What’s new in food: Franny’s Farmacy South Slope grand opening

HEMP HEMP, HOORAY: Franny Tacy, CEO and owner of Franny's Farmacy, will celebrate the grand opening of her company's new South Slope dispensary with a ribbon-cutting at 4:20 p.m. Feb. 2. Celebrations will continue through Feb. 5. Photo courtesy of Franny's Farmacy

When Franny Tacy, founder of Franny’s Farmacy, cuts the ribbon on Wednesday, Feb. 2, for the grand opening of the company’s latest location on the South Slope, she celebrates not only a new dispensary, but the one-year anniversary of becoming the company’s CEO and sole owner.

Since that time, Tacy has restructured the company, created a sustainable design for future franchises (which she expects to top seven by the end of the first quarter of this year) and launched several new products. The latest dispensary marks the ninth overall location with six current franchises.

“We chose the South Slope [location] to serve tourists but still remain in and of this local community,” she explains.

The 3,000-square-foot building, however, will serve as more than just a dispensary. The new location will also house the company’s corporate office, as well as serve as a training center, event and wellness space.

Furthermore, the site will feature Franny’s Farm Foods retail shop, including the company’s first location of Canna Café, serving Franny’s line of chakra teas, coffee, CBD-infused edibles, all-organic, nutrient-dense cookies and baked goods using hemp flour, hemp seeds and hemp oil.

Grand opening events include: the ribbon-cutting with facility tours and product sampling on Wednesday, Feb. 2, beginning at 4:20 p.m.; a book signing for Courage in Cannabis on Thursday, Feb. 3, 4:20-7 p.m.; and a panel discussion about CBD led by Tacy on Saturday, Feb. 5, 1-4 p.m.

While looking ahead to a major growth spurt in 2022, Tacy says her goal is to remain grounded. “We want to be very strategic with everything and grow Franny’s like a plant, with very strong roots.”

Franny’s Farmacy’s latest location is at 231 Biltmore Ave. For more information and updates, visit avl.mx/b5f.

Community center 

The Cultivated Community Dinner Series, a monthly pop-up collaborative launched in September by Cultura/Funkatorium chef Eric Morris, returns on Thursday, Feb. 17, with its spring series. Seasonal themes will continue through 2022.

The kickoff is billed as a family reunion, featuring the first four chefs that helped launch the pop-up in 2021: Luis Martinez, Jonathan Pridgen, J Chong and Silver Cousler. All will partner with Morris on the first course, and each will contribute one of the next four courses.

“I have asked each chef to create a dish that is representative of something they love about Asheville,” Morris says.

As in the past, the series will continue to benefit a nonprofit selected by the pop-up’s featured chef. For the latest event, Morris chose BeLoved Asheville.

The dinners, which seat 40-50 people, take place at Cultura, 147 Coxe Ave. The $100 ticket includes beverage pairings (with nonalcoholic pairings upon request).  Looking ahead, the March dinner will spotlight Ashleigh Shanti, and the April dinner will feature Dan Silo, owner of Sawhorse.

For more information on the series and on sale ticket dates, visit avl.mx/ap2.

Spell it out

Honeybees are in “t-r-o-u-b-l-e,” and Noble Cider wants to help. On Friday, the downtown taproom and restaurant will host the inaugural Adult Spelling Bee to benefit Asheville GreenWorks Bee City USA. Seven teams of three will compete for prizes from Asheville Bee Charmer and gift cards from Noble Cider. Awards will also be given for best team outfits, so contestants are encouraged to costume accordingly. The competition, which will take place 6-8 p.m., will be run by Mitch Fortune of Mitch’s Totally Rad Trivia. Spectators can get in on the buzz by donating $5 or more and receive raffle tickets for prizes. Proceeds from cider sales, entry fees and team add-ons will go to helping Bee City USA support and grow the local bee population.

The deadline to register a team is Wednesday, Feb. 2. Email cindy@noblecider.com by noon.

Noble Cider Downtown is at 49 Rankin Ave.

Rodeo drive 

Cornmeal dumplings, apple-walnut bread and frybread are on the menus of the three Qualla Boundary food trucks participating in the Food Truck Rodeo taking place Friday-Saturday, Feb. 4-5, at Harrah’s Cherokee Conference Center in Cherokee. EmPOWERing Mountain Food Systems helped organize the event, which will run both days from 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

The participating trucks — all women-owned — are Sugar’s Place (mother-and-daughter team Sugar and Tasha Martinez), Lulu’s Food Truck (Marsha Ensley) and Nikki’s Frybread (Nikki Crisp).

Harrah’s Cherokee Conference Center is at 123 Harrah’s Service Drive, Cherokee. 

Tiger time

Highland Brewing Co. will kick off the Lunar New Year of the Tiger with the release of Water Tiger IPA — the brewery’s third annual collaboration with Seattle-based Lucky Envelope Brewing Co.

The celebration takes place Saturday, Feb. 5, noon-9 p.m. at Highland Brewing, 12 Old Charlotte Highway, and will include a bonfire, live music from Laura Blakely & the Wildflowers and food from Bun Intended.  The first 88 visitors will receive a lucky red envelope with prizes inside.

Roll up your sleeves 

Blood banks all over the country are seeing a decline in deposits, so 12 Bones Smokehouse South and 12 Bones Brewing have partnered with the Asheville Blood Collection to bulk up the supply. On Sunday, Feb. 6, 2-6 p.m., donors will receive a $20 e-gift card from 12 Bones as a thank-you for giving blood. Reserve your spot at avl.mx/b56.

12 Bones Smokehouse South is at 2350 Hendersonville Road, Arden. 

Go fish

Pop quiz! Tin Fish is: a) a new band; b) the latest in beach house décor; or c) a newly popular menu category. Ten clams to you if you guessed C, and no penalty if you’re not quite sure what that means. Botanist & Barrel invites diners to take a deep dive into the curious culinary craze at its downtown taproom, which will host “Explore the World of Tinned Seafood” on Monday, Feb. 7, 4-6 p.m. Anchovies, sardines, sea sprat and squid are among the dozen options participants will sample. The tasting will be accompanied by classic accoutrements, with cider and wine flights available to pair.

Botanist & Barrel Asheville is at 32 Broadway, Suite 110. Tickets are $18 and should be pre-purchased at avl.mx/b57.

(Black) winter is coming

The Asheville Truffle Experience, which celebrates the Périgord black winter truffle, takes place Friday-Sunday, Feb. 11-13, at the Haywood Park Hotel in downtown Asheville, as well as remote locations. Historically foraged from the woods of France, Spain and Italy, the prized Périgord is now cultivated in the Northwest and Southeast sections of the United States.

The full immersion experience includes: an opening truffle and wine tasting; Saturday morning educational sessions, cooking demonstrations and a seated dinner; and a Sunday field trip to the truffle orchard at Mountain Research Station in Waynesville.

Tickets and registration for the weekend or a la carte events can be found at avl.mx/b51.

Have a heart

Candy conversation hearts are so grade school. Sophisticate your sweet talk with delectable heart-shaped macarons by Beeswax and Butter. Six macarons in six flavors are individually decorated with love letters like “Be Mine” and “BAE.” Or, make breaking up a little less hard to do with a box of bye-bye love messages including “No, Bite Me” and “Single AF.”

Boxes are $18 each and must be preordered by email at beeswaxandbutter@gmail.com; specify valentine or anti-valentine in the message. Pickups will take place at the River Arts District Farmers Market, at Pleb Urban Winery, 289 Lyman St., Wednesday, Feb. 9, 3-5:30 p.m., or at the Asheville City Market, 340 Victoria Road on the A-B Tech campus, Saturday, Feb. 12, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

For more, visit avl.mx/b5a.

Farmy business

Registration is open for Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project’s 19th annual Business of Farming Conference, scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 26, at the Mission Health/A-B Tech Conference Center. The conference focuses on the business side of farming, offering beginning and established farmers financial, legal, management and marketing tools to improve their farm businesses and make new professional connections.

Six of the 12-plus workshops are new this year, including “Dynamics of Farm Employment,” “Food Relief Sites as Market Outlets” and “Building Your Online Presence.”  The popular grower-buyer meeting, during which farmers meet with chefs, grocers, wholesalers and other buyers will be held at lunchtime.

Registration, which includes breakfast and a locally sourced lunch by Farm Burger, is $95 ($75 by end of day Tuesday, Feb. 1) with a discount for farm partners registering together. Scholarships are available for limited-resource farmers and farmers who are Black, Indigenous or people of color.

For workshop descriptions, more information and to register, visit avl.mx/8ul.

Good company

With the awarding of a 2022 Real Leaders Top 200 Global Impact Award for industry leadership in driving positive social and environmental change through business, Asheville’s No Evil Foods joins the ranks of such worldwide leaders like Patagonia, Ben & Jerry’s and Miyoko’s all-vegan food brand.


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About Kay West
Kay West began her writing career in NYC, then was a freelance journalist in Nashville for more than 30 years, including contributing writer for the Nashville Scene, Nashville correspondent for People magazine, author of five books and mother of two happily launched grown-up kids. In 2019 she moved to Asheville and continued writing (minus Red Carpet coverage) with a focus on food, farming and hospitality. She is a die-hard NY Yankees fan.

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