50/Fifty is Mandy and Chris Butler, a husband and wife team who brought their dream of opening a dessert and pastry business to North Carolina, moving to the city of Asheville in 2011 from Southwest Florida to make that dream a reality.
Mandy has over twenty years of experience working in the pastry industry, including spending five years with well-renowned pastry chefs at The Ritz Carlton in Naples, Florida, and later as Pastry Chef at Norman Love Confections, one of the nation's top chocolatiers. She also previously worked as a Pastry Chef at the French Broad Chocolate Lounge here in Asheville. Mandy graduated from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania Academy of Culinary Arts in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.
Chris studied Culinary Arts at Chariho Technical Center in Rhode Island. He started his career in the food and hospitality industry over twenty-five years ago at The Ritz Carlton in Amelia Island, Florida, and eventually made his way to The Ritz Carlton in Naples where he met Mandy. After fine tuning his skills in the hotel industry, Chris joined the exciting world of offsite catering. In Asheville, he has brought his talents to 12 Bones Smokehouse, The Colorful Palate, and Wild Hare Catering.
In 2017, 50/Fifty welcomed Rachel Naso to the pastry team. Rachel moved to Asheville from Chicago, where she worked in several pastry kitchens as a baker and cake decorator. Without formal training in pastry, she learned how to bake from her mother and then, by volunteering in pastry kitchens for chefs who recognized her passion and potential. In 2014, she serendipitously accepted a position as an assistant cake decorator at Bittersweet Pastry Shop, where she learned the art of decorating wedding and celebration cakes. While Rachel helps create many of the desserts for 50/Fifty, her talents as a decorator add new depths to what the team can offer.
Mandy and Chris named their business 50/Fifty because they believe in the importance of balance--both in the flavors of desserts and in life itself, especially with the addition of their daughter Maddy in 2016. They believe that creating balance takes years of experience and commitment, a genuine love of desserts, and an artist's special touch.