We have made it… through the cold winter, through the challenges of one thing or another, and into this moment. We, at The Eddy are finding ourselves mightily grateful for the sunshine, the noticeable foliage changes from the riverside patio, the early spring produce appearing on our doorstep and onto your plates, and ironically the sound of construction.
Sitting in the office at The Eddy working on financials and other such jobby items gazing out at the passersby and blue skies and hearing the sound of saws, hammers, thuds and bangs bring on a wonderful feeling of progress. No, The Eddy is not expanding per se, though our little village is expanding to accommodate two more businesses this summer, Haw River Farmhouse Ales and Left Bank Butchery. And to us, this expansion feels as though our family is growing.
Haw River Farmhouse Ales, owned by villagers Ben and Dawyna, has been in the works for the last 3 years or so and is establishing their new working habitat just under TheEddy. Theyhave been all over the state sharing their traditional farmhouse style home brews – yes, that’s 3 years of working their butts off just to give away free beer – so that they could get feedback, hone their recipes, and perfect the nature, notes, depth, weight, aromas, and balance of a single glass of beer purely for consumer enjoyment. They are complete beer geeks (said with highest compliments to their massive beertelligence) with their own science-based methods about harvesting yeast, sourcing local hops, discussing the specific malt process they are wanting with the local malt guy, growing and seeking specific farm-raised ingredients that they will insert and collaborate on with their brewer and other beer geeks for a single yet very special kind of beer, uh hem every beer… I repeat, all of this love and effort goes into making every single beer they make.
The Eddy’s involvement with Haw River Farmhouse Ales has been similarly sweet. We asked Haw River Farmhouse Ales to concoct a house pale ale for us, which you will only be able to get at The Eddy, in keeping with our English Pub theme. We have also collaborated with Haw River Farmhouse Ales on several multi-course beer dinners, where the food and beer marry in what is most surely an unforgettable dining event. If you want to be witness to a wonderfully, intelligently and excited conversation about beer and food, simply ask Ben and Chef Isaiah to be in the same room together (and this is even pre-beer consumption), but make sure you pay attention because they will quickly touch on some highly detailed processes as though they are everyday routines. And if this doesn’t make you want to camp out on the sidewalks of Saxapahaw, keep reading…
The din of the noise on the other side of The Eddy (where the ramp starts) is the formation of another village person’s dream. Ross Flynn is creating his own retail and production space, Left Bank Butchery, where he can expose, hammer out (ha! had to do it) and simplify the connection between farm to consumer through whole animal butchery.
His story starts with his job as a farmhand at Cane Creek Farm, then it moves him through many roles in The Eddy early on in The Eddy’s existence (bartender, server, and baker), and through his growth in and mastery of butchering animals in The Eddy’s kitchen (to more economically supply the restaurant with locally raised healthy meats). This brings us to his present story of opening a space where he can properly provide well raised cuts of meat, a smattering of fresh caught fish, some specialty cheeses, some Village Bakehouse breads, and even a few prepared meals to take home.
A significant piece which cannot be ignored as it is so inherent in the work Ross does is his passion for learning which has transferred to his desire to teach- teaching about the cuts of meat whether they are higher end or lesser cuts, teaching about how to properly prepare a particular cut, teaching about how this animal was raised and the farmers and their farmhands who tended to it (yes, he is that involved personally on several of these farms), and teaching about the many cultural traditions surrounding the growing and consuming of such animals, including those of many of our own grandparents and ancestors. Ross’s other dream of having a Food School revealed itself to him several years ago and will also be put into motion using these same concepts in a hands-on, small group, learning atmosphere after his space is open.
The Eddy has cooperated with Left Bank Butchery on the purchase and operation of the growing-in-popularity, sausage cart. If you haven’t had one of Ross’s sausages yet, oh my, you are in for something special. It’s the kind of food experience that creates a salivatory response when the words “sausage cart” are even mentioned. On a side note, the sausage is most fantastically presented on a Village Bakehouse bun which unapparently would have been excessively strategized about that same week with Lisa over stainless steel tables in The Eddy’s kitchen (more information to come about this additional entrepreneurial venture soon).
We also want to acknowledge Left Bank Butchery in their integrity-driven efforts because they take seriously their role in making good food accessible to as many people as possible. The sausage cart, in our minds, sweetly representative of the most simple and genuine of energetic transactions, can be found at many Saxapahaw events including Haw River Ballroom shows, Saturdays in Saxapahaw, Oktoberfest, and on an as needed basis, and has proven to be successfully anticipated by many. Once open, Left Bank Butchery in cahoots with Cane Creek Farm will be able to team up and jointly sell on-site butchered meats at farmers markets.
The Eddy’s involvement with Haw River Farmhouse Ales has thus far been one of creative cooperation and complimentary promotion, and with Left Bank Butchery has been one of familial nurturing and growth together. With our own purposes in hand and our choosing to work together we have been able to use the uniqueness of Saxapahaw’s social and business experimentation to an extent to which we thought we could better a place, situation, and cause. This of course started with our like-minded dedication to healthy and local and commitment to a making-it-work mentality with the consumer and local economy in mind, which has flourished with our commitment to growing each other’s purposes together, and is inspiring to think about all the amazing things we can do together.
When the paperwork brings us to our semi-quiet office, what we are most excited about this moment are the preliminary sounds of a few dreams being realized. Come mid to late summer, those dreams will actualize and we are all better for having this business family and community grow together.