Venture into local foods

The ultimate capitalist compliment is, “You should go into business!,” a line frequently heard by home cooks who’ve mastered the art of making chocolate-chip cookies, pound cakes or devilled eggs. But in Buncombe County, sophisticated eaters put a different spin on the same suggestion, telling talented kitchen amateurs: “You should contact Blue Ridge Food Ventures.”

Blue Ridge Food Ventures, jointly sponsored by AdvantageWest Economic Development Group and the state’s Department of Agriculture, maintains an 11,000-square-foot commercial kitchen for use by culinary entrepreneurs who might not have the capital to create a facility specifically for the production of their pickles or potato chips. Many popular local items, including Lusty Monk mustard and Theros olive oil, have emerged from the so-called “kitchen incubator.”

More than 30 entrepreneurs working with Blue Ridge Food Ventures will showcase their products next Tuesday, Sept. 23, at the organization’s Second Annual Marketplace — a dream event for folks who gravitate toward the sample set-ups at grocery stores. The event, which will be held at A-B Tech’s Enka campus, is open to the public from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Admission is free, but participants are asked to pre-register at

For more information, call 665-9464.

— Hanna Rachel Raskin, food writer


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 Your e-mail address will not be published.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.