On August 25 WNC Repair Cafe at Living Web Farms will open its doors to the public for the first time since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.  In the interest of protecting our volunteers and broader community, visitors will be required to adhere to the following clearly defined, rigorous safety protocols.

  • Masks will be required at all times.
  • Social distancing will be required before and during one-on-one consultation.
  • Following current (as of 8/10) NC Phase 2 guidelines, early registration will capped to 20 attendees, allowing for up to 5 volunteers.
  • Incoming visitors will be stopped at the gate and may be asked to complete sign-in paperwork while remaining in their car.
  • “Walk-in” visitors (those who have not signed up in advance)  may be asked to stay in their car until a volunteer repair coach becomes available.
  • House rules still apply! See below

The Biochar Facility at Living Web farms is a uniquely appropriate location for hosting a repair cafe during a pandemic.  Our rural setting offers plenty of space to spread out where visitors can feel safe and at-ease while still experiencing the community-building generosity of our dedicated volunteers.  For all WNC repair cafes in the foreseeable future:

  • Work tables will be arranged outside and under cover from light rain.
  • Shared tools will be sanitized after individual use and returned to the workshop common area.
  • Sanitizing spray will be available at each workstation.
  • Handwashing facilities will be available in the workshop and office area.
  • Sorry, no snacks!

Events may be cancelled in the event of heavy rains.  This decision will be made on the day of the event.  Please check this website or send us an email before arriving.  Per our usual requests, visitors are encouraged to sign up in advance, so as to help us coordinate volunteers and ensure a better chance for a successful repair.  Sign up following one of the following links:

August 25

October 13

December 8

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Read our blog: WNC Repair Cafe and the fight against Planned Obsolescence

WLOS ABC 13 produced this video of our July 9 2019 event.

Bold Life published this great article in their October 2018 issue

Check out photos of the July 24 2018 event, from the Asheville Citizen-Times

Read about our work at WNC Repair Cafe in the Mountain Xpress

A photo gallery from all of our repair events can be found here

Follow us on facebook.

What is a Repair Cafe?

A Repair Cafe is a place where you’ll find volunteers with tools and supplies, available to fix broken objects while offering instruction in the form of hands on help.   This is a free program where you are encouraged to bring in your broken appliance, stuck zipper, rusty tools, old bicycle, dull pruning shears – whatever you can imagine – and work with our volunteers to make the necessary repairs to keep it running.

Repair Cafe’s across the world have helped build resilient communities by offering access to hands on experience in the art of repair.  At WNC Repair Cafe we’ll gather volunteers from the area for an evening of:

  • Helping a neighbor:  Restore valuable material items at no cost of labor.
  • Learning by doing:  Gain experience in practical hands-on skills.
  • Sharing ideas:  Gain insight and appreciation of how things made, repaired, and disposed of.
  • Diverting valuable resources from the landfill:  Engage in practical action on waste reduction.
  • Building resilient communities:  Empower our local community with the resources to prosper in a sustainable economy

Repair Cafe in Practice: Video from Repair Cafe International

House Rules – Please Read!

Volunteers perform work free of charge.

WNC Repair Cafe will aim to keep regular supplies on hand.  We reserve the right to ask fair compensation for supplies required.  Donations in excess of the cost of supplies are greatly appreciated and will help grow our inventory of readily available supplies.

Ordering special order parts is not the responsibility of WNC Repair Cafe or it’s volunteers.  Providing as much information about your repair before arrival will help ensure adequate time to procure special parts.

Participants offering items for repair do so at their own risk.  Understand that it’s possible your item may not be repairable by our volunteers, or, may be damaged in the process of attempting repair.

Volunteers reserve the right to refuse items for repair.  Please, clean your item prior to attending the event, and be polite!  It is not the responsibility of WNC Repair Cafe or it’s volunteers to re-assemble or dispose of any unsuccessfully repaired items.

Please! Participants should offer one item for repair at a time.  This helps make sure that at busy nights, everyone gets a chance to participate.

Volunteers and Participants will be required to sign in, including signing a release of liability waiver prior to performing work on site during a WNC Repair Cafe Event.

Repair Cafe Origins

The first Repair Café was held in October 2009 in Amsterdam, and was so successful that founder Martine Postma continued organizing several Repair Café meetings at different locations in Amsterdam.  These caught the attention of more and more people and the media all over the country.  By 2010 she had founded the Repair Café Foundation.
Repair Café Foundation aims to a) reintroducing the art of repairing to the modern, local communities; b) retaining and spreading repair knowledge and skills; c) to promote social cohesion by bringing together neighbors from very different backgrounds and motives in a setting of inspiring and accessible meetings.

Fast forward to 2020, where globally there are now over two thousand repair cafes on six continents, notwithstanding similar models operating under different names or as standalone events.  At Repair Cafes around the world people are reminded that there is an alternative to a throwaway culture.