We believe in providing leadership, inspiration,
education and innovation for sustainable living
within our own community.

The Smith Mill Works complex is spread over 50 buildings on 28 acres. It has over five acres of indoor growing facilities and another 20,000 sq. ft. of mixed use warehousing, manufacturing and other office/studio space. It is located in a valley cove at the base of Spivey Mountain in West Asheville. As part of the Smith Mill Creek watershed, the creek runs the entire length of the facility, which also includes a spring-fed, one-acre pond.

  • To provide leadership, inspiration, education and innovation for sustainable living.

  • Integrity and Trust – Never do anything that would diminish the pride our families have in us.
  • Innovate and Create – Dare to be different, and have fun doing it.
  • Sustainability – Our greatest responsibility is to the environment and society.
  • Collaboration and Inclusion – We need special relationships to optimize our capabilities.
  • Community – We will only prosper with the support of the people with which we interact.

  • To foster and facilitate local, sustainable entrepreneurship

Smith Mill Works strives to house a community of businesses that follow sustainably-focused values and practices. Whether it’s generating consciously grown food, repurposing timber or recycling waste, our Partners share a common bond to mindfully generate goods in consideration of humans and the planet. We believe that by focusing our efforts and sharing resources we are able to create a work environment conducive to long-term growth.

Smith Mill Works Partners
Our Partners understand the benefits of being in proximity of other growing, like-minded, entities. This collaboration between our different partners facilitates and accelerates growth, both individually and collectively; resulting in a more dynamic and creative workplace and environment. We are proud to have some of the most sustainable and forward-thinking businesses in the Asheville area call Smith Mill Works home.

History of the property
History cannot give us a program for the future, but it can give us a fuller understanding of ourselves, and of our common humanity, so that we can better face the future.” – Robert Penn Warren

The Smith Mill Works facility humbly began around 1940 , when Hyman Young Sr. started growing produce as part of the World War II effort. After the war, Young Sr. continued farming the area and began acquiring more land to grow tomatoes and other vegetables. By the mid-1940’s they had built the first greenhouse in order to extend the growing season, and produce ornamental and decorative plants. It was during this period when he discovered how much more profitable it was to grow flowers in a controlled environment. Initially the greenhouses were simple, built with redwood and cypress wood to withstand the weather. They were brought in from all over the South, from as far off as Mississippi. As time and technology progressed, the systems got more complex, until the height of the operation in the late 1970’s to mid 1980’s. By then they were importing state-of-the-art Dutch greenhouses from Holland, and using advanced monitoring systems. In a period of over four decades and countless seasons, they acquired and converted more and more acreage to greenhouses and facilities into ultimately, the complex you can still see today. Hyman-Young Greenhouses was a leader in new market trends, such as pre-packaged decorative flowers for Mother’s Day, and at its height, shipping to all 48 continental states. They were legendary growers of poinsettias and created many patented hybrid plants, which still exist in the market today. The facility was a major source of employment in Asheville for many years, eventually having over 55 full time employees, and generating over $5 million a year in revenue.

Hyman Young Sr. passed away in 1985, and with his son Hyman Young Jr. operating his own greenhouse facility, responsibility was passed on to one of Hyman’s daughters and her husband. They ran the Hyman-Young Greenhouses until it was shut down in June of 2000. As it sat dormant, a petroleum leak from one the greenhouse heaters was discovered when it migrated onto neighboring property. The business had already declared bankruptcy, leaving no responsible party for the clean up. The neighboring property owners then banded together and began litigation for a clean up against the holding company that had been running the greenhouses. In the litigation process, a clean up was delayed, and the property was won by the neighbors, as it was the only remaining asset. By the mid-2000’s, the petroleum was cleaned up, and the new owners prepped the property for lease/resell. Over time, with no viable deals or developments, the property, again fell into disuse, and the facilities continued to deteriorate. In 2014, Michael Klatt discovered it while searching for warehouse space to expand his mushroom growing/supply business. Upon seeing its fertile potential for not only his own business, but other (limitless) options, he purchased it. Since July, 2014 the property has been undergoing a large-scale restoration and rejuvenation, working closely with the the Department of Natural Resources to ensure its long term health and safety. Smith Mill Works, LLC was started in 2015.

Recent history
Hyman Young Sr. passed away in 1985, and with his son Hyman Young Jr. operating his own greenhouse facility, responsibility was passed on to one of Hyman’s daughters and her husband. They ran the Hyman-Young Greenhouses until it was shut down in June of 2000. As it sat dormant, a petroleum leak from one the greenhouse heaters was discovered when it migrated onto neighboring property. The business had already declared bankruptcy, leaving no responsible party for the clean up. The neighboring property owners then banded together and began litigation for a clean up against the holding company that had been running the greenhouses. In the litigation process, a clean up was delayed, and the property was won by the neighbors, as it was the only remaining asset. By the mid-2000’s, the petroleum was cleaned up, and the new owners prepped the property for lease/resell. Over time, with no viable deals or developments, the property, again fell into disuse, and the facilities continued to deteriorate. In 2014, Michael Klatt discovered it while searching for warehouse space to expand his mushroom growing/supply business. Upon seeing its fertile potential for not only his own business, but other (limitless) options, he purchased it. Since July, 2014 the property has been undergoing a large-scale restoration and rejuvenation, working closely with the the Department of Natural Resources to ensure its long term health and safety. Smith Mill Works, LLC was started in 2015.

Michael Klatt, a WNC native entrepreneur continues to guide Smith Mill Works toward its eventual goal of a more fair and sustainable local food and small business community.

Future Plans
• At SMW we have only scratched the surface of all of the potential collaborations that our diverse community will allow us but here is a glimpse of what is in store:
• Regular community gatherings and speaking engagements with community leaders in the
• sustainability and agricultural fields.
• Future Community resources such as a community seed bank, library, wash stations, cooler space, and even a community cafe (estimated completion 2nd half of 2018).
• Development of a Incubator program for food based-businesses
• Space for interaction with the greater community including space for events, teaching, tours,
• and maybe even a winter farmers market.
• A food production facility for the creation of value added products.
• A true farm to table restaurant where you can see the greenhouse your food was grown in.

Smith Mill Works energy usage is wind through Arcadia Energy and has offset the equivalent of 150 tons of CO2.

Our growers and tenants service well over 400 households and 60 restaurants on a weekly basis in the Asheville area.

Smith Mill Works has created over 50,000 square feet of greenhouse space into production without building a building.

The environment and responsible land stewardship is a core value and priority of Smith Mill Works. We are committed to the protection and conservation of our environment and especially our property.

Here is a list of the basic environmental expectations of all our tenants, a reflection of our values as a company.

  • Ensure state and county, legal and regulatory requirements are complied with
  • Ensure sustainable practices and philosophies are adopted at each level of the organization
  • Reduce waste production, promote and maximize recycling and traceability of waste products
  • Minimize pollutants released into the soil, water and air
  • Reduce emissions, noise, dust, odor and other elements that may affect the environment
  • Reduce the company’s energy consumption wherever feasible
  • Maintain the on going objective of continuous improvement of environmental impact and performance.

Get in touch

Big or small, we’ve got a solution when you need it. We are here to support you and answer any questions you may have about Smith Mill Works. Let’s talk about your needs.