Biz briefs: Catalyzing success, business comings and goings

TALL ORDER: TechHouse owner Anuj Patel, left, says he hopes to make solving tech issues “a fun experience” for customers at the new downtown store. With Patel is staffer Early Gima. Photo courtesy of TechHouse

Ten entrepreneurs of color with existing businesses have been selected for Mountain BizWorks’ inaugural Catalyst Cohort. The one-year program began on Oct. 29 and will provide growth management training, mentorship and support in accessing capital.

Participants include:

  • Peterson Appliance Service: sale and service of home appliances in Asheville.
  • LuXe Financial Co.: mortgage and financial services.
  • Asheville Community Enterprises, LLC: resources for substance use, mental health, domestic abuse and anger management.
  • Kente Kitchen: West African cuisine and African grocery.
  • Sole82: sneaker boutique in Asheville.
  • HERS Limited Liability Co.: health care coordination services for women.
  • MS Lean Landscaping: residential and commercial landscapers specializing in lawn maintenance, aerating, seeding and fertilization.
  • Sora Surya No: healer, speaker and life coach.
  • Spillway Bridge & Co.: gathering place for music, craft and classic brews and top-shelf spirits.
  • GMZ Construction LLC: masonry and painting contractor.

According to a press release, “The goal of the Catalyst Cohort is to drive specific outcomes including reaching big individual business goals, increasing revenue and building businesses to scale.”

Business updates

  • TechHouse opened at 46 Commerce St. in Asheville. According to a press release, TechHouse is “a one-stop shop providing computer, mobile device and gaming system services such as hardware or software updates and repair, network solutions for home and business, data transfer and recovery, new device setup, gaming PC builds and much more.”
  • Equinox, a local environmental planning and design firm, celebrated 20 years in business on Sept. 22 (the autumnal equinox).
  • Dollar General opened a new store at 60 Old Mars Hill Highway in Weaverville.
  • Harbor Freight Tools opened its 41st North Carolina store at 120 Henderson Crossing Plaza in Hendersonville.
  • Pretty as a Peach Boutique opened at Asheville Outlets. The women’s clothing retailer is based in Johnson City, Tenn.
  • In September, Launch Trampoline Park Asheville at 24 Walden Drive in Arden completed the purchase of Sky Zone Asheville to consolidate market share. The Sky Zone Asheville location has closed.
  • Amy Woody took over as CEO for Mountain Credit Union of Waynesville. She replaces Patty Idol, who retired after 20 years leading the institution.
  • Banking industry veteran Rebekah M. Lowe was named a director of HomeTrust Bancshares, the holding company for HomeTrust Bank. HomeTrust is the second-largest community bank headquartered in North Carolina.

Hospitality happenings

  • Hilton Garden Inn opened at 9 Rocky Ridge Road across from the Asheville Outlets. The 111-room lodging facility also includes a new restaurant, The Garden Grille, a cocktail bar and 2,500 square feet of outdoor entertainment space.
  • The 87-room The Foundry Hotel was added to the management portfolio of Raines, a hospitality management, development and operating group based in South Carolina.
  • Asheville Rooftop Bar Tours won a 2020 Travelers’ Choice award for top attractions.
  • Kimpton Hotel Arras, McKibbon Hospitality’s 128-room hotel in downtown Asheville, received an award for the top new or renovated meeting site from ConventionSouth.

Real estate beat

  • Asheville Holistic Realty is now Owners Only Real Estate. More information at
  • Carolina Mountain Sales moved its offices to 80 Charlotte St.
  • Scott Pitzalis and Ken Cagle joined  Weichert, Realtors offices in the Asheville area.
  • Alex Barbosa-Medina, Jenna Walen and Margie Smith joined EXIT Realty Vistas offices in the Asheville area.
  • Jessica Auge joined Carla & Co. of Keller Williams Commercial Real Estate as a tenant representative.
  • There are two ways to experience the Southern Living Idea House in The Ramble Biltmore Forest: tour the showplace property through Wednesday, Dec. 30, or buy it. (Naturally, it’s possible to do both. The house is listed at $2,385,000.) Tour information is available at

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