Tag Archives: The Factory

FRIENDS OF THE CAFÉ, SOUTHERN FOODWAYS, AND VIVIAN HOWARD

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Last Friday night, we hosted our second “Friends of the Café” dinner, which also served as our first Piggy Bank Dinner fundraiser for the Southern Foodways Alliance (SFA). Chef Vivian Howard of Chef & the Farmer restaurant and the Peabody-award winning television series A Chef’s Life traveled to The Factory from North Carolina for an evening of delicious food, cocktails, much laughter and lively conversation, and music, performed by friend and songbird, Shonna Tucker.

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Vivian’s show, A Chef’s Life, focuses on regional food traditions and explores classic Southern ingredients. Friday’s dinner highlighted the story of our own local farmers and their fresh ingredients, with Vivian’s Eastern Carolina twist.  Each course was accompanied by a wine pairing, chosen by Harry Root (Bacchus Incarnate) of Grassroots Wine.

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I love what Christi Britten—one of our dinner guests and the author of Dirt Platewrites in her review of the evening:

Pretty much, Vivian Howard gives a damn. She gives a damn how the food she serves is raised, prepared, cooked, presented, eaten, enjoyed, and thought about. She gives a damn about her community’s food culture and wants to suck up as much knowledge as she can about where their food comes from and how to make it. She gives a damn about the farmers that work hard every single day to feed a community as well as their families.

She has, with her own hands, butchered whole animals to use from snout to tail in her restaurant. She speaks with a tone of reverence and authority over the food she creates. And basically she is a food medium. She is confident, yet humble and puts us all into a place where we can visualize the care taken to prepare what we put in our mouths.

This farm to table dinner celebrated local farms and Southern food culture by bringing together the summer bounty into one meal among a diverse community of eaters.

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THE FACTORY | THIS WEEK 7.28.2014 – 8.1.2014

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“Beauty is whatever gives joy.” – Edna St. Vincent Millay

Join us at The Factory this week to view our storefront’s new look, enjoy a delicious meal, or take a tour of the production studio.

Here is what we have going on this week, Monday, July 28 – Friday, August 1:

STORE
This week, celebrate your inner chef with items from our Home + Table collection, featuring items centered on sustainability—from prized cookbooks that endorse fresh, local ingredients to our A. Chanin aprons, made from 100% organic cotton.

Store Hours
Monday – Friday, 9:00am – 5:00pm

TOURS
Stop by any weekday at 2:00pm for a guided tour of our space, including The Factory, the Alabama Chanin production and design studio, and Building 14.

CAFÉ
Our team at The Factory would like to extend thanks to all who attended the SFA Piggy Bank dinner on Friday. This special evening will be recounted on our Journal later this week, so be sure to check in for more details on the event.

Next month, we are excited to host recipes influenced by James Beard award-winning chef Ashley Christensen, but until then, enjoy our final week of Vivian Howard-inspired recipes and house favorites.

Café Hours
Monday – Friday, 11:00am – 3:00pm
*Lunch service begins at 11:00am, but coffee and snacks are available all day.

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THE FACTORY | THIS WEEK 7.21.2014 – 7.25.2014

Alabama Chanin - The Factory Cafe - Photographer Rinne Allen (25)

“Savor the ritual of the table. Mealtime is a time for empathy and generosity, a time to nourish and communicate.”
—Alice Waters, The Art of Simple Food

Here is what we have going on at The Factory this week, Monday, July 21 – Friday, July 25:

STORE
Enjoy our newly updated retail space, view our bridal collection in the expanded storefront, and visit our new DIY section in the workshop area, where you can discuss your projects with our Studio Style DIY team.

Also, don’t forget our Summer Reading (+ More) promotion continues this week. Browse our collection of favorite books and summer essentials at a discounted price, available in-store and online for a limited time.

Store Hours
Monday – Thursday, 9:00am – 5:00pm

TOURS
Stop by any weekday at 2:00pm for a guided tour of our space, including The Factory, the Alabama Chanin production and design studio, and Building 14.

CAFÉ
The “Friends of the Café” Piggy Bank dinner featuring chef Vivian Howard is this Friday, July 25, beginning at 6:30pm. Join us for an evening of cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and music—all benefiting the Southern Foodways Alliance.

Café Hours
Monday – Thursday, 11:00am – 3:00pm
*Lunch service begins at 11:00am, but coffee and snacks are available all day.

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IN PROCESS: OUR NATURAL DYE HOUSE

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The process of starting our own dye house began with an exploration into the materials and methods that involve the chemistry of dyeing. That exploration began with indigo.

In its natural form, indigo is a tropical, leafy shrub and a member of the legume family, and a version of the plant is native to our own Alabama climate. The wide range of blue shades that this ancient plant can produce as a dye has made it one of the most popular (and successful) dye plants throughout history (and present day).

Alabama Chanin has experimented with indigo and other natural dyes for years, and recently set up two dye vats in-house, that we can better produce our classic Indigo colors here at The Factory. Diane, our head seamstress (and now head dye master), is overseeing the project with the assistance of Maggie, one of our studio team members. The vats were set up with the help of Zee Boudreaux — a friend we met during our time at Penland — who has spent time studying indigo and other natural dyes.

Zee worked here in our studio with Diane and Maggie during our beginning phase and generously answered a few questions for us about indigo and his experiences with natural dyeing.

AC: How did you first become involved with natural dyes?

ZB: In 1995, I was traveling and met a weaver/dyer who introduced me to textiles; she wasn’t using natural dyes, but my established environmental awareness and love for traditional processes led me to look for a natural dye class. I found natural dyer Cheryl Kolander and attended one of her workshops. I even apprenticed with Cheryl after the workshop. Seeing natural color come out of the dye pot for the first time was all it took to lead me down this path.

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THE FACTORY | THIS WEEK 7.14.2014 – 7.18.2014

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The things I want to know are in books; my best friend is the man who’ll get me a book I ain’t read. –Abraham Lincoln

Here is what we have going on this week, Monday, July 14 – Friday, July 18:

STORE
Beginning Monday, we will highlight some of our favorite books and other summer essentials as part of our Summer Reading (+ More) promotion. Enjoy discounts for a limited time in-store and online.

Store Hours
Monday – Friday, 9:00am – 5:00pm

TOURS
Stop by any weekday at 2:00pm for a guided tour of our space, including The Factory, the Alabama Chanin production and design studio, and Building 14.

CAFÉ
Join us in the café this week and enjoy recipes from this month’s featured chef, Vivian Howard of Chef & the Farmer. Her recipe for Blueberry BBQ Chicken Flatbread has become a new favorite, as well as our own house made, locally-sourced BLT (this week’s tasty special).
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NEWSLETTER #18

Newsletter #18

Newsletter #18 notes special features on our website—like our ongoing Basics Highlights and our upcoming Summer Reading (+ more) event beginning July 14.

We also have new events on the calendar at The Factory, like our second “Friends of the Café” dinner on July 25. The dinner features chef Vivian Howard and is a benefit for the Southern Foodways Alliance.

Join our mailing list and stay up-to-date on all the happenings at Alabama Chanin.

Update your mailing subscription to include the newsletter (and Daily Journal) here.

xo Natalie and all of us @ Alabama Chanin

 

 

DIANE’S NATURAL DYE HOUSE

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About four years ago (to my dismay), Diane Hall, our head seamstress and studio directress, turned in her five-year notice. However, as her retirement grows closer, it has become evident to all of us at the studio that we will continue to see her around The Factory after her “official” retirement.

Diane has developed a passion for natural dyeing—in addition to sewing, pattern making, etc. She first encountered natural dyeing with indigo during our workshop at Shakerag in 2012. Her experience there with the renowned dyer Michel Garcia left a lasting impression. Last summer, while our entire company was writing a 10 year vision, Diane wrote that she envisioned a natural dye house here at The Factory and volunteered herself as the head dye master after her retirement.

INDIGO-HANGING

After that simple act of writing our vision, the dye house miraculously began to take shape.

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THE FACTORY | THIS WEEK 7.7.2014 – 7.11.2014

Alabama Chanin - The Factory Cafe - Photographer Rinne Allen (2)

“Once you have eaten—shared food with a person, there’s a deep psychological system that means, you know, we are like family.” –Jonathan Haidt, On Being

Here is what we have going on this week, Monday, July 7 – Friday, July 11:

STORE
Visit us this week for the launch of The Factory Sale. We will be offering 50% off select items, including garments, fabrics, DIY kits, notions, and other odds-and-ends.

Also, don’t forget First Mondays @ the Factory. Come and connect with fellow sewers and share inspiration while working on your latest project.

Store Hours
Monday – Friday, 9:00am – 5:00pm

TOURS
Stop by any weekday at 2:00pm for a guided tour of our space, including The Factory, the Alabama Chanin production and design studio, and Building 14.

CAFÉ
Our second “Friends of the Café” dinner, featuring Peabody award-winning chef Vivian Howard, is happening later this month.

Also, our Vivian Howard and Southern Foodways inspired menu is launching this Wednesday, July 9. Until then, experience new dishes from our own kitchen—such as our house made BLT and pimento cheese.
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THE FACTORY | THIS WEEK 6.30.2014 – 7.4.2014

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“We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it.”
—William Faulkner

The Factory will be closed Friday, July 4th, that our staff can observe Independence Day.
(Please note, CSA boxes will be available for pick-up at Jack-o-Lantern Farm on Saturday morning.)

Here is what we have going on this week, Monday, June 30 – Thursday, July 3:

STORE
Come out to The Factory and browse our collection of Alabama Chanin @ Heath Ceramics dinnerware. These dishes are hand-etched, uniquely crafted, and heirloom-quality pieces that are perfect for any gathering.

Store Hours
Monday – Thursday, 9:00am – 5:00pm

TOURS
Stop by any weekday at 2:00pm for a guided tour of our space, including The Factory, the Alabama Chanin production and design studio, and Building 14.

CAFÉ
Stop by for lunch and enjoy some of our house favorites—including the classic Quiche Lorraine. Later this week we will feature a special menu celebrating Independence Day—more on that later.

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THE FACTORY | THIS WEEK 6.23.2014 – 6.27.2014

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“The world is filled with ordinary people doing extraordinary things.”
Seth Godin, The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly

Join us at The Factory this week to witness the extraordinary act of making on a personal level.

Here is what we have going on this week, Monday, June 23  – Friday, June 27:

STORE
Explore our retail space this week and browse our selection of 100% organic cotton jersey ponchos and other summer accessories, including the popular Alabama Vest.

Also, Natalie and team will be traveling to Tennessee for our Weekend Away Workshop at Blackberry Farm. Find more information here.

Store Hours
Monday – Friday, 9:00am – 5:00pm

TOURS
Stop by any weekday at 2:00pm for a guided tour of our space, including The Factory, the Alabama Chanin production and design studio, and Building 14.

CAFÉ
This week at The Factory, we continue to highlight dishes from chef Chris Hastings.  Stop by for lunch and enjoy our savory Ruskin Tomato dish, made with fresh tomatoes from Jack-O-Lantern Farm.

Also, don’t forget about our second “Friends of the Café” dinner, featuring Peabody award-winning chef Vivian Howard.

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