Business Buzz: 3/22/23

March 22, 2023


  • Our State Magazine recently announced the winners for their Made in NC Awards for 2022 in their February Carolina Candyland publication. Among many makers, bakers, crafters and brewers in the region, Shanti Elixirs LLC, won the Drink Category’s Beverage Of The Year with their Blueberry Basil Jun. Located in Weaverville, Shanti Elixirs is a woman-owned brewery that crafts a beverage called Jun, an ancient cousin to kombucha. Jun is made by fermenting green tea and raw honey instead of black tea and sugar. The fermentation process creates a non-alcoholic elixir that is claimed to be rich in minerals, prebiotics and probiotics as well as having many health benefits for the digestive and immune system. Learn more.
  • Culinary students from A-B Tech Community College won best student team, student chef, and student pastry chef in the Southeast Region at the American Culinary Federation (ACF) national qualifying competition in Overland Park, Kansas last weekend. A-B Tech’s student team will head to ACF National Finals in New Orleans in July, marking the college’s 14th appearance in national team competition. ACF picked the top four scores from the competition to move on to Nationals.  There were regional awards, but winning regions did not result in an automatic invitation to nationals, as in previous years.A-B Tech’s student “hot food” team is comprised of captain Jason Gray, Nickolas Abbott, Corrine Dowd, Abbey Franklin, and Ashley Neri. Roman Nourse won Southeast Student Chef of the Year contest and Patricia (Paty) Santibanez won Southeast Student Pastry Chef of the Year. The team’s coaches are Chef Instructors Chris Bugher and Stephen Hertz. Nourse also placed in the top four in qualifying competition and will compete for National Student Chef of the Year in New Orleans. He also served as team captain for the A-B Tech team that competed in the national finals in 2022. Read more here.


  • THRIVE | Coworking, a fast-growing collection of stylish, hybrid workspaces, is opening in Asheville … let’s break the ice and get to know each other. THRIVE | Asheville will be located in the historic Grove Arcade. So, join them on Tuesday, March 28, from 4:30 to 6:30 pm in the Grove Arcade Lobby for a first look at these inspired spaces designed for creatives, freelancers, entrepreneurs and businesses of all kinds. There will also be food and drinks (including a special “Grove Tonic” cocktail in honor of E.W. Grove’s fortune-making “Chill Tonic”), a raffle, and an opportunity to learn more about the community focus THRIVE is bringing to town What: An introduction to THRIVE | Asheville; Where: Grove Arcade Lobby, 1 Page Ave.; Date: Tuesday, March 28; Time: 4:30 to 6:30pm.; RSVP here! 
  • SBTDC’s next virtual Taking the Leap cohort will begin Tuesday April 4th and applications are being accepted now! Taking the Leap is ideal for aspiring entrepreneurs with a business idea they’d like to bring to life or existing sole proprietors that would like to focus and formalize their business and goals. The class covers customer discovery, business planning using the Business Model Canvas, financial planning, digital marketing basics, and students have a chance to do a very basic 2 minute elevator pitch to community mentors in the final session. Students have the chance to network with their peers, providing exciting new connections and insights from their collaboration. Learn more and apply here.
  • On Thursday, April 13, the Western Women’s Business Center is hosting its 8th Annual WWBC Conference at the Mission Health/A-B Tech Conference Center in Asheville. The conference will run from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and feature keynote speakers, a sofa talk panel, networking opportunities, musical performances by local artists, the presentation of the 2023 Bubbles Griffin Award, and more. Breakfast and coffee will be provided as we get together with local entrepreneurs and community partners to learn and celebrate all the ways that we are all better together. Tickets for the conference are $30 in advance and $40 at the door. Registration is open and tickets can be purchased here.
  • Posana, the contemporary American restaurant located in downtown Asheville, will host a series of four-course wine and food experiences. “Garden and Grapes” will premiere this series on Sunday, April 16th at 6:00 pm in Posana’s Mandara Gallery. Advanced Sommelier Cara De Lavallade will present a selection of French country wines from our award winning cellar to accompany Chef Joshua Widner’s menu of Spring-forward dishes. Special guests will be Tyson and Julia Waddell, owners of Blue Ridge Rabbit Company, speaking about their farm and the wonderful benefits of this often-overlooked delicacy.Tickets are $150, including gratuity and tax. CLICK HERE for more information and to purchase your ticket. 
  • Join TSAChoice and Intermedia in the cloud overlooking downtown Asheville on April 19th  for a Lunch & Learn. Lunch will be provided, free giveaways, and more! This is the perfect opportunity to Elevate Your Business with the latest, robust technology, meet up with other local businesses, and see how TSAChoice can support you. Topics include: the latest in cloud communication, Increasing business productivity with the right telephone system and the importance of contact centers solutions and providing the right customer experience. Learn more and register.


  • AdventHealth has welcomed Steven Burroughs as the Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer for AdventHealth Hendersonville. Burroughs brings his extensive experience in health care finance and operations to his new role at AdventHealth Hendersonville. Burroughs earned his bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL. He went on to serve in health care finance and operations, with six years of leadership and experience as CFO of a 204-bed facility in Florida and 3 years of experience as a VP of Finance over five hospitals. Most recently, Burroughs has been VP of Finance for Mission Hospital System. He oversaw the financial aspects of four of Mission’s critical access hospitals and its 30-bed acute care hospital. Read more.
  • AdventHealth Hendersonville has named Urogynecologist, Jeffrey B. Garris, MD, MS, FACOG, FPMRS, FACS as chief of staff. Chief of Staff is a key role for AdventHealth and for the people who trust them for their care. The Chief of Staff will represent the AdventHealth Hendersonville physicians and advanced practice providers and work closely with the hospital administration to continuously improve the quality and safety of care. This role is a two-year term in which, Dr. Garris will also bring the providers’ perspective as a member of the AdventHealth Hendersonville Community Board. Read more.


  • The Mountain Xpress “Best of Western North Carolina” voting starts April 1st!  Mountain Xpress conducts the largest and longest-running community poll in the region and all local businesses are invited to participate.  Make sure your business is included in at least one of the over 550 categories!  Go to to vote for yourself and / or for all of your favorite things about our region: Arts & Entertainment; Eats & Drinks; Farm, Yard, & Garden; Health & Wellness; Kids Resources; Pets Resources; Media; Personal Services; Professional & Home Services; Shopping; Work & Business; Uniquely Asheville; and Regional Bests!  For more information email or call 828-251-1333. 


  • Scott Dedman, President and Executive Director of Mountain Housing Opportunities (MHO), announced plans to retire in August of this year after 30 years in the role. Under Dedman’s leadership, MHO has financed and developed more than 1,300 affordable apartments, helped more than 500 families and individuals achieve homeownership, and provided safety-related home repairs to more than 4,000 homeowners. Dedman was one of seven volunteer founders of MHO in 1988 and joined as Executive Director five years later after serving as Chair of the Board of Directors. “Besides raising my family with my wife Karen, MHO has been my life’s work,” Dedman shared. “At MHO, we believe that if you work in this community, you should be able to live here in a safe, attractive, affordable home in a good neighborhood. And when you retire or if you become disabled, this should still be true. This belief has fueled our mission over the last thirty-five years. The work that MHO leads in the region—in building and preserving housing affordability—has never been more relevant than it is today.” Charlie Owen, Chair of MHO’s Board of Directors, will lead the organization’s executive search. MHO’s Board has been aware of Dedman’s plans to retire for more than a year, allowing for strategic and intentional succession planning. Read more.