Updated: Asheville entrepreneurs make offer to purchase Waking Life equipment


Update Sept. 24: Here’s the latest from Jodi and Amber:

Firstly, thank you for the moral, physical, and financial support. We are amazed by all of you! Secondly, we met with the Board of Directors of Our VOICE today. We have confirmed that they are in full support of Battlecakes, and that the 5% of revenue daily donation will go to Our VOICE every day in perpetuity! We want #battlecakes to be a home for Our VOICE in the community, and a place for fundraisers, art shows, community meetings, and more. Thirdly, we have made an offer to purchase! We’ve offered to purchase their equipment only. We know that there is another offer on the table (or possibly a contract signed) from a downtown coffeeshop wanting to expand. We’re not sure if it’ll be a competing offer or a back up offer, but we wanted you to know that we’re putting our best effort forward. We will be waiting to hear about the status of our offer. We’re on pins and needles and we’ll let you know as soon as we hear!
xoxo Amber and Jodi


Update: Jodi Rhoden and Amber Arthur have launched a crowd-funding campaign to raise money for their cafe idea, one that is a direct response to the Waking Life scandal. More details below. Here’s the indiegogo for Battlecakes:

More info:
-Battlecakes is an LLC owned by Amber Arthur and Jodi Rhoden.
-We pledge to include in our operating agreement that the business will give 5% of daily gross revenues to local non-profits working to prevent sexual violence every day.
-We pledge to be a home in the Asheville community for organizing against sexism and sexual violence, hosting community events and sharing information.
-any additional funds we raise in this campaign beyond the $18,000 startup funds will be donated directly to local non-profits working to empower women and prevent and address sexual violence.

Original post Sept. 23: Jodi Rhoden and Amber Arthur, two successful and well-known female entrepreneurs in Asheville, have proposed a new local business in the wake of the Waking Life scandal. Rhoden is the owner of Short Street Cakes. Most recently, Rhoden has been working with Birds Eye Business Planning and Consulting, which is aimed at helping small businesses with a host of consulting and support.

Arthur is the owner of Battlecat coffee shop on Haywood Road in West Asheville.

The idea is to create an enterprise that would donate the money it makes to a different community nonprofit every month, with a focus on empowering women, according to a post on Rhoden’s Facebook page.

The future of the Waking Life business is unclear. The owners, Jared Rutledge and Jacob Owens, have stated publicly earlier this week that they planned to close for a few days while they consider their future. The Asheville Citizen-Times reported today that the business has lost its lease on a second downtown location it planned to open later this year.

Here’s the post from Rhoden’s page on FB:

Hello Asheville Community.

In the wake of the recent debacle surrounding Waking Life, Amber Arthur of Battlecat and I have been brainstorming about how we can transform the hateful negativity of Jared and Jacob’s business into a source of support, love, and healing for women in our community.

We have an idea to together buy the equipment and the lease of the business (we are not interested in handouts from those guys, thank you very much) and create a cafe and sweet shop (Battlecakes, anyone?) where a percentage of every day’s revenues (ALL sales, not just profits) will go to a different community non-profit each month, with a focus on empowering women.

Eventually we would like implement more direct social entrepreneurship programs within the business. We have a business plan, we have investors, and we have the experience and infrastructure of Short Street Cakes, Battlecat, and Penny Cup behind us, but most importantly, if you will support us, we have you. We will only move forward with this idea if you, our community, supports it. What do you say, Asheville? Should two West Asheville women entrepreneurs pirate this sinking ship and steer it towards calmer waters? You let us know. ‪#‎battlecakes‬


Harry October 27, 2015 - 11:36 am

I wonder what will become of the money raised in the Battlecakes crowd funding campaign?

Z September 27, 2015 - 11:45 pm

At first, I thought this was an Onion article!! Battle cakes??? GTFO.

indie September 25, 2015 - 12:02 pm

I’m surprised these crowd funding appeals haven’t really taken off.

They are so clever. Investing can be such a headache–checking valuations/cashing dividend checks etc. But here you just pay up online once and never have to think about it again.

Harry September 24, 2015 - 7:08 pm

A crowd funding (begging) campaign. What a surprise.

Big Al September 25, 2015 - 2:49 pm

Ordinarily, I would agree, but there is a certain justice in this case. These women (those who were “played”, those who left their jobs to avoid working for misogynists, and women in general) have been victimized by these two men’s antics and they (the guys) deserve to have their business picked apart like a dead animal. Also, I have little use for ineffectual protests (placards, chants, etc.) but when protesters put their money where their mouth is by crowd-funding, there is a much more useful and practical result.

Rob September 24, 2015 - 4:24 pm

This seems like an inappropriate opportunistic way to use the suffering and media attention to personal ends.

chris September 24, 2015 - 2:08 pm

I do so adore your lack of creativity and panache!

chris September 24, 2015 - 2:09 pm

Of course by “your” I mean Harry’s!

Harry September 24, 2015 - 2:48 pm

Chris, you’re a real dolt. Sober up, get off your lazy azz, and go make something of yourself. You’re just pitiful man.

chris September 24, 2015 - 6:29 pm

Hey, Mr. OneNote, play that song for me!

Me September 24, 2015 - 11:04 am

Yes – here come the vultures. I love how they like to point out how great they are and how much good they will do. Look how great I am. Just shut up and do your job. If you are so great you don’t need point it out. I will not visit battlecake, pretentious people. Ughhhh.

Thomas September 24, 2015 - 9:37 am

Why not focus on a biz that donates to organizations that promote equality?

Amber September 24, 2015 - 8:47 am

Jody and I have both had a dream that when we felt like we could afford it, we would love to use our skills and time for something greater. We’ve discussed long before this situation about this idea. We want something great and radical to happen in this space. If either of us took 5% of every days revenues all year out if our current business, we would nearly deplete our entire salary. We need to keep our current wages and use this new venture as a platform for our fight for human rights. I understand your concern but we’re coming from a place of love, excitement and strength. Even if it’s not us, id love to see something super cool and radical happen here.}

Rog September 23, 2015 - 11:46 pm

You women sound more like vultures than pirates.

smytty September 23, 2015 - 11:44 pm

Yes please! Jody does things the right way.

Monica September 23, 2015 - 11:29 pm

A wonderful idea, and I know you two will do it well!!!

luther blissett September 23, 2015 - 11:27 pm

Wasn’t Jodi looking to sell Short Street Cakes at the start of the year?

Anyway, this feels a little uncomfortable. Let’s assume with good reason that Waking Life in its current form under its current ownership is done and dusted, kaput, finished. That leaves a coffee-making establishment with a certain amount of capital investment, though not any remaining goodwill. Ideally, other people will take on the location. Those people need to be decent people who don’t treat a chunk of their community like dirt and who pay their staff decent wages. That’s ample.

Audrey September 23, 2015 - 11:03 pm

This is a fine idea. I suggest the focus be expanded to include empowerment and education for men and boys.

Mike September 24, 2015 - 8:32 am

Off your soapbox little girl. Do us all a favor and educate your self before patronizing the men.

Audrey September 23, 2015 - 11:02 pm

This is a fine idea. I suggest expanding the focus to include positively empowering and educating men and boys.

Big Al September 26, 2015 - 8:22 am

Just because two guys running a coffee shop turned out to be sleaze bags doesn’t make ALL men creeps, nor ALL women morally superior.

Save your pretentious preaching for NOW meetings and just serve the damn coffee.

Dustin September 23, 2015 - 10:25 pm

The coffee sharks smell blood in the water.

Big Al September 23, 2015 - 11:58 pm

Blood in the coffee.

local cynic September 24, 2015 - 2:31 pm

It’s that time of the month.

Jason W. September 23, 2015 - 9:56 pm

Why don’t they just do that with their own businesses?

cathy peterson September 23, 2015 - 9:03 pm

I say yes! Hell yes.

Whaley September 23, 2015 - 8:50 pm

I’m game

Karen Lally September 23, 2015 - 8:39 pm

If you build it, I will come every time I drive by!

Gene September 23, 2015 - 7:28 pm

Anyone can write a business plan. It takes action and committment to make it successful. Riding this wave of negativity may provide an initial boost, especially from the press. However, I do not think it is sustainable. Someone should open a Brewery there, those seem to work.

Ken September 23, 2015 - 6:49 pm

Why not?

Beth Phipps ASEHVILLE RAVEN AND CRONE September 23, 2015 - 6:36 pm

DO IT! Us three ladies are behind you 100%!

Tim Peck September 23, 2015 - 5:41 pm

Well, folks, we have just jumped the shark.

Barry Summers September 24, 2015 - 1:45 am

You’re just mad because it looks like these misogynist predators were into Ayn Rand… like you.

Harry September 24, 2015 - 9:15 am

I’m sure you’re relieved that they weren’t into your role models , Stalin and Mao.

chris September 24, 2015 - 9:29 am


Mr. OneNote is back!

Harry September 24, 2015 - 10:41 am

Glad you missed me you little degenerate. I have been on a lovely Hawaiian cruise.

chris September 24, 2015 - 11:48 am

I miss you like you miss your herpes sores.

You’re glad when they’re gone, but you’ve resigned yourself to the fact that they will return again.

Harry September 24, 2015 - 1:45 pm

And I’m certain that you know all about herpes sores. Hopefully you can land a decent job between outbreaks.

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