The food at The Moose Cafe couldn't be fresher if it was served off the back of a tractor. That's because the café perches amid the bustling vendors of the Asheville and Greensboro farmers’ markets, affording its chefs a never-ending selection of seasonal ingredients. These bushels of corn, squash, and okra lend vibrant, farm-fresh flavors to the ever-changing menus of homey comfort foods, which stock tables at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In addition to frying pieces of buttermilk-soaked chicken and hand forming burger patties with Angus beef, the chefs also churn fresh apple butter to accompany piping-hot biscuits. The café’s specials rotate daily, which allows the chefs to incorporate the markets’ freshest deliveries of produce and fine china.
For more than a decade, the Taste Carolina Wine Festival has created an outdoor menagerie of locally bottled libations and live musicians. Local wineries set up booths where guests can sample their liquid wares before purchasing bottles that will be tagged and ready for pick up after the festival. On the stage, bands that range from rock ?n? roll to adult contemporary strum and sing, forging a melodious backdrop to booths showcasing sculptures, home crafts, foodstuffs, and pamphlet arrangements rivaling the beauty of those in the Sistine Chapel?s gift shop.
From behind a frozen granite slab, the staff of Cold Stone Creamery uses twin spatulas to blend custom servings of ice cream and creative mix-ins to fit customers’ exact specifications. Founded by Donald and Susan Sutherland in 1988, Cold Stone began under the hot Arizona sun, eventually spreading its frosty fingers to encompass more than 1,400 locations worldwide. Despite the size of the company, each location’s staff keeps up the handcrafted quality, making ice cream onsite every day and using those signature spatulas to create delicious pointillist art against the freezer wall.
Owner Michele Bell, a family nurse practitioner, helps clients fight against excess pounds and signs of aging at Creeks Landing: Anti-aging & Weight Loss Solutions. Under the supervision of a medical director, her experienced staff doles out HCG diet plans, appetite suppressants, and B12 injections to help clients lose stubborn inches. Their Botox and Juv?derm injections work on the beauty end, helping to diminish wrinkles or remove the evidence of using a road map for a pillow.
Dr. Renzo A. Zaldívar's intensive, specialized training in ophthalmic plastic surgery makes him a true expert at reconstructing and rejuvenating the eye area. At Oculofacial Plastic Surgery Consultants, he and his team mend medical and aesthetic flaws of the lids, inject beauty solutions into wrinkles, and keep tears flowing through ducts like soda through Twizzlers. Dr. Zaldívar belongs to the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons, a respected and elite organization with fewer than 600 members.
Jonathan Rigsbee, founder of GrowinGreen, keeps lawns looking lush while treating Mother Earth with respect. His crew utilizes environmentally friendly yard-care methods that lean less on chemicals and more on holistic, soil-based solutions. Staffers avoid pollution by abstaining from treatments right before a rainfall, and they never leave fertilizers where they might wash into someone's drinking water or whale-shark aquarium. GrowinGreen's team also knows that some problems can be treated without professional help, and it offers customers an online database of havoc-wreaking weeds, plant diseases, and insects. This list, complete with photographs, can help homeowners diagnose various greenery ailments, such as brown-patch-covered lawns caused by what the staff refers to as "humongous fungus" or by feeding the grass orange juice.