Small bites: Smoothie King comes to Asheville

SMOOTH MOVES: Taylor Jenson, left, and Nickolas Lovelace, right, are team members at the new Smoothie King store on Hendersonville Road. Franchise owners Derek and LaVondria Bullard plan to open two more locations in Asheville by 2020. Photo by Adam McMillan

Derek Bullard was a fan of Smoothie King long before he became a franchisee. As the former owner of a healthcare company that assisted children and adolescents with mental health disabilities, Bullard spent a lot of time on the road. “They had a Smoothie King in Charleston and several in Charlotte, which is where we live. I just became a fan,” he says.

On Nov. 4, Bullard and his wife, LaVondria, opened the first Asheville location of the New Orleans-based chain. Their son, Nick, manages the store, and, while the couple still lives in Charlotte, Bullard notes he is in the Asheville area three to four times a week. “We really want to be … active in the community,” he says. “Not just on a business standpoint, but socially as well.”

Smoothie King was founded in 1973 and has since grown to over 800 locations worldwide, with stores in the Republic of Korea, Singapore, the Cayman Islands and across the U.S.

The menu includes more than 80 fruit-, veggie- and protein-based blends with varieties catering to those interested in fitness, weight loss, wellness and more. Gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan options are also available. “There are options there for people who just want something sweet,” says Bullard, “But there’s also options there that are high in protein and high in fiber and good and healthy options that have natural fruit in them as well.”

The Bullards hold a multi-unit deal with the company and plan to open two additional Asheville franchises by 2020. While specific locations have not yet been finalized, areas under consideration have included sites along Airport and Long Shoals roads.

Bullard says the initial response has been positive at their Hendersonville Road location. “We’ve had several people tell us that they replaced their Starbucks with us as their breakfast option, which has just been great,” he says. “We’re really happy. Everyone’s been great so far. We look forward to being in Asheville longterm.”

Smoothie King is at 1578 Hendersonville Road. Hours are 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Friday,  9 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday. For details, visit

Sandy Mush Thanksgiving Dance

Homemade chili, soups, baked goods and nonalcoholic beverages will be a part of the fun at this year’s Sandy Mush Thanksgiving Dance. All proceeds from food sales and admission will benefit the rural Sandy Mush Community Center, which is housed in a historic school building. Cailen Campbell and The Pond Brothers Band will perform at the event with Jesse Edgerton calling the dance, which will include contra and traditional square dancing. Beginners can get in on dance lessons that will be offered at 6:30 p.m. The event is open to all ages, and there will be children’s activities and cakewalks throughout the evening.

The Sandy Mush Thanksgiving Dance runs 7:30-10 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 26, at the Sandy Mush Community Center, 19 School Road, Leicester. Dance lessons start at 6:30 p.m. Entry is $7; ages 10 and younger are free. Food and drink will be sold separately. All proceeds benefit the Sandy Mush Community Center. For more information, email or call 683-1683.

YZ Asian Market

YZ Asian Market recently opened near the intersection of Leicester Highway and Patton Avenue. The market offers fresh, frozen and packaged foods from China, Japan and Thailand. Shrimp and live lobsters are also available.

YZ Asian Market is at 22 New Leicester Hwy. The store is open 10 a.m.-9 p.m. daily. For more information, visit

Sovereign Remedies introduces new executive chef

As former Asheville chef Steven Goff wraps up his temporary stint at Sovereign Remedies to return to projects in the Raleigh area, Graham House is coming on board as the downtown bar and eatery’s new executive chef. House previously worked as chef de cuisine at Atlanta’s 4th & Swift, which closed in July. He also formerly held the post of executive sous chef at both Prospect in San Francisco and Redd Wood in California’s Napa Valley. Sovereign Remedies notes in a press release that during his time in California, House combined “bold flavors with bolder aesthetics in his dishes, [as] he applied a carnivore’s approach to the amazing produce in California, and used not just the entire animal, but also the entire vegetable, no matter what it was.”

Sovereign Remedies is at 29 N. Market St. Hours are 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday; 4 p.m.-2 a.m. Tuesday (closed for lunch) and 9 a.m.-2 a.m. Saturday and Sunday (serving brunch 9 a.m.-3 p.m.). More details are available at 

Smiling Hara expands distribution of tempeh and Hempeh products

Smiling Hara Tempeh and its hemp-based Hempeh brand recently became available in over 20 Ingles locations and at all 36 Earth Fare stores in nine states. Further, the company’s has rolled out a new Raspberry Habanero BBQ Hempeh featuring a sauce made with local Imladris Farm jam and Smokin’ J’s Fiery Foods’ smoked habanero mash, which is available exclusively at Whole Food Markets until the New Year.

For more information, 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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