by Ashley Witzenberger
MONTPELIER — City Hall Plaza in downtown Montpelier has become an incubator space for new businesses and a friendly place to stop for lunch or a quick snack this summer with not one, but two unique new food carts.
Be Juicy is the brainchild of local entrepreneur, Charlotte Root. Passionate about health and wellness, she makes her juices from local organic ingredients. She believes that juicing can change your life and “is a way to incorporate healthy items into your diet in a fun way.” Root should know; she says juicing changed her life.
Her most popular drinks, Kale Aid, Melon Aid and Creamsicle, are a combination of vegetables and fruit, and her recipes were developed in her personal kitchen, only adjusted based on access to local and organic ingredients.
Root’s talents are not limited to health and juicing. She designed and built her cart herself and designed her creative and colorful logo. Her best sales rep is Miela, her dog, who has become a favorite to everyone that stops by.
What’s next for Be Juicy? In October, Root will begin to take on clients as a health and wellness coach. She is currently working on her masters at the Institute for Integrative Health where her passion continues to grow.
Also using local ingredients and launching a new business in City Hall Plaza is Brandon Darmstadt of Arnie’s Ice Cream. Darmstadt’s business idea for Arnie’s Ice Cream came to him before he even had a driver’s licenses, while he was a student at U-32 High School. Production began just two months after graduating. Arnie’s Ice Cream is made in small batches and all ingredients are carefully selected, never using artificial flavors or colors.
The realization of Darmstadt’s dream of starting a business began during independent study at U-32 and then moved on to an ice cream short course at Penn State. Much like Be Juicy, his ice cream recipes started in Darmstadt’s family kitchen with a hand-crank machine, and they were refined over time with taste tests conducted at school. He put a tremendous amount of hours into a business plan, applied for a loan and secured space on Gallison Hill where the ice cream is now made.
Do you want more Arnie’s Ice Cream? You can sign up to be a member. Members receive four pints of ice cream every month. Flavors change each month and are seasonal. According to the Arnie’s Ice Cream website, newly developed flavors are made available to members before the general public, and members can sign up for a three, six or twelve-month membership.
Next on the horizon, Arnie’s Ice Cream will be available at local stores and restaurants, with perhaps a scoop shop in the future. Darmstadt says he is working on another cart that will travel and be available for catering and events. He will also consider adding additional frozen desserts to the menu in the future.
Although these food carts are very different in product, they have a lot in common. Both businesses use local ingredients and are using these carts as a launching point for their future. Most importantly, both food cart owners have terrific passion and are dedicated to their crafts. We are keeping an eye on Brandon and Charlotte and expect big things from these two young entrepreneurs!
Both of these yummy food options will be available in City Hall Plaza through Columbus Day weekend and we hope you will stop by and show these locals your support.
The writer is executive director of Montpelier Alive.