AIR is food in Asheville. For its members, AIR is a source for professional growth and development. For residents and visitors to Asheville, AIR is the most reliable source of information about the city’s independent restaurants. Here’s what we’ve heard through the grapevine lately from our members.
“As a founding member, I am proud of what AIR has done for our community and for the membership.” —Michel Baudouin | Bouchon/Creperie, Owner
“AIR is a community of independent restaurant owners dedicated to sharing ideas. Their support of our restaurants and philanthropic efforts is vital to keeping independent restaurants the start of Asheville’s food scene. Through promotion, advocacy, and continuing education, AIR is an essential resource for our business.” —Liz Button | Curate/Nightbell, Owner
“When we opened the Corner Kitchen in 2004, one of the first organizations we joined was AIR. It had members that were independent restaurants like us and it provided us with a way to be part of that community. Visitors to Asheville, even then, were looking for a dining experience that was not like they could find in any other city. AIR’s marketing through the AIR Dining Guide helped them find us, and still does today. Over the years, AIR has added education for our staff, helped with certifications and provided a larger community of restaurants that we can talk with about the things that are important to us as we grow. Membership is, by far, one of the best values in our marketing budget each year.” —Kevin Westmoreland | Chestnut/Corner Kitchen, Owner
“Support” —Patrick O’Cain | Gan Shan Station, Owner
“I have been in the business for years and have done other startups in the past. After opening a restaurant, I realized how little I knew about the details of this specific industry. I had previously joined AIR but didn’t participate much until I went to a meeting in which labor law was being discussed. I realized that day that much of what I was doing was not legal and could have cost me dearly had I not been brought up to speed by AIR. I count on AIR to keep me current with labor law, H.R. issues, government regulations and benefit options. I enjoy the dynamic of having others with whom to share experiences and knowledge. Running your own business can be lonely and having others with whom to share has made a real difference to me.” —Rich Cundiff | Rocky’s Hot Chicken Shack, Owner