Saffron is widely regarded as the world’s most expensive spice, but what led us to naming our company Saffron Fine Foods is the care and attention to detail that goes into harvesting the spice.  Saffron is the stamen of the crocus flower, harvested by hand with only 3 to 5 stamens per flower. The stamens are then dried and packaged, sent to the spice

One of our greatest responsibilities – and joys! – as a small business is supporting other local businesses and operating under a sustainable business model.

Below you can dig into local farms that provide the freshest and finest ingredients for Saffron Fine Foods, explore some of our favorite local vendors and discover solutions to reduce waste at your event.

Whenever there is a gathering of people, waste is inevitably. Here are some easy answers to minimize your landfill waste and “green” your next event. And if you hire Saffron Fine Foods, it will be our pleasure to take care of reducing, reusing, recycling and even composting.

Recycle – Make sure recycling bins are readily available and clearly marked. Educate your guests about what is and what is not recyclable by posting signs near each receptacle. Or hire Saffron Fine Foods to help you entertain, we’ll bring the recycling bins and haul it all away!

Compost – Again, clearly marking receptacles will make this an easier job. It also helps to avoid individually packaged items, such as condiment packets, butter pats and sweeteners, as they often get mixed in with food waste. Instead, offer large squeeze bottles, bowls or plates so guests can use exactly the amount they like. Saffron composts food waste from every event!

Use Local – Food, flowers, entertainment… everything you need to throw a great party can be found locally right here in Western North Carolina! By using local products and vendors you are not only supporting our community and our economy, but also reducing travel and shipping to bring in items from far off places. We’ve provided some links and contact information at the bottom of the page for great local folks who would love to help with your event!

Decor – Confetti, candles, and exotic flowers all make your event look great, but at what cost to the environment? Luckily, there are many eco-friendly options that will allow you to be a responsible party host and still have a beautifully decorated space:
      – Instead of traditional confetti, use biodegradable eco-confetti (it comes in loads of colors and
        dissolves quickly) or nature’s confetti: wildflower petals.
      – Soy candles are a perfect alternative to paraffin candles and there are several local
        producers that have a great variety of scents and colors.
      – Consider using fresh local herbs or fruits & vegetables as centerpieces! Pretty dishes make for
        charming decorations too; cake stands, pitchers & tea kettles work particularly well.
      – Potted plants are a great alternative to cut flowers and can continue to beautify your life
        well after the party is over. If cut flowers are a must for your event, local flower farms can
        provide you with a beautiful assortment.
      – If you really have your heart set on orchids and bird of paradise, ask your florist to skip the
        preservative so that when the flowers have served their purpose they can be safely composted.

Disposables – Don’t use disposables, rent! Using the real stuff is classier and almost as easy (and we can take care of all the details). If you’re entertaining at home, you don’t even have to do the dishes. Just rinse and stack, then the rental company will come right to your house and pick everything up when you’re done.

If you must use disposables, go composable. We can provide basic compostables made from sugarcane fibers, or beautiful Palm-Ware, made from fallen palm leaves. Both can be composted right along with food waste.

Stationary – If you are hosting a less formal event, send out an e-vite instead of a traditional paper invitation. E-vites are a fun, easy way to get the word out! If it’s a formal affair, use recycled, tree-free or handmade papers.

Another easy way to cut the amount of paper you’re sending is to put detailed information on a website set up just for your event. That way you can avoid sending multiple sheets of paper within the invitation and simply include the where, the when & the website!

Terri Clark Photography

Event Sites
Saffron Fine Foods is available to cater at numerous venues and any private residence in WNC, these are just a few of our favorites!
The Altamont Theater
East West Venue
The Masonic Temple
The Millroom at Asheville Brewing Company
Further Afield:
Brahma Ridge Event Center (Candler, NC)
The Farm (Candler, NC)
The Fields of Blackberry Cove (Weaverville, NC)
Lands Creek Log Cabins (Bryson City, NC)
The Vineyards at Betty's Creek (Sylva, NC)

Yesterday Spaces (Leicester, NC)

Merrimon Florist    
Studio Flora Diva  

Classic Event Rentals
East West Vintage Rentals

Favors and Good Stuff 
Cakes by Gray
Essoya Candles  
High Five Coffee (full-service pour over coffee bar for events)
Imladris Farms (local jams with custom labels)
Macon York Letterpress & Design

Our business thrives because our roots spread throughout the community. We support local farms that share our values in sustainability, community and good taste. With deep gratitude for their blood, sweat and tears (but not on your greens, they promise!) we’d like to tell you some of their stories… 

Apple Brandy Beef Farm is a third-generation family farm in the foothills of WNC. Their Hereford and Angus cattle are carefully bred to produce a superior herd, and never given synthetic hormones or antibiotics (unless medically necessity). They produce our favorite flank steaks, as well as delicious pork and lamb. During summer months, you can wave at the Apple Brandy herd as it grazes along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Ashe County Cheeses has produced local cheeses and hosted guests at their cheese store in West Jefferson, NC since 1930. We love their hoop cheese, cheddar, pepper jack, caraway jack and gouda for everything from cheese platters to mac ‘n’ cheese.

Balsam Gardens is a full-scale urban farm located in the city limits of Asheville. They provide us with bone-in chicken, beautiful eggs, seasonal produce and turkeys. Balsam Gardens has been following sustainable and ecological growing practices in Asheville since 2008.

City Bakery is an independent, family-owned bakery founded in 1999. We love their traditional French breads, silver dollar rolls, croissants and Danish pastries. You can visit City Bakery’s cafes in downtown Asheville, Biltmore Village and Waynesville.

Clemson Blue Cheese is an artisan cheese, made the old fashioned way. The cheese was first cured in the Stumphouse Mountain Tunnel is 1941, and has been in production on the Clemson University campus ever since.

Deep Woods Mushrooms provides us with fresh cultivated and wild mushrooms. They are also a fungiculture and education center, offering foraging and cultivation classes and mushroom growing supplies.

Dry Ridge Farm is a family farm raising heritage chickens, rabbits, sheep and pigs. They abstain from using hormones, steroids or antibiotics and employ rotating grazing techniques to ensure happy and healthy animals. We love their chorizo and cured meats.

East Fork Farm provides us with seasonal veggies and eggs. They boast a gristmill to grind corn, and you can even stay with them in three cute farm cottages!

Geraldine's Bakery is an old-fashioned neighborhood bakery. Owners Fred and Rose owned a Long Island bakery for 25 years before retiring to motorcycle cross-country for several years. In 2013, they moved to Asheville to begin a new adventure. We love their handmade silver dollar rolls.

Goat Lady Dairy makes award-winning goat cheeses in the North Caroline Piedmont. They believe that “when you know your food, your farmer and your cheese-maker, you make choices that care for the land and change the world for the better.” Check out their Open Farm Days, when you can meet the goats, taste their cheeses and learn why they farm the way they do.

Green River Picklers Pickles make a great party! We love to serve Green River Picklers’ locally sourced pickles made in small batches with generations-old family recipes. Green River Picklers strive to pay tribute to their southern heritage by continuing family traditions & preserving local food, while fostering growth in our community. 

Joyce Farms is a regional provider of some of the finest poultry in the country. They are a conscientious enterprise that focuses on the health of their birds as well as their environmental impact. You can chow down on their chicken with the confidence that you are eating non-GMO or antibiotic-infused fowl, and that your meal was raised with compassion and a conscience – you’ll be able to taste the difference, too!  

Hickory Nut Gap  is a familiar name on menus at many of Asheville’s top restaurants. Their 100% grass-fed beef transforms into tantalizing meals, and their pasture-raised pork will have you licking your fingers for more. Hickory Nut Gap is also a leader in land stewardship, sustainable agriculture and butchery, and offers a variety of culinary courses.

Imladris Farms is a small family-owned operation that produces our favorite local jams and preserves. We love serving them with cheese platters or biscuits, and can recommend their wedding favor packages as a great way to send a taste of NC home with your guests.

Leaning Willow Farm  is a goldmine of greens treasures, including broccoli, collards and three types of kale. They also have terrific elephant garlic (of the leek family), specialty squashes and the occasional watermelon grown by the owners’ son. Matthew Hess, who runs the farm along with his wife, Liza Myers, says our chefs use their lemon basil for a risotto that’s so good, it makes him forget the flavor started with his own local food.   

New River Organic Growers  is a cooperative that supports multiple local farms. New River Organic Growers sells local, free-range eggs with radiant yolks the color of the sun. They formed over 10 years ago as a cooperative to support new, organic local farms in the area. When you eat our eggs, you’re supporting 30 farms all at once! We also love their antibiotic and hormone-free pork, as well as seasonal veggies, micro greens and goat cheese. What does NROG have to say about us: “We love working with Miki! They have a real passion for the local farm community and do their part to support local farms.” Thank you, NROG for giving us something to be passionate about!  

Ramsay Farms has developed quality breeding stock, meat, eggs and wool for more than 120 years. We love their beautiful, sun-ripened tomatoes during summer months.

Sunburst Trout Farm Local fish, local flavor: Deep within the cool climate of Pisgah National Forest in the shadow of Cold Mountain resides Sunburst Trout Farm. A unique and sustainably oriented operation, they take great care to maintain the purity of their product as well as their water supply. We’ve known the fine folks at Sunburst for a long, long time and are delighted to cheer each other’s businesses over some smokin’ trout dip. 

Three Graces Dairy’s name refers to the goat, the sheep and the cow, whose unique milks are the source and inspiration for their French-style cheeses. Look for Three Graces beautiful farmstead fresh and aged cheeses on our finest appetizer displays.

TRACTOR Food and Farms (Toe River Aggregation Center Training Organization Regional Inc.) is a non-profit food hub that works with over 50 small family farms just outside Asheville. Their goal is to make sure food dollars stay in the local economy, increase farm income in our community, preserve farm culture and green space, and to expand access to the freshest local produce.

Watauga River Farms offers a rainbow of culinary possibilities. Charles Church cultivates acres and acres of every kind of vegetable your heart desires, including beautiful chard, rhubarb, greens and tomatoes. Watuga River also offers a variety of naturally grown pork products.

Whispersholler Farms is a cohort of small family farms in Yancey and Buncombe Counties. They specialize in organic veggies as well as juicy fruits and berries.

Wool Branch Farm Are you oohing & ahhing over that pimento-stuffed cherry tomato or going back for seconds of the marinated tomato salad? You can thank Wool Branch Farm for the gorgeous tomatoes on our summertime menus.

Yellow Branch Farm will have you basking in a post-dairy glow. Farmstead cheeses are traditionally crafted from the milk of the farm’s own herd. Pesticides? Chemicals? What about growth hormones? You won’t find any of that here. This cheese is pure, buttery goodness that pairs well with just about anything – a rich flavor derived from pasture-raised cows’ milk and an original recipe with seasonings from the land. Yellow Branch is a local farm that has been in the cheese biz for 26 years, and has been selling to Saffron Fine Foods since day one.

Saffron Fine Foods   •   Asheville NC   •   828.747.1701    •