How Sweet It Is!

By on March 8, 2016


Sweet-Slope-Collaboration-Jeff-GregDoughnuts, ice cream, cider and cakes. With sweet picks like that, the east end of Haywood Road couldn’t be a more inviting gateway into West Asheville. With the arrival of Short Street Cakes in 2009, followed by the opening of the Hop Ice Creamery, Urban Orchard Cider Co. and Hole Doughnuts, the corridor was firmly established as a go-to for tasty treats.

So it didn’t take long for these drink, desert and doughnut destinations to put their heads together and come up with delicacies that combine the creativity and craft of these local offerings.

“We all do a really good job of collaborating,” says Jeff Anderson with Urban Orchard Cider Co. “There’s a mindset of everyone wanting to help each other.”

Sorbet made with Urban Orchard’s Ginger Champagne cider has been a staple item for a while at both the Hop Creamery and at the Hop West shop at 721 Haywood Road, rounding out the creamery’s vegan selections. Now, the two businesses have expanded into a rotating selection of cider “Hop-sicles.” Right now, you can grab the cranberry Hop-sicle at Urban Orchard’s 210 Haywood Road location, a tart tidbit made with cranberry cider and lingonberries, alongside their regular and popular cider taps.

The whole thing got started when The Hop, Urban Orchard and Short Street Cakes teamed up to create dessert flights for a Friends Connect Buncombe event in support of Asheville’s greenways network. The resulting Hop-sicle was “Tangerine Tunpike,” made with lavender, honey, and candied zest. It was an immediate hit, Anderson says.

“From there, we just kept building,” he adds. “Cider lends itself to so well to ice cream and sorbet.”

Plans are in the works for a blackberry collaboration and a possible watermelon-mint combo in the Summer.

“It’s something new and fun and exciting,” says Hop co-owner Greg Garrison. “Every time the idea to collaborate has come up everyone has been excited to work together.”

The Hop Creamery hosts regular “Collaboration Nights” (see their Facebook page for regular announcements of events) and last month, a sale of Hole Doughnut Ice Cream sandwiches resulted in a line out the door.

Hole Doughnuts owner Caroline Whatley said the shop was welcomed when it opened in 2014, and the feeling of cooperation hasn’t stopped since.

“Collaborating with The Hop’s owners, Greg and Ashley, on doughnut ice cream sandwiches has helped me to feel a part of the fabric of a community I haven’t experienced before,” she says. “They are so easy to work with, and so positive.”

Garrison and Anderson say these kinds of partnerships have become part of the “Sweet Slope” DNA.

“Everyone has just been really excited to work together,” he says.

Visit the “Sweet Slope” Crew

Urban Orchard Cider Co.
Open: Sun 12 – 9 p.m., Mon, 3 – 10 p.m., Tues – Thurs, 3 – 11 p.m., Fri, 2 p.m. – 12 a.m., Sat, 12 p.m. – 12 a.m.
210 Haywood Road
West Asheville, NC
(828) 774-5151

The Hop Ice Creamery
Tasting room open Fridays 6pm-9pm
167 Haywood Road
West Asheville, NC
Party or field trip reservations: (828) 254-2224

The Hop West
Open daily 12 noon-11pm
721 Haywood Road
West Asheville, NC
(828) 252-5155

Hole Doughnuts
Open Wed – Sun, 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
168 Haywood Road
West Asheville, NC
(828) 774-5667

Short Street Cakes
Open Tues – Sat, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sun, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
225 Haywood Road
West Asheville, NC
(828) 505-4822

Photo by Brian Postelle.

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