Spotlight On East Asheville – Little Free Libraries

By Kathryn Liss

Little Free Libraries are popping up everywhere. We have at least three in Haw Creek. By Haw Creek Commons (by the parking lot next to the Bethesda Methodist Church), one at 8 Rhododendron Place (set up by Janet Oliver) and one in the Stonebridge Community (set up by the Stonebridge HOA).

What is a “little free library?” It is generally a small box on a post with a door. Inside you can find books that have been left by people who no longer want to read them. You can take a book or you can leave a book. Or you can do both. Some little free libraries specialize in the kind of books that they have; books for children, books on religious topics, novels, non-fiction. As far as I can tell, the little free libraries in our neighborhood are not specialized.

I spoke with Paul Rollins who was the point person for getting the library started in Stonebridge community. It took from June to October to go through the process of getting community acceptance to put it up in a shared space. The community has 60 homes and 37 people came out to celebrate when it was opened. Mr. Rollins says that it is a great community asset, bringing people together who otherwise may be isolated from each other. It also supports reading and sharing of materials.  Like the little girl in the video below, children love the chance to get a book for free.

Why would you want to patronize a little free library? Maybe it is a holiday and the public library isn’t open. Or you just have a sudden desire to read something different. As the girl in the video says, “Our brains can’t go without books…. [without books] the world would be empty like a bucket without water.”

The Citizen Times article says it “is a way to tie small communities together and make literacy more accessible.”

I also heard from Janet Oliver. She said; “We have 27 children on our small street. We wanted to put up something that would keep encouraging them to read. The joy has been watching the kids stop by and see what new books have entered “the book box.”

Libraries are very important to communities. We have noticed how many people come out to the community meetings regarding the East Library on Avon. Exchanging information through reading is something we value, even in this day of electronic devices that can provide whatever information we want just by asking a question. However, the pleasure of turning the pages and relaxing by reading is something that can best be achieved with books. So for those of us still enjoying the tactile pleasure of a hard copy book, try out the little free libraries and see if you can find something surprising and enjoyable.

Visit www.littlefreelibrary.org for more on how to start your own Free Little Library. For more information you can also contact Paul Rollins at 828-505-0144.

 

 

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Spotlight On East Asheville – East Asheville Academy

SPOTLIGHT ON EAST ASHEVILLE: East Asheville Academy, by Linda Stanton
4 Beverly Rd.
Asheville, NC 28804

East Asheville Academy is a private child care and day care center right here in our neighborhood. Located in the heart of “downtown” Haw Creek, the center shares a building with Penny Cup Coffee and Creekside Tap House. The closing of Nurseryland Day Care (previously featured in this column), leaves EAA as only one of two community child care centers in Haw Creek, the other being the Haw Creek Elementary Head Start program.

The space had previously housed another day care center which came up for sale in 2007. This interested current owner Teresa Webb, who at the time had a small home-based day care center. She saw this opportunity to branch out and expand, knowing how much quality child care services are needed in the area. She had spent time as a child in the east Asheville Oakley neighborhood and was familiar with the area. On January 1, 2008, Teresa opened East Asheville Academy and the business is still going strong and growing.

Webb runs the business along with her daughter Jessica Shuford, RN, who acts as director. “This is really a family business” Webb tells us. Two of our teachers are mother daughter and two others are cousins. We have nine teachers in total, over half of whom have been here more than six years. This kind of longevity is not the norm in the industry. We have an excellent reputation and do no advertising, it is basically all word of mouth. Our current waiting list is up to a year. Jessica proudly explained that “three of the infants we currently care for have been on the waiting list since the parents found out they were expecting!”

The center is licensed for 45 children total, divided into three classrooms by age group: infants age 6 weeks to 2 years, toddlers 2 to 3 years and preschool age 3 to 5 or 6 years, depending on when they start kindergarten. East Asheville Academy practices what is called “volunteer enhanced ratios” for staffing which means less children per teacher. This allows more one on one-time, better care in general and usually less stress for the teachers.

Lead teachers have child care credentials through a college, usually a one semester program which includes skills such child development and psychology, teaching and lesson planning. There is a 90 day on the job training program for teachers and they all receive 20 hours of annual continuing education. The staff has CPR and First Aid as well as emergency response training.

A typical day starts with teachers coming in at 7:30 am. The kids get dropped off between 7:30 and 9:30 depending on each family’s schedule. “We don’t take them past 9:30 though because it gets disruptive once the lessons start,” Jessica explains. They serve breakfast, lunch and a snack during the day. There is outside time for play and science lessons. Circle and group time, readings and songs, nap time and other age-appropriate activities round out the day. Pick up is by 5:30 pm.

Often there is a theme for the week such as baby animals and they’ll get to see things like hatching eggs and bring pictures of animals. When the child leaves here for kindergarten we work to get them “school ready,” which means they know letters, can write their name, count to 30 and are socially able to work with other children in a group, although these goals change through the years as research changes.

“We do have some children with special needs at times. If we recognize a need, delay or problem with development, we’ll discuss this with the parents and can refer to a speech or occupational therapist for evaluation,” Shuford explains. EAA works to go the extra mile for the children and parents appreciate that. It is not a large center, but it is as homey as we can make it. We know all the families by name and keep parents involved with what is going on.

EAA is in the process of renovating a previously empty space between their center and the coffee shop into a new class room. This will allow for more differentiation with activities in the toddler group and give everyone more room to spread out. This is important because there are more child care centers that are just preschools which creates a greater need for the baby and toddler groups. They plan for this new classroom to be open by December. Their license numbers for enrollment will increase with the new classroom but those spaces are already filled.

Webb and Shuford feel the majority of child care centers in this area are safe and well run. Generally, though the child care need is not fully being met in our region. This deficit is attributed a boom in population and some centers closing because of various issues. Funding has become more available for income-based subsidy vouchers in the last 2 – 3 years but it’s still not enough.

It helps that there are home day care centers, licensed for up to six children. The atmosphere in these centers is typically more informal but they still need to meet many similar requirements for safety and health factors. For some children this type of environment in a home-based center may be a better option. The important thing is that the state licensing requirements are met and the children are treated with care and concern.

East Asheville Academy is a precious resource in our community. When asked what sets them apart from others Teresa jumped in, “we are very picky about who we hire. We’re a close-knit group. The people who work here have a passion for teaching the kids. We treat them as if they are our own.”

Contact East Asheville Academy at-
828-299-1401
Eastashevilleacademy08@yahoo.com
https://www.facebook.com/eastashevilleacademy/

For more information about child care center licensure go to NCChildCareSearch.dhhs.state.nc.us

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Spotlight On East Asheville – Local Author In Haw Creek

Our neighbor, Reynolds High School student and band member Aryelle Jacobsen, has written and published a book about being in middle school called A is for Awkward, which is getting considerable notice in our community and beyond. The book is a guide to surviving middle school and intends to help struggling preteens who are experiencing the changes which come with entering the sixth grade to weather those changes with less anxiety. Aryelle hopes that by reading this book, these youths will know that they are not alone in experiencing the awkwardness of growing into adulthood.

WLOS did a segment discussing the value of this book in August where Doris Sellers, principal of Reynolds H.S., said that she would keep copies of the book in her office for her high school students because is so encouraging. Our local sweet shop, Ultimate Ice Cream (where Aryelle works) named a favor after the book: “I is for Ice cream” and recently hosted a book signing. Aryelle herself got support and encouragement from her peers along with a foreword by Olson Huff, a well-known pediatrician in Asheville. The book is now available on Amazon as well as locally in Barnes & Noble and Malaprops. The book will be available in a teachers addition soon and Aryelle has is creating a business plan to launch workshop series available to school systems and is working with local school to pilot key concepts. For more information, check out the website www.aisforawkwardbook.com

Aryelle lives across the street from Bulman field on Redwing Lane with her mom Doral, Dad Tristan, brother Cayden and dogs Trina and Carlos. She was born in Asheville and played softball for many years across the street from her home. She will be attending college next year and plans to someday open a school. Maybe even in Western North Carolina!

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Spotlight On East Asheville – Nothing New, Inc

SPOTLIGHT ON EAST ASHEVILLE
by, Linda Stanton

Nothing New, Inc. Used Furniture; BUY, SELL, CONSIGN

When you walk into the large open space at 811A Tunnel Rd, as the name suggests, you won’t see anything new. What you will see is an eclectic collection of used furniture, home décor items and other accessories. The store concept is at once a consignment shop, booth space for vendors as well select pieces curated from area auctions. With all the antique shops, thrift stores and furniture outlets in the Asheville region, Nothing New offers a unique shopping experience to customers looking for a wide variety of quality pieces at reasonable prices.

The business was started over six years ago by Steve Slagle who sold it to friend and fellow-business owner Brandon Snyder in 2015. Brandon grew up in West Asheville but his family settled in Redwood Forest here in East Asheville upon returning from an out of state move. Many members of his extended family also have Asheville area small business in trucking, auto sales and repair, body work and others. After serving in the Army, he went into business himself, owning a convenience store in Swannanoa for several years. Brandon had been looking for something different at the time Nothing New became available. Interested in the East Asheville area, he made an offer and the rest is history as they say.

Brandon tells us, “When Steve first opened he was solely consignment. I have been working to build the vendor spaces and bring in pieces from dealer and estate auctions to be able to offer a variety of styles.” He explains that the consignment business in the region is changing and seems to be based on home sales. When people move to the mountains from other places they are often downsizing and have furniture and home goods to sell. While this trend continues, there is also a growing number of folks who want to have their own thing “on the side” which is where the booth rentals come in. Vendors offer pieces they have curated, created, refinished, upcycled, you name it.

“While we don’t specialize in any particular style, we seem to get a lot of Early American, Art Deco, Mid Century Modern and some Contemporary. I mostly take higher quality pieces made of solid wood, not pressed wood pieces you see so much of,” he says. As far as price point, there are some higher end pieces and sets but generally Nothing New offers mid-range and some lower cost options. This provides style and price options for different customer’s needs.

Nothing New is a different store every week, sometimes even every day. “Things are constantly changing, so I get a lot of repeat customers,” says Brandon. Furniture options generally include, couches, chairs, dining sets, dressers, side tables are bed frames (although no mattresses), baker’s racks, book cases and more. As for home décor there are usually many lamp choices, framed art, rugs, accent pieces, mirrors, etc. Take a look at the Facebook page for featured items. As he continues to grow the business, he hopes to be able to offer furniture repair and upholstery services onsite in the future.

If you are interested in becoming a consignor: Consignments accepted by appointment.

Decide what you are ready to sell. Make sure it is clean and not broken, frayed or has pet odors. To make the process quicker for you, send an email picture. “I try to take consignments in on Tuesdays and Wednesdays when foot traffic is a little lower than around the weekends but we can make arrangements as needed. We can help with lower cost pick up options as well. The consignment contract is for four months. It is a 50/50 split and the customer and I decide upon a price together,” he explains. Check out the website for more details.

Brandon Snyder invites his East Asheville neighbors and visitors to stop in and see what is ‘new’ at Nothing New, Inc. They accept cash, checks, credit cards and 30-day layaway with 30% down.

811A Tunnel Road in Asheville

828-298-2707

Tuesday – Friday 10 am – 6 pm
Saturday               11 am – 5 pm
Sunday                   1 pm – 5 pm
Monday                 Closed

Ashevilleusedfurniture.com

https://www.facebook.com/NothingNewUsedFurniture/

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Spotlight On East Asheville – Penny Cup Coffee

Article courtesy of Kathryn Liss

I am so pleased to have this new establishment in our neighborhood! A real coffeehouse. I don’t actually drink coffee myself, but there is plenty else to enjoy at this new establishment.

On my visit the other day, I enjoyed a freshly made cup of peppermint tea with ingredients stored in glass and a bagel. The bagels come from Brueggers and were fresh and good. They use them to make sandwiches, too. You can get a smoked salmon, turkey, hummus or veggie sandwich. They make their own specialty cream cheeses. They have other baked goods, some which are gluten free. There is a wide selection of drinks as well. All their coffee is organic and fair trade. They have a variety of cold drinks, both coffee and tea as well as Izzy’s soft drinks, sparkling water and Italian soda. You can choose to use almond or soymilk in your coffee as well.
The space is attractive and clean with a bright mural on the long wall portraying people sitting in the café larger than life. There is seating for 30 people both at low and high tables and a couple of tables outside. No couches or upholstered chairs. There were several other people in and out when I was there even though it was the middle of the afternoon. I have met the proprietor, but it was a young woman serving when I finally was able to stop in for a drink.

We did try to stop by on Easter Sunday but they were closed with a sign that said they would only be closed three days a year: Easter, Christmas and Thanksgiving.

 

For more information contact  Penny Cup Coffee

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Spotlight On East Asheville – Copper Crown

Article courtesy of Linda Stanton

East Asheville’s newest restaurant, The Copper Crown, opened October 17th at 1011 Tunnel Rd. Named for the ornamental roof at their Home Trust Bank Plaza location, the space formerly occupied by Azalea Café and 1011 Pizzeria has been transformed and has a fresh, modern-retro feel. Copper Crown is a family endeavor, the brainchild of Chef Adam Bannasch and his wife and General Manager, Kate. The Bannaschs live in the Beverly Hills neighborhood; sons Max and Milo attend school at Evergreen Charter in Haw Creek. Living in the area has given them insight into the need for more dining options in East Asheville.

Adam and Kate hope the Copper Crown will become a true neighborhood bistro with a little something for everyone. “A family of four could come in early and have a nice, reasonably-price meal together, a couple could come in later for a fancy date dinner and a group of friends can stop by after the movies for cocktails,” Kate says. Copper Crown offers high-quality food comparable to many downtown restaurants but without the drive and parking concerns, and for a better value. They have table, booth and bar seating as well as a twenty-seat patio.

The restaurant serves New American Cuisine with New Orleans-inspired flavors and a southern flair, sourcing many ingredients from local farms and vendors. Lunch service from 11 am – 3 pm is designed for a quick turnaround with call ahead, sit down and take-out options. “Happy Hour” from 3 – 5 pm offers a limited menu with several signature dishes such as red beans and rice and crawfish etouffee available as a snack or full meal. The dinner menu has both larger and smaller plates, giving diners the option of a traditional entrée or to create their own with several small plates. Kate relates that there is a trend in restaurants toward small plates, “It gives people options, they can try more things, share and aren’t married to one large entrée.”

Brunch is offered both Saturday and Sunday beginning at 11 am featuring loaded hash browns, shrimp and grits, omelets as well as salads and po’boys. A comprehensive bar features signature cocktails such as the Copper Cup, a refreshing gin and citrus concoction. There are eight beer taps and other bottled beer options and a wine list with both new and old world wines chosen to pair well with the food. Specials are offered through the week such as Burger & Beer Night on Sundays with $1 off burgers and beer. They plan to begin offering wine tastings on Thursdays soon- stay tuned for more. Come see your neighbors at the Copper Crown for a great meal or a drink, right here in East Asheville!

 

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Spotlight On East Asheville – Little Free Library

Article courtesy of Lisa Thomson

What is a Little Free Library and what’s so special about it? A Little Free Library is a “take a book, return a book” free book exchange and we are very fortunate to have one in Haw Creek. Erected on Bethesda United Methodist Church property by Missional Wisdom Foundation, this “little library” is for all those in Haw Creek and is stocked with books for you to read. The “library” is located along the cemetery fence next to the church.

 

Please stop by 315 Old Haw Creek Rd take a book, leave a book and enjoy Haw Creek’s Little Free Library.

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Spotlight On East Asheville – History Of Haw Creek Fire Department

Article courtesy of  Jeanette Fortuna

Haw Creek is fortunate to have a Fire Department right here in our neighborhood on New Haw Creek Rd. It was established in the 1950’s as a Volunteer Department. In 2009 it became city Fire Station 12. Six firefighters are assigned to the station who rotate 24 hour shifts. Manned by 2 individuals 24 hours a day, they are the first responders for any medical/fire emergencies. In addition, Station 8 will respond from the Tunnel Rd location as well as downtown stations. These fire fighters are EMT certified with intensive 22 weeks of training with additional 240 hours each year to maintain certification. If you are in the area, stop by to say thank you. Bring some cookies or a pizza. They deserve it for risking their lives for us everyday.

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Spotlight On East Asheville – Welcome To Haw Creek?

Article courtesy of Linda Stanton

Look up the embankment as you turn from Tunnel Road onto Crockett Avenue heading to New Haw Creek Road and you will see a tall wooden sign welcoming you to the Haw Creek neighborhood. Or will you? Located on private property, the sign and accompanying landscaping is not maintained by the city or county. With the passage of time and our mountain weather taking their toll, the sign had become faded and overgrown.

Placed in 2000 by a coalition of Haw Creek residents and HCCA members, the sign has as stood silent sentry at the main entry point to our neighborhood all these years. Residents of Haw Creek wanted churches in the neighborhood listed. The sign was paid for in part by the churches whose names are featured on the sign: Antioch Christian Church, Asheville Gospel Chapel, Bethesda Methodist Church, St. John’s Episcopal Church and Fellowship FWB Church.

In an effort to create a more welcoming entry into the neighborhood, the Haw Creek Community Association got permission from the property owner where the sign is located and organized a clean-up. On June 6th members of the HCCA board gathered for an early morning work party. The group cleared brush, trimmed back overgrown limbs and raked leaves around the area. As a final touch the worn paint was freshened up. Now the Welcome to Haw Creek sign once again stands proudly, ushering residents and visitors into our community.

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Spot Light on East Asheville – POST 70

Article courtesy of Linda Stanton

The Haw Creek Community Association welcomes new east Asheville business, Filo Featuring POST 70 Indulgence Bar which opened in July. Many folks are familiar with FILO Pastries, the creation of pastry chef Maria Papanastasiou, an east Asheville favorite for nine years. Maria and her staff create amazing bakery items and serve fast casual lunch items such as spanakopita, quiche, and croissant sandwiches.

What you may not know is that at 5:00 pm the lights get turned down, candles are lit and the unassuming bakery shop turns into a unique evening venue. Featuring chef-created small plates and craft cocktails, the POST 70 Indulgence Bar project is the brainchild of Emilios Papanastasiou, Maria’s nephew. He is also son of Nick Papanastasiou, owner of the adjacent East Village Grille for over 24 years. The name POST 70 pays homage to the original occupants of the unique stone structure, The American Legion Post 70 which has since relocated to a nearby location on Reddick Rd.

The family has deep roots in east Asheville, growing up in Haw Creek and currently living in Redwood Forest. Emilios and his family are proud to call this area home for both their residence and businesses. Filo Pastries and EVG have always been community-centric and he hopes to continue that neighborhood bar feeling. POST 70 is an east-end alternative to the sometimes crowed and busy feeling of downtown eateries.
At POST 70 Indulgence Bar, everything is created in house. Herbs and some seasonal veggies are grown right on premises. Mediterranean-style small plates combine the family’s Greek heritage with an Asheville flair. Small plates encourage communal sharing of food but don’t let “small” fool you, this is a high quality restaurant experience. Stop by to have a drink, some great food and say hi to your neighbors!

Filo Featuring POST 70 Indulgence Bar is located at 1155 Tunnel Road in Asheville.

Visit their Face Book page for more information,  https://www.facebook.com/post70

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