Whispersholler Farms Market holds grand opening at Asheville Food Park

FARM TO FOOD PARK: Kendall Huntley plans to supplement his locally grown produce, meats and plants with the products of other Western North Carolina makers at his new grocery store, Whispersholler Farms Market. He'll also source items such as bananas and oranges from outside of WNC. Photos courtesy of Whispersholler Farms Market

Agriculture keeps Kendall Huntley busy. “I’m a local native. I’ve been farming most of my life,” he says.

In addition to growing predominantly organic meats and produce through his company, Whispersholler Farms, Huntley manages 20 acres with animals, veggies and non-GMO feed crops. In 2010, to diversify and round out personal finances, he also launched a produce brokering service. And now, Huntley is adding a new food venture to the mix: Whispersholler Farms Market.

“I’m here hoping to offer affordable, local [food] for everyone,” Huntley says of the project.

The market, which is located within the relatively new Asheville Food Park on Amboy Road, will hold its grand opening in conjunction with the park’s Equinox Spring Fest Saturday and Sunday, March 19-20. The store will draw upon several aspects of Huntley’s existing businesses, making it a hybrid of sorts — part farmers market and part traditional grocery store. Much of the inventory will come directly from Whispersholler, which also operates a store at the Western North Carolina Farmers Market.

Additional shelves will be lined with items from Mills River Creamery, Ashe County Cheese, Asheville City Bakery, AppalaChai, Green River Picklers, Smokin’ J’s Fiery Foods, Roots and Branches, and more local purveyors. Though his focus is on being a small local grocer, the produce businessman also recognizes the demand for foods that simply don’t grow in WNC.

“I’m trying to see what everybody wants, but I know I want to carry avocados, bananas, oranges and things of that nature that aren’t local,” he says.

To cater to various budgets, the market will carry both organic and nonorganic goods in addition to running plenty of specials. “We do a really big plant business as well,” Huntley says, such as decorative and edible garden starts.

As an added benefit, the opening of another brick-and-mortar spot widens the possibilities for Whispersholler’s community supported agriculture program. Participants can subscribe to pick up a traditional, weekly “surprise box” of goods at one of three locations, including the market. Or they can make a one-off box purchase, curating the order from an emailed list of available products, including anything that’s carried in-store (delivery or pickup available). For complete control, buyers can assemble their own CSA box at the new market.

Asheville Food Park also includes local café Edna’s at the River, full-service bar Cascade Lounge and space for three rotating food trucks — some of which will now be able to park just a few feet from their newest supplier.

Whispersholler Farms Market is in Asheville Food Park, 219 Amboy Road. Hours are 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday and 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Visit facebook.com/WhispershollerFarmsLLC for more information.



Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Kat McReynolds
Kat studied entrepreneurship and music business at the University of Miami and earned her MBA at Appalachian State University. Follow me @katmAVL

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.