Small Bites: April 1, 2021
created for farmers, food manufacturers, distributors, grocers, &
anyone else interested in how food moves click below
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Calling All Vermont Grocers
UVM & Farm to Plate conducts a "Local Food Count" every three years.
The goal is to track our vast food sales to shoppers in Vermont. We reach out to stores, distributors & producers working with a team at UVM to categorize & analyze the data.
We have heard that 2020 saw increases of DSD from producers, a rise in on-farm sales, & increased sales through distributors seeking to safeguard their supply chains.
Our Ask: Participate & help us obtain 2020 food sales information. The more data we get, the more resources can be shared to support our local economy.
Request your store form by emailing to
Your participation in the collection of sales data helps Vermont support the production and sale of products. Reporting by product categories helps us determine product trends over time, which further helps government and private businesses strengthen our Vermont food economy. Since 2014 we have collected local food sales, and your participation in this important work continues to be appreciated, especially during the tumultuous times brought about by Covid-19.  Naturally information is kept confidential. Here is a 2017 JAFSCD report.
Calling All Food Manufacturers
Be Counted! Share your DSD sales with the local food tracking project. This is a data point of great interest as regards changed shopping habits during covid. Request your form by emailing to
New Production & shipping space! Available in Burlington June 30th
Find all the details about this convenient, collaborative space overseen by the folks at Garuka Bars.
This new production spot is very exciting for small producers.
Product Highlights

The Putney Coop ran a special on Mt Mansfield Creamery raw cow milk cheese which they order through Provisions International. This is a buttery, robust blue which pairs beautifully with dessert wines, stouts & dry cider. The cheese department makes it a habit of specializing in our vast Vermont cheeses. Thank you to all the cheese mongers across the state for your support! Does your store need new cheese ideas? Check out the VT Cheese Council for ideas.
Live Young Kitchen is a growing business! Founded in 2018 & incubated at the VT Food Venture Center in Hardwick. Owner Brad Young has a line of low-sodium, low sugar products that spans the grocery department.
By growing his food business with the support service of VFVC & the acumen of Equinox Food Brokers, they have expanded to sell in 40 stores. Naturally, 2020 provided some challenges though the business continued its path to growth. With shoppers seeking product quality & transparency in ingredients, Live Young sells best when positioned mid-level & breaking up the monotony of national brands. The full line of products available to stores crosses grocery categories. This is a food company stores should take note of. A recent article in the Addison Independent shone light on the newest addition to Live Young, a retail cafe in Vergennes which introduces its clients to the range of their products. 
Richmond Market & Beverage is one of the many stores across the state selling Sweet Rowen Milk & dairy products. Demand is up for local, single source, grassfed dairy products. This dairy fits the bill. Products are sold widely across the state through the VT Food Hub Network brand, Vermont Way & shipped to independent stores & coops through Farm Connex out of Hardwick. Increased interest by shoppers means more shifting inventory to match demand, where does your store stand with single source milk? Is your store listed as selling Sweet Rowen?
Pink Boot Farm in Wells is a small family farm, producing whey fed pasture finished pork, & maple syrup on a small scale. They are one of the nearly 50 vendors selling direct to consumer through the Northshire Grown Direct weekly CSA based in Dorset.
Vermont Coffee Company announced on April 1 that they sold to Stonewall Kitchen under majority ownership of private investment firm Audax private Equity.
Calling All Food Distributors
Help! Since 2014 Vermont's Local Food Tracking Project captures VT food products sold in state. Distributor participation is immensely valuable as many food manufacturers have scaled beyond DSD. During the tumultuous times brought about by Covid-19, we heard there was an increase in shoppers seeking local products. We'd like to see if that happened through distributors as well as direct to consumer.
Request your form by emailing to
A big thank you to all who have already shared your data.
Farm Resources

Farmers are also encouraged to share sales data for the tracking project. Your DSD , CSA & online sales matter. Be part of the 2020 count!
Request your farm form by emailing to

VAAFM has not announced the reinstatement of the Farmers Market Scale Testing which was cancelled a year ago.

NOFA VT Library has great resources including cost of production tools that will help lead you to profitable retail pricing.
Evening Song Farm in Shrewsbury grows certified organic, high-quality vegetables for their community while training new farmers for the future. Prioritizing the long-term health of the soil, the whole farm ecosystem, & the people who eat their food is the basis of their operation.
Long known for their quality produce, they sell through their farm CSA, wholesale to stores, & Northshire Grown Direct. Their greenhouses are in full production with spring greens & summer crops growing for future transplanting. You can see below their greens are looking mighty nice!
Join the Vermont Specialty Food Association for business to business support to grow & improve operations in a supportive environment.
Next up a co-packing webinar, April 21st from 1-2:00.
Cheers to all the VT sugar makers working long hours in their sugarbushes, sugar houses & production lines! It's still flowing in the north country & higher elevations.
Farm to Plate Strategic Plan

The Plan contains a vision for Vermont's food system in 2030, 15 strategic goals with 87 objectives, & recommendations for action. It is based on a series of 54 food system product, market, & issue briefs highlighting current conditions, bottlenecks & gaps, opportunities, & recommendations. Explore the extensive collection of Briefs or dig into the Cheese Brief.
Seasons are changing & along with that; prepared foods & delis are switching up their offerings. Butcher & Pantry in Brownesville has been busy folding pizza boxes for the upcoming blitz as they return to their money-making pizza nights.
Meanwhile along the west coast of Vermont, Pratt's Store is going into the warmer seasons with new ovens to crank out breakfast, lunch & dinner meals for the Bridport community.  

One thing about this store, they really know their customers. Pratt's lets folks know when canning jars come in & a big display is needed to save on stocking-labor. Be like them & grab them up now, as supplies look to be a challenge again this year. Buying now, ensures future sales. 
Was last year exhausting at your store? Are you looking for new ideas, new systems? Contact us for resources such as free consultations & free resources.
City Market promotes green smoothie Spring tune-ups!
With loads of fresh greens coming in from our greenhouses, you too can promote spring tonics & support your local growers.
Eat Local VT is THE game changer the state needs for tourism & promoting local food. Are you part of the non-profit food network promoting VT's local economy? Talk to ACORN about adding local farm & food producers to the app. Available at Apple App & Google Play