Susan Casey - Owner
Susan’s experience began in the kitchen on a small produce and tobacco farm in eastern North Carolina cooking the midday meal for the family and tobacco crew. The majority of the ingredients were harvested from the farm often just prior to preparation. A variety of fresh vegetables, fruits and farm raised and smoked meats were available daily and afternoons not spent in the fields often included pickling, preserving, and making jams and jellies.
During her years as a student at Appalachian State pursuing a degree in the Industrial Arts department in woodworking and drafting, Susan baked desserts, made soups for a local restaurant and supplied the local coop with fresh made bagels.
She and her husband Stoney Lamar, a sculptor, moved to Saluda in 1980 and shared a woodworking studio; however, she continued cooking at various restaurants in the area. In 1990 she began her own catering business, The Occasional Caterer, which she pursued until 1998 when she and her sister opened The Purple Onion in Saluda. The Purple Onion specializes in simply prepared foods with a focus on freshness. The menu is inspired by Mediterranean cuisine and the bountiful supply of fresh local ingredients available in western North Carolina.
Chambli - Manager
Chambli Stuber is the General Manager here at the Purple Onion. She began at The Purple Onion at the age of 15 washing dishes and quickly moved up to head cook at the age of 17. After a 10 year hiatus she returned to us 2 years ago after earning her Culinary Degree at AB-Tech where she competed with the Hot Foods Team and won gold in the national championship. Her passion for restaurant life is only 2nd to the love of her daughter who pushes her to be the best that she can.