April 21, 2014. Tickets are now on sale for the second participatory investment dinner hosted by Supporting Economic Alternatives in the Mountains (SEAM). The locally-sourced dinner will be held at Basil’s Fresh Pasta and Deli on May 4. At the event, diners will listen to project proposals from three emerging local entrepreneurs before casting votes to determine the distribution of monetary awards. Proceeds from meal tickets will be allocated between the three projects at varying amounts based on ballots.
Attendees will be welcomed by an artisan olive oil tasting and the musical entertainment of local American band Redleg Husky. Following hors d’oeuvres, area chefs will present a three-course, Italian-influenced meal which features farm-fresh and locally processed ingredients.
A panel of small businesses recently reviewed the pool of applicants and selected three to present at the dinner:
- Chris Capozzoli: a woodworker serving the Boone area, hopes to secure funds to create his own duplicator, a necessary machine for him to achieve his goal of handcrafting guitars full-time
- Caroline Hampton: An emerging farmer at the Farm Incubator and Grower (FIG) Farm in Valle Crucis, Caroline is requesting funds to build a germination chamber that would ensure successful seed germination and help better utilize space in the crowded FIG Greenhouse
- Susan Wright: Susan Wright of Shady Grove Garden & Nursery in Vilas would use the funds to purchase a digital SLR camera to ensure her flowers are competitive in bridal markets, which are increasingly reliant on digital photographs and the internet.
Challenging the traditional “top down” funding model, this participatory investment dinner empowers community members to “vote with their dollar” on local projects.
“We hope SEAM will ignite conversations about innovative projects in our community,” said Dave Walker, SEAM organizer and Appalachian Studies graduate student at Appalachian State University.
“What makes this event unique and powerful is that it forms connections between neighbors who have a monetary and personal investment in seeing each one another do well.”
Partners for the dinner include Art of Oil, High Country Local First, Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture and Basil’s Fresh Pasta and Deli where the dinner will be held at 246 Wilson Dr. in Boone. The vegetarian, family-style dinner cost $30 per plate. Vegan and gluten free options are available upon request.
For more information or to buy a ticket to the dinner, please visit www.seamnc.org.