Promoting Simple High-Summer Meals
Week 20 of Covid-19, July 31
Brownesville Butcher & Pantry: serving curbside cookouts!
Grocery Nibbles
Creativity is what is happening at stores across the state. At Brownesville Butcher & Pantry , all hands are on deck marinating local meat for their kebab night! Grilling comes next when the scents of fired up vegies & meat are deftly prepared for their loyal locals & summer traffic takes in their unique event.

Owners & hosts Lauren & Peter have shifted greatly in their second summer. Of course this is not like last year operationally, but creativity rules their store & cafe. With new social distance options including a little music, lots of ice cream, there is something for everyone with their Friday night specials.

If you are staytripping in VT, this is a stop for you! Their support of local producers is Rooted in Vermont along with amazing cafe fare & superior baked goods. Last but not least, their hospitality-which makes our state so special.
Today, July 31 Currier's Quality Market in Glover changes hands. After running the store for 53 years, a change was in order for Jim Currier. Known throughout the state & among those seeking cultural novelties, the store had a full line of taxidermy along with all the standard staples a country store offers. ( including a post office-which did not survive the change).

Under new ownership comes renovations with an anticipated fall opening. We wish the best to Jim & the new owners!
When last I was at the grocery store I said to the cashier, "It must be hard seeing so few smiles but I promise I gave you a really big one when I came up!" She smiled herself and said, "Oh, I can tell, people who really smile do it as much with their eyes as their mouths." That really warmed my heart. 
-a customer at Currier's Market
Simple Supper Promotion

VT Fresh Pasta, everyone's goto for easy dinners when gardens are bursting! Increase your sales of VT Pasta by reminding your first-time gardeners (remember how so many people started covid gardens?). The quick cooking pasta AND superb sauces for grilled vegetable dinners, cold pasta salads & hot from the grill pizza are money makers for stores. Help your shoppers create wonderful dinners while promoting this fantastic Vermont company. Let's keep our dollars locally spent. Easily available to stores across the region, just contact Tricia!
photo credit: Jeb Wallace-Brodeur Seven Days
Babbette's Table is a line of cured, handcrafted small batch charcuterie made in Waitsfield.
Cross-promote with with VT Pasta & local produce. Available at Rooted in Vermont stores including Jubilee Farm , Philo Ridge Farm , Hunger Mountain Coop , The Butchery , among other quality markets across the state.
Jubliee Farm is one of the many farms expanding the selection of VT products to meet increased demand from shoppers. By utilizing local distributors such as Lesser & Farm Connex , they are fully stocked for easy dinners made with VT foods across all food categories. Be like Jubliee & promote local food Rooted in Vermont .
Walnut Hill Farm in Pawlett, producers of heritage pork which is the primary ingredient in their small batch salami for discerning stores & shoppers. Another exemplary hand crafted salami made with care at every stage of production.
2019 (pre-covid) Producer Buyer Forum where Live Young Kitchen met Lesser Distribution
Distribution/Supply-side Nuggets
There is a lot of wonder how farms & specialty food producers are actually faring this year & how early covid-19 local food upticks are panning out now.

We went back to Michael Lesser for a check-in for insights on what he is seeing. He specializes in exclusively selling Vermont made products to coops, independents & farm stands.

Let's just say he is over the moon with sales increasing considerably higher than last year! All types of products are flying at every type of outlet he services. Items that he thought would have slowed are still going strong. In spring be brought on a new store, Vermont Food Collaborative to round out his Middlebury Route. With so many operational shifts & shopping pattern changes both are super happy that shoppers are still focusing their dollars on VT products.

Live Young Kitchen is thrilled to be working with Michael. A new producer working with the Center for an Agricultural Economy , Brad Young has received great support. But what he is gaining with his distributor relationship exceeded expectations. Michael is a gem always willing to advise emerging producers in gaining new market share. New to food production, he is all ears taking in Michael's advice and making adjustments. The two first met last year at the Producer Buyer Forum a co-sponsorship of ACORN , VT Farm to Plate , & VAAFM . The experience has allowed Live Young to grow & Lesser Distribution continue to broaden Vermont products at stores.
Live Young Kitchen, makers of amazing nutrient dense high value foods. The fruit sauces are year-round flavors of summer.
Robb Farm: thinks were sticky, now they are sweet!
Farm Fresh Bites

Farmers have been making up for lost sales due to covid by hosting summer RV tourists. A platform called Harvest Hosts has done wonders for many farms. Robb Farm in Brattleboro lost maple revenue in the early stage of covid, but things changed quickly.

Uncertain what the year would bring after a slow start to maple season, they heard about Harvest Hosts from another farmer. After researching & assessing early-season losses they signed up as a host. It has been amazing for them. Each night RVs pull in to park & folks shop like mad at their retail farm store.

Lost revenue has been reclaimed along with very positive reviews which steer other RV'ers. Robb Farm has long engaged in ag-tourism. This years' tourist farm visit uncertainties has been eased with this new revenue stream. It is yet to be determined what happens for fall foliage season but signing up with Harvest Hosts has been a stroke of great luck.
For a Vermonter, the next 45 days is peak season for produce. We have the crossover of blueberries & ever-bearing strawberries, full on saute vegetables- peppers of all kinds, eggplant in all its glory, corn, onions tomatoes followed by "harvest season" of apples, potatoes, & winter squash. Hartshorn Farm in Waitsfield has been having a banner year. After the multitude of uncertainties of the early-stage pandemic they are thrilled by the positive turn of events of increased sales. Sales are well over last year at this time over 200% higher. Below is a picture of Dave chatting up with a customer and the flush of tomatoes which are selling hand over fist to everyone who walks into the farm stand!
Staycationing in Vermont:
The ice cream map, goes great with DiginVT Pick Your Own Fruit Guide . Blueberries, peaches, plums & ice cream, YAY!
Vermont Specialty Food Association: It's not just for food producers! Grocers & farmers with retail operations can gain from their business resources & being exposed to great Vermont products. Their website has tools for searching for producers to round out your inventory.
Thank you to the farmers, producers, distributors & suppliers for providing information for this update.

Contact Annie H Harlow
to share your info & seek retailing business resources

Funding support provided by USDA & VAAFM & High Meadows Fund