What’s New in Food: The local produce and takeout market is open on Patton Avenue

The Market at Sage and Spice, a local grocery and takeout market that also offers catering services, celebrated its grand opening on October 24.

Located on the site of the former Bonfire BBQ, the market offers salads, paninis, Cuban sandwiches, desserts and a variety of coffee and other beverages. Takeaway meals prepared on site are also available, along with a selection of wine, beer and cider.

Owner Tory Frasher, a native of Greenville, South Carolina, moved to Asheville seven years ago to pursue a career in international cuisine, culture and event planning. In 2019, she opened Sage and Spice Catering with chefs Sergio Castro and Amanda Delgado to focus on weddings, large gatherings, holiday events and corporate events. “Growing up in a large Lebanese family, my grandmother and great-grandmother taught me how important food can be to family and as a language of love,” she says.

Castro, executive chef at The Market, began his culinary career more than 30 years ago in Peruvian kitchens and ran the now-closed Conosur in Mills River for five years. “This new location and venture will allow me to continue to develop my passion for food,” he says, “while expanding our catering business and being a part of Asheville’s food and business community.”

Fraser says she’s excited to partner with local producers like Poppy Handcrafted Popcorn, Darë Vegan Cheese, Shanti Elixirs and Devil’s Foot Beverage Co. “The list keeps growing,” she says. “If people want to sell their products here, we have a place and I’m open to that. Asheville is all about community and that’s what I love so much about it. Even the plants are from local florist Stargazers [Designs].”

In January, the market will host a series of international dinners, each week featuring cuisine and drink from a different country.

The market is open Tuesday to Friday from 7.30am to 6pm and Saturday from 8am to 2pm

The Market at Sage and Spice is at 1056 Patton Ave. For more information visit avl.mx/d4j.

Tea subscription service

Brad Smith began brewing and canning his tea, Infruition, at Pisgah Brewing Co. just two years ago. The company now distributes in the Carolinas and Tennessee and is partnering with Savannah, Georgia-based yaupon tea farm for a fourth flavor to be released this fall.

The company is also rolling out a CSA-style program where customers can sign up for a monthly subscription that will give them 24 mix and match boxes at a discounted price.

Smith says he uses local sources whenever possible. Infruition’s Organic Blueberry Citrus Yerba Mate, for example, is infused with rosemary, blueberries, lemon, lime and grapefruit and sweetened with honey from Franklin Farms.

Smith started his brewing business after making a batch of tea for the owner Dave Quinnwho liked him very much.

“The sense of community in Asheville is basically why I got the idea for the CSA,” says Smith. “This is an opportunity to say thank you to everyone who supported us.”

Smith says the company will continue to cater to the local market, but hopes to expand in the future. “It’s always good to know where your roots are and stay true. But I also think the more people who can enjoy it, the better.

For more information visit avl.mx/d4k.

WNC FoodWorks Class Series

Since the beginning of this month, author Ashley English teaches seasonally oriented classes at the new WNC FoodWorks facility at the WNC Farmers Market.

Topics will range from hosting a cookie exchange to making winter drinks and will run through mid-December.

English began teaching online classes during the COVID-19 pandemic, using material from the 11 books he has authored. “My books are very much based on the seasons, following the natural rhythms of the calendar year,” she says. After partnering with local libraries for courses this summer, she says she wanted to look for a more evergreen opportunity near her home in Candler. Based on her connection with the WNC Farmers Market, English reached out to her Phil Jamesmarket manager, with the new site in mind.

“Our interests completely aligned,” she says. “And I hope to provide those who attend my classes with a regular, seasonally appropriate educational series on a mix of topics related to small-scale farming, natural homesteading, entertainment, crafts, and more.”

WNC FoodWorks is located at 570 Brevard Road, Unit 9. For more information about English classes, visit avl.mx/d4l.

The Purple Onion celebrates 25 years

Saluda’s Purple Onion will celebrate 25 years in business with a birthday bash on Sunday, Nov. 19, from 4 to 9 p.m., with live music by Michael FlynnThe Paper Crowns and The Get Right Band.

Also during the week of Monday, November 13, the restaurant will feature a ‘Blast from the Past’ menu, bringing back menu favorites from the past. An Anniversary Gourmet Wine Dinner is scheduled for Tuesday, November 14th from 6:00pm to 9:00pm. “We owe our success to our amazing team and our loyal patrons,” says co-owner and executive chef Chambly Stuber, in a press release. “This holiday is as much theirs as it is ours.”

The Purple Onion is at 16 E. Main St., Saluda. For more information visit avl.mx/d4m.

Asheville’s first alcohol-free festival

ZeroProof Fest, Asheville’s first non-alcoholic beverage festival, will be held Friday, November 10 and Saturday, November 11 at Devil’s Foot Beverage Co.’s taproom, The Mule. The two-day event will feature non-alcoholic beverage samples from companies such as Athletic Brewing Co., Untitled Art, Drømme and Burial Beer Co.

On Friday, guests will walk the red carpet at a black-tie soiree from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm, with small plates from Sage and Spice Catering and tunes from a live DJ.

The more casual Afternoon Shindig from noon to 4pm on Saturday will feature small bites from Sage and Spice as well as live music.

The Mule at Devil’s Foot Beverage Co. is at 131 Sweeten Creek Road. For more information visit avl.mx/d4n.

Asheville Outdoor Dining Program

The city of Asheville made updates to its outdoor dining program at the Oct. 24 City Council meeting.

Updates include a new outdoor dining ordinance allowing annual permitting for “street patios,” which use public parking lots in addition to sidewalks for tables. The city also approved a new fee structure, improved program administration and management, highlighted best practices and procedures in an outdoor dining guide and provided instructions on the application process.

The updated program will launch in January, with the application process starting for businesses on Monday, November 13, on the city’s development portal.

For more information visit avl.mx/d4o.

Taco Boy is opening a second location

Late last month, Taco Boy celebrated the grand opening of its second local location, in Biltmore Park in South Asheville. The restaurant, which hails from Folly Beach, S.° С.opened a West Asheville location in December 2022.

Thit’s new the space most recently occupied by counter-service restaurant Neo Burrito has been transformed into a full-service dining room featuring a mural by a local artist Wyatt Grantalong with a sunroom, outdoor patio and bar.

cook Miguel “Migs” Franco, who has been with the Taco Boy team since July, developed a menu featuring many of the dishes served in West Asheville. It also introduced new menu items such as empanadas, jicama salad, tortas and whole steamed snapper.

Drink offerings mirror those in West Asheville, with additional draft beers.

Taco Boy at Biltmore Park is at 2 Town Square Blvd. For more information, visit avl.mx/d3i.

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