What’s new in food: Local goods and takeout market opens on Patton Avenue

MARKETING: Owner Tori Frasher celebrated the grand opening of The Market at Sage and Spice last month. Photo by Andy Hall

The Market at Sage and Spice, a local goods and takeout market that also offers catering services, celebrated its grand opening on Oct. 24.

Housed in the former Bonfire BBQ location, the market features salads, paninis, Cuban sandwiches, desserts and a variety of coffee and other beverages. Takeout meals, made in-house, are also available along with a selection of wine, beer and cider.

Owner Tori Frasher, a native of Greenville, S.C., moved to Asheville seven years ago to pursue a career in international food, culture and event planning. In 2019, she opened Sage and Spice Catering with chefs Sergio Castro and Amanda Delgado to focus on weddings, large gatherings, holiday events and corporate functions. “Growing up in a large Lebanese family, my grandmother and great-grandmother taught me how important food can be to family and as a love language,” she says.

Castro, executive chef at The Market, began his culinary career over 30 years ago in Peruvian kitchens and operated the now-closed Conosur in Mills River for five years. “This new location and venture will allow me to continue crafting my passion for food,” he says, “while also expanding our catering business and being a part of the Asheville food and business community.”

Frasher says she is excited to partner with local makers such as Poppy Handcrafted Popcorn, Darë Vegan Cheese, Shanti Elixirs and Devil’s Foot Beverage Co. “The list keeps growing,” she says. “If people want to sell their products here, we’ve got the space, and I’m open to it. Asheville is all about community, and that’s what I love so much about it. Even the plants are from local florist Stargazers [Designs].”

In January, the market will hold an international dinner series, with each week featuring cuisine and beverages from a different country.

The market is open Tuesday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m., and Saturday, 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

The Market at Sage and Spice is at 1056 Patton Ave. For more information, visit avl.mx/d4j.

Tea subscription service

Brad Smith started brewing and canning his tea, Infruition, at Pisgah Brewing Co. just two years ago. Now the company distributes across the Carolinas and Tennessee and is partnering with a Savannah, Ga.-based yaupon tea farm on a fourth flavor to be released this fall.

The company is also rolling out a CSA-style program, through which customers can sign up for a monthly subscription that will give them 24 mix-and-match cans at a discounted price.

Smith says he sources locally whenever possible. Infruition’s organic blueberry citrus yerba mate, for example, is steeped with rosemary, blueberry, lemon, lime and grapefruit, and sweetened with honey from farms in Franklin.

Smith started his brewing operation after he made a batch of tea for owner Dave Quinn, who really liked it.

“The sense of community in Asheville is basically why I got the idea for the CSA,” says Smith. “It’s an opportunity to say thanks to everyone who has supported us.”

Smith says the company will continue to cater to the local market, but he hopes to expand in the future. “It’s always good to know where your roots are and to stay true. But I also think the more people who can enjoy it, the better.”

For more information, visit avl.mx/d4k.

Class series at WNC FoodWorks

Beginning this month, author Ashley English is teaching seasonally minded classes at the new WNC FoodWorks facility at the WNC Farmers Market.

Topics will range from hosting a cookie exchange to making winter beverages and will run through mid-December.

English began teaching online classes during the COVID-19 pandemic, using material from the 11 books she has authored. “My books are largely based around the seasons, following the natural rhythms of the calendar year,” she says. After partnering with local libraries on classes this summer, she says she wanted to pursue a more evergreen opportunity near her home of Candler. Drawing on her relationship with the WNC Farmers Market, English approached Phil Jacobus, market manager, with the new facility in mind.

“Our interests completely dovetailed,” she says. “And I’m hoping to provide those attending my classes with a regular, seasonally relevant educational series on a medley of topics related to small-scale homesteading, natural homemaking, entertaining, crafting and more.”

WNC FoodWorks is at 570 Brevard Road, Unit 9. For more information on English’s classes, visit avl.mx/d4l.

The Purple Onion celebrates 25 years

Saluda’s Purple Onion will mark 25 years of business with a birthday bash on Sunday, Nov. 19, 4-9 p.m., with live music from Michael Flynn, The Paper Crowns and The Get Right Band.

Also during the week of Monday, Nov. 13, the restaurant will feature a “Blast from the Past” menu, bringing back favorites from menus past. On Tuesday, Nov. 14, an anniversary gourmet wine dinner is scheduled from 6-9 p.m. “We owe our success to our incredible team and our loyal patrons,” says co-owner and chef Chambli Stuber, in a press release. “This celebration is as much theirs as it is ours.”

The Purple Onion is at 16 E. Main St., Saluda. For more information, visit avl.mx/d4m.

Asheville’s first nonalcoholic festival

ZeroProof Fest, Asheville’s first nonalcoholic drink festival, will take place Friday, Nov. 10, and Saturday, Nov. 11, at Devil’s Foot Beverage Co.’s taproom, The Mule. The two-day event will include samples of nonalcoholic beverages from companies such as Athletic Brewing Co., Untitled Art, Drømme and Burial Beer Co.

On Friday, guests will walk a red carpet into a black-tie soirée from 6-9 p.m., with small plates from Sage and Spice Catering and tunes from a live DJ.

The more casual Afternoon Shindig from noon-4 p.m. Saturday will feature small bites from Sage and Spice, as well as live music.

The Mule at Devil’s Foot Beverage Co. is at 131 Sweeten Creek Road. For more information, visit avl.mx/d4n.

Asheville outdoor dining program

The City of Asheville made updates to its outdoor dining program at the City Council meeting on Oct. 24.

Updates include a new outdoor dining ordinance allowing for annual permitting of “streeteries,” which use public parking spaces in addition to sidewalks for tables. The city also approved a new fee structure, improved the administration and management of the program, highlighted best practices and procedures in an outdoor dining guide, and provided instruction on the application process.

The updated program will launch in January, with the application process opening for businesses Monday, Nov. 13, on the city’s development portal.

For more information, visit avl.mx/d4o.

Taco Boy opens second location

At the end of last month, Taco Boy celebrated the grand opening of its second local location, at Biltmore Park in South Asheville. The restaurant, which originated in Folly Beach, S.C., opened a location in West Asheville in December 2022.

The new space, last occupied by counter-service restaurant Neo Burrito, has been transformed into a full-service dining room featuring a mural by local artist Wyatt Grant, along with a sunroom, outdoor patio and bar.

Chef Miguel “Migs” Franco, who has been with the Taco Boy team since July, developed a menu including many of the dishes that are served at the West Asheville location. He also introduced new menu items such as empanadas, jicama salad, tortas and whole steamed snapper.

The beverage offerings mirror those at the West Asheville location, with additional beers on tap.

Taco Boy at Biltmore Park is at 2 Town Square Blvd. For more information, visit avl.mx/d3i.


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About Andy Hall
Andy Hall graduated from The University of North Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communication. After working at the United States Capitol for ten years, she has returned to her native state to enjoy the mountains — and finally become a writer.

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