What’s new in food: New Woodfin shop makes fresh tortillas daily

LOVE AND TORTILLAS: Luz Salazar Maldonado, left, and Martin Maldonado craft fresh flour and corn tortillas at Tortillas La Regia. The shop's name and logo honor their daughter, Luz Berenice Maldonado, pictured behind them, who went missing in Mexico in 2021. Photo by Kay West

North meets south at 175 Weaverville Road in Woodfin, the site of the recently opened Tortillas La Regia. Luz Salazar Maldonado grew up in Monterrey in northern Mexico, where flour tortillas are the norm. Her husband, Martin Maldonado, is from southern Mexico, where corn tortillas rule.

With the help of their adult children, the couple have created tortilla harmony at the small tortilleria, where on May 19, they invited the community to stop by, say hello and sample both types of tortillas at their opening day celebration.

The couple raised their five children in the home they bought in Weaverville in 2008. Luz had a licensed home child care business and was a certified nursing assistant at Mission Hospital; Martin worked as a carpenter, putting his dream of opening a tortilla shop on hold.

In August 2021, tragedy struck when their 27-year-old daughter, Luz Berenice Maldonado, who was living in Puerta Vallarta, Mexico, went missing in the flooding of the Cuale River following Hurricane Nora. “We flew there and searched for her for a month,” Luz recalls. “She is still missing, and as her mother, I never give up hope.”

The entire family was devastated, and Luz was overwhelmed by her grief. But a visit to a tortilla factory in Mexico reminded her of how much she had missed the fresh flour tortillas she grew up with, and she saw a potential path for healing, bringing the family together and honoring Luz Berenice.

“There are many places [in Asheville] to get fresh corn tortillas, but not flour ones,” she says. “I told Martin we could do this if we could make both.” The couple took over the Woodfin space in February and did the buildout themselves.

Assembling the tortilla machine they ordered from Mexico was another matter. “One of my sons reads every single instruction; my husband just dives in and starts putting things together,” she says. “The rest of us just watched and prayed it would work!”

The flour tortillas are made from her grandmother’s recipe. The couple did multiple test runs to get it right and figure out how to package them. Local chickens benefited from their errors and still do. “I put a notice on Facebook about tortillas we couldn’t sell, and a lady still comes and gets them every week for her chickens and brings us eggs,” says Luz. She also trades tortillas for macarons with neighboring business Beeswax and Butter.

Tortillas La Regia’s logo and name also pay tribute to Luz Berenice — her image is at the center of the graphic, and “Regia” identifies a woman from Monterrey.

For now, the shop sells packages of corn and flour tortillas, fried tortilla chips, enchilada sauce and three types of house-made salsa. Luz says the business may eventually expand to include tamales and more prepared foods, but for now, the family has found purpose and happiness in bringing local tortilla fans to their door.

Tortillas Le Regia is at 175 Weaverville Road. For more information, visit the business on Facebook at avl.mx/dua.

Bean roaster adds coffee shop

Four years ago, Cooperative Coffee Roasters took over the lower level of the Haywood Road building in East West Asheville that previously housed Urban Orchard Cider Co.’s cider-making facility. Now owners Katie and Matthew McDaniel are expanding their bean-to-bag business to bean-to-cup with the May 23 opening of Cooperative Coffee Shop in the roastery’s upstairs space.

Since 2020, the couple have been steadily growing their wholesale and online retail business but were surprised — and delighted — when people made their way in person to the roastery. “In the last year, we had walk-in customers want to buy bags of coffee,” Matthew says. “It wasn’t part of our flow, but abstractly, Katie and I felt like it would be a good idea to open a coffee shop to help grow our identity.”

Opportunity knocked when Urban Orchard closed its West Asheville tasting room in 2023, making the street-level part of the building available. The McDaniels decided to go all in, working with Mountain BizWorks to buy the entire building.

They took possession in January and began a makeover to match their vibe. “What worked great for a bar at night didn’t work for an early-morning coffee shop.”  The 20 indoor seats are supplemented with 20 more on the front deck and five picnic tables in the rear courtyard.

Drinks include drip coffee to highlight Cooperative’s single-origin beans, classic espresso drinks, nitro cold brew, chai and matcha lattes plus four taps pouring coffee and other seasonally rotating beverages, including a hibiscus lime soda made in-house. Newstock Pantry provides a savory menu of sandwiches and deli salads, and pastry chef Greg Mindel‘s Lost Flamingo does baked goods, specializing in croissants.

Cooperative Coffee Shop is open 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday and 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at 210 Haywood Road. For more information, visit avl.mx/du3.

New wine bar in Fairview

To say residents of Fairview were eager for the opening of Rooted in Wine is an understatement. “As we were remodeling this old 1925 house, people were stopping by and coming in as we worked inside and in the garden, wanting to help paint or dig holes,” says James Garland, who opened the wine bar/garden/import and bottle shop with his wife, Renata, on May 23. “As soon as I put the sign out front the week before, cars were pulling into the parking lot before I got back to the porch.”

James is a serial entrepreneur with a deep background in wine distribution and importing, and Renata’s passion is gardening. They typically offer 20 wines by the glass and many more by the bottle to drink on-site or take home. Also available are draft beer, cider and mead, as well as Devil’s Foot craft soda, Fever Tree tonics and ginger ale, sparkling water and nonalcoholic beer by the can.

Guests can create a DIY charcuterie board pulling from the shelves stocked with packaged local cheeses, Sunburst smoked trout dip, organic crackers, honey and jams. Olive oil imported from Italy, linens from France and crystal from Germany are for sale, as are plants and gardening accessories.

There is seating inside, on the covered front porch and under the pergolas in the wine garden. Well-behaved, leashed dogs are welcome in the outdoor area — only Blue, the couple’s blue-eyed Pomeranian-husky, has indoor privileges.

Rooted in Wine is at 1327 Charlotte Highway in Fairview. For hours and more information, visit avl.mx/du4.

Takeaway café opens in Black Mountain

When asked what inspires the menu for her new Black Mountain business, Annie’s Culinary Garden, chef/owner Annie Forsthoefel states the obvious. “[It’s] influenced by what is coming out of my garden, as well as what is coming from nearby farmers.”

Launched on June 21 in the space on U.S. 70 that formerly housed The Clean Plate, Annie’s Culinary Garden has no seating but features multiple to-go options, including salads, soups, sides and specials. Plus, the shop offers a weekly menu of prepared, single-serving meals, such as green chicken enchiladas and pesto noodles, that can be ordered online Sunday-Tuesday and picked up on Thursday or Friday.

Cold salads are sold in 8-, 16- or 32-ounce tubs — two staples are chicken salad and vegan chickpea “tuna” salad. A grab-and-go case stocks take-and-bake meals that feed two to three people. On Saturdays, there are specials, such as recently featured Kahlua pork and huli huli chicken.

Forsthoefel, who moved from Oregon to Western North Carolina in 2021, has been immersed in farming, restaurants, catering and promoting sustainable practices throughout her life. Many of her menu’s ingredients come from her own garden, which takes up an entire hillside by her house.

Thirteen pounds of beets harvested recently from her property resulted in a vegan shredded raw beet salad for the deli case. “They had to go on the menu,” she says. “The garden’s not waiting on me.” She also sources from local producers like TendWell Farm in Old Fort and Hickory Nut Gap Farm in Fairview.

Annie’s Culinary Garden is open Wednesday-Friday 11 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at 3206 U.S. 70 in Black Mountain. For weekly menus and specials and to order, visit avl.mx/du5 and avl.mx/wordcapj

Food Connection turns 10

On Sunday, July 7, Food Connection will throw a free, family-friendly party to celebrate its first 10 years of salvaging restaurant and catering leftovers and turning them into meals — 670,000 and counting — for folks who need them. The celebration kicks off at 5 p.m. at River Arts District Brewing Co., with beer, wine, nonalcoholic beverages and food for sale. For every pint RAD Brewing Co. sells that night and through July of its new Oui Bluets blueberry lemon farmhouse ale, it will donate $1 to Food Connection.

RAD Brewing Co. is at 13 Mystery St. For more on Food Connection, visit avl.mx/du6.

Vegan seafood pop-up

Calling all vegans and vegan-curious who feel bereft of seafood specialties like fish and chips, crabcakes, scallops and lobster mac and cheese. On Sunday, July 7, Florida-based Oh My Cod Vegan Seafood Co. will drop anchor at Diatribe Brewing Co., serving a vegan-of-the-sea menu from noon-5 p.m.

Diatribe Brewing Co. is at 1042 Haywood Road. For more information, visit avl.mx/du7.


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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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