(Asheville Citizen-Times) On an average weekday on the north side of the A-B Tech’s Enka Campus, the air is a dissonant tapestry of scents. From the campus’s Craft Beverage Institute of the Southeast, the unmistakable smell of beer production. From the adjacent Blue Ridge Food Ventures, a not unpleasant mishmash of scents, including boiled chickpeas, elderberry and an undertone of tomato sauce.
At just over 11,000 square feet, this is a relatively small processing facility, though the space at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College is the largest of its kind in the Southeast. But with its production and storage space, business classes and efficiency tips for starting entrepreneurs, its reach is long. “It’s safe to say we’ve averaged $4.5 million in products, made at the facility and sold on the marketplace, per year,” said Smithson Mills, executive director of Blue Ridge Food Ventures.
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