for the consumer to find gluten-free products, so we decided to switch focus and make it more about education.” Although it’s open to the general public, the day of speakers, panelists and gluten-free food exhibitors is especially geared toward dietitians, nutrition enthusiasts, members of the medical community, sufferers of celiac disease and those on a gluten-free diet. The Asheville and Hendersonville Gluten Intolerance Groups and Ingles Markets are sponsoring the gathering.

Asheville Gluten-Free Educational Event and Vendor Showcase takes place 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, at the Doubletree by Hilton Asheville Biltmore, 115 Hendersonville Road. Tickets are $10-$15 per person (children under 11 free) at avl.mx/1xf.

Harvest and Halloween celebration at Black Mountain Ciderworks

Black Mountain Ciderworks will celebrate the harvest and Halloween with a party featuring the release of its Croatan, a sweet-potato cider with cinnamon and honey. The festivities will include samples of cider-based foods, nonalcoholic mulled cider, apples, gluhwein (mulled cider with spices), an evening fire pit with s’mores and an outdoor cider pressing demonstration. Admission is free. Children and pets are welcome, and costumes are encouraged.

The party happens 2-8 p.m. Saturday Oct. 31, at Black Mountain Ciderworks, 104 Eastside Drive, Unit 307 (next to Pisgah Brewing Co.), Black Mountain.

Bomba’s new menu

“To fill the need in the community for delicious and healthy fast food at a reasonable price,” Bomba is updating its offerings, according to operations manager Kindra Phillips. “The menu will be a fusion of Peruvian, Greek and Latin cuisines,” she says. The café’s pollo a la brasa, for example, features organic, free-range, wood-fired chicken and sides for about $9. This dish and other creations (falafel sandwiches, arepas and more) by chef Hector Diaz will be available in-store or for takeout. The café’s coffee products remain unchanged.

Bomba is at 1 Southwest Pack Square. Visit bombanc.com for more information.

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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

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