From gourmet mustards and hot sauces to artisan cheeses to bamboo pickles, Western North Carolina abounds with locally made specialty food products. One of the region’s greatest resources in helping these small business entrepreneurs get their products to market is Blue Ridge Food Ventures. The 11,000-square-foot shared use kitchen incubator and natural products manufacturing facility offers support in product development, guidance through the many regulations and production standards, advice on packaging and design, and more. And the Asheville Wine & Food Festival is a great chance to meet many of these makers and purchase directly from the source.


Another of the region’s great assets is the North Carolina Organic Bread Flour Project, which has connected bakers, farmers, millers, wheat breeders, and crop specialists to create a viable organic bread grain economy in the state. That means, wheat that is being grown in North Carolina is also being milled locally at Carolina Ground, a milling facility in Asheville, and the flour is being used by local bakers to produce delicious artisan loaves. Click here to read more about this project of the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association. Find our local loaves at many area groceries and natural food stores, or the Artisan Bread Baker's Festival, held annually in March, is a great opportunity to try them all.