ASHEVILLE, NC – Asheville Independent Restaurants (AIR), which began in 2002 as a group of determined independent restaurateurs, has played an integral role in cultivating Asheville’s reputation as a culinary destination. Now, with over 45 members and 23 local business sponsors, the organization is poised for its next iteration of growth and development.
The group hosted its largest ever Taste of Asheville event, Thursday, November 18th – featuring 31 restaurants highlighting the local independent restaurant culture. Entry included a Taste of Asheville Passport, a booklet with over $600 in buy one-get one savings at AIR member dining establishments. The booklet is also on sale to the general public as a great value in savings throughout the year at area independent restaurants. It can be purchased at www.airasheville.org or at the Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau at 36 Montford Avenue.
During the event, a newly designed website and marketing identity for the organization was unveiled, featuring a new logo of a chef flying through the sky. The whimsical chef is a symbolic visual of the upward direction for the organization- through its rise in membership as well as future plans for expanded programming and community outreach. Throughout the strategic and branding process, AIR board members identified the organization’s role as an avid proponent of local food, local businesses and local philanthropies.
“We think AIR — our community of independent restaurants — elevates the food scene in our community to a level beyond expectations,” said Kevin Schwartz, AIR board president. “Not only do we offer a uniquely Asheville dining experience, we also are proud to be a vital and giving part of the community through our events, collaboration with organizations and charitable causes, and our Chefs of Tomorrow culinary scholarships at AB-Tech. We also believe that for both residents as well as visitors to the area, dining at one of our independent restaurants is the ultimate way to experience Asheville,” said Schwartz.
For more information about Asheville Independent Restaurants, visit www.airasheville.org