ASHEVILLE, N.C. (April 29, 2020) – NEW RESOURCE: Inspiring, immersive content and ways to support our still-vibrant community are being collected and shared via Explore Asheville's new Together in Spirit microsite. For example, the Community Spirit section illuminates Asheville's creative resilience and provides paths for support, while the Virtual Asheville section is a portal for enrichment, escape and wanderlust from home with rotating content like Biltmore 360s, virtual hikes, streaming concerts, drum lessons and bite-sized moments of Zen.

How a Hospitality Community Comes Together: Just a few stories from the many examples across the Asheville area

  • "We Give A Share" Reimagines/Redirects Farm Shares for Community in Need: It started with a phone call between a James Beard-nominated chef and his longtime farmer and friend. Just over two weeks later, Asheville-area farmers and chef-activists have launched a program raising more than $80,000 to feed their community while sustaining local farms during COVID-19. The program – We Give a Share – reimagines the concept of the "CSA," or community-supported agriculture, farm share through a philanthropic lens. People are encouraged to purchase a farm share donation equivalent to what they would contribute for a season of weekly CSA boxes for their family. The donated produce goes directly to Southside Community Kitchen, a model crisis kitchen, as part of a local effort to prepare free meals to those in need. The program is designed for replication across Asheville and other cities. Other restaurant-led initiatives are having a huge impact in Asheville, including Wicked Weed's Cultura and its partnership with Food Connection and the YMCA churning out 5,000 meals a week for those in need.   
  • "What's in My Yard?" Brings Appalachian Foraging Traditions to those Sheltering at Home: Foraging traditions run deep in one of the most biodiverse places on the planet, the Blue Ridge Mountains. Local foraging experts at No Taste Like Home are offering a sliding scale, donation-based service to support their community with (social-distance-compliant) yard surveying of edible greens, berries and mushrooms with a "treasure map" showing where to find them. Info includes harvesting, medicinal uses, recipes and video content:   
  • East Fork Raffles Matisse Pottery in Support of Locals in Need: East Fork, the pottery studio and lifestyle brand co-founded near Asheville in 2009 by Alex Matisse (potter and great-grandson of French painter Henri Matisse), is conducting weekly raffles with all proceeds benefiting organizations that assist some of the area's most in-need populations. Raffle tickets are just $5, and five custom pieces by Matisse are given away each week. East Fork's first two fundraising initiatives, one benefiting an organization that provides medical care to uninsured and underinsured farmworkers and one assisting an organization that provides hot meals to those in need, raised over $35,000 in just a few weeks. Info here.
  • World's First Crowdsourced "Covid Cookbook": Recipes from home chefs across the world are being compiled for the world's first crowdsourced Covid Cookbook, with proceeds from the sale of the book going to Feeding America. Asheville resident Sarah Ubertaccio (co-founder of podcast "Making It In Asheville") and friend/culinary cohort Rachel Goodman started the project as a way to virtually share ideas for recipes with limited ingredients among friends. More than 60 recipes have come in from across the globe, including home chefs from New York, Asheville, Vermont, Canada, Italy and Colombia. Check out recipes for Morale-Boosting Scones and Asparagus Pizza at
  • Restaurants Diversify & Support Staff with Pop-Up Bodegas and Pantries: With dine-in closed, Asheville restaurants are evolving new ways to feed loyal followers and support furloughed staff. Sovereign Remedies opened a bodega, bottling their acclaimed elixirs and offering homemade breakfast sausage and breads to sell alongside dry goods and essentials like yeast and aspirin. Staff are encouraged to sell at the market, which also includes their own culinary creations, masks, jewelry and candles. Biscuit Head owners Carolyn and Jason Roy offer Food Pantry Fridays for staff with an epic supply of food, essentials, vitamins and even toys for kids. At The Rhu, from Chef John Fleer, family Sunday Suppers have moved to delivery with signature snack/grocery boxes and take-and-bake recipes, in addition to a walk-in pantry.  
  • "Stay Home" Mural-Inspired IPA Benefits Hospitality Workers from Asheville to Colorado: Local breweries are teaming up to support Asheville's hospitality workers during the pandemic. Riverbend Malt House dreamed up the idea for an all-star collaboration (Archetype Brewing, Dssolvr, New Belgium Brewing, White Labs, Bhramari Brewing Company and Twin Leaf Brewery) for the new Stay Home/Stay Asheville IPA. The name and can art are inspired by Asheville's iconic River Arts District silo mural and its timely "Stay Home" message. All proceeds benefit New Belgium's Bar and Restaurant Relief Fund, providing financial help to struggling hospitality workers in both Fort Collins and Asheville, New Belgium's headquarter locations. To date, over $228,000 has been raised and 500 qualified applicants have received assistance. Burial Beer Co. is also supporting local hospitality workers with their All Together IPA, with all proceeds going toward meal programs. More info here.