Bread & Chocolate- stocking the staples
~Lite Summer Edition~
Week 23 of Covid-19, August 19
D & K Market sells fresh donuts from Mountain Donuts- both are Jamaica institutions!
Grocery Nibbles
High in the mountains & along the river valley in Jamaica, VT sits a quintessential general store. D & K Market's owner Karen, shares her friendly demeanor & all-knowing insights to the community- whether old timers or new to the town (covid has resettled new folks to town in a big way).
The market is chocked full of hand-made food flying out of the prepared foods deli, freshly cut meat with their on-site butcher, loads of local arts & crafts, & of course the full line of grocery products for summer folks & tourists alike. They buy so locally- it is just across the street! Mountain Donuts, are made with Larson Farm milk, Cabot Creamery butter, local jams & jelly & King Arthur Baking Company flour. These hand crafted donuts are the newest hit product, a line awaits for those who oversleep!
It's not always easy to keep up in the summer (this one has extra elements as we are all so familiar), Karen & the team are stocking everything one needs for camp, condo or for lazy summer fun. D&K do it with Vermont style, while encouraging local products to make it home- where ever that may be.
This is the local's local place to buy beer. The store works closely with all its distributors stocking VT craft beer from Craft Beer Guild & VT Beer Shepherd as well as national brands. With summer still in full swing, the store is not slowing down on orders. Other VT distributors filling the coolers at D &K include Farrell & Baker. Both which also have fantastic non-alcohol VT beverages too. 
MOCO just announced that they carry baked goods from Two Sons Bakehouse including bagels, English muffins, & baguettes delivered every Monday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday.
Located in Jeffersonville, VT on the mountain road they have a strong emphasis on wholesale. They also plan to open a café serving as a local retail outlet offering breakfast sandwiches, bagels, scones, muffins, cinnamon rolls & coffee for the morning crowd & a lite lunch menu with specials using as much local products as possible.  
Schmilk chocolate , made in Vermont, is "the world's first premium vegan milk chocolate". What's special about Schmilk? It actually tastes like milk chocolate! Since 2012, they have been hand crafting this dairy free chocolate & is a gift not just to vegans, but to all. Their perfected recipe includes cashew nuts as the key ingredient which makes this dairy free milk chocolate irresistibly delicious. Order some for your store -or to send to friends.
"Curbside was really hard, it is nice to have customers back in the store. We would have needed a huge staff working 14 hours a day filling our curbside orders if we kept it up. We have so many new customers -houses are being grabbed up at a fast rate. All our VT products are selling well, especially craft beer & donuts" -Karen at D&K Market
Grocers need food manufacturers to be "shelf ready" especially in these trying times with so many covid related operational changes at the store level. VSFA & Farm to Plate encourage tapping into easily accessed online tools & resources. Any producer looking to improve & streamline their product labels  & being shelf ready should know about & dive into the Cornell food science website.
Though not a Vermont company, this is an interesting story regarding scale of operation, funding & watching food tech/venture capital. “I try to grow little by little,” Albrecht says, “and luckily I have never lost money. My business is profitable. I can pay myself. I can pay my employees. I can pay all the bills to my suppliers on time.” Listen & find out why.
Your store needs best of the best- VT made doggie treats, Andy's Dandys or send online order to send to your pooch friends.
Calling all farm & food manufacturers...
Tell us something to share in Small Bites!
Thank you to the farmers, producers, distributors & suppliers for providing information for this update.
Farrell warehouse: it goes from full to empty quickly this time of year! photo
Distribution/Supply-side Nuggets
Farrell Distributing invites its customers to join their online, web based ordering platform. Now you can shop & place orders any time of day or night. Though their attentive reps are always just a call away. The full line of products will be available & conveniently just a click away. 
Long known as a distributor to independent stores, Associated
Grocers of New England, has another lesser known role selling food. It has a number of stores from
Newport to Londonderry & around northern VT including The
Village Market in Waterbury. Each store purchases direct from food producer across all categories. Local poultry from MistyKnoll Farms, bread from the long established Stewart's Bakery, produce from Pete's Greens & renown doggy biscuits from Andy's Dandy's. Vermonters want local food,
& this family of stores continues a long tradition among stores to support local manufacturers & farmers.
Did you know? Vermont has a chocolate-tour map featuring many of our finest chocolatiers. This along with the cheese tour, the PYO map, & the ice cream map showcase our many fine food producers. Check out the fine chocolates, including VT Nut Free Chocolates & consider stocking VT chocolates from the wide range of producers & unique products from every corner of the state.
Farm Fresh Bites
Education & fun at Bread & Butter Farm
Bread & Butter Farm is the founding farm for the new Vermont Agrarian Commons: a model for community-centered land ownership that centers on holistic community thriving, interdependent business enterprises built on relationships, organic farming practices that heal land, & a more equitable path to access farmland.

"About our new endeavor with Vermont Agrarian Commons: Transferring land ownership to Vermont Agrarian Commons means that farmers are free from massive debt on land and can make substantial investment in sustainable farming practices. At Bread & Butter Farm this will mean investing in wetland & riparian restoration projects, community space, education center, farm store and cafe market expansion, farmer housing, & agroforestry plantings for tree fruits, to name a few."
California is burning; The mountains around Santa Cruz with ranches leading down to the wholesale crops along the Pacific coast’s Route 1 are being ravaged. The farms & vineyards of Napa & Sonoma are heavily impacted for an indefinite period.
For us back East, the combination of high rates of covid among immigrant laborer’s, harvesting in dangerous air quality, & the destruction of packing & shipping infrastructure will create a long lasting impact. This is just the beginning as fires rage out of control up & down the state. Look for long lasting disruptions from California.

Meanwhile regarding covid: If you haven't read/seen these, they are worth it; recent WAPO article & WSJ video highlight supply side variables, trends & uncertainties; while a WAPO article covers grocery workers stress & despair in the "essential job".

Photo: Resilience Force-laborers along California RT 1
Photo credits from company social media, websites or Annie Harlow, unless otherwise noted

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Funding support provided by High Meadows Fund