History

From Baby Food Plant to South Asheville Business Hub

The shops and businesses of Gerber Village are nestled in a unique development right in the heart of thriving South Asheville. Built on the site of the former Gerber baby food plant, Gerber Village draws on a rich sense of history and an excellent location to offer exciting shopping and dining opportunities for Asheville residents today.

A major US facility for the baby food giant

From the time it opened in 1948 until its closing in 1998, the Asheville Gerber plant was a major manufacturer and employer in Western North Carolina. At first a packing and shipping facility, the Asheville plant soon expanded to processing as well, often using apples and other produce from right here in Buncombe and Henderson Counties.

Throughout the 50s and 60s, Gerber established itself as the baby food company in the country and had a healthy share of the international market as well. The local plant expanded, and by the time it was closed in the late 90s, there were over 500 local employees, including many whom had worked at Gerber for years.

A beautifully designed mixed-use development in the heart of South Asheville.

When the Gerber Products company closed the Asheville plant in 1998, the property was ripe for development. Buncombe County was witnessing sustained business and population growth, and this area of Hendersonville Road (US Highway 25) had become a burgeoning commercial corridor stretching into neighboring Henderson County.

Three years later, plans were underway to create a mixed-use urban village situated on the 24-acre parcel of land that had once been home to the Gerber plant, and construction began in 2005.

After the initial stages of development, plans shifted to a smaller scale and the Gerber Village that we know today began to take shape, with 60,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, over 27,000 square feet of Class A office space, and a street of lovely Craftsman-style residential condos, all on a seven-and-a-half acre site.

In 2012 Gerber Village was purchased by green entrepreneur Lizzie Vann, whose development on Anna Maria Island in Florida — Anna Maria Historic Green Village — is one of only a handful in the world to achieve both certified LEED Platinum certification and Net Zero Energy status.

Now invigorated by new ownership with a commitment to community involvement as well as business development, Gerber Village is becoming a thriving hub for shoppers, diners and businesses alike.

Business Profiles

Photo of Whit's Frozen Custard Co-Owner Eric Ingle

Whit’s Frozen Custard: Good Friends, Good Food

  At age 21, business partners Eric Ingle and Logan Franz, owners of Whit’s Frozen Custard, are the youngest owner-operators in Gerber Village and among the youngest in Asheville. How did they get so far so fast? “We started young,” Eric

0 comments
MORE BUSINESS PROFILES

Owner Lizzie Vann

Lizzie is a green entrepreneur who created the Organix children’s food company in 1992, a successful enterprise that played a key part in introducing British children to organic ... Read More