Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Road Trip to Food Co-ops in Lexington and Asheville

Ahhh...home again after an adventure. We took a little road trip behind the bus filled with Sounds of South choir kids, who were performing in Gatlinburg, Tennessee last Friday. Sav has collected a few hundred photos of the kids on the bus, in the town, and in the Smoky Mountains. Here is just one of some of the gang.

Andreas and I made our own meandering way, with a first stop in Lexington, Kentucky, where we had lunch at Good Foods Market and Café. We had a chance to visit my friend Anne Hopkins, the general manager, and Danielle Dove, the new marketing manager.

It's great to have a network of co-ops across the country, mixed in there with the Subways, Short Stops, Cracker Barrels and such. For a map and a list go to NCGA.coop. There's more to come: visit Food Coop 500 to learn how to start a food co-op in your community. There isn't one yet in Gatlinburg, only a very crowded and chaotic Food City.

We drove through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to Asheville, North Carolina on Saturday to visit the sweet brick French Broad Food Co-op there, across the street from Laurey's, where the philosophy is "Don't Postpone Joy." It's right across from The Orange Peel, a Social and Pleasure Club, too: a nice scene there in Asheville, Cornelius Vanderbilt country.

In the rain on Sunday we circled back to Good Foods, where the café was hopping and the food was was fantastic. Kale, berry pudding, fresh butternut squash ravioli, lima beans with delicious herb seasoning...you can't find these things at the big boxes or chains.

All along the road (alongside the shops selling "Genuine Antique Reproductions") the redbuds and dogwoods were in bloom. It was the perfect moment for a trip to the Smokys – except for that endless bottleneck at the car show in Pigeon Forge!

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