Lucia Gerdes, owner of Cedar Mountain Cafe and Canteen, was named Business Person of the Year at this year’s Transylvania County Chamber of Commerce annual gala. She also generously sponsored our 2018 Farm Feast! We offer up our enthusiastic congratulations and take this opportunity to tell you a little bit more about our kind neighbor:
After two years of living in California, my husband and I realized it was too far from most of our family and way too expensive for us. We started looking for places to live in the Southeast and in North Carolina, and we evenutally fell in love with the Asheville area. While we looked at dozens of businesses all over Western North Carolina, there was something about the property that the cafe is on that resonated with us. I had always wanted to open my own cafe and after working in the corporate world for almost a decade, we decided to make it happen.
The people that live in and travel to Cedar Mountain are amazing. I enjoy knowing most of my neighbors and meeting all the different people that find their way here. Hearing about travelers daily adventures in the forest is always fun. I love the sounds of the frogs and katydids in the summer, our fresh mountain spring water and hiking through the mountains.
We’re neighbors to start. Not only is my business down the road, but I also live about a mile from GRP. The summer camps are an important economic driver in the county and play an important role in instilling fundamental values in kids. I really enjoy seeing all the families in the cafe before and after their time at GRP.
Feeding large groups of people is one of my favorite things to do. For one, people have such a connection to food. It signifies family, traditions and memories and it’s nice bringing that connection to someone’s event. It is also humbling to be a silent witness to other people celebrating - families, friends, love, people’s lives, their accomplishments. The mix of food and occasion can be very special.
I appreciate how GRP fosters an environment of education, independence, curiosity and community. Those are such important aspects of adulthood, and monumental skills to develop during childhood. At the Cafe, we like to focus on the community we serve. As one of the few public gathering spots and businesses, it’s important that we are an active participant in supporting our neighbors. We also like to be stewards of the environment, are big advocates for education and fostering independence in kids. GRP is an integral part of the Cedar Mountain community.