Business, nonprofit roundup: Rhubarb to hold wedding-vendor showcase July 21

LOVE IS IN THE AIR: Rhubarb is hosting a wedding-vendor showcase that will feature more than a dozen local vendors in the industry, including photographers, florists, musicians and stationery printers. Photo by Jennifer Callahan

UPDATED Monday, July 15 at 12:40 p.m.: The follow event hosted by Rhubarb has been postponed until January 2025. Organizers say that they will provide additional information once a new date has been selected.

Whether it’s the scenic mountain views or the sophistication of the Biltmore Estate, couples are increasingly choosing Asheville as their wedding destination. In 2023, Asheville hosted 3,845 weddings, according to Wedding Report, an online research company that collects wedding statistics for the industry. And with the average wedding in Asheville last year costing $24,345, weddings are not only sentimental but big business, too. Caterers, musicians, photographers and florists are just a few of the dozens of jobs that weddings help support. 

Rhubarb, the restaurant at 7 SW Pack Square in downtown Asheville, is hosting a wedding-vendor showcase 3-5 p.m. Sunday, July 21. It will feature more than a dozen local vendors in the industry, including photographers, florists, musicians and stationery printers. Hors d’oeuvres from The Rhu and Rhubarb’s culinary teams will be available, along with an open bar for beer, wine and dessert, including a custom wedding cake by Rhubarb pastry chef Mallory Foster. Tickets are $15. More information at

Thrift Hound opens second store

Mountain Pet Rescue Asheville, a nonprofit that rescues and fosters animals, opened a second Thrift Hound location at 7 Old Pisgah Highway, Suite 300, Candler. The store accepts and resells donated items. For more information, visit

SAHC marks 50 years with 7,500-acre donation 

The Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, an Asheville-based conservation nonprofit, accepted the donation of 7,500 acres in Avery and Mitchell counties, creating SAHC’s new South Yellow Mountain Preserve. The property supports numerous threatened and endangered plant and animal species and includes extensive boulder fields, coves, old-growth forests, six waterfalls and a system of rare heath-balds, as well as the largest American chestnut restoration project in the U.S. The nonprofit made the announcement during a 50th-anniversary event last month. More information is available at

ACSF awards $262,000 in scholarships

Educational nonprofit Asheville City Schools Foundation awarded 38 students who plan to attend a two- or four-year college or university with scholarships totaling over $262,000. Academic history, community involvement, extracurricular involvement, work experience, leadership, communication skills and more are taken into consideration for scholarship applications. Since 2000, over $3.2 million has been awarded to graduates of Asheville High and the School of Inquiry and Life Sciences at Asheville. A full list of recipients is available at

Inclusion agency plans networking event

The City of Asheville Business Inclusion Office will host a minority/women-owned business community outreach and networking event Saturday, June 29. The event will take place in the fourth-floor training room at the Asheville Fire Department Station No. 1 at 100 Court Plaza in downtown Asheville from 8:30 a.m.- 1 p.m. and will feature an opportunity to learn about the city’s procurement and contracting practices. Breakfast and lunch will be provided. To register for the event, visit

Stenhouse gains LS3P associate status

The Asheville branch of architecture, interiors and planning firm LS3P recognized Robert Stenhouse for advancing to associate during the firm’s annual meeting in May. Since joining the firm in 2017, project designer Stenhouse has worked in a diverse range of practice areas. His portfolio includes custom residential designs focused on smaller houses with smarter urbanism strategies as well as large civic, K-12 and higher education projects. For more information, visit

Hall Fletcher wins teacher lounge makeover

Hall Fletcher Elementary School won a complete teacher lounge makeover as part of the Crayola Creativity Week’s Creative Teacher Sweepstakes. The contest, which aims to create a more colorful and inspiring space for educators, partners with Walmart and Schoolgirl Style. As part of the award, Crayola provided the school with $1,000 worth of Crayola art supplies as well as a $3,000 Walmart gift card to purchase necessary items for the makeover. Walmart Community Relations provided an additional $1,000 gift card for supplemental items for the lounge. 

LaZoom launches kids comedy tour

LaZoom Comedy Bus Tours is launching Lil Boogers: Kids Comedy Tour. The new tour will run every day during the summer (June 1-Aug. 31) at noon except for Saturdays, when it will run twice daily at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. The new kids tour builds on the original kids tour (which has run weekly since 2017) and will feature more silly characters coming on and off the bus, magic tricks, puppetry, dad jokes, songs and tidbits from Asheville’s storied past. LaZoom’s new Lil Boogers tour is 60 minutes long and geared toward kids ages 5-12 but is open to kids of all ages, with a few jokes written specifically for parents. More information is available at

Cherokee museum awarded $385,000 grant

The Museum of the Cherokee People in Cherokee has been awarded a $385,000 grant from the Cherokee Preservation Foundation. The grant will support the museum’s goals to update its public facility, built in 1976, by providing funding for architectural drawings for its off-site collections facility, an owner’s representative, capital campaign consultant, strategic plan consultant and a miniredesign of the museum’s lobby. For more information, visit

Asheville Business Summit Aug. 20

The Asheville Business Summit, hosted by business coaching firm ActionCOACH Business Growth Partners, will take place Tuesday, Aug. 20, at the Embassy Suites, 192 Haywood St., in downtown Asheville. The annual event invites business professionals, entrepreneurs and community leaders across Western North Carolina to participate in networking, a VIP dinner, an exhibition showcase and keynote speakers. More information is available at

Sherrye Perry receives Trailblazer award 

The Land of Sky Regional Council, a multicounty governmental planning and development organization, awarded Sherrye Perry the eighth annual Trailblazer Award during the board of delegates meeting last month. The award recognizes a professional in Buncombe, Henderson, Madison or Transylvania counties who is a pioneer and innovator in the field of aging and adult services. Perry is a board-certified patient advocate and has worked for the last six years at BrightStar Care as the director of client relations where she ensures clients receive the care needed and family caregivers are supported. More information is available at


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