A Celebration of Appalachian BBQ Across Cultures: From Indigenous Roots to Global Pitmasters

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 7th
4:30 PM – 7:00 PM

SALVAGE STATION
ASHEVILLE, NC

GET DIRECTIONS

>> Note: Free parking available on-site. More venue details HERE.

>> All attendees at this event must be 21+ years of age and show a government issued ID to verify.

THE SCHEDULE
THE MENU

Brandon Shepard, Shepard Craft BBQ

>> Savannah Red Rice, Housemade Smoked Andouille Sausage with Chargrilled Shrimp

Blair Machado, Hamfish BBQ

>> Chargrilled Oysters, Brisket Butter, Coconut Breadcrumbs, Chimichuri 

Paul Jonathan Pike, Master BBQ AVL

>> Filipino Pork BBQ Skewers, Chicken Inasal Skewers, Pickled Cucumbers

Matt Christison / Avery Cottrell, Gene’s

>> Grilled Chili Brined Smoked Chicken Thighs with Pork Cracklin Gremolata on Pickled Chili Israeli Couscous Salad

Michelle Bailey, Smoky Park Supper Club

>> Smoked jalapeno + cheddar curd sausage, creamed corn, heirloom tomato jam, crispy okra, burnt onion dust

Preeti Waas, Cheeni Indian Food Emporium

>> Sweet Potato Chaat, Beef Boti Kabab, Smoked Beetroot Raita, Chickpea Crunchies (GF)

Travis Milton, Hickory at Nicewonder Farm

>> Smoked Tomato and BBQ’d Watermelon with Peach Sorbet, Tomato ponzu, Sorrel, Creasy Greens and Bitter Orange Vinegar 

>> Hickory Bark Blancmange w/ Smoked Damson Preserves and Hickory Nut Streusel

James Joe Lewis, 12 Bones

>> Blueberry Chipotle Baby Back Ribs, Beer Vinegar Pickles

Nick Barr, Buxton Hall

>> Deviled blue crab stuffed brisket meatballs, confit tomato, chili lime remoulade

Jael Skeffington, French Broad Chocolates

>> S’mores (V)

 Jeff Miller, Luella’s BBQ

>> Spare Ribs w/ Apple Butter (Spare Ribs from Hickory Nut Gap @hickorynutgap)

Collyn McDonald, Bear’s Smokehouse Asheville

>> Goat and/or Beef shank Barbacoa, ancho chipotle salsa, chimichurri, street corn grits, pickled jalapeños and onions

Benjamin Krueger & Lisa Vann, Huli Sue’s

>> Pork Cheeks, Miso Hondashi Grits, Smoked Pineapple Chow Chow

THE PRESENTING TALENT & BRANDS
Adrian Miller (he/him)
James Beard Award Winning Food Writer + Historian
Adrian Miller (he/him)
James Beard Award Winning Food Writer + Historian

YouTube: Soul Food Scholar Channel

 

About Adrian Miller

Adrian Miller is a food writer, James Beard Award winner, attorney, former politico, and certified barbecue judge who lives in Denver, Colorado. Adrian is featured in the Netflix hit High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America.

 

Bibliography

Miller’s first book, Soul Food: The Surprising Story of an American Cuisine, One Plate at a Time won the James Beard Foundation Award for Scholarship and Reference in 2014. His second book, The President’s Kitchen Cabinet: The Story of the African Americans Who Have Fed Our First Families, From the Washingtons to the Obamas was published on President’s Day 2017. It was a finalist for a 2018 NAACP Image Award for “Outstanding Literary Work – Non-Fiction,” and the 2018 Colorado Book Award for History. Adrian’s third book, Black Smoke: African Americans and the United States of Barbecue won the 2022 James Beard Award for Reference, History, and Scholarship and the 2022 Colorado Book Award for History. It was a finalist for the 2022 International Association of Culinary Professionals Literary & Historical Writing Award.

 

Awards

In 2018, Adrian was awarded the Ruth Fertel “Keeper of the Flame Award” by the Southern Foodways Alliance, in recognition of his work on African American foodways.  In 2019, Adrian received the Judge Henry N. and Helen T. Graven award from Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, for being “an outstanding layperson, whose life is nurtured and guided by a strong sense of Christian calling, and who is making a significant contribution to community, church, and our society.” In 2022, Adrian received an Honorary Doctorate from the Denver Institute for Urban Studies and Adult College.

 

Bio

Adrian received an A.B in International Relations from Stanford University in 1991, and a J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center in 1995.  From 1999 to 2001, Adrian served as a special assistant to President Bill Clinton with his Initiative for One America – the first free-standing office in the White House to address issues of racial, religious and ethnic reconciliation. Adrian went on to serve as a senior policy analyst for Colorado Governor Bill Ritter Jr. From 2004 to 2010, he served on the board for the Southern Foodways Alliance. In June 2019, Adrian lectured in the Masters of Gastronomy program at the Università di Scienze Gastronomiche (nicknamed the “Slow Food University”) in Pollenzo, Italy. He is currently the executive director of the Colorado Council of Churches and, as such, is the first African American, and the first layperson, to hold that position. Adrian is also the co-project director and lead curator for the forthcoming “Proclaiming Colorado’s Black History” exhibit at the Museum of Boulder.

Amie Fields (she/her)
Botanist & Barrel Cidery & Winery
Amie Fields (she/her)
Botanist & Barrel Cidery & Winery

Amie, co-founder of Botanist and Barrel, is a wine industry veteran and sommelier who has expanded into cider. With a passion for minimal intervention and showcasing terroir, she oversees distribution and education. Amie is the first and only woman certified Pommelier in NC. As a judge in renowned competitions, she brings her expertise in tasting and finding balance to create exciting ciders. Follow her journey on Instagram and Facebook @naturalcider. Farm, Fruit, Ferment!

Avery Cottrell
Gene's (ATL)
Avery Cottrell
Gene's (ATL)

Kimball House Backed Smoked Meat Pop-up in Atlanta.

Ben Kreuger (he/him)
Huli Sue's BBQ
Ben Kreuger (he/him)
Huli Sue's BBQ

After living in Hawaii for 15 years and operating a restaurant on the Big Island of Hawaii Ben and Lisa moved to Asheville in 2019. Bringing together their knowledge and passion for traditional BBQ and Hawaiian cuisine they opened Huli Sue’s BBQ and Grill at the Grove Arcade in 2019.

Blair Machado
Hamfish BBQ
Blair Machado
Hamfish BBQ

Blair Machado, owner of Hamfish BBQ, is a classically-trained Chef and nomadic butcher. He curates dishes with seasonal ingredients sourced from local farmers and fishermen. Known for whole animal butchery and open-fire cooking, Blair has worked in renowned kitchens from Virginia to Atlanta.

Brandon Shepard (he/him)
Shepard Barbecue
Brandon Shepard (he/him)
Shepard Barbecue

Chef and Pitmaster Brandon Shepard, a Carolina native, has over twenty years dedicated to the culinary industry. Growing up the money for culinary school was not accessible so Shepard was able to gain knowledge from on the job experience and many days of personal study. Like most he started in the dish pit and worked his way up the ranks.
After years of experience in multiple establishments specializing in many types of cuisine Shepard opened Urban Street Eats with his wife, a global street food truck that brought eclectic dishes from all over the world. There they traveled all throughout eastern North Carolina and eventually earned Mobile Cuisine’s Rookie Food Truck of the Year award. In time the duo able to open a second concept by the name of Nourish Juice Bar + Cafe, a organic juice bar serving Polynesian comfort foods. Jumping from a food truck into their first brick and mortar was already a daunting task that they took to very well until the world stopped. Covid 19 devastated many small businesses around the world and theirs was certainly no exception. After the pandemic hit they were forced to reevaluate their business strategy and pivot into a concept that could feed the masses. Brandon then turned to the food that brought him and his family the most joy, barbecue. Barbecue was a way that him and family members were able to reconnect and get back to the basics in life. This was often true for many African American families in the south. It’s a communal cuisine that brings people together of all walks in life. With the pandemic now coming to an end their barbecue journey is just starting.

Camillya Masunda (she/her)
Ebony Wine & Spirits
Camillya Masunda (she/her)
Ebony Wine & Spirits

Ebony Wine & Spirits introduces the world to the rich culture of Africa and the diaspora, one sip at a time. Inspired by her Congolese roots, Camillya Masunda, owner of Ebony Wine & Spirits, created it to celebrate Black cultures around the globe and all the uniqueness they embody and represent.

Collyn McDonald (he/him)
Bear's Smokehouse
Collyn McDonald (he/him)
Bear's Smokehouse

 

 

A self-taught master smoker, Collyn McDonald has been working in the family BBQ business since the age of 15, smoking meat at his father’s side. He is passionate about food and about working with local producers, and he is dedicated to bringing high-quality cuisine and service to the Asheville community.

Over the past decade, Collyn has had the opportunity not only to perfect his BBQ skills in the Bear’s restaurants and at national festivals but also to work alongside several award-winning executive chefs, discovering and conquering the art of international cuisine.

In addition to constantly expanding his culinary knowledge base, Collyn is an avid reader and motorcycle enthusiast. He owns a home in Asheville and enjoys hiking with his wife, Rosie, during his leisure time.

Debra Freeman (she/her)
Award Winning Food Writer + Historian | Host, Setting the Table
Debra Freeman (she/her)
Award Winning Food Writer + Historian | Host, Setting the Table
Debra Freeman has written for national outlets such as Eater, Conde Nast Traveler, Plate Magazine, Food 52, Epicurious, Garden and Gun, Pit Magazine, Gravy, and Gastro Obscura on topics including the legacy of Black farmers, the significance of yellow cake in the Black community, Black veganism, and the importance of spoon bread in Southern culinary history. Her written work often intertwines her own personal food history and while showing readers the cultural memory connections that are intrinsic to the African-American experience.
Freeman is also the host of Setting the Table, the critically acclaimed podcast about African-American foodways on Whetstone Radio Collective that was recently named by Apple Podcasts as one of the “Shows We Loved in 2022.”
Freeman was recently named as a Black Women in Food honoree for 2023, one of most powerful Richmonders in 2022, and is the recipient of the Slow Food USA Snailblazer Storyteller award.
Jael Skeffington (she/her)
French Broad Chocolates
Jael Skeffington (she/her)
French Broad Chocolates

Jael Skeffington, Co-Founder & CEO of French Broad Chocolates in Asheville, NC, believes in using business as a force for good. Jael serves on the Board of Directors of the Economic Development Coalition in Asheville/Buncombe County, serves as a mentor to entrepreneurs with Venture Asheville Elevate, and was a Founding Board Member of Chow Chow.

Jeff Miller
Luella's BBQ
Jeff Miller
Luella's BBQ

Jeff is a self-taught chef-turned-pitmaster and restaurateur with a hard-won 35 years in the industry. After cooking to pay for college, he left his home state of Iowa on a journey through acclaimed chef-owned restaurants across the country. He spent three years in Durham cutting his teeth at the pioneering restaurants, Nana’s and Magnolia Grill. While in the Triangle, Jeff fell in love with NC barbecue, touring the back roads of Eastern Carolina and the Piedmont on his days off, questing for authentic ‘cue.

He then moved west where he worked under the tutelage of more James Beard Award-winning chefs in Napa Valley and the Bay Area. He moved to Montana’s Madison Valley as Executive Chef at a luxury guest lodge and was featured on Fine Living Network, the Travel Channel and Bon Appetite Magazine.

While cooking in the West, his love for the heritage and depth of traditional Southern flavors was still simmering. In 2006 he hung up the starched white chef coat, returned to North Carolina, and assumed the moniker of Proprietor & Pit Boss. In 2007 the original Luella’s Bar-B-Que was born with a vision to provide enrichment to the team, guests, and the Asheville community in a way that creates lasting enjoyment and enduring relationships. This vision is embodied in Luella’s trademark, Taste The Love.

Jessie Dean
Asheville Tea
Jessie Dean
Asheville Tea

We believe in creating the most delicious cups of tea, using a local, farm-to-teacup approach to ingredient sourcing. By having direct involvement with the farmers who grow our herbs, we can support sustainable and regenerative growing methods as well as tell the story of where our herbs come from so you can experience what’s in your cup from seed to sip.

James Joe Lewis (he/him)
12 Bones Smokehouse
James Joe Lewis (he/him)
12 Bones Smokehouse

JAMES JOE LEWIS- HEAD CHEF, 12 BONES SMOKEHOUSE ASHEVILLE, NC
Joe started in Food & Bev the way a lot of folks do, washing dishes in a restaurant when he was 15. Even though he grew up coming to the area, he officially landed in Asheville in 1997. For those familiar with Asheville in the 90s, after graduating from AB Tech Culinary he worked at Richmond Hill, Biltmore, and Gabriella’s. After several years of work and travel ranging from Florida all the way to Alaska, he came back in 2004 as the head chef of La Caterina. Here he really honed in his passion for the traditional methods of cooking, preserving, and curing meats. In 2008, he and his wife Lindsay started a bistro in Hendersonville called Square One. During that time, Joe helped with a beer dinner at 12 Bones Smokehouse. Shortly after, he sold his restaurant in 2011 and began his journey in BBQ. At 12 Bones he learned the process of smoking and it became a lifelong passion. While he loves all the traditional methods and foods of BBQ, he also loves stretching what that can mean: that could entail smoking a whole pork loin and running a riff on a traditional Cuban sandwich or smoking a whole leg of lamb for Easter dinner. One of his most nuanced dishes was rabbit with dates. He especially enjoys the process of experimenting with the different meats and cuts that go into making sausages. 12 Bones Smokehouse is proud to have Joe Lewis overseeing its culinary traditions, as his passion and experience has allowed the restaurant to maintain its position as a local Asheville staple.

Josie Mielke
Urban Orchard
Josie Mielke
Urban Orchard

Urban Orchard Cider Co. provides two warm and inviting spaces in two unique parts of the Asheville, allowing visitors to experience our one-of-a-kind hard ciders that are made on site. We proudly offer a welcoming atmosphere that fosters creativity, invigorating discussion with friends, or a warm chair to enjoy your cider in one hand and your new favorite book in the other.

 

In a time where product labels can be difficult to navigate and interrupt, you can be sure that Urban Orchard Ciders are of the purest form. We are dedicated to producing the highest quality craft ciders that we feel good about drinking ourselves. Forget the days of overly sweet ciders, full of artificial sweeteners, aromas, and flavors. We let fresh-pressed apple juice do the job for us. Aging/maturation and a variety of yeast strains are competitive advantages for us and we have found that the extra work delivers us a superior product in the end. Stop by for a visit!

Lauren Turpin
plēb urban winery
Lauren Turpin
plēb urban winery

I’ve lived all over NC and settled in Asheville 10 years ago with my husband Lee. I took an interest in our ever-growing local business scene and jumped at the chance to start an urban winery that shares in growing our local agriculture. We produce minimal intervention, terroir driven wines.

Lisa Vann
Huli Sue's BBQ
Lisa Vann
Huli Sue's BBQ
Meg Montgomery
Foothills Local Meats
Meg Montgomery
Foothills Local Meats

Foothills Local Meats is a Black Mountain based business following a whole animal butchery model. Meg Montgomery has worked for Foothills for six and a half years, currently running their butcher shop, production kitchen, and commissary program.

Michelle Bailey
Smoky Park Supper Club | Chow Chow Board of Directors
Michelle Bailey
Smoky Park Supper Club | Chow Chow Board of Directors
Miles Macquarrie
Kimball House
Miles Macquarrie
Kimball House

Miles Macquarrie is the Beverage Director and Co-Owner of Kimball House in Decatur, GA
With Macquarrie at the helm, Kimball House is a six-time James Beard
Foundation nominee for Outstanding Bar Program.

Nick Barr (he/him)
Buxton Hall BBQ
Nick Barr (he/him)
Buxton Hall BBQ

Nick Barr is the Executive Chef of Buxton Hall Barbecue. Growing up on the North Carolina coast then the Piedmont — no stranger to his grandmother’s whole hog cooking, smoked game, and chicken bog — Nick began his restaurant and chef career in the mountains. After working nearly a decade with a restaurant chain and commodity food, Nick became obsessed with local agriculture and left his job as General Manager to work in permaculture. Nick pursued a variety of ag endeavors like starting his own condiments business, delivery service and family CSA, before joining the kitchen team at Buxton Hall in 2017 with a new respect for food production and Buxton’s commitment to sourcing locally and whole animal butchery. Nick is passionate about “honest barbecue” and brings his belief that “the only thing that stays the same about barbecue is that it’s always evolving” to Buxton Hall. Nick lives on his own Big Ivy Little Farm in Weaverville, NC, with his partner and their chickens, goats and homestead hogs.

Paul Jonathan Pike
Master BBQ AVL
Paul Jonathan Pike
Master BBQ AVL

Owner and chef of Master BBQ AVL. Serves Filipino style BBQ skewers.

Preeti Waas (she/her)
Cheeni Indian Food Emporium
Preeti Waas (she/her)
Cheeni Indian Food Emporium

 

 

Preeti Waas is the chef owner of Cheeni Indian Food Emporium in Raleigh, NC.
From a young child in India fascinated by the alchemy of baking to a James Beard Best Chef Southeast semifinalist 2023, one thing has never changed for Preeti – the gratification and joy of feeding people. She is a self-taught cook and baker who is always curious – and always hungry.

Shanti Volpe (she/her)
Shanti Elixirs
Shanti Volpe (she/her)
Shanti Elixirs

Shanti Volpe is the owner of Shanti Elixirs, a company inspired by the honeybees + dedicated to nurturing the intimate connection between the health of our bodies + the wellbeing of our planet. Shanti + her hive accomplish this by crafting Jun, a sparkling probiotic beverage made with raw honey.

Travis Milton (he/him)
Hickory restaurant at Nicewonder Farm and Vineyards
Travis Milton (he/him)
Hickory restaurant at Nicewonder Farm and Vineyards

 

 

Hailing from rural Southwestern Virginia, Travis Milton spent his childhood in a true Appalachian kitchen, learning the tried and true techniques for shucking beans, preserving and canning, and planting gardens. From his early teens, Milton fostered a deep love for cooking, learning through various restaurant roles from Todd Gray’s Equinox in Washington D.C. to Chris Cosentinos’ Incanto in San Francisco. Milton soon realized the magic he was able to create when marrying the memories of his family’s kitchen with the techniques of his mentors, and embarked on his dream journey of running a genuine Appalachian restaurant. Most recently, Milton opened the Inn at Nicewonder’s signature restaurant, Hickory, in Bristol, Virginia, where he has the stage to further explore, reimagine and elevate Applachian cuisine using approachable ingredients. Milton’s cooking is not replacing original Appalachian techniques, but instead introduces the cuisine in a fresh way that he hopes will build upon the cuisine’s heritage. When not in the kitchen, his favorite place to be is sitting on his front porch in one of his 680 pairs of Nikes kicks, enjoying his whiskey collection and listening to Whitney Houston.

 

12 Bones Brewing
12 Bones Brewing
Asheville Tea Company
Asheville Tea Company

Asheville Tea Company crafts farm to teacup blends for a vibrant taste of the Blue Ridge Mountains. We’re on a mission to redefine how herbs and botanicals are sourced. We partner directly with regional farmers for unique botanical brews for a sense of place you can experience in every cup.

Botanist & Barrel Cidery & Winery
Botanist & Barrel Cidery & Winery
Cultivated Cocktails
Product Sponsor
Cultivated Cocktails
Product Sponsor
Devil's Foot Beverage Company
Devil's Foot Beverage Company

Devil’s Foot Beverage uses organic roots and fruits to brew farm-to-can craft sodas out of Asheville, NC. Blending regional honey and organic cane sugar and using farm-fresh ingredients from local and certified organic farms allows these sodas to contain half the sugar as corporate brands.

Ebony Wine & Spirits
Ebony Wine & Spirits

Ebony Wine & Spirits introduces the world to the rich culture of Africa and the diaspora, one sip at a time. Inspired by her Congolese roots, Camillya Masunda, owner of Ebony Wine & Spirits, created it to celebrate Black cultures around the globe and all the uniqueness they embody and represent.

Gene's
Gene's

It’s not BBQ, it’s Gene’s. We specialize is Texas Style BBQ and Southern Seafood. A place to chill and hang with friends.

Oak & Grist Distilling Company
Oak & Grist Distilling Company

Our small-batch American Single Malt Whiskey and Genever Inspired Gin capture the unique flavors of the region and celebrate Appalachian farmers, producers, and artisans. Crafted from locally grown and malted barley, Oak & Grist spirits reward the curious and excite the connoisseur.

plēb urban winery
plēb urban winery
RNDC (Republic National Distributing Company)
RNDC (Republic National Distributing Company)
Shanti Elixirs
Shanti Elixirs

Shanti Volpe is the owner of Shanti Elixirs, a company inspired by the honeybees + dedicated to nurturing the intimate connection between the health of our bodies + the wellbeing of our planet. Shanti + her hive accomplish this by crafting Jun, a sparkling probiotic beverage made with raw honey.

Sierra Nevada
Sierra Nevada

Our founder, Ken Grossman, made a habit of chasing curiosity. His early years of backyard tinkering and covert science projects set the stage for the ultimate discovery: homebrewing.

Fascinated by the alchemy of fermentation, Ken opened The Home Brew Shop in Chico, slowly playing with more hop-forward flavors at a time when American beer wasn’t known for taking chances.

When he finally started a brewery, Ken scoured salvage yards and defunct dairies to find the tanks, pipes, and valves he needed to hand-build Sierra Nevada’s original brewhouse.

On November 15, 1980, he put his first batch of craft beer to the test. That heady stout was a 13-hour labor of love, and after one sip, he knew he had a keeper. The Pale Ale that followed sparked a true craft beer revolution. The adventure’s never stopped, and our curiosity’s still brewing.

Urban Orchard Cider Company
Urban Orchard Cider Company

Urban Orchard Cider Company and Bar brings delicious local hard apple cider to the Asheville masses and cultivates a renewed appreciation for the historic beverage. Our cider is fermented using local apples grown in Hendersonville, not even 20 miles away from our facility.

Wedge Brewing Company
Wedge Brewing Company

The American Revolution started with a few folks sharing a beer. So did the Wedge. When the group includes a genius brewer, a visionary artist, a naïve entrepreneur and a few avid fans of the brewers beer, magic can happen. If those players are Carl, John and Tim the magic will be the Wedge.

SPONSORS + PARTNERS

Biltmore Winery
Product Sponsor
Biltmore Winery
Product Sponsor

Biltmore Winery is located on the grounds of George Vanderbilt’s magnificent estate in
Asheville, North Carolina. With old-world skill and new-world passion, we source grapes
from our vineyards and those of local and west coast partners to handcraft award-winning still and sparkling Biltmore wines.

Diageo
Presenting Content Sponsor: Collaborating Theme
Diageo
Presenting Content Sponsor: Collaborating Theme

With over 200 brands and sales in more than 180 countries, we offer something for every taste and celebration.

Our portfolio spans the spectrum of tastes and occasions, moving at pace with the latest trends. From much-loved, established brands to the latest innovations, we provide products, tastes and experiences for people to enjoy as part of celebrations big or small.

Diamond Brand Gear
Presenting Content Sponsor: Innovating Theme | Glamping Ground at the Tasting Bazaar
Diamond Brand Gear
Presenting Content Sponsor: Innovating Theme | Glamping Ground at the Tasting Bazaar

We are dedicated to one thing at Diamond Brand: practicing, preserving, and elevating the art of tent making. Since relocating to Asheville in 1942, we’ve been manufacturing and hiring locally, because we believe in reviving the craft of sewing. See what our customers have to say about our gear.

Duke's Mayo
Duke's Mayo

It was at Camp Sevier in 1917 that the Duke’s Mayonnaise legacy began. Eugenia Duke of Greenville, SC, made sandwiches in her home kitchen to sell to army canteens during WWI.  Eugenia’s sandwiches (and the mayo that gave them their special flavor) were so unforgettably delicious that years after they’d left the camp, soldiers wrote to Eugenia begging for her sandwich recipes and jars of her delectable spread.  She began bottling it as a product on its own in 1923.

Over the past 100 years, Duke’s has continued to cultivate and celebrate its commitment to family recipes and bold, southern flavors.

In addition to the flagship mayonnaise, which is still made according to Eugenia’s original recipe in Greenville, SC, Duke’s offers light, olive oil, and flavored mayonnaise, tartar sauce, sandwich relish and regionally-inspired Duke’s Southern Sauces, mustards, and dressings.

Go Mini's Moving & Portable Storage
Go Mini's Moving & Portable Storage

GO MINI’S® | THE PORTABLE STORAGE CONTAINER EXPERTS

Founded in 2002, Go Mini’s® has become one of the fastest-growing portable storage and moving companies in North America with locations in 39 states in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. In 2012, our company converted into a franchise model and now has 79 franchise locations within the United States. Our company is proud to have been recognized by Franchise Business Review as a Top Franchise in 2017. Entrepreneur Magazine also ranked us 16th on their list of 2017’s Top New Franchises.

Go Mini’s® is an active member of the International Franchising Association, where members strive to continually improve their business through networking, partnerships, and shared advice. We offer both local moving services and temporary portable storage container solutions for your convenience. Get in touch with us for more information about us and our portable storage containers. We also have careers and franchise opportunities available.

Got to be NC
Presenting Content Sponsor: Cultivating Theme
Got to be NC
Presenting Content Sponsor: Cultivating Theme

Got to Be NC is an initiative on behalf of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services to promote North Carolina agricultural products and goods. Our mission is to promote and expand markets for North Carolina agricultural products both domestically and internationally in support of our state’s $95+ billion plus food, fiber and forestry industries.

In 2005, the Goodness Grows in NC program was rebranded as Got to Be NC. From then to now, our work with North Carolina growers and agricultural organizations continues to raise the awareness and availability of North Carolina products to consumers both locally and around the world.

Private Family Foundation
Community Engagement
Private Family Foundation
Community Engagement

This generous donor provided support for all of our community access programming to allow more people from any financial situation to join in the celebration!

Salvage Station
Venue Sponsor
Salvage Station
Venue Sponsor

SALVAGE STATION’S VAST PROPERTY ALONG THE FRENCH BROAD RIVER IS LESS THAN A HALF MILE FROM DOWNTOWN ASHEVILLE.

Upon arriving, you will immediately notice the eclectic and laid-back vibe of this salvage yard turned music venue. The venue boasts a massive outdoor stage and an indoor stage for more intimate shows.

Thirsty? We’ve got something for everyone! There are several full bars with an extensive tap list of local beers, wines by the glass or bottle, liquor for those looking for a great cocktail, plus craft non-alcoholic options.

Listening to your favorite band play right next to the French Broad River will immediately make you understand why Salvage Station is always voted the best outdoor music venue in Western North Carolina.

Shay & Company
Festival Production
Shay & Company
Festival Production

Shay Brown: Shay Brown makes magic happen. She is an expert planner and community connector who creates meaningful experiences for hosts and guests across the Southeast. With over 20 years of experience, Shay and her team plans dozens of events, festivals, and weddings every year, as well as managing several boutique venues. Shay is also the Festival Director for Chow Chow, GRINDfest, and CiderFest NC where she is responsible for full-scale event production and managing the team of Directors for Culinary, Beverage, Makers, and Volunteers.

Prior to starting her company, Shay had a career as a lobbyist, where she developed a love for working with people and honing her skills in relationship development and building connections. She made it a priority to deeply understand each client’s vision, their likes and dislikes, and tailored events to reflect their unique character. She believes that each moment should illuminate the authentic personality of the client, not the desire of the planner and that is what sets Shay and her team apart from others.

Shay has surrounded herself with an amazing, talented, and professional staff that delivers each element of the planning process with the same quality and detail that Shay has cultivated over more than two decades in the industry.

Shay is very passionate about a lot of things in life like hiking, cooking, books, and spending time with neighbors and friends in the Asheville community. Most of all, though, she is in love with her family and fur babies Hazel, Eastwood,  Tinsel, Max, Onyx, and Addy.

Sysco
Presenting Content Sponsor: Preserving Theme
Sysco
Presenting Content Sponsor: Preserving Theme

Sustainability is an integral part of our Recipe for Growth business strategy. We know that to achieve our business goals we must also achieve our sustainability goals. As the global leader in foodservice, we are committed to growing responsibly and purposefully while leading our industry to more sustainable future. Our latest report shares updates on the actions we are taking today to secure a sustainable future for all.

Check out our progress in Sysco’s 2022 Sustainability Report. Translated versions are available under ‘Resources’ at the bottom of the page.

Learn more about our 2025 Goals and climate goal.

The Restoration Hotel Collection, Asheville
Lodging Partner | Venue Sponsor
The Restoration Hotel Collection, Asheville
Lodging Partner | Venue Sponsor
Union Transfer & Storage
Union Transfer & Storage

Union Transfer & Storage is a full-service moving and storage business that values quality and trust. We understand that moving and storing are highly personal, and we guarantee integrity with the delivery and care of our clients’ belongings.

Our team approaches every project with innovative and mindful solutions so that everyone receives uncompromising logistical support and a personal touch, regardless of the size and scope of our collaboration.