Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

More of what’s going around:

-Gas prices are great as we kick off the summer of ’17. Gas stations around town have gas at $1.93 a gallon. At Enmark, pay with one of their cash cards and the price drops to $1.88. There’s apparently an increase in gasoline inventories, which has driven the cost of a barrel of crude down. The New York Times reports that the national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline tumbled to $2.35 on Friday, a drop of 3 cents in the past week and more than 2 cents below last year at this time, according to AAA. And Friday was the first time this year that prices were lower than a year earlier, according to the newspaper.

-Are you in need of nurturing touch? More authentic connection? If the answer is yes, then check out this cuddle party on Wednesday.

-Word on the street: The Yacht Club bar on Patton Avenue is planning to begin brewing its own beer.

-Asheville Sandwich Company is opening a new location at 22 S. Pack Square in Downtown Asheville, the former location of Jackson Underground Café.

-Asheville Chef William Dissen, owner of The Market Place in downtown, is planning to open a new restaurant in Charlotte, according to the Charlotte Observer. It’s called Haymaker, and it’s planned for Ascent Uptown, a new apartment high-rise on Romare Bearden Park. Haymaker will serve morning coffee, lunch and dinner with a focus on locally sourced and locally grown food, similar to The Market Place, the newspaper reports. The restaurant will have more than 150 seats, a bar and lounge, an upstairs mezzanine and an outdoor patio.

-The Asheville Citizen-Times is hiring. There are job postings for a growth and economics reporting job, as well as a “Reporter I” job opening. There’s also a job listing for a clerk’s job in the newspaper’s sports department.

-There were two recent news obits of note:

Robert “Bob” Lee Ledford died on May 20 at his Arden home. He was 84. Ledford was known across the region for his auto and recreational vehicle dealerships, as well as his colorful television commercials and “Let’s make a deal” tagline. He owned and managed Bob Ledford’s RV for more than 40 years.

Jim Bell died on May 14. Bell loved his Scottish heritage and played the bagpipes, most notably as the piper of Bele Chere, Asheville’s long-running free summer music festival, which ended a few years ago. Bell also attended Highland games as a piper, dancer and helping at the Clam MacMillan tent, according to his obituary.

-AAF Asheville, the Western North Carolina chapter of the American Advertising Federation, recently named Elizabeth Sims the recipient of the 2017 Silver Medal Award in recognition of a lifetime of service to the advertising and marketing community, to Asheville and to the surrounding region, according to a press release. More:

Sims began her communications career at Price/McNabb’s former Asheville location, followed by the Biltmore Company where she worked for 18 years and served as Vice President of Marketing Communications. Within this role she played a pivotal part in building a world-class marketing communications department along with a talented team of marketing professionals for America’s Largest Home. In 2009, Sims switched gears and established her own marketing communications company. Her clients have included the Blue Ridge Parkway’s 75th Anniversary, the Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Asheville Independent Restaurant Association, Magellan Strategy Group, John C. Campbell Folk School, the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, Grovewood Village, the Tryon International Equestrian Center, the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina, Biltmore Farms and Tupelo Honey Café.

She became Vice President of Marketing for Tupelo Honey Café in 2012 and was part of a team that led the restaurant’s geographic expansion throughout the Southeast. She also authored two national cookbooks with Andrews McMeel Publishing, a subsidiary of Simon & Schuster. The first book, entitled Tupelo Honey Cafe: Spirited Recipes From Asheville’s New South Kitchen, was published in 2011. The second book, Tupelo Honey Cafe: New Southern Flavors from the Blue Ridge Mountains, was published in 2014. A third Tupelo Honey Café cookbook about cocktails and small plates will be published by Andrews McMeel in fall 2017.

As a freelance writer and public relations professional, she has also been published in National Geographic Traveler, Southern Living Magazine, Garden & Gun Magazine, US Air Magazine, Taste of the South Magazine, The Bitter Southerner, Our State Magazine and numerous daily newspapers.

“She has generated a body of work–from well-crafted public relations stories, to astounding business successes covering a range of topics–by using her skills as a master communicator in order to make things happen. The woman has stamina,” said Russell Shuler, a colleague of Sims.

Described by her peers as having an innate way with words, Sims has maintained a strong presence not only in the Asheville’s marketing industry, but throughout the community. She is on the board of the Asheville Independent Restaurant Association, Edible Asheville and the Appalachian Food Summit and served as a 2017 James Beard Awards judge in media. She is the past president of the Southern Foodways Alliance and a past board member of the Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity, the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority and Friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

An awards ceremony is currently being planned to honor Sims in downtown Asheville June 22 at Rhubarb. Visit for more information regarding the event.

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.