Celebrate Pi Day at these 7 Irrationally Tasty Pie Spots
Photo Pillsbury.com


Though there are a number of math and science-related holidays in the calendar each year, Pi Day is objectively the best because you can celebrate with pie. The mathematical constant pi (π) represents the relationship between a circle’s diameter and its circumference, a ratio of 22 to 7. Since pi is generally approximated as 3.14, it is celebrated on March 14 each spring. And what better way to celebrate this nerdy occasion than with a circular shaped play on words?

If you have never celebrated Pi Day before, this is your year! For maximum effect, we recommend collecting a few friends and dividing 22 slices from these seven locations. Here is our selection of tasty pie shops in Western North Carolina to celebrate Pi Day.

Baked Pie Company

Made daily with the freshest and highest quality ingredients, the Baked Pie company thinks their customers deserve only the best. From shoofly to Amish apple to sugar crack, they have all your favorites—and then some! Can’t decide which to try? Select a “flight” of three flavors plus a scoop of ice cream.

4 Long Shoals Road, Arden | (828) 333-4366

Reynolds Village, 50 N Merrimon Avenue, Woodfin | (828) 210-9544


The Baker’s Box

Every day, the Baker’s Box offers a delicious assortment of freshly baked breakfast and all-day pastries, including brownies, bars, cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and pies. The one consistent ingredient? They put love into everything they make. For Pi Day, we recommend their black bottom peanut butter pie or the traditional pecan pie.

430 Kanuga Road, Hendersonville | (828) 595-9983


Buxton Hall

People go to Buxton Hall on Asheville’s South Slope for the barbecue. But they stay for the dessert. Just like the restaurant, the Buxton Hall bakery focuses on local and seasonal products to give you the highest quality, most delicious desserts. From house-cultured buttermilk to hog-fat crusts, you can expect a twist on the traditional. We recommend the banana pudding pie.

32 Banks Avenue, Asheville | (828) 232-7216


City Bakery

An Asheville staple since 1999, City Bakery serves some of the best food in town. Start your day with one of their breakfast pastries, enjoy top quality sandwiches, salads, and soups for lunch, and finish with a top-notch dessert. Our favorite is their fall seasonal, the salted caramel apple pie.

60 Biltmore Avenue, Asheville | (828) 252-4426

88 Charlotte Street, Asheville | (828) 254-4289


J&S Cafeteria

Not specifically a bake shop, J&S Cafeteria is the original fast casual restaurant, serving quality food at value prices since 1984. Among the daily dessert options are four made-fresh-daily pies: egg custard, butter coconut, coconut cream, and chocolate cream. If you haven’t been in a while, it’s time to give J&S another try.

800 Fairview Road, Asheville | (828) 298-1209

30 Airport Park Road, Fletcher | (828) 684-3418


Kandi’s Cakes and Bake Shop

The award-winning Kandi’s Cakes & Bake Shop offers simple traditional goodness! They have the pies that you and your family crave, including apple, peanut butter, and more. All of their pies are made fresh and only use the finest ingredients. Skip the grocery store and stop in for your next pie.

200 S Main Street, Waynesville | (828) 246-0180


McFarlan Bake Shop

Operating since 1930, McFarlan is a Hendersonville staple for “made from scratch” baked goods, still using the same recipes the old timers used 60–80 years ago. Their pie choices vary seasonally, but with two dozen options (from key lime to Swiss chocolate), there’s always something tasty on the menu.

309 N Main Street, Hendersonville | (828) 693-4256



Have you discovered the best pie in Western North Carolina? Let us know in the comments:




Walkable Urbanism: Is This what the End of Sprawl Looks Like?

In the 1980s, drivable suburban development saw great gains in market share as people scrambled to escape decaying urban cores and the crime and congestion that went with them. They escaped from concrete jungles to concrete savannas—vast sprawling communities of strip malls and never-full parking lots, or planned neighborhoods miles away from the nearest bus stop or grocery store.

Today, that trend is noticeably reversing. Millennials prefer urban cores, even ones outside of major metropolitan areas, because they want to be able to walk or bike to work and stores. Seniors planning to age in place are also seeking out accessible neighborhoods, where getting groceries or reaching activities aren’t chores for those no longer able to jump behind the wheel. In turn, walkable areas are seeing more home buyers and renters than the drivable suburban areas that were popular at the end of the 20th century.

The demand for mixed-use communities with moderate density that accommodate multiple types of transportation (foot, bikes, public transit, or cars) is changing the face of both residential and commercial real estate. Smart Growth America recently released their “Foot Traffic Ahead” report, ranking the levels and quality of walkable urbanism in America’s largest metros. According to the report, metros with more instances of walkable urban places (WalkUPs) “are also the most educated and wealthy (as measured by GDP per capita)—and, surprisingly, the most socially equitable.”

What does Walkable Urban Development Look Like?

Walkable urbanism is one of the oldest forms of community development there is. After the mass exodus of urbanites to the suburbs in the 1980s, center cities and suburban town centers began a period of redevelopment. By the mid-1990s, the New Urbanism movement revived the demand for walkable urbanism. According to the report, walkable urban development includes:

  • Substantially higher densities (1.0 to 40 floor area ratio, though mostly in the 1.0–4.0 range).
  • Mixed-use real-estate products, or the adjacent spatial mix of products.
  • Emerging “new” product types, such as rental apartments over a ground-floor grocery store.
  • Multiple transportation options, such as bus, rail, bicycle, and pedestrian-friendly sidewalks, as well as motor vehicles, that connect to the greater metro area. Within the boundaries of the WalkUP itself, most destinations are within walking distance.

Where are WalkUPs?

While WalkUPs only occupy an average of 1% of all land within the 30 metro areas of the study, they absorb 49% of the metro area’s office and multi-family rental square footage. The majority of WalkUPs are located in central cities, but for several metros (those with the highest levels of walkability), a significant amount of WalkUP space was located in suburban jurisdictions, as well.

Locally, examples of WalkUPs include the Asheville and Hendersonville central business districts (CBDs), as well as planned multi-use communities like Biltmore Park Town Square.

How are WalkUPs Changing Commercial Real Estate?

According to the report, “walkable urbanism has gained market share in the office, retail, and multi-family rental product types over drivable suburban, possibly for the first time in 60–70 years.” Every one of the 30 metros surveyed showed a Fair Share Index (FSI) value of more than 1.0, indicating the degree to which WalkUPs are gaining market share while drivable suburban locations lose share.

A more obvious measure of the shift in demand can be seen in the rent-per-square-foot premium of commercial space in WalkUPs. The top 6 metros in the study “have a 125% WalkUP rental premium, meaning rents in their WalkUPs are, on average, more than double what they are in drivable suburban locations.”

In addition, this change is accelerating in the majority of metro markets. Of the seven metros surveyed that showed a decline in their WalkUP premium from 2010–2015, all but one were ranked as having low walkable urbanism.

In short, the demand for WalkUPs is increasing, driving up the price of the commercial spaces within them.

Why do WalkUPs Matter?

The trends of these 30 large metros signify more than a change in preferences among eco-conscious millennials. Affordable housing, income parity, public transportation, and aging infrastructure are major issues on the national and local fronts. As it turns out, walkable cities can be a sign of social equity, public education, and GDP per capita.

Counter to intuition, the study demonstrated a clear correlation between high walkable urban rankings and high social equity performance, “as measured by moderate-income household spending on housing and transportation and access to employment.” In addition:

There is a significant positive correlation between a metro’s current walkable urbanism and the higher education of its workforce. Even more compelling is the high degree of correlation between walkable urbanism and metropolitan GDP per capita.

Further studies are needed to determine any causal connections between these correlations. However, regardless of the causal direction, cities like Asheville—with a larger percentage of college graduates than all the cities surveyed except Washington, D.C.—can actively consider higher density and walkable development among their strategies for increasing affordability and social equity.

Will WalkUPs Conquer Urban Sprawl?

Commercial real estate within urban metros will continue to strongly trend toward walkable urbanism for the foreseeable future. However, the pace of that change will depend on a number of local factors. The age of individual urban landscapes will largely determine a city’s trend toward WalkUPs, since most buildings have a 40-year life. In addition, dominant infrastructure, zoning, and land-use subsidies continue to favor drivable suburban development in many metros, both large and small. True transformation towards walkable urbanism will require advocacy and the support of place management, policy tools, and transportation infrastructure to encourage the future form of American urban development.


All real estate is local. In order to make confident real estate decisions, we believe it is important for you to have timely and neighborhood-specific information. If you would like more information about commercial real estate investing in Western North Carolina, our experts at Beverly-Hanks are here to help. Contact us today to speak with a Beverly-Hanks real estate agent about buying homes and land in WNC.


Photo Copyright: radnatt / 123RF Stock Photo


Pints in Paper Town: BearWaters Brewing Reopens in Canton

Driving around downtown Canton on a recent weekend, it was weird to have a hard time finding a parking space. In most Western North Carolina communities during the busy summer tourist season, this is the norm. But, for the blue-collar paper mill town of Canton, finding a parking spot has never been an issue.

That is, until now.

In the last couple of years, several businesses have popped up in downtown Canton, once again breathing life into a community many looked at as “dead” and “out of business.” But one business was missing, especially when seemingly every single nearby town had one: a brewery.

“It’s a new chapter in my life, a new beginning,” said BearWaters Brewing co-owner/brewmaster Kevin Sandefur. “It’s pretty much a dream realized, to finally open a full-size brewery with production and distribution, [and] a real destination taproom with a restaurant.”

For the last four years, BearWaters was located in Waynesville. But with an increasing need for space and also finding out their property would soon become a Publix supermarket, the brewery started to look for new digs last year. At that time, the Canton town officials were putting feelers out to finally bring a brewery into their downtown. The brewery and the town worked together to make the long-held dream a reality.

With their official grand opening in June 2017, every parking spot within walking distance of BearWaters on Park Street was filled, every single hand hoisting high a craft beer in celebration of a new day in the long and bountiful industrial history of Canton.

“We kind of said this early on when we made this decision [to relocate to Canton]. The town and our company, I think we both have a tenacious and scrappy nature. We’re both fiercely loyal to what we do,” Sandefur said. “There’s been many times that Canton has been written off—‘done’ or ‘over’—and together this is a new beginning for both of us. The mill workers that come over here every day to check on the progress and the town officials, we all feel this sense of hope that we’re going to create this symbiotic relationship to start a new beginning.”

Overtaking an 11,000-square-foot, two-level building in downtown right on the Pigeon River, the brewery will kick things up a notch with its new 20-barrel system, which includes five 20-barrel fermenters and three brite tanks.

Aiming to harness the property’s potential, BearWaters built a river access point for kayakers and tubers looking to stop by for a beverage. They also added a restaurant, the Pigeon River Grille, which features gourmet dishes and southern-inspired favorites. Haywood County businessman Richard Miller (of The Classic Wineseller and Church Street Depot in Waynesville) opened the gastro-pub within the facility. Sandefur noted the cellar below will contain BearWater’s barrel-aging program.

“The Town of Canton is so pumped about this. I think they really expect this to be a catalyst for more growth in the downtown corridor,” Sandefur said. “It’s being looked at as an anchor business to attract future business to be put around this showcase brewery. We’re seeing a lot of professionals from Asheville [coming here]. It’s definitely an exciting time for the town. We feel very fortunate to have this opportunity—the building is absolutely perfect for what we want to do.”


“It’s definitely an exciting time for [Canton]. We feel very fortunate to have this opportunity — the building is absolutely perfect for what we want to do.” —Kevin Sandefur, BearWaters Brewing co-owner


When Sandefur was looking for new investors, he found a special bond and kinship with Art O’Neil, who saw the promise of BearWaters and became a co-owner.

Wandering around the brewery, it’s surreal to see such a vivacious and jovial energy permeating through downtown Canton. For years, perhaps even decades, those fighting for Canton, those in the town’s corner, have been saying “someday, someday.” You begin to realize that “someday” is actually today—right here and now.

“It’s been a journey that definitely has had its twists and turns, and there were definitely times where we didn’t know if we’d make it or not. But with lots of perseverance and determination, we kept fighting and fighting, and we got our breakthrough,” Sandefur said. “I’ve fallen in love with the building. It’s overwhelming and turned out way beyond my expectations. If you focus on what’s at the end of the road, it can happen—[BearWaters] is living proof of that. I’ve had a lot of false starts, but to cross over the goal line, it’s like, ‘My god, this can be done.’”


This post is adapted from our annual Welcome to Western North Carolina magazine. Click here to read more online, or click here to order your own free copy.


A Piece to Last a Lifetime: Marthaler Jewelers in Biltmore Park

“In jewelry, customers want someone they can trust, someone that’s fair and provides a good product.” —Tonya Marthaler


Entering its eighth year of operation, Marthaler Jewelers is looking to switch it up a bit.

“We’ve experienced growth every year we’ve been open. And we started changing a lot of the things typical jewelry stores do. We’re moving away from brands,” said co-owner Tonya Marthaler. “In jewelry, customers want someone they can trust, someone that’s fair and provides a good product.”

With her husband, professional gemologist Andy Marthaler, behind the scenes creating intricate pieces of beauty, the couple has built a business on long-term friendships with their customers.

“The honesty isn’t just a tagline for us. Personally and professionally, that’s our moral compass,” Tonya said. “People work hard, and it takes a lot to make that $10 or $20 an hour. We work hard to focus on relationships, and I think that’s where we’ve really set ourselves apart from other stores. There’s not enough advertising you could pay for to undo bad business practices.”

Originally from Minnesota, Andy found himself in the jewelry industry at age 16. He was formally trained at the Gemological Institute of America in California. Hailing from Charlotte, Tonya has an extensive background in nursing. She finds that she uses a similar skill set in her new position running the jewelry store.

“It’s meeting people’s needs and building relationships,” Tonya said. “Trust is huge. You can’t start a procedure on someone without gaining their trust.”

And as the company edges towards a decade in business in Biltmore Park, the couple takes great pride in “paying it forward.” They give a percentage of their profits each quarter to a local nonprofit organization. That initiative is just one of the many reasons they live, work, and thrive in Western North Carolina.

“The diversity—it’s a melting pot,” Tonya said. “There’s just a multitude of opportunities in this area. If you can imagine it, it’s available. The people that we’ve met, it really is such a great representation of the best of what this country has to offer.”

For the Marthalers, it’s about avoiding an arm’s length interaction. Instead, they wanted to develop a business where you feel—and are—treated like family.

“It’s one of the best feelings, when you know someone is going to go to their significant other and present them with this gift they are so proud they were able to come in and find,” Tonya said. “It’s incredible—you get to be part of people’s stories.”


This post is adapted from our annual Welcome to Western North Carolina magazine. Click here to read more online, or click here to order your own free copy.

Photos Marthaler Jewelers


Beverly-Hanks President Neal Hanks, Jr. has delivered the 2017 End-of-Year Market Report. Watch the video below for his short report, or continue reading for a summation.

2017 End-of-Year Commercial Activity:

2017 was an incredible year for NAI Beverly-Hanks! The division sold and leased transactions totaling more than $100 million dollars—an all-time high!

The WNC market was strong as well, with total sales transactions topping $577 million. While this number is down from 2016, it is not due to lack of interest from investors. There is plenty of capital available, and at attractive rates. Our supply is so tight, though, that many investors are sitting on the sidelines waiting for this upward cycle to end (or at least slow down). We suspect they may be waiting to see a reduction in the gap between buyers’ and sellers’ price expectations.

While 2017 sales were down, the average price per building square foot was up to $116 by the end of the year. That is the highest price since the first quarter of 2011. We see this upward trend continuing in 2018 as the economy continues to strengthen, inventory continues to tighten, and prices continue to rise.


  • 101 Industrial Lease Transactions, Up 19 from 2016
  • 144 Office Lease Transactions, Up 8 from 2016
  • 163 Retail Lease Transactions, Even with 2016

2017 Residential Activity:

Consumer confidence is the highest it’s been since December 2000. What does that mean for the housing market?—More buyers. This includes not just first-time home buyers, but more people saying, “Maybe it’s time for us to move up to the house we’ve dreamed about.” Here in Western North Carolina, that optimism has translated into a 2% increase in sales compared to 2016.

Why isn’t the market even hotter than that? There are simply not enough homes to sell and meet that demand. We have 63% fewer homes on the market now than we did when the supply levels peaked in 2011. The continued demand for WNC real estate and a shortage of homes for sell is putting upward pressure on home prices. Across our region, home prices are up 8%, making it a great time to own real estate in our area.

Buncombe County continues to experience the highest median sales price in the region at $275,000. Rutherford County was the lowest at $175,000.

WNC Home Sales EOY 2017

Read more about 2017 residential real estate activity.


All real estate is local. In order to make confident real estate decisions, we believe it is important for you to have timely and neighborhood-specific information. For more information about your real estate market, ask your NAI Beverly-Hanks associate or click here.


What Happens When You Combine Cookies and Community? You Strike Gold!

Zuma Coffee is more than Marshall, North Carolina’s unofficial meeting place and one of the most charming and delicious small businesses in the area. Zuma Coffee draws people from all over Western North Carolina in search of gold—Zuma Gold.

“When we opened, we had our Zuma Gold cookie, we had chocolate chip, oatmeal raisins. Well, we found that people were traveling a long distance for one Zuma Gold cookie—a $1 cookie,” said Joel Friedman, owner of Zuma Coffee. “People would drive from Black Mountain, from Hendersonville, just all over the community. And the word sorta spread around. It’s a love affair between cookie and community, basically.”

You’re more likely to stumble upon actual gold than another cookie of this caliber. These treats are made with farm-fresh eggs from a farmer just down the road, combined with unbleached flour and real butter. Add all-natural, farm-fresh chocolate and stud them with Georgia pecans and walnuts. Suddenly, you’ve uncovered the soft, chewy cookie known as the “Zuma Gold!

The Zuma Gold in all its chocolatey glory.

In additional to this kingly treat, Zuma’s baked goods, coffee, and welcoming atmosphere make it an integral part of the Marshall community.

Since 2002, Zuma has been serving fair-trade coffee to Marshall’s 850-person population. At their start, Marshall was almost a forgotten town. Friedman’s decision to open a 400-square-foot coffee shop in a town clinging to life was risky. However, many people credit Zuma Coffee as a major reason Marshall is now back on the map.

“When I moved here, it was basically offices for the county that were here,” said Friedman. “Those moved to the bypass, so it really opened up this huge space for people to move in and kinda create a neighborhood as we went along. So very organically, it’s transformed into an arts and music community. Music and art has just always been a part of this area. And now just with the few people who are coming here, it’s gaining that spirit again.”

Now, the mountain town’s population and popularity is exploding, and so is Zuma’s. The coffee shop moved to a larger space on Main Street, more befitting the town’s central community hub and one of the region’s favorite coffee shops. The additional space also allowed them to build Zuma Cookie Company and Zuma Too: Cookies and Cones. Zuma Too is Friedman’s most recent partnership with Asheville-based Ultimate Ice Cream, offering all-natural, as-locally-sourced-as-possible sweet treats to a growing Southeastern customer base. Zuma cookies are baked in house and sold in store, as well as packaged for sale in local Ingles Markets grocery stores and nearby Hot Springs Resort and Spa.

“You know, I love that [Marshall is] growing very slowly and very organically and it happens through the people,” said Friedman. “There’s a real impetus on keeping it community-based. So, I see it still continuing to grow in this pattern and becoming a real living community as opposed to a tourist community.”

“When I say ‘community,’ that’s the word that just always comes up here. We’re a town that all like each other.”

More Golden Opportunities to Visit Marshall, NC

Besides visiting Zuma Coffee, it is worth a scenic drive along the French Broad River to see all that the picturesque mountain town of Marshall has to offer.

Zuma is a short walk from The Depot, a community concert venue where local musicians play for free on Friday Nights. Nearby, are unique businesses such as Marshall Junk Shop, Madison County Brewing, and Madison Natural Foods. Just over the bridge is Marshall High Studios, full of working artists, which hosts a popular annual art sale every fall. The town’s focus on community, along with the mountain views—and of course, a freshly baked cookie—make Marshall, NC worth a visit.


See the beauty of Marshall for yourself! Read more about Marshall, see more photos, or search for homes in the area, from our Beverly-Hanks Marshall community page.


Finding the right community is as important of a factor in your home search as finding the right home. Avoid jumping right into searching beds and baths. Take the time to find the perfect community to match your priorities. Whether it’s schools, amenities, green space, or proximity to health care, it’s important to know all of your options.

With more than 100 communities in Western North Carolina from which to choose, it can be hard to know where to start in your community search. The new home communities in this post represent some of the best locations in the region. Check them out below and discover the best community in which to Live the Life You Choose.

Live the Life You Choose in these 14 Communities, including Biltmore Lake

Biltmore Lake

With 62 acres of shimmering mountain lake right in the neighborhood, it’s easy to see why so many Biltmore Lake residents are content to stay home on the weekends. Life at Biltmore Lake can entail a variety of activities on the water, in the Clubhouse, or at one of the community’s recreation centers. From enjoying the outdoors to social events, there truly is something for everyone within easy reach. And a short walk along a nearby trail can instantly transport you into all sorts of natural wonders, with a chance to share those discoveries with friends.

Learn more about Biltmore Lake.

Champion Hills

Gently carved from the Blue Ridge Mountains, Champion Hills was founded in 1988 by a small group of investors looking for an amazing golf experience in WNC. Tom Fazio was so inspired by the land that he joined the project as both designer and investor in 1989. Today, Champion Hills is a debt-free community and a premier country club that is entirely owned by its members. It is located just eight minutes from downtown Hendersonville and all the shopping, dining, microbreweries, medical care, and events that the town has to offer.

Learn more about Champion Hills.

Fox Run Preserve

This small gated community’s design invites you to make the most of life in the WNC mountains. In a private natural setting just 10 minutes from vibrant downtown Hendersonville, historic Flat Rock’s Fox Run Preserve is a serene Biltmore Farms Community with large wooded lots and abundant open space. With only 44 homesites on 86 acres, more than a quarter of the land is dedicated to green space, a community pond, parks, and walking trails. Fox Run Preserve is a special place to simplify and enjoy privacy, nature, and convenience.

Learn more about Fox Run Preserve.

Grand Highlands at Bearwallow

The community of Grand Highlands is just that—a place with a communal spirit shared by all the homeowners. A desire to own a home at the wondrous place. A yearning to embrace a lifestyle on one’s own terms instead of living one mandated by others. A community that comes together in celebration, yet can also enjoy peace and solitude. Residents enjoy full access to a welcoming Grand Lodge with expansive verandas, as well as events (big and small) at the Community Barn.

Learn more about Grand Highlands at Bearwallow.

Hollabrook Farm

Ensconced in a natural setting with views of the mountains, lake, and preserved green space, this once prosperous, 163-acre dairy farm is now a planned community offering the opportunity to enjoy living life to its fullest. Each Hollabrook Farm home allows you to enjoy the cheerful sounds of the morning or gaze at the stars and harvest moon hanging above the Blue Ridge Mountains. Hollabrook Farm’s front-porch living is all about being “home” but “out.” At Hollabrook, impromptu gatherings and drinks under the stars aren’t upgrades.

Learn more about Hollabrook Farm.

Hyde Park

Located in beautiful Arden, Hyde Park is an Arts and Crafts-style new home community with land and home packages starting at $260,000. All of the homes built in Hyde Park are site-built with a completion time of approximately 8–10 months from start of construction. Standard features include a natural gas furnace, 9-foot ceilings, hardwood floors in the main living areas, cement board siding, a natural gas range, granite countertops, and covered front porch.

Learn more about Hyde Park.

Keswick Hills

Keswick Hills is a premier, low-density, eco-friendly, private gated community in South Asheville, only nine miles from downtown. Life at Keswick Hills is convenient, while maintaining the ambiance of a secluded mountain retreat nestled in nature’s warm embrace. Living in a thoughtfully planned community that promotes green living and respects environmental preservation has never been so close. Mountain living close to everything, but a world away.

Learn more about Keswick Hills.


At Olivette Riverside Agrihood, you can tube from the top of our shoreline all the way to Azalea Island and run back for a quick river adventure. Or stroll/run along the eight-mile trail system, play a game of Frisbee on the green, take the kids to Deerberry Playground, or throw a line in the river for some of the best smallmouth bass fishing in the world. Grab a community Red Bike, stash or charge your smartphone in one of the Unplug Stations, trade a book in one of the two Little Free Libraries, and truly connect with and enjoy the outdoors.

Learn more about Olivette.

Pinchot Forest

Pinchot Forest is a luxurious gated community located in beautiful South Asheville, offering the ultimate blend of privacy and convenience. The community is home to only 22 expansive estate homesites ranging in size from 1.6 to 3.4 acres, affording you a peaceful life surrounded by virgin forest with long-range views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. And only a few minutes away, you’ll enjoy the bevy of shopping, dining, and entertainment options available to residents of the most vibrant and sought-after city in the Southeast.

Learn more about Pinchot Forest.

Poplar Ridge

Poplar Ridge is a planned gated community in scenic Western North Carolina. It is situated within the vibrant South Asheville area, minutes from shopping, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and active downtown Asheville. Perched on a hill off of secluded Pinners Cove, it has elevations from 2,300–3,300 feet. Many home lots and common areas have majestic views of the surrounding Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains.

Learn more about Poplar Ridge.

The Ramble Biltmore Forest

Come to a place where every detail still matters. Where the neighbors are as interesting as the places they call home. Come take a closer look at these handcrafted homes nestled in Asheville’s most unique private luxury community. You’ll have a hard time determining where the park stops and your home begins. You will be proud to come home the Ramble Biltmore Forest. The Ramble’s location offers the best of both worlds, where you can enjoy the ease of convenience while living among 1,000 acres of preserved woodlands.

Learn more about the Ramble Biltmore Forest.


A private, gated community in Asheville, SouthCliff delivers nature at your doorstep. Just outside your front door, more than six miles of hiking trails wind their way throughout the landscape. Natural vegetation and poplar groves frame neighborhood parks. A camping site set high in the mountains offers panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Experience mountain living in luxury at SouthCliff.

Learn more about SouthCliff.

55 South Market

Luxurious, upscale, and timeless, these eco-friendly homes feature the best in smart home technology and hand-crafted design. Appealing outdoor spaces invite you to breathe in the fresh mountain air as you prepare meals at the outdoor kitchen and grilling station, enjoy supper in the alfresco dining space, and socialize with neighbors and friends around the fire pit and in the gathering area. Building amenities include on-site parking, a resident elevator, trash chutes, and controlled building access.

Learn more about 55 South Market.

Town Mountain Preserve

None of the fuss of a high amenity, resort style community here. Instead, you find understated simplicity and privacy, embracing nature with high-quality construction and extra attention to detail. Town Mountain Preserve is a private neighborhood with a community park and a sense of place and permanence. The community’s guiding principle is “less is more.” Whether you’re looking for a seasonal mountain retreat or a full-time Asheville residence, Town Mountain Preserve is a community that will stand the test of time, growing more beautiful as the years go by.

Learn more about Town Mountain Preserve.


All real estate is local. In order to make confident real estate decisions, we believe it is important for you to have timely and neighborhood-specific information. If you would like more information about living in one of WNC’s luxurious new home communities, our experts at Beverly-Hanks are here to help. Contact us today to speak with a Beverly-Hanks real estate agent about buying homes and land in Western North Carolina.


When you live in Asheville, NC, there’s rarely a reason to leave. After all, we have everything you could possibly want right here! From local produce and world-class cuisine to luxury shopping and amenities, the perfect holiday gift is literally right around the corner.

But how can you possibly choose just one thing to purchase your special someone? We don’t think you should choose at all! In the spirit of fun and giving, we’ve composed our own version of “The 12 Days of Christmas” song—one that’s unique to our fair mountain town.

We present to you:

The 12 Days of an Asheville Christmas

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

A Eurosport Asheville BMW F 800 GT

Off the Pavement, Into the Unknown: Eurosport Asheville

On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

Two craft cocktails at Grove Park

hotels across the city have striking and innovative food and drink options. Here are just six of many bar and restaurant options open inside Asheville hotels.

On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

Three historic Asheville tours

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

Four pints of locally brewed beer

5 Asheville Breweries that are Already Serving Octoberfest Beers

On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

Five Roman Barocco rings! (from Roberto Coin)

Roberto Coin Asheville

On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

Six shea butter bath products from Porter & Prince

Image Porter & Prince

On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

Seven unique Dancing Bear toys

Explore, Create, and Play with this $10 Certificate to Dancing Bear Toys

On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

Eight Desirant moonstone cufflinks

Image Desirant

On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

Nine bags of 100% certified organic and fair trade coffee

On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

Ten Tourist baseball tickets

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

Eleven Duncan & York meal prep gifts

Image Duncan & York

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

Twelve East Fork Pottery mug and tea sets

Image East Fork Pottery


What items would you include in your 12 days of Asheville giving? Share them with us in the comments:



Using your hands to make what you need or desire has long been a regular practice among the creative minds and curious spirits of Western North Carolina. If you can’t find it or afford it, you build it.

This region has a storied history of handmade crafts, ranging from weaving to woodworking, pottery to jewelry. From the passed-down traditions of basket weaving and stonework of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to the arts of metalsmithing and glassblowing, there has always been a rich atmosphere of creation in these parts.

Throughout the year, WNC plays host to numerous art and craft festivals, shows, and exhibits. These venues provide crafters with a platform to share their wares with locals and visitors in search for that perfect piece.

Throughout the year, WNC plays host to numerous art and craft festivals, shows, and exhibits.
Qualla Arts & Crafts Mutual in Cherokee | Max Cooper Photo

“At these shows, you can see the love and compassion that come from each individual piece. Sometimes it makes you want to cry because you see so much love exhibited in the work. Our souls are absolutely in our work,” said Cherokee silversmith General Grant. “They’re not just ‘taking it home with them,’ they’re coming in to get what they were looking for. People are looking for something to feel real—they’re drawn to certain pieces, and can’t put them down.”

And in a 21st century global society, many of these cherished skills can fall through the cracks, gone forever. But, luckily, that’s not the case in WNC.

“It’s amazing how easily things can be lost, where a family technique can die out in a generation,” said local weaver Amy Tromiczak. “There’s something incredible about working with your hands, and that everything you put into a piece really does matter.”

As a painter, Jenny Buckner constantly changes up her technique, almost as if to cover up her tracks before others can find her and pigeonhole who she “really is” as an artist. It is that unrelenting work ethic and internal drive of “catch me if you can” over a course of years which has resulted in Buckner becoming one of the most sought after painters in the Southeast.

“A painting creates an emotion just like a story does,” she said. “As long as you’re emotionally involved somehow, you’re going to keep on reading, you’re going to keep looking, keep being drawn into the story, into the painting.”

Along with innumerable artisan galleries in every downtown and home studios dotting the mountainous landscape, there’s also a handful of renowned academic institutions promoting and teaching the specific skills to the next generation of crafters. From the acclaimed Penland School of Crafts in Bakersville to the professional crafts program at Haywood Community College in Clyde, the future of handmade items is not only in safe hands, it’s revitalizing what it means to make something and be able to find a market for it.

“The professional crafts program at HCC is very unique. It promotes not only creativity and craft, but also how to market yourself as an artist,” said Amy Putansu, fiber instructor at HCC. “The students here are learning to make things, and make things well, with a very positive emphasis around their ethics—very minded in the local sustainability movement. I love it because they’re creating a whole new future, a different shape of manufacturing in America, a new design in conjunction with manufacturing.”

With textile crafting a large part of the heritage in WNC, the students are not only preserving traditional skills, they’re perpetuating them.

“It’s about staying in touch with history,” Putansu said. “It’s maintaining that thread through generations, time, and history. It’s about what we do, the objects we make, and it’s really important that history doesn’t get lost.”

As a painter, Jenny Buckner constantly changes up her technique
Art by Jenny Buckner


This post is adapted from our annual Welcome to Western North Carolina magazine. Click here to read more online, or click here to order your own free copy.


New Year, New Bus Schedule: Asheville Expands ART Services for 2018

In work, in socialization, and in their living preferences, millennials are moving into urban spaces. But as we’ve mentioned before, this generation isn’t interested in a lifestyle built from cold steel and concrete. Instead, this largest share of the American workforce is focused on green living and mixed-use spaces, experiential environments designed to enhance the quality of life, rather than remaining neutral from it.

One critical feature in improving urban density and activity is public transportation. Millennials have been shown to drive less, and prefer living closer to city centers and public transit. Those among older generations planning to age in place also value amenities within walking distance, as well as proximity to transit.

The City of Asheville recently announced an evolution in its commitment to promoting active urban lifestyles, job growth, and citizen mobility. As of January 1, 2018, Asheville Redefines Transit (ART) will offer expanded bus service hours on eight of the city’s 18 bus routes. The new schedule adds at least one additional departure to each of the eight routes, with last departure running as late as 9:30pm.

The city currently provides Sunday and holiday service on half their routes. At the first of the year, ART will also provide Sunday and holiday service on all routes. ART will make an additional daily trip to Black Mountain on Route 170 at 11:00am, as well.

“Sunday/Holiday Service and expanded evening service are the most requested service improvements that we receive from the public,” said City Transit Planning Manager Elias Mathes in their announcement. “This service expansion will increase mobility for our citizens and improve access to jobs and affordable housing. The expansion represents a nearly 10% increase in total service hours—a significant enhancement in service that will have a significant impact on the lives of bus riders.”

The expanded service is a result of additional funding approved by Asheville City Council. The funds were awarded after reviewing existing ridership data and surveys, and as a result of extensive public meetings and engagement sessions.

For more information on ART bus services, including route times and maps, visit RidetheART.com.