HomeGrown opened in early October of 2010 on a shoestring budget and a prayer. No advertising, not even a sign, but amazingly people still found us! As customers started to trickle in, we listened to what they wanted us to be and responded accordingly all the while staying true to our ethos of serving locally, responsibly sourced food at affordable prices. Farmers also started to trickle in bringing delicious local goodies, sometimes just swinging by after a market to sell us what was left (or better yet, to trade us for a chicken sa’mich!). A few months and an actual sign later, it was working! Really, really working!
And, now, after more than 5 years in business, HomeGrown has made a lasting impact on the Asheville restaurant scene and local economy.
HomeGrown was established with the principle of serving local food at affordable prices, which positioned us perfectly to actually make a difference to real farmers and their quality of life. Way back when, in 2010, the local food movement was in its baby bird phase in Asheville. Farmers’ Markets were just starting to gain traction and a few high-end restaurants were featuring local products. Basically, you had to work pretty hard or spend a good bit of flow to eat local. HomeGrown set out to change that! We could take the ugly veggies that wouldn’t sell at markets or to the fancy-schmancy restaurants and make soup or sauces or casseroles. We didn’t want those high dollar beef tenderloins; we wanted plain ol’ ground beef. We sell what we can get locally, in season. If it’s available in abundance, then you’ll see it on our menu in abundance. This approach allowed our farmers to increase their production and actually sell all they grow. Something else happened, with that increased production, other restaurants were able to afford to buy local and local started popping up on menus at all kinds of different restaurants. The local food movement sprouted its wings and flew! We sure aren’t sayin’ it’s all because of us by any stretch, but has been truly incredible to be a part of!
We decided early on (like way-before-we-opened early on) that we would be dedicated to contributing to area non-profits, believing that a large measure of a business’s success is the positive contribution it makes in the surrounding community. Sure, we had to limit some other lines in our budget, but we could support great causes and get our food in people’s mouths! We’re proud to have donated over $100K in goods, services and straight up cash to local non-profits. With your support, we’ll keep on keepin’ on. So will all those wonderful folks who are out there doing good things for our community!
Oh, and we’re also a certified green restaurant. We’re pretty darn proud of that! We take all the extra steps to make sure that our restaurant is as easy on the environment as possible. It’s a work in progress and always will be, but some of the stuff we do is pretty cool. We have solar panels which heat our water. The packaging we use for take-out is all made from highly renewable resources and is compostable. The dinner-ware we use in the restaurant is all reusable. Then, there’s that buying local food thing. And, we compost pretty much everything both in the kitchen and “post-consumer” in the dining room. There isn’t a single thing that we serve that’s landfill waste! Okay, so we have these organic chocolate milk boxes and the little straws are landfill waste, but that’s it, for real.
So that’s a little about us. Thanks for reading, but we’d really love it if y’all would come in for a visit and see for yourself!