Tuesday, July 20, 2010

August and September Event Schedule

Free Family Friendly Events at The Hop Ice Cream Cafe!!!!!

Tuesday August 3rd from 6:30-7:30pm: Curtain Call Collective, children's acting troupe Directed by Chris Martin, will be celebrating the works of children's author Charles Schultz, creator of Charlie Brown. Also, prior to the show at 5:00pm the Director will be holding auditions for The Hop Commercial!

Thursday August 5th from 6-8:30pm: This year's last Doggie Ice Cream Social to benefit Animal Compassion Network. The event will include caricatures by Brian Vasilisk, a booth with local author, Audrey Kinsella's delightful book, "Dingle; The Helpful Ice Cream Cone Delivery Dog" and more. 50% of sales during the event will be donated to ACN.

Tuesday August 10th from 6:30-7:30pm: Asheville and nationally-renowned Storyteller, David Novak, will be delivering his wonderful tale of "The Cookie Girl" as well as more of his most popular stories, which inspire the imagination! For a taste check out this video featuring David from our Dr. Seuss birthday party.

Thursday August 12th from 4-8pm: Open Hearts Art Center, a WNC non-profit dedicated to serving adults with a variety of challenges, which include but are not limited to, developmental, mental, physical and emotional disabilities, will be displaying the works of their students. Also, 30% of sales during the event will be donated back to Open Hearts.

Tuesday August 17th All Day: Brother Wolf Animal Rescue Day. 20% of the day's sales will go to benefit one of Asheville's great animal advocacy organizations. Throughout the day there will also be animals looking for a warm home up for adoption.

Saturday August 21st All Day: Asheville Humane Society Day. 20% of the day's sales will go to benefit Asheville Humane. We are proud to say that this event is tied to AHS Pussy-Cat Pallooza, a massive drive to find homes for cats and kittens. The adoption will run from 1-4pm!

Tuesday August 24th All Day: YWCA of Asheville Day. 20% of the day's sales will go to benefit Asheville's YWCA, whose powerful and inspiring mission is "eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all." Also, from 6:30-7:30pm members of the YWCA will have a Whales Tales demonstration, which is an interactive easy and fun program from the American Red Cross to help children learn safe behavior in, on, and around the water. They will also be offering a swim lesson sign-up special that night.

Tuesday August 31st from 6:30-7:30pm: Keowee Chamber Music will hold their third educational and interactive performance at The Hop. If you and your family have yet to experience one of Keowee's shows, it's a real treat.

Tuesday September 7th from 6:30-7:30pm: Local children's musician, Firefly Soda, will be performing fun and funky Gypsy Rock for kids. This is Firefly Soda's first show at The Hop and proves to be a blast.

Thursday September 9th from 6-10pm: UNC Asheville Alumni Day. Are you, like Ashley and I, UNCA Alumni who've stuck around in this great city? Show your support of one of the nations most highly celebrated Liberal Arts institutions! 30% of sales during the event will be donated to the UNC Asheville Alumni Association.

Tuesday September 14th from 6:30-7:30pm: Curtain Call Collective, children's acting troupe, will be celebrating the works of children's poet Jack Prelutsky. Director Chris Martin will lead his students and willing audience participants in what is always a fun family-friendly event.

Tuesday September 21st All Day: Big Brothers Big Sisters Day. 20% of the day's sales will be donated to benefit BBBS of Western North Carolina. Join us if you are already a Big, are interested in becoming one or would you simply like to support a worthy cause.

Tuesday September 28th from 6:30-7:30pm: Local Breakdancers, Hunab Kru, backed by DJ Brett Rock, will be bringing down the house with two 10-15 minute performances as well as facilitating a circle for members of the audience in between! Let you and your kids be awed by the wonderful scene of breakdancing.

Secret Agent 23 Skidoo Recap

I've been a fan of hip-hop (and music in general) for as long as I can remember. My first ever cassette was Bone Thugs N Harmony's "Thuggish Ruggish Bone" single, a Christmas present from my older brother. Ha, I think I was twelve. Before that my older sisters would blast Run-DMC, Public Enemy and Biz Markie (Oh baby you :) ...) in their tape decks when they would take me on joyrides or to soccer practice. After that, I was exposed to Too Short, 2Pac, Biggie and many others in my maturing. Anyway, the family instilled the beat in my blood at a young age and I loved it. Now fast-forward a bit...

Following a long five year spell as employees during and post college at the old location, Ashley and I had just recently acquired The Hop after the move to where it is today. While conjuring up "The Business Plan", it was clear that how to fill the space in the store was something to address. We flooded our minds with ideas while brainstorming, but nothing seemed to fit quite right. Then, as an aside to our thinking-cap mentality, a friend said that she had seen a kid's hip-hop performer at LEAF. A few gears began to turn and I started investigating.

When I first heard the accepting and perfectly Asheville tune, "I Gotta Be Me", by Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, I was completely absorbed. My penchant for hip-hop may have overruled composure, but regardless, within 30 minutes, I had sent an email to 23 Skidoo asking if he would be interested in performing at The Hop. Already the vision had been hatched. The plans made. The stage set. And then I received confirmation. Yes! The Hop will be a venue for free family-friendly entertainment! That was the beginning, and last Tuesday, 6:30pm, at the Secret Agent 23 Skidoo show with a packed house, the vision fully came to fruition.

With such brilliantly positive songs as "Chase the Rain" and "The Whalephant", from which a person of any age can draw truth and inspiration, 23 Skidoo boiled our blood with the beat and compound-syllable rhymes combined. The children (and adults, including myself) in the audience found themselves unable to refrain from letting the hip-hop vibe take them over. From start to finish it was non-stop head-bobbin', feet-stompin' family fun that will be remembered for years to come!

Many thanks to the Skidoo family and friends for once again bringing such a wonderful community scene to The Hop and to Asheville!

Check out more videos from the Secret Agent 23 Skidoo show (and our other shows) at TheHopIceCream youtube channel!

Stay tuned for updates of to-come free family entertainment at The Hop (mostly Tuesday nights at 6:30pm -kids eat free both at Urban Burrito and Artisan Catering and Deli!).

Much Love,
The Hop Ice Cream Cafe

Monday, July 12, 2010

Now You See Them recap

It's one thing when a band wins over a crowd, which definitely happened this past Sunday. It's another thing when a crowd wins over a band...

Now You See Them were gracious enough to perform on July 11th for an eager audience full of grateful families and followers. After the first song, it was apparent that those in attendance, regardless their age, were enraptured.

In the past The Hop has not been an Asheville venue that inherently draws musicians. But once the performers experience the atmosphere, the verve, the scene, they are rarely disappointed. The crowd's honest enthusiasm for family-friendly entertainment is evident, and most acts cannot help but feel the pull. How can they when a five year old lets loose and twists their heart out to the tunes?

When a child first discovers that music can wholly take them over, it's a beautiful thing. It is a priceless moment. I for one shed years witnessing such sights and, as a result, find myself a ten year old again strait-up stampeding to the beat. Not all music is as inspirational as that. However, Now you See Them brought it out in all of us!

We at The Hop extend all of the love within us to Jason, Shane and Dulci of Now You See Them for giving us and our people a chance to be a part of their show, to experience their wonderful energy and mantra through music. We only hope that the crowd helped to mutually fuel it.

Videos from the event can be found courtesy of ThatBeat1974 and TheHopIceCream on youtube.

Aside from providing Homemade Ice Cream and Locally Roasted Coffee and Espresso, free family entertainment is our thing, so to speak, so check out our Facebook page, Twitter and website for updates on shows and events!

Thanks yet again to Now You See Them and much love,
Greg and Ashley Garrison
The Hop Ice Cream Cafe
828 254 2224

It's Time To Bring Down The House

Tuesday from 6:30-7:30pm at The Hop. We have the distinct pleasure to host Secret Agent 23 Skidoo for a FREE show! We can promise you that this is going to be absolutely awesome!

Bring the family to Merrimon Square (it's Kid's Eat Free night at Urban Burrito) and bring a can if you can for MANNA Food Bank!

There will be additional parking across the street at First Citizens Bank if needed.

Hope to see you all there!

The Hop Ice Cream Cafe

Ice Cream Competition Recap

On Saturday afternoon the chefs began to trickle in with their flavors. Perry of Posana was the first to arrive, then Adam from Zambra a few minutes later. By the time Jennifer from Creme Bakery came down the customers were ready to start the competition. Just a few minutes after it began, Jacob from Table arrived to drop off his goods. Four of six chefs in all brought ice cream. Sadly, the other two were unable to make it (Tingles Cafe/Sazerac had technical difficulties with their ice cream maker and Christopher Smith had to go to the emergency room with his 2 year old).

The format was a blind tasting. Only myself and the chefs knew which flavors were which. So as the children and adults were served the sample cups of each flavor, The Hop was abuzz with murmurs of bemused groups and individuals trying to decipher the combinations used by participating chefs. Once all of the ice creams were sampled the customers filled out a ballot to vote on their favorite flavor. We had over 50 votes in all and probably about 60 customers participate.

Before I announce the flavors and winner, I would first like to thank all of the chefs, as well as those who couldn't make it, for their culinary prowess, time and effort. Also, thank you to the customers who played along in our first ever homemade ice cream competition.

Alright, without further ado, these were the flavors...

Posana: Blueberry Sweet Corn.
Zambra: Cherry Pisgah Brewing Nitro Stout with Chocolate Covered Pretzels.
Creme Bakery: Banana Pudding with Wafers
Table: Shiso Peach.
Tingles Cafe/Sazerac: Blueberry Black Pepper. (unable to attend)
Christopher Smith: Chocolate Chocolate Chunk with Chocolate-Covered Cherries. (unable to attend)

And the winner is...


Congratulations! The Hop will be featuring "Creme Banana Pudding Ice Cream" in our regular flavor rotation. Thanks again to all of the contestants and participants! We look forward to our next Homemade Ice Cream Competition. We'll keep you posted :)

The Hop Ice Cream Cafe

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Big Weekend Ahead

We ice cream folk love Summer, and it is definitely on. It's straight up HOT. For us this means slinging Ice Cream in The Hop and all over town (we will be at the Westgate Earth Fare Thursday for family night (kids eat free) as well as Saturday's Shindig On The Green)! It also means that we are gearing up for the finale of our 2010 Summer Entertainment Series (sponsored by the generous Jan Trout of Trout Insurance to benefit MANNA Food Bank). There are only four events left, two of which are happening this weekend.

Saturday, July 10th from 3-4pm, we are hosting a Homemade Ice Cream Competition featuring local chefs. Show up for the blind tasting of all the homemade ice creams and vote on your top choice. At the end of the event we will announce the champion flavor, which will appear in heavy rotation in our regular selection. The contestants are chefs from Table, Posana, Sazerac, Zambra, and Creme Bakery, as well as the unaffiliated Christopher Smith. We can't wait to see what these culinary masters come up with!

Then on Sunday, July 11th from 3-4pm, Now You See Them will be performing their all-out boisterous blend of charismatic and wonderful music. The Hop is very privileged to have them perform in-store, and the best part, IT'S FREE! If you are already fans of or are experiencing NYST for the first time, it is promised to be a spectacular event!

As always, bring a can if you can for MANNA Food Bank. We have two donation barrels in the store that need to be filled!

Hope to see you all this weekend :)
The Hop Ice Cream Cafe

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Shindig On The Green Begins!

Saturday July 3rd from 7-10pm. Many of you may have been to an event at the remodelled park or already experienced Splasheville, the new water feature of Pack's Square. The renovations have proven to provide families with an excellent venue for get-togethers. Thus, it is with great pleasure that The Hop announces its participation in Asheville's Shindig On The Green! We will be scooping at the event Saturday from 7-10pm! Bring the crew out to Pack's Square and experience one of Asheville's long-standing cultural traditions.

Doggie Social Recap

Sincere thanks to everyone who attended this month's Doggie Ice Cream Social to benefit Animal Compassion Network. It was bustling with plenty of four-legged friends and their owners. Join us on August 5th from 6-8:30pm for this year's final Doggie Social!

Interested in adopting a new member to the family? Looking to become a volunteer or foster parent? Check out Animal Compassion Network on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on those cats and dogs in need of a new home! Also check out Pet Harmony, a locally owned pet store located at 803 Fairview St just off Hendersonville Rd (map), for all of your Asheville pet needs!

Click Here for a video from the event on TheHopIceCream Youtube channel!

Thanks again and much love,
The Hop