Behind the Treats: Sourcing Asheville’s Sweets

Behind the Treats: Sourcing Asheville’s Sweets

Maggie Cramer

Asheville’s thriving local food scene is no secret: Media from magazines to TV have spilled the beans to those of you who’ve never been to Western North Carolina. And those of us who live here, well, we live it daily. But there’s an aspect of the landscape often not mentioned in the press alongside profiles of our innovative, intrepid farmers and fiercely farm to table chefs and restaurants. One that’s even off the radars of some diehard Footopian foodies.

I’m talking about the commitment to local sourcing by our bakers, chocolatiers, and pâtissiers, including those taking part in SWEET on August 22nd. Both The Hop and Ultimate go to area farmers for as many of their ice cream ingredients as possible—from cream to kale, yes kale. (Both also partner with local food nonprofit ASAP for special events and promotions.) Sweet Monkey Bakery doesn’t have to go far for ingredients. They can ask their farming neighbors, literally; they set up shop each week at area farmers tailgate markets. French Broad Chocolates incorporates everything from local honey to local raspberries into their confections. And the list of local-loving dessert designers goes on.

Speaking of French Broad Chocolates, I recently had the chance to talk with them about their commitment to the far-away farms that supply their cacao, which simply doesn’t grow in this climate. Read about their commitment to go beyond standard fair trade certification when it comes to their beans via Farmer & Chef South.

PS: As you sample at the Grove Arcade on the 22nd, ask these vendors and others about their sourcing. They’d love to share their sweet story!

Tickets for SWEET are $45 and are on sale now. Along with chocolates, cakes, tarts, and pastries, alcohol will be served; there will also be live music, and the shops of the Grove Arcade will be open for browsing and buying.

-Maggie Cramer is an Asheville-based writer, editor, and communications specialist. She can be reached at