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What’s New at Apple Valley

Southern Living: Why The Smoky Mountains Are Known For Their Pancakes

Southern Living: Why The Smoky Mountains Are Known For Their Pancakes

If it seems like there’s a pancake house on every block, you’re right.

“Wow, is that another pancake house?”

Each time new friends or family would come to visit me in my Smoky Mountain home, it wasn’t long before I’d hear this query. Their eyes would widen at the endless opportunities to eat pancakes along a short drive through Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, or Gatlinburg. The first time I visited the Tennessee side of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, I had a similar reaction. We’re not talking two or three pancake houses competing for the town’s best hotcake—we’re talking restaurants flipping flapjacks well into the afternoon on practically every other block.

So, how did this tasty obsession take foot in the Smokies? I turned to some of the area’s pancake experts to learn more. Plus, if you’re wondering where to start, you’ll find details below on four pancake houses to try on your next visit.

“The Great Smoky Mountain area was once a hub for the logging industry in the early 1900s,” said Ashley Box, director of marketing at Apple Valley Mountain Village & Cafe. “Pancakes were a popular option because they could feed masses of laborers a hot and satisfying breakfast in a speedy manner.”

Read the whole article at SouthernLiving.com/smoky-mountain-pancakes-8622614
Original Southern Living article written by Korrin Bishop

Making Coffee Better

Making Coffee Better

At the Dancing Bean Coffee House, we’re making a BIG difference with each little sip of our coffee. How? Keep reading to learn more about our mission to provide you with coffee you can feel good about drinking.

Coffee Beans

The Dancing Bean Coffee House proudly serves Fair Trade Certified green coffee beans roasted fresh on-site in Townsend’s ONLY fully electronic and ventless eco-roaster – the Bellwether. What does this mean? Utilizing Fair Trade Certified green beans ensures equitable support for farmers and their communities while promoting sustainable practices. Roasting these beans on the innovative Bellwether Roaster not only guarantees consistent quality but also minimizes environmental impact, resulting in ethically sourced and expertly roasted coffee that embodies both social responsibility and exceptional flavor.

Dancing Bean Coffee

With the Great Smoky Mountains as our backyard, our impact on the environment is important to our identity. So, how does our Bellwether Roaster compare to a standard gas-powered roaster? Roasting on a gas-powered roaster would produce 2.46lbs of CO2e per pound of coffee roasted. Roasting on our Bellwether, we produce .4lbs of CO2e per pound of coffee roasted, saving 2.056lbs of CO2e per pound roasted. According to Bellwether, “Bellwether’s all‑electric, ventless technology reduces the carbon footprint of a pound of coffee by almost 90%, requires no fossil fuels to operate, and has the lowest emissions impact of any commercial roaster. Even other electric coffee roasters must rely on afterburners or ventilation which increase the energy requirements while continuing to emit greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.”

What is the overall impact of this? Check out our Monthly Impact Report to see how we are positively affecting the environment with every roast…

July’s Monthly Impact Report (2023)

We roasted 486lbs of coffee and saved an estimated 999lbs of CO2.

This is equivalent to…

1,099 miles of a passenger vehicle kept off the road
41,887lbs of waste recycled instead of landfilled
36 days of electricity turned off in a home

By enjoying our coffee, you’re not only treating your taste buds but also supporting equitable farming practices and reducing carbon emissions – and that’s something we can all feel good about. Join us at the Dancing Bean Coffee House, where every little sip makes a BIG difference.

Dancing Bean Coffee House

If you’d like to see updated Monthly Impact Reports, make sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram where we update our followers monthly!

From 1992 to 2022 – It’s time for some change at Apple Valley!

From 1992 to 2022 – It’s time for some change at Apple Valley!

Apple Valley Mountain Village has been a fixture in Townsend since 1992, welcoming guests on the west side of town with our iconic big red barn roof. It’s hard to drive into Townsend and not pull into the familiar Apple Valley Mountain Village where visitors will find shopping, dining, and a peaceful place to relax in the Great Smoky Mountains.

This year, we celebrated our 30 year anniversary and unveiled the artist renderings for the NEW Apple Valley Mountain Village – coming to Townsend over the next 16 months!

This remodel will expand our common areas and our Fudge kitchen, while creating more parking for our guests. Don’t worry though, that iconic roof will still be there so you won’t miss us when you come into Townsend!

Check out these artist renderings of the HUGE changes coming to Apple Valley Mountain Village, and let us know what you think!

Apple Valley Rebuild
Apple Valley Concept

Give the Gift of the Peaceful Side This Holiday Season

Give the Gift of the Peaceful Side This Holiday Season

Give the Gift of the Peaceful Side
As you begin shopping and planning for this Holiday season, consider giving the gift of the Peaceful Side with an Oldham Hospitality gift card valid at all 7 of our PeacefulSide.com locations in Townsend, TN! Provide that special someone with a uniquely Townsend experience, and put the Peaceful Side of the Smokies in their pocket. Keep reading to learn more about how they can use their gift card when they visit Townsend, TN…
Apple Valley Cafe Burgers

Apple Valley Mountain Village

Your PeacefulSide.com gift card can be used to explore the dining and shopping options at Apple Valley Mountain Village. Located on the West end of Townsend, Apple Valley Mountain Village is home to the General Store, Apple Valley Cafe, Smoky Mountain Outdoor Center, and the Dancing Bean Coffee House.

General Store

The General Store has something for everyone! Your special someone is sure to find something they love while browsing the General Store where we carry homemade fudge, hand dipped ice cream, flavored coffees, pantry items, souvenirs, candles, Evergreen products, Little Blue House products, and so much more! Stop at Apple Valley Cafe to refresh and refuel for your Smoky Mountain adventure! A PeacefulSide.com gift card can be used to purchase breakfast or lunch from the Cafe, open 7 days a week! Enjoy locally sourced burgers, house smoked BBQ, garden fresh salads, and of course our famous Fried Apple Pies!

Benchmade Knife

For the outdoor lover, they won’t want to miss Smoky Mountain Outdoor Center featuring top outdoor brands like Patagonia, the North Face, Costa, Howler Brothers, and more! Let our knowledgable team members help your special someone plan and prepare for their next outdoor adventure on the Peaceful Side of the Smokies!

Dancing Bean Coffee House

Everyone could use a little pick me up in the mornings, and the Dancing Bean Coffee House is brewing up house-roasted, Fair-Trade coffee fresh daily! Use your PeacefulSide.com gift card to order your favorite drink and pastry, or purchase a bag of your favorite roast online!

Peaceful Side Social
Apple Valley Townsend Fries

Peaceful Side Social Brewery + Craft Kitchen

Located in the heart of Townsend, TN next to IGA, Peaceful Side Social Brewery + Craft Kitchen is known for their chef-driven menu, extensive local craft beer selection, and service with a smile! Let your loved ones treat themselves to delicious Round Breads, hearty sandwiches, and irresistible Shareables from the menu while they enjoy our large Beer Garden and outdoor play area. And don’t forget the Taco Bar!

Dancing Bear Appalachian Bistro

Dancing Bear Lodge & Appalachian Bistro

Let your loved ones treat themselves to the full Appalachian experience when they use their PeacefulSide.com gift card at Dancing Bear Lodge & Appalachian Bistro where they will find plush accommodations and award-winning dining.

Dancing Bear Lodge features elegantly rustic cabins nestled in the woodsy foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. We are a full-service Lodge with hotel-like amenities such as daily housekeeping, WiFi, fireplaces, pillow topped mattresses, and hot tubs. You’ll find your accommodations stocked with conditioning shampoo, soap, lotion, and other essentials. Our cabins and cottages with full kitchens are supplied with all cooking and dinnerware, as well as delicious, fresh ground, and locally roasted coffee – the “Special Mountain Blend” from Dancing Bean Coffee House. Just like staying in a Townsend, TN hotel, you don’t have to bring anything from home except yourself and your clothes — just relax and let the serenity soak in.

Dancing Bear Appalachian Bistro offers an elevated Southern menu that changes regularly based on seasonally available items from both our own property gardens and other local sources. Come early and enjoy a bottle of wine while you wait on your table, relish in a 3 or 4 course meal prepared by our culinary team, and then relax by the fire pit while you make complimentary s’mores. The Bistro is truly an experience your loved ones will cherish for year’s to come.

Oldham Hospitality Gift Cards

No matter how they decide to use their PeacefulSide.com gift card, the recipient is sure to have a uniquely Townsend experience on the Peaceful Side of the Smokies. Put the Peaceful Side in their pocket and give the gift of adventure this holiday season!

SQUEEZE Caroline…Meet our NEW Condiment Cow!

SQUEEZE Caroline…Meet our NEW Condiment Cow!

TikTokIt all started with a TikTok…

One day, while browsing TikTok for market research, our Marketing Manager Emma came across a video of a condiment dispenser that was like no other. She saw customers dispensing their condiments from a cow – that’s right, a cow! So her research began…And to her surprise, a simple search of “Condiment Cow” on Google brought up an entire website dedicated to this remarkable dispenser – www.CondimentCow.com.

Condiment Cow

EmployeeShe saw the potential this could have at Apple Valley Cafe, and felt like it would be the perfect addition. It was time to take this idea to her team, starting with the Marketing Director Ashley. Ashley loved the idea, but she told Emma she would need to do some further convincing to get the owners on board, as this would be a pretty big change at Apple Valley Cafe. So after she further research and a few phone calls, Emma was ready to present her idea to the owners.

Their response? “Order it today! We need that cow!” So, preparations began to welcome our very own Condiment Cow to Apple Valley Cafe. After working with maintenance to discuss installation, Emma ordered the cow and the team anxiously awaited it’s arrival.

A few days later, a large box showed up and we received our Condiment Cow! We couldn’t wait to unbox it, so we rushed it over to our maintenance barn to start the process. There she was in all her glory, almost ready to dispense condiments to our guests!
A little carpentry and framing work later, and a morning of light construction, and our Condiment Cow was installed and ready to use! But wait…What would we name her? Emma couldn’t stop singing “Sweet Caroline” and then it came to her…”SQUEEZE Caroline!” The owners loved it and thus the Condiment Cow was named Caroline!

Condiment Cow
Condiment Cow
Condiment Cow

So, the next time you visit make sure you stop in and give Caroline a SQUEEZE! She dispenses our house-made BBQ sauce, mayo, mustard, and ketchup and is sure to put a smile on your face. And don’t forget to sing while you squeeze! “SQUEEZE Caroline! *Dun Dun Dun* Ketchup’s never been so good! SO GOOD! SO GOOD!”

Using Condiment Cow
Our New Menu is a SMASH!

Our New Menu is a SMASH!

Since 1992, Apple Valley Cafe has been a fixture in the Townsend, TN community, reliably serving up breakfast and lunch options locals and visitors love. After many years of featuring the same menu, our culinary team decided the Apple Valley Cafe menu needed a facelift and some improvements!

Apple Valley New Menu
Apple Valley Cafe New Menu

Don’t worry…We kept your favorites like the “Off the Hook” Fish Sandwich, Black Bear BLT, and Fried Apple Pies, but we took our classics and turned them up a knotch! Our BBQ is smoked in house before being served with our house-made BBQ sauce, our Grilled Chicken and Chicken Salad are now made with locally sourced Springer Mountain Chicken, and last but not least…Our Burgers are better than ever! All of our burgers are now locally sourced from Simpson’s Meats, and our new Smash Burgers are the talk of the town.

Apple Valley Cafe HamburgerLocated just an hour and a half south from Townsend in Athens, TN, Simpson’s Meats is now providing us with fresh beef for our burgers. Simpson’s Beef is 100% USDA inspected and all of their meat is graded as “choice or higher” and you can taste the difference!

Order our Smash Burgers as a single or a double! Each Smash Burger is made with one or two 1/4lb patties served on a fresh brioche bun with your choice of cheese and lettuce, tomato, pickle, and onion. We recommend pairing our fresh, juicy burgers with a side of our famous Sidewinder Fries – thick cut, curly fries deep fried to perfection!

Don’t forget to Pile Your Patty! If our burgers aren’t appetizing enough, you can top them off with more flavor by bacon, brisket, macaroni and cheese, pimento cheese, and more!

At Apple Valley Cafe, we’re serving up your favorites with a side of Southern hospitality. Stop in today and let us know what you’re new favorite item is!

Coffee You Can Feel Good About

Coffee You Can Feel Good About

At the Dancing Bean Coffee House, we are proudly roasting Fair Trade coffee beans – but what does what mean to you? Keep reading to learn more about Fair Trade and how we’re working hard to make the world a better place.

What is Fair Trade? According to FairTradeCertified.org, “Fair trade is a global movement made up of a diverse network of producers, companies, consumers, advocates, and organizations putting people and planet first.” When you purchase a Fair Trade product, you can rest easy knowing you are supporting safe working conditions, environmental protection, sustainable livelihoods, and community development funds.

Coffee Beans

Our buying principles reflect the livelihood of the farmers we purchase from. Farmer-centric pricing insures farmers are paid equitable prices, enabling them to earn a living income. Year-after-year contracts help provide these farmers with long-term stability, allowing their communities to thrive. And finally, our purchases provide financial resources directly to our farm partners, enabling them to fund projects that support their local communities.

Coffee Bean Crop

At the Dancing Bean Coffee House, we are roasting coffee that not only tastes good, but that you can feel good drinking. When you purchase a cup of coffee at the Dancing Bean, you are supporting small farmers from all over the world and that’s something we can all feel good about.

Fried Apple Pies the Apple Valley Way!

Fried Apple Pies the Apple Valley Way!

You can’t visit Apple Valley Mountain Village without grabbing a few of our famous Fried Apple Pies – after all, they are what we are known for! Did you know each of our pies is handmade? And with over 50,000 sold each year, we can say we have perfected this art. Keep reading to learn more about how we make our famous Fried Apple Pies!

We make our pie dough ahead of time, so when it’s time to make Fried Apple Pies, we start by thawing the dough for 4 hours on sheet trays.

Once the dough has thawed, we use our pie presses to cut the dough into circles and we egg wash one side of each pie shell.

Apple Pie Dough

The pie shells are now ready to be stuffed! We lay the pie shell wet side down onto the pie press and fill it with a small scoop of our delicious apple pie filling, made with our secret recipe and a lot of love. The pie shell is then folded and hand pressed.

Pie Dough

The pies aren’t ready yet! After they’ve been pressed, the pies will go into our flash freezer over night to prepare to be fried.

The next day, we’re ready to fry! The pies are pulled from the flash freezer and individually dropped into the fryer. We let them fry for 5-8 minutes, or until they’re golden brown.

Pies Flash Freeze

After they’ve been fried, we’re ready for the final step. Each pie is topped off with cinnamon sugar while it is still hot and the pies are now ready to go!

Once the pies make it to the window, it’s up to YOU how to eat them! What’s OUR favorite way to enjoy a Fried Apple Pie? A La Mode, of course – with a happy heaping of country style vanilla bean ice cream!

Apple Valley Pies
Apple Valley Mountain Village is the ULTIMATE Christmas Shopping Destination on the Peaceful Side of the Smokies

Apple Valley Mountain Village is the ULTIMATE Christmas Shopping Destination on the Peaceful Side of the Smokies

Holiday shopping can be a hassle, but what if you could get it done all in one place? At Apple Valley Mountain Village, you can do just that! From custom gifts, jewelry, and quilts at the General Store, to outdoor gear and apparel for the adventurer in your life at Smoky Mountain Outdoor Center, Apple Valley Mountain Village has something for everyone!

Working on a long Christmas List? Apple Valley’s General Store carries a wide variety of items, and you’ll be checking names off your Nice List in no time! For those with a sweet tooth, our small batch fudge from FudgeShop.com is the perfect gift. Shopping for a dog lover? The General Store features on entire section of customized gifts and pet treats just for your favorite furry friend or pet owner. The Quilt Room is the perfect place to pick up home decor for your mom or grandma. Let one of our staff members help you choose the perfect piece of jewelry for your loved one. For the little ones on your list, make sure to check out the personalized gifts and stuffed animals. The General Store has something for everyone, making your Christmas Shopping easy!

Fudge AV

For the more adventurous names on your Holiday list, head over to Smoky Mountain Outdoor Center where you will find top brands in outdoor gear and apparel. Browse our large collection of the North Face and let one of our trained staff members help you choose the perfect gift for the outdoorsmen in your life. In addition to the North Face, SMOC also carries popular brands like Benchmade, Costa, Sun Bum, Eno, Hydroflask, and Kavu. Help your loved one prepare for any adventure this year with a trip to SMOC!


For that hard to shop for person, you can never go wrong with coffee, and the Dancing Bean Coffee House is roasting fresh coffee beans daily on our eco-friendly, electric roaster. Choose from light, medium, or dark roasts and our Bearistas will even grind it to your preference! Pair a bag of our coffee with a jar of honey or a Dancing Bean mug and you will have the perfect gift to perk someone up this holiday season.

Food Townsend

Still have a few people to shop for? Our multi-property gift cards are the perfect solution! Would they enjoy a beautiful cozy cabin at Dancing Bear Lodge? Maybe an Appalachian inspired meal and craft cocktails from the bar at the Dancing Bear Appalachian Bistro? Perhaps they would prefer shopping in the Apple Valley Mountain Village for outdoor gear and apparel at Smoky Mountain Outdoor Center, or home decor, homemade fudges, jams, jellies, apple butters, delicious coffees, and much more at the General Store. Would decadent milkshakes and huge burgers from Apple Valley Cafe be their go-to choice before venturing into the park or would they prefer farm-to-table dishes and locally brewed beer from Peaceful Side Social Craft Kitchen + Brewery? Or maybe, its a leisurely morning at The Dancing Bean Coffee House sipping lattes and enjoying warm pastries by the fire that would entice them – with so many awesome choices how do you pick? YOU DON’T! The NEW Oldham Hospitality Gift Card can be used in ALL seven great locations! So your special someone can enjoy the best of Townsend, with one great card!