What’s new in food: The Market at Underground Baking Co. eyes its relaunch

DAILY BREAD: The Market at Underground Baking Co. owners and bakers Matthew Hickman and Lisa Hoffman are eager to reopen their businesses on Seventh Avenue in Hendersonville. Photo by Brian Woodward

After a year of refurbishing, repairing, renovating, reconceiving and rebranding, Hendersonville’s 11-year-old Underground Baking Co. is fully inspected, permitted and ready to reopen on bustling Seventh Avenue as The Market at Underground Baking Co. The exact date of its relaunch, however, is pending.

“We are ready to open the doors as soon as we feel confident we won’t have to close again right away,” says co-owner Matthew Hickman, responding to the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases.

Hickman and his wife, Lisa Hoffman, opened UBC on Main Street in 2009 but moved to a century-old building at 352 Seventh Ave. in 2010. The couple have since expanded the operation, taking over additional space inside the building, which also accommodates their second business, Independent Bean Roasters, launched in 2017.

After closing to the public in March 2020, UBC pivoted to online orders with twice-weekly pickups. The company also significantly increased its wholesale accounts in Hendersonville and Asheville and helped start the weekly Saturday Hendersonville Farmers Market. The farmers market is set up a half-block from the bakery, and we have a double booth [there]. It’s essentially been our bakery at an outdoor market,” says Hickman.

Among the products for sale there and online — in addition to an extensive line of artisan breads — are the bakery’s signature brezels. “It’s the German word for soft pretzel,” Hickman explains. “Ours are as authentic as you can get to a Bavarian soft pretzel.”

He adds that UBC recently tripled down on its croissant game and will have a larger selection of those and scones when the store reopens. An inventory of regionally produced specialty food and nonfood items is also in the works as part of the market’s concept.

Finally, the bakery will bring back its trademarked croink, a croissant with bacon, cheese and jalapeno. “We have not had croinks since we closed the building, so we expect a run on them when we reopen,” Hickman says.

He encourages croink fans and others to check the UBC’s social media platforms for the official building opening day and to order online from their website.

352 Seventh Ave. E., Hendersonville. For more information, visit avl.mx/a7f.

Zadie’s Market welcomes customers

Speaking of markets, after COVID-related delays, Zadie’s Market in Marshall recently welcomed its first in-store customers, who perused newly stocked shelves, displays and coolers of produce and prepared foods in the brick-and-mortar space that opened July 29.

“It was really fun to put product on shelves for people to actually shop,” says co-owner Emily Copus, who offered online and delivery options in the early days of the pandemic. “Purchasing habits are very different in person when people can see and touch products.”

The building, which previously served as the town jail, also houses the four-suite Old Marshall Jail Hotel and Old Marshall Jail Bar. The latter offers drinks as well a food menu that includes burgers and fries, a fried chicken sandwich with slaw, homemade pimento cheese and an heirloom tomato and peach salad from the kitchen run by chef Ronnie Collins under the culinary direction of Rhubarb and Benne on Eagle owner John Fleer. Copus says dishes will change with the season but will always be regional fare with local ingredients.

Zadie’s will continue online sales and delivery and will increase operating hours as it hires more staff.

Zadie’s Market is at 33 Baily’s Branch Road, Marshall. For more, visit avl.mx/a7e.

Neighborhood watch

Brewer Daniel Juhnke knows there is no shortage of breweries in Asheville, but that didn’t stop him from relocating by way of Minnesota to open New Origin Brewing Co. on Thompson Street, the dead-end leg of a little pocket of activity adjacent to the Swannanoa River. The brewery’s neighbors include Brother Wolf Animal Rescue, The Regeneration Station and Brouwerïj Cursus Kĕmē, which reopened Aug. 6, the same day New Origin made its debut in Beer City.

Juhnke started homebrewing before he was of legal age to drink and celebrated his 21st birthday by founding Junkyard Brewing in Moorhead, Minn., with his brother. When Juhnke and his wife tired of spending frigid winters cooped up inside with their two young children, they looked to Asheville for a fresh start.

“We want to be a local brewery serving the local community, and Asheville seemed like a good place to do it,” Juhnke says.

New Origin is a 7-barrel brewery with a small taproom and large patio. Juhnke, who co-owns the business with friend Brian Fetting, says, “We’re more of an experimental brewery; we will have a changing menu and are not planning any flagships. We’ll be brewing styles like New England IPAs, fruited sours, pastry stouts and occasional lager and English styles.”

New Origin opened with five of its 14 taps ready to pull. Currently, there is no kitchen, but food trucks are available on-site. Operating hours will expand as the brewery hires additional staff.

New Origin Brewing Co. is at 131 Thompson St. Learn more at avl.mx/a7h.

Meat up

Chop Shop Butchery recently announced the resumption of its in-person butchery and sausage-making classes. The first in over a year was the perennial sellout, Whole Hog Butchery 1.0, held Aug. 5. But fear not, you can still go hog wild with repeats on Thursday, Sept. 2, and Thursday, Oct. 28. Additional workshops are also planned for the coming months. Each class, led by head butcher Matt Helms, starts at 6 p.m. in the shop and includes charcuterie, cheese and libations. Tickets are $90.

Chop Shop Butchery is at 100 Charlotte St. For the full schedule and to register, visit avl.mx/a7g.

Wine down

Learn to make muscadine wine in the comfort of your own home through two virtual classes offered by Chuck Blethen of Jewel of the Blue Ridge Vineyard. Blethen, who has over 40 years’ experience making country wines, will cover legal considerations for home winemaking, supplies needed, basic testing equipment and the winemaking process. The first class on Wednesday, Aug. 18, is oriented to novices; the second, on Saturday, Aug. 21, is intended for more experienced home winemakers.

For more information, call 828-606-3130; to register, visit avl.mx/a7i.

Gone to seed

Area schools are opening to in-person classes, but teachers and students alike benefit from outdoor lessons as well, and the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project’s Growing Minds Farm to School program is here to help. In partnership with Sow True Seed, free seeds for cold-hardy leafy greens, lettuce, beets, carrots, radishes, turnips, kohlrabi and cilantro are now available to public and private schools in ASAP’s 60-county Appalachian Grown region.

Thanks to grant support, recipe cards, stickers, bookmarks and posters are also available to prekindergarten through 12th-grade educators and school nutrition professionals.

ASAP is at 306 W. Haywood St. Seeds and materials can be picked up at the ASAP office Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. or can be requested by mail. For more information on Growing Minds, visit avl.mx/9fo.

Continuing education

A-B Tech has partnered with Givens Estates, a nonprofit, continuing care retirement community, to create North Carolina’s first culinary apprenticeship program. The new program is also the first to be announced under A-B Tech’s newly formed Work-Based Learning and Apprenticeships Department.

The inaugural apprentice in the culinary program is Caitlin Wright, one of six applicants for the position. She began working at Givens in July and is enrolled in A-B Tech’s fall semester. Givens recently invested $8 million in a new dining and culinary program, which includes three new restaurants on the grounds.

“We employ many A-B Tech culinary graduates in our program, and this is the next step in growth through a combination of work-based training and academics,” Given Estates dining services director Kenneth Jensen said in a press release.

In other A-B Tech culinary news, after months of practice, a five-member student team — Josh Waters, Michael Welsh, Emmer Moraza, Patricia Santibanez, and Roman Nourse — went to Orlando, Fla., during the first week of August to compete in the American Culinary Federation’s national competition. It was the 12th time a team from A-B Tech has made it to the national competition — more than any other student team in the country.

The group earned the silver medal and won the award for best appetizer for its sunflower seed-crusted mullet with creamy grits, tasso cream sauce, seafood sausage, and a tomato and watermelon relish.

Team captain Waters says, “It was a humbling experience being able to compete at the national level, and we are all extremely happy and proud of the efforts we put in as a team. I think I can speak for everyone that we really want to do more competitions and progress and grow as young culinarians and rising chefs.”


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About Kay West
Kay West was a freelance journalist in Nashville for more than 30 years, contributing writer for the Nashville Scene, StyleBlueprint Nashville, Nashville correspondent for People magazine, author of five books and mother of two happily launched grown-up kids. To kick off 2019 she put Tennessee in her rear view mirror, drove into the mountains of WNC, settled in West Asheville and appreciates that writing offers the opportunity to explore and learn her new home. She looks forward to hiking trails, biking greenways, canoeing rivers, sampling local beer and cheering the Asheville Tourists.

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