September 20, 2012

MADE IN VERMONT: Fresh Tracks Vineyard & Winery: Learning from Experience

MADE IN VERMONT: Fresh Tracks Vineyard & Winery: Learning from Experience

A different kind of farming operation is nestled in a hollow just off of Route 12, between Montpelier and Riverton: Fresh Tracks Farm Vineyard & Winery, owned by Christina Castegren and Kris Tootle. Asked about growth and planning, Tootle says, “Growth was an inevitable part of what we’ve done here. Starting from scratch with the goal […]

MADE IN VERMONT: Bohemian Bread: It’s About Tenacity

Bohemian Bread has ended its Sunday morning pastry-and-coffee hours because of traffic concerns as more and more visitors have driven up the road to enjoy the Marshfield bakery’s special weekly treats. Growth doesn’t come without grit, it appears. It also demands not only originality and hard work, but tenacity and resilience in the value-added food […]

MADE IN VERMONT: Nutty Steph’s: Why Make Money?

MADE IN VERMONT: Nutty Steph’s: Why Make Money?

Jaquelyn Rieke has “been selling things since I was 9. I had a bread business in college, the Bread Broad, and I had day camps at my house when I was 11, and jewelry stands before that.” We know Rieke’s commercial presence as “Nutty Steph;” she runs the granola and chocolate business in Middlesex that […]

MADE IN VERMONT: Red Hen Baking: Doing a Few Things Well

MADE IN VERMONT: Red Hen Baking: Doing a Few Things Well

Randy George, coowner, says Red Hen Baking started in September 1999 up on Duxbury Mountain Road. People might stop in, but 98 to 99 percent of the bread was delivered. “We’d dust our hands off and sell a loaf of bread to them,” George says. Red Hen has grown and now focuses on deliveries in […]

MADE IN VERMONT: Al Portico: Getting Fresh

MADE IN VERMONT: Al Portico: Getting Fresh

Years ago when Angelo Caserta bought a Manchester restaurant, James Beard was extolling the rediscovered benefits of pasta. Caserta put a pasta machine in the front window, made fresh pasta every day and built the restaurant into a dinner establishment with new (to Americans), light Italian fare. That restaurant “did very well,” Caserta says. Making […]

MADE IN VERMONT: Pete’s Greens: Focus and Curiosity

Pete Johnson’s vegetable-farm business, Pete’s Greens, is over 15 years old. The business has an extensive, well-organized website that directs retail customers to its community-supported agriculture (CSA) options, where participants sign up for deliveries, as well as a wholesale page, where the farm presents options for restaurant buyers as far away as Boston and New […]

MADE IN VERMONT: Hollister Hill Farm: Reinventing to Survive

Another value-added agricultural operation is Hollister Hill Farm, in Marshfield. Owners Lee and Bob Light arrived from the suburbs in the back-to-the-land movement, and even had a license to sell raw milk in the late ’70s. They grew their Jersey herd to 200 cows and were dairy farmers for 20 years, then saw the bottom […]

MADE IN VERMONT: Alchemist Brewery: A Flood of Opportunity

It’s not just what you want to do but what the gods send your way. Jen Kimmich of the Alchemist Brewery says she and her husband, John, have a running, good-natured disagreement about whether it’s “dumb luck or good planning” that enabled the Alchemist to establish a packaging plant out of the flood zone before […]

MADE IN VERMONT: Lawson’s Finest Liquids: Making a Business from a Hobby

Lawson’s Finest Liquids is a microbrewery in Warren. Sean Lawson studied environmental studies at UVM, where he first encountered a friend’s home brew. He had years of working in environmental issues and got a master’s in forestry. He mentions doing high-elevation research for UVM, studying mercury deposition on Mount Mansfield, and working for the U.S. […]

MADE IN VERMONT: Cate Farm: Value Your Time

Resilience comes up in conversation with Richard Wiswall of Cate Farm, as does learning, self-assessment and objectivity. Wiswall moved onto Cate Farm in East Montpelier in 1981, and his first crop came out in 1982, so he and his family have been farming there for 31 years. Starting with an acre, they doubled over and […]