Asheville sake maker Blue Kudzu to close

Jason Sandford

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

  • 1

blue_kudzu_2013Sad news from Blue Kudzu on FB.

Blue Kudzu Sake Company to Close…
With heavy hearts we have to announce that the Sake will stop flowing at Blue Kudzu Sake Company on 4/18/2015. Blue Kudzu Sake Company began with four friends, a supper club and a passion for food and Sake. In the past few years we have garnered national and international attention, including having our sake featured in Dancyu Magazine (Japan’s national food and wine magazine). We are proud that we have developed a dedicated customer base, however despite the positive reception of our products, we have failed to secure a large enough market share to make our operation profitable. In addition, an extended and lengthy permitting process prevented our products from reaching the market in a timely manner, depleting our cash reserves, and setting the stage for a collapse due to under capitalization. Once we were able to get our sake to market, we just were not able to create enough sales to hit a breakeven point or replenish our cash reserves. Our location, at the very edge of the River Arts District, proved troublesome as well, with a lack of foot traffic in the evenings, which is essential for any restaurant to survive. At this time, with rice prices set to double due to the California drought, with overhead that is disproportionate to revenues, and with restaurant profit margins at an all-time low nationally, we have come to the difficult decision to close the doors and retool.
We wish at this time to say thank you to all of our local fans and customers, as well as the travelers that made their way down the edge of the R.A.D. just to try our products. We appreciate and thank the restaurants and stores across NC that carried our Sake in their establishments. It has been an amazing journey the last three and a half years leading up to this moment, we have made some great friends and contacts in the Sake world both domestically, and abroad. We have enjoyed educating customers and are proud to have helped spread love and awareness for this ancient beverage. For the future, we are going to explore opening a small production only facility to continue production of our hand crafted Sake, however, for now we will be taking time to regroup and formulate a new plan for moving forward.
At this time, as a thank you to all of our fans and supporters we will be having a warehouse sale to liquidate our current Sake inventory. All bottles will be 50% off Thursday through Saturday of this week (4/16-4/18). Bottles can be purchased to go, and there will be an additional 10% discount for purchases of 6 or more bottles. Saturday, April 18th will also be our official last day of business. For more information visit
The Blue Kudzu Team

Jason Sandford

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

  • 1

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  1. max April 20, 2015

    i will be so sorry to see you go…wish i went more often. i will miss the food,the Sake and the friendly and attentive service.. hope you open elsewhere,localy and soon.

  2. Orbit DVD April 15, 2015

    Thank you for making really good sake, and good luck with future endeavors.

    I also want to add that THIS is how you write an exit letter. Blue Kudzu thanked their customers, and didn’t blame them.

  3. indie499 April 15, 2015

    Too bad. Doomed location, I’m afraid.

    I would like to read more about the permitting problems, however. Lots of complaints about s l o w permitting—-but is it the City or the liquor clowns?

  4. Food Nerd April 14, 2015

    That location is just a deathtrap.

  5. Michelle April 14, 2015

    So sorry to hear this. Amazing sake and great people behind the sake. Asheville was very fortunate to have them. I hope they’ll be able to re-tool and keep making great sake. We’re rooting for you Team ‘Zu!

  6. Harry April 14, 2015

    Valiant effort Blue. I will miss you. Best of luck to the team.

  7. rad April 14, 2015

    I don’t mean to be a troll, but there is an extremely successful restaurant on the opposite end of the RAD. There are a few, actually. We wanted to support this place , but it was terrible. Hopefully they can find better success with just the Sake part of their business and find focus on being great at that.

  8. Sean Lally April 14, 2015

    Bummer, think this is the first I’ve heard of them. Maybe more marketing next time?

  9. David April 14, 2015

    Brewing sake was ambitious and hats off to them for trying.


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