Culver’s of Arden Honored with Prestigious Awards - TribPapers

Culver’s of Arden Honored with Prestigious Awards

Ribbon cutting for the grand opening of the 2016 Culvers restaurant at 371 Airport Road in Arden. Photo courtesy of Culvers.

Asheville Culver’s© corportate awarded the Ruth Hospitality Award to the Culver’s© franchise in Arden; the franchise is owned independently by Terri and Dan Schulze. This is the first time they have received this honor, although for a number of years they have received the Commitment to Excellence Award. 

Ruth’s Hospitality Award is considered a very high honor, as only one award is given in each region in the United States. Culver’s has 850 restaurants in 25 states. The winners are recognized by the parent company at the annual convention in February. This year, the event was held in Indianapolis, Indiana, where the Schulzes were honored for their fine hospitality. 

Award History

The Ruth Award is a tribute to Ruth Culver, co-founder of the restaurant chain with its headquarters in Wisconsin. The first Culver’s© restaurant opened in 1984 in Sauk City, Wisconsin. It was co-founded by Craig and Lea Culver with Craig’s parents, George and Ruth Culver. This prestigious award recognizes restaurants whose team members consistently exemplify superior hospitality each and every day. The Ruth Award recognizes the franchisees and true blue crew members who commit themselves to having the most sincere and consistent level of hospitality towards their guests each and every day. 

In addition, the Schulzes have won the Commitment to Excellence Award every year, since opening in 2016. It recognizes restaurants for consistently maintaining a high standard in restaurant operations, guest experiences, community relations and team development. All these awards are in a display case filled to the brim to the left of the main entrance in their restaurant at 371 Airport Road in Arden.

“At Culver’s of Arden, superior hospitality is something we hold near and dear to our hearts,” says Daniel Schulze, owner. “Our promise today is the same as it has been since we opened our restaurant: we genuinely care that every guest who chooses Culver’s leaves happy.”

Donations to Ukraine

On Tuesday, March 15, Culver’s of Arden, along with other participating Culver’s restaurants across the country, donated a percentage of their sales to the World Central Kitchen to help with the humanitarian relief efforts of those affected by the tragic events unfolding in Ukraine. The decision to participate in this effort was made by each individual franchise owner.

A percentage of sales collected on every menu item sold from the time each restaurant opened until it closed that day was donated to World Central Kitchen. WCK is a non-profit devoted to providing meals in the wake of natural disasters. So far, the WCK organization has set up mobile kitchens on the Ukraine border and near transit hubs that are being used by the refugees. 

See last week’s Tribune, Volume 26, issue 11 or go to for further information on the World Central Kitchen. 

“We are saddened and shocked as we watch the tragic events unfolding in Ukraine. Supporting communities in need is a part of of Culver’s core values, we are proud to raise money to support humanitarian aid for those affected in Ukraine, said Rick Silva, President and CEO of Culver’s. 

The Culver’s Foundation was founded in 2001. This is a tax-exempt not-for-profit Foundation which supports local non-profits in areas of youth education and development, civic and community services, health and human needs, culture, the arts and the environment year round. There are many scholarship programs which help team members with their educational goals. Farming, and dairy farming in particular, is a significant portion of Wisconsin’s economy. Thus, one of the organizations that The Culver’s Foundation supports is the FFA (Future Farmers of America). FFA is an intra-curricular student organization for those interested in agriculture and leadership. Locally Culver’s of Arden has supported many of the local high school FFA chapters here in Asheville and Hendersonville. 

Fresh Food, Cooked to Order for Each Guest

Contrary to most fast food restaurants around the country, Culver’s prides itself on serving fresh, never frozen beef and cooking and plating their dishes to order for each customer. The difference in taste is immediately noticeable. A seared made to order burger is served, known as the Butterburger© to customers. Craig Culver says “This was his Mom’s recipe growing up, as she always liked to butter the top of the bun and lightly toast it before grilling.” He also said “frozen beef loses moisture, and as any chef will tell you, if you lose moisture you lose flavor.” Wisconsin is known to have originated the Friday fish fry with friends and family, so Culver’s hand batters their fresh North Atlantic Cod and Walleye for their fish sandwiches—-just as it would be done in Wisconsin. They also serve jumbo shrimp baskets and dinners; kids meals, Reuben sandwiches,chicken tenders and chicken sandwiches, fresh made salads, pork tenderloin, beef pot roast, veggie burgers and currently for a limited time–wild caught walleye fish filet sandwiches or dinners, a large selection of sides, and so much more. They also have gluten free options, including a gluten free bun upon request. For a full menu go to

But the dessert treat, a frozen custard, not ice cream, is certain to be a wonderful ending to someone’s meal. Apparently Wisconsin is unofficially known as the frozen custard capital of the world. The sign outside the Asheville Culver’s on Airport Road tells a passerby the Flavor of the Day, which at the Arden restaurant has been chosen each day by owner Terri Schulze. Frozen custard is known to be velvety, served at a different temperature than ice cream, with less infused air and made with egg yolks unlike its cousin ice cream. To be considered true fresh frozen custard, it must contain 1.4 percent egg. Culver’s© dairy products all come from American farms. This week the flavors of the day are/will be Caramel Cashew, Chocolate Covered Strawberry, Devils Food Cake, Butter Pecan, and Caramel Peanut Buttercup, made fresh throughout the day. How can someone resist the temptation?

Here in North Carolina there are now 12 Culver’s© franchise restaurants. The Airport Road restaurant was the first to open in the state and is bustling with activity. The fact that the Schulzes just received Ruth’s Hospitality Award speaks volumes for the team they have put together and the excellence of the service they give their customers.

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