Here’s more of what’s going around, including the opening in downtown Asheville of an “old-time” photo shop, complete with costumes and Wild West sets.

-The Old Tyme Phototorium has opened at 51 College St. in downtown. The shop has sets that include a “Western saloon” and a “steampunk beer time machine,” with accompanying costuming.

-Speaking of photography, the next Asheville Instameet will kick off at Cotton Mill Studios in the River Arts District at 6:30 p.m. on  Sept. 10. Erin McGrady and Caroline Whatley of Authentic Asheville are the hosts and founders. The event usually attracts about 25 participants of all skill levels to shoot photos for their Instagram accounts.

-The former church at 312 Haywood Road in East West Asheville recently sold for $1.325 million, and construction permits show plans for it to become a performance venue. WNC Community Health Services bought the church in 2007 and made renovations to it a few years ago, but the nonprofit never put the building to use.

-Jael and Dan Rattigan, founders/owners of French Broad Chocolates, recently announced expansion plans and other accompanying changes for their ever-popular company. Their Chocolate Factory will relocate from the South Slope to River Arts Makers Place (RAMP Studios) in Spring 2018. That will allow the company to immediately increase production from 18 tons annually to 50 tons annually, while also expanding the educational component of the business with a classroom and enhanced tour program. The new factory will also contain an immersive retail experience, offering coffee, chocolate, and our handcrafted ice cream, according to a press release. Next summer, French Broad Chocolates will move its creamery from inside the downtown Chocolate Lounge’s pastry kitchen to its South Slope facility on Buxton Avenue. This move will allow a tripling of production of French Broad’s ice cream. The retail space will also get a makeover to accommodate an ice cream and dessert café with seating where guests can enjoy beer floats in a family-friendly location in the heart of Asheville’s craft brewery scene, according to the press release. More:

As we increase chocolate production, we will be able to directly-source (and pay well-above commodity prices for) a lot more cacao from our farmers in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Peru and Brazil, whose values align with ours.

More chocolate means more truffles and caramels, which means sourcing even more fresh, local ingredients from our farmer friends. When we expand our ice cream production, we will be able to purchase a lot more local, grass-fed dairy from Farm to Home Milk.

We are so excited to see the effects of the expansion rippling throughout our community as they amplify our environmental and economic impact. From offering more and better jobs to our talented family of employees, to continuing to support awesome local businesses like Danny’s Dumpsters, who compost all of our food scraps and to-go ware, we remain as committed as ever to our manifesto and the B-Corp mission of “people using business as a force for good”. We are currently in the final stages of assessment to become a certified B Corp, and are a three star Certified Green Restaurant through the Green Restaurant Association.

-The annual Asheville Outdoor Show hosted by Diamond Brand Outdoors and Frugal Backpacker is set for Sept. 17 at the Salvage Station. The free event will feature more than 75 booths, live music, games and more from noon until 4 p.m. Some 2,000 people are expected to attend. “In its third year, the free public expo brings top innovators from the most popular outdoor companies to recreation enthusiasts in the playground of the mountains of North Carolina,” a press release states.

-Asheville Brewing Company will celebrate the first day back to school for Asheville City Schools on Aug. 28 with specials on its 828 Pale Ale and an $8.28 pizza special. There will be one-of-a-kind 828 T-shirts and free koozies at both of our downtown and North Asheville locations.

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