March 2019

~Chamber Newsletter~

Info and happenings in our Chamber and Town!

Go to  for construction info

Café Provence to host 
Mexican Dinner with Maria Verduzco!

Thursday, March 14th  5:00-9:00pm

Join Chef Robert and his great staff as they bring authentic Mexican fare from the Baja Peninsula! Maria Louisa Verduzco has prepared a delicious menu of soups, entrees, desserts and special alcohol and non-alcoholic drinks. e menu here!

Maria said "What an opportunity for me to be able to bring a taste of authentic Mexican cuisine to Cafe Provence's tables. Thank you to Chef Robert and Line for opening you r doors to me, it's an honor to be able to work with you."

Come and join us for dinner this Thursday the 14th from 5-9pm.
Reservations recommended! 802-247-9997

Sanderson Bridge repair.

Work to start Wednesday, March 13th

Work on the recently damaged covered bridge will begin with a tentative finish date of March 22nd. During that time please find alternative routes. Detour signs will be placed to advise motorists. 

Building An Even Better Brandon-
The Route 7, Segment 6 Project

Pre-construction and informational meeting.
Thursday, March 21st- 6:30pm upstairs in the Town Hall

Join officials from the town of Brandon, Casellas, DuBois & King and the Water District for a presentation of work to be performed starting later this month and continuing until project completion at the end of 2019. This will include finishing segments already under construction and new work on Franklin and Center Streets and parts of West Seminary and Conant Square.
Bridge 114, the bridge in front of the town offices will be also see completion.
This is an ambitious schedule so come and ask your questions and see the scope of work planned as we continue this large project for an Even BETTER Brandon.
Be involved-Be informed!
Contact Bernie Carr- 802-247-3744(Gift Shop) 802-236-8120(cell)
or with any questions.
We can't stress this enough!
IMPORTANT !! Go to for information and to sign up for our newsletters.
This is our way of getting information out to you in a quick and efficient manner.

Enjoy the groove and good humor of Durham County Poets,  
Brandon Music, Friday, March 15 at 7:30pm.

Brandon Music is thrilled to welcome back Durham County Poets.   Hailing from Ormstown, Quebec and the surrounding Chateauguay Valley, the five seasoned musicians, all of whom are songwriters, work together individually and collaboratively in composing their music.  Delving into a variety of styles and genres, their musical influences include a broad range of artists.  From The Band to Dire Straits, Leon Redbone to James Taylor and Neil Young, they have managed to put it all together to create their own musical style best described as bluesy country/folk with a lot of verve.  The lead singer, Kevin Harvey, is a naturally laid back vocalist who nails the essence of whatever song he's singing, bringing it to life in a way that serves the music and, particularly, the lyrics.  The obvious joie de vivre expressed while performing together is reflected in the good time feel that the band creates, which has been captivating their audiences consistently since their inception 6 years ago.  They have just added a drummer to the band - Rob Couture (formerly of the Echo Hunters.) The Durham County Poets also feature David Whyte on electric guitars and vocals, Neil Elsmore on guitars and vocals and Carl Rufh on double bass and vocals.
"There's something about the Durham County Poets that leaves you feeling that everything might be OK in the world after all. There's a human spirit that lives in these people and their music is the medium that allows that spirit to roam free. "
This event is a part of Vermont Arts 2019, celebrating arts in Vermont.
Concert begins at 7:30pm. Concert tickets are $20. A pre-concert dinner is available for $25.  Reservations are required for dinner and recommended for the show. Venue is BYOB. Call (802) 247-4295 or e-mail for reservations or for more information. Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Rd. Brandon, VT 05733

Saturday, March 30th!!

March is cabin fever, gloomy, cold snowy days and people itching for nice weather.
How about a day of special offers to blast away the doldrums!
Many businesses will be offering great discounts on the big sale day!
We want to get our winter weary friends and neighbors out and about! Join in and have some fun. Let's jump start spring, clear out the winter merchandise, check out the new spring products, grab a bite and a toddy and give us all a reason to walk the streets and smile. Get pampered, try a new hair style (not my area of expertise), get a snazzy tattoo a massage or pedicure, do some Easter shopping then grab a bite to eat. A long winter is coming to an end so let's party!
And of course even more incentive with our great BUZZ card promotion!! We've paid out over $3000.00 for completed cards in only 3 months along with our first of two grand prizes of $2019.07!!!
Your support of Brandon businesses after a looong winter will go far in keeping a vibrant and active downtown and a successful Brandon/Forest Dale village.
 Thanks for your support and watch for the ads in the Reporter.
Join us and be a part of the MAGIC that is Forest Dale and Brandon!

New Exhibit Series Celebrates 20 Years of the Brandon Artists Guild

The Brandon Artists Guild (The BAG) is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a series of themed exhibits honoring our planet. The series will run from March through October, with each show lasting two months. The first exhibit, Art of the Earth, opens March 1and runs through April 30. 
The exhibit series represents a departure for the 20-year-old Artists Guild. "Rather than having our traditional single-artist exhibits, we decided to invite all our exhibiting members to contribute to four group shows based on a single theme," says artist Judith Reilly, "and what better subject than the Earth, where we draw our inspiration from?"
This year is also the Chinese Year of the Pig, which ties into the BAG's history. In 2003, the Guild's first public art fundraiser, "The Really Really Pig Show," caught the public's attention and put the young Brandon Artists Guild on the road to its current success. "We owe a lot to the pigs," says Reilly.
The Year of the Pig also recognizes nature's elements, Earth, Wood, Water, and Fire. The BAG will devote its four exhibits to these elements. The Art of the Earth exhibit will include pottery by guest artist Amanda Ann Palmer.
In addition to Art of the Earth in March and April, the remaining exhibits are:
Art of Wood - May 3 through June 25,  Art of Water - June 28 through August 27
Art of Fire - August 30 through October 29
The Brandon Artists Guild is an artist-run gallery with approximately 40 exhibiting artists and additional supporting members. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit cultural organization, the BAG supports the visual arts through exhibitions, lectures, demonstrations and educational programs.
The BAG, at 7 Center Street in Brandon, is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10AM to 5PM, and Sunday from 10AM to 4PM. Information: 802 247-4956


The spirited  Ameranouche perform Gypsy Flamenco Swing at Brandon Music, Saturday, 
March 30 at 7:30pm.

Burlington based and award winning trio ,  Ameranouche (pronounced uh-Mare-uh-noosh) perform live at Brandon Music Saturday March 30th at 7:30pm  playing a passionate style of music they call "Gypsy Flamenco Swing."   The trios' name is derived from two words:  American and Manouche, the gypsy tribe of Django Reinhardt.  The rip-roaring ensemble is a super force of hot acoustic Gypsy inspired music mixing Flamenco, Bebop and jazz swing influences.  Played on traditional French jazz guitars, the music is rhythmic, vigorous and elegant.  Whether they are playing a musette waltz from 1930 or an Andalusian inspired original tune, Ameranouche's Gypsy Flamenco Swing style is a fresh and highly enjoyable new sound for the 21 st century. 
The group features three highly accomplished musicians, Richard "Shepp" Sheppard on guitar, Michael K Harrist on bass and Julian Loida, percussionist. Sheppard is a  graduate of Berklee School of Music where he  studied guitar, composition and aesthetics.  He later taught guitar, composition and music theory at Bennington College.  Sheppard has performed extensively with major artists including John Jorgenson from the award winning J2B2 and the legendary fiddler, Vassar Clements, one of the most innovative musicians in the history of bluegrass music.  Sheppard's love for the guitar and his passion for Gypsy music are what drew him to form Ameranouche.
Harrist is a musician and educator based in Boston and Southern Maine.  He performs and works with  artists in a wide array of world traditions including Turkish art music, Hindustani music, jazz, Western Art music and American roots music. Harrist studied double bass with James Macdonald at the Open Music Collective in Brattleboro Vermont and received his BA in music and religion from Marlboro College.  
Julian Loida is a percussionist, multimedia artist and curator exploring repertoire spanning Western classical music, to Cuban Bata drumming, to Jazz and R&B.  Julian grew up in St Louis with his rock band Project 324 and the St Louis Youth Orchestra.  Today, as well as performing with Ameranouche, Loida leads a folkloric Cuban and Brazilian band called INA, a modern world-jazz quintet called Mojuba, as well as his awarded folk band, Night Tree.
Concerts begin at 7:30pm. Concert tickets are $20. A pre-concert dinner is available for $25.  Reservations are required for dinner and recommended for the show. Venue is BYOB.
Call Edna (802) 247-4295 or e-mail for reservations or for more information. Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Rd. Brandon, VT 05733

Brandon's Energy Committee-
Quick recommendation if you're looking to 
save some money!

1) lighting, 2) heating, cooling and ventilation, 3) insulation, windows and doors, 4) refrigeration and commercial kitchens, 5) renewable energy, 6) appliances, 7) electronics, 8) transportation, 9) agricultural equipment, and 10) industrial and special equipment costs.
Efficiency Vermont has all of the products available here:
And all of the rebates available here:
(Background on Efficiency Vermont: Founded in 2000 as the nation's first energy efficiency utility, they are Vermont's objective adviser on saving energy through efficiency, which is the most affordable, local fuel source. In every county, they provide Vermonters with technical services and financial support to improve their homes, businesses, and communities. They also train and partner with local providers of efficient goods and services so all Vermonters can easily find the efficiency resources they need.)
Here's a quick list of all that's covered on their site:

 Brandon Congregational Church

Looking for vendors for an indoor Spring Cleaning Yard Sale.

 To be held in Fellowship Hall on  Saturday April 6th  from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Space costs $15.00 and includes a 6 ft by 2 1/2 ft table with plenty of space in front of the table for all your yard sale items. No gas powered machinery please. This sale will be advertised in newspapers, TV, and Front Porch Forum. There will be a set up time on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning before the sale and all unsold items need to be removed from Fellowship Hall on Saturday when the sale in over. 
To rent your space email Kristen Varian- 
or call at 779-7909 by March 29.

Line Barral receives her
$2019.07 check 

      Shop and SAVE!
Shop and WIN!

The Downtown Brandon Alliance, Brandon Chamber of Commerce and the Town of Brandon are excited to announce our 2018 Grand Prize winner!
Congratulations to Line Barral of Brandon! Line won $2019.07, the 2018 grand prize for our newly launched Buzz Card shopping incentive program! We had over 75 completed cards turned in, which translated to about 500 tickets entered into the drawing. But don't stop making use of your Buzz Card, another $2019.07 will be won by some lucky person at the end of 2019! There will also be many gift certificates from the participating businesses to be won.
This "get out to shop" program helped to bring all our friends and neighbors into our local businesses. Join in the fun, after your purchase of $10.00 or more the clerk will punch your card! After you get 10 punches you get $20 in Brandon Green and entry tickets for the 2019 grand prize!   It's that EASY! 
We hope this incentive will help you make the extra effort to come into town and do your shopping all through the upcoming construction season.

So grab your card, run into your local businesses and get punched!!

KEEP USING YOUR CARDS!!     List of businesses and their punch design


A prime figure in American music, the talented singer-songwriter and guitarist, Rupert Wates, at Brandon Music, April 6.

Saturday, 7:30pm

Rupert Wates is the quintessential  singer -songwriter.  His prolific career spanning more than 25 years really took off in 1994 when he signed a publishing deal with Eaton Music (London) and became a full time songwriter.  A move to the USA in 2007 helped to establish him as "A prime figure in American Music." according to the Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange.   As an extremely skilled and accomplished singer-songwriter Wates  has released 9 solo albums, won over 40 songwriting and performing awards and performed in over 3500 concerts averaging 120 per  year in every state in the US, Canada and Europe.  In December 2018 he finished recording his new CD "Full Circle".  Rupert Wates writes: "This CD is a return to my roots - hence its title...It's intended partly as a homage to the artists I grew up listening to - among them Leo Kottke, John Martyn, Joni Mitchell and Nick Drake - who have made me the musician I am today."  Of this album Roy Stanbridge, FATEA UK writes, "He is a brilliant lyricist with the ability to paint pictures in the listener's mind with subtle brushstrokes, all accompanied by some wonderful finger style acoustic guitar work."
Wates is a regular guest at Brandon Music where audiences respond enthusiastically to his warm and expressive vocals, his beautiful acoustic guitar playing and his calm, relaxing performance style.  Wates too prefers performing in more intimate venues, claiming that Brandon Music is "the best little venue in Vermont"  where the audience is up close and the emphasis is on the music. 
He is the real deal.
Concerts begin at 7:30pm. Concert tickets are $20. A pre-concert dinner is available for $25.  Reservations are required for dinner and recommended for the show. Venue is BYOB.
Call Edna (802) 247-4295 or e-mail for reservations or for more information. Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Rd. Brandon, VT 05733

Get it- 

We are pleased to host a Titleist Fitting Event on April 30, 2019 from 2:00pm EDT to 6:00pm EDT to get fit for Titleist clubs or have your product questions answered.

Here's what to expect during your fitting:
  • A 45-minute fitting with a Titleist Product Specialist.
  • Fitting conducted with an extensive matrix of Titleist metals, irons and wedges.
  • Precision data from a Trackman ball flight monitor.
Book your appointment online today by clicking here

OPERA at-a-glance: the latest exhibit at the Compass Music and Arts Center
  Did you know that opera singers are basically Olympic athletes?
An opera singer has to be able to sustain high notes over a long period of time while using their body to amplify a sound so that it can be heard over a full orchestra and do so without any microphones. Opera singers show us the loudest sounds and the highest pitches the human body can produce. It takes many years before someone can audition to be cast in a professional company. This is one of the facts you can discover by visiting the 'Opera at-a-glance' exhibit in the Compass Music and Arts Center.
The Center is also providing a listening room where visitors can relax and sample different operas and hear the astounding voices of such great opera singers as Luciano Pavarotti and Renée Fleming.
The history of recorded sound is a further strength of the Compass Center as it hosts the Phonograph Rooms. Part of the exhibit will be devoted to how recording helped to popularize opera for all to enjoy.  

The Compass Center is celebrating the world of opera with this exhibit to launch the  collaboration between the Compass Music and Arts Foundation and BARN OPERA and its founder and artistic director Josh Collier who is an internationally acclaimed opera singer. 
The Foundation, through the new BARN OPERA venture, is organizing performances of loved operas through 2018 and beyond.

The Compass Music and Arts Center is located in Park Village at 333 Jones Dr. Brandon VT, 05733 (Park Village used to be the Brandon Training School, located 1.5 miles north of   downtown Brandon off Arnold District Rd.). 

Pick up your hard hat!!
Great gifts !!!
Join in the fun, support the Downtown Brandon Alliance and Chamber as they help the businesses prosper through the construction AND win some money and great prizes!!
Stop in the town office and pick up your bright orange hard hat for only $5.00 and be eligible for our monthly $50.00 drawing in Brandon Green!! The drawings will be done throughout the Even BETTER Brandon construction project. We're working on lots of other ideas and functions to make use of your stylish hard hat!
Watch for more info on the super End-of Project prizes!


Compass Treasure Chest

Run by a group of local residents, the store is a unique co-op consignment shop. They sell and consign collectables, antiques, dishes, tools, furniture, jewelry, stamps, puzzles, books, toys, art items and much more! They will always be looking for more items and of course, always receiving new items, so stop in frequently to see what is new.

For more information or to inquire about consigning with them, contact Annie at 802-558-2663 or email and follow them on Facebook.

Free online tech support!

This is why we love the Brandon area, and the folks who make up our Chamber of Commerce!
Many thanks to Greg Smela of 
" Simple Systems of Vermont", a locally owned tech company. Greg will provide free online tech support for BACC members via an online support forum.

How does it work?

Easy! Current BACC members can sign up at You'll be prompted to create an account by entering your name, email address, company/organization name and phone number. Your account will be activated within a few hours and you'll receive instructions at the email address you provide. 

What do you get? Simple... free support. That means, if you have a computer or other tech-related question you can post it in the forum and expect to receive an answer generally within 24 hours (but most likely much sooner). What kind of support is provided? We'll assist with hardware and software support and advice. Are you having a problem deciding on what hardware might work for your business or what software application will do the job? Post away and we'll help you.
What isn't covered: Telephone or email support. We can't answer your individual questions by email or phone as we are a business too and need to earn our keep! We also can't help your Aunt Ida or your friends, kids, pets, etc., but we hope this free service will help you deal with the small problems you may face from day to day.

We ask that you limit participation to one account per BACC membership. We are providing this for current BACC members as a way to help support our wonderful Brandon community.
                    Many thanks Greg!!
Celebrate the good life with Brandon's own award-winning beer and wine.
Brandon's home grown beers and wines!

Foley Brothers Brewing and Neshobe River Winery's tasting barn is open Wednesday through Saturday 11 to 5. Tasting flights, growler fills, bottles, and a country setting await you. Bring your friends or make some new ones here!

Others drive hundreds of miles to enjoy the beer that's right in your back yard! Come visit us today.
And don't forget, you can rent our tasting barn for private parties and special events.
 Follow us on Facebook and don't miss our latest release.
 Now open Sundays 11-4:00 !!
Read a great little review from a Woodstock B&B blog here!
  Foley Brothers Brewing
Neshobe River Winery
Inn At Neshobe River
79 Stone Mill Dam Rd.   247-8002

Call for Exhibit Proposals at the Compass Music and Arts Center
Compass is seeking innovative work for solo and/or group exhibits from artists working in a variety of media.

Curators and both emerging and established artists are encouraged to apply. Site-specific work/installations will also be considered. This is a rolling open call for exhibits.
  A variety of exhibit spaces are available, giving flexibility to artists for the scope of their vision and needs.
  Further information, including a sample exhibit contract and submission guidelines, can be found at
  Compass is a multi-faceted arts center with many components drawing visitors through its doors, including artist studios, gift shops, a consignment shop, music, a café, and a variety of events. Located in Brandon, Vermont it is also in the heart of a pulsing arts community.
  The Compass Music and Arts Center is located in Park Village at 333 Jones Drive, Brandon VT, 05733 (Park Village used to be the Brandon Training School, located 1.5 miles north of downtown Brandon off Arnold District Rd.).

The Divine Art Recordings Group at Compass
Many people still don't realize that Brandon is home to one of the busiest and critically praised classical music record companies. 

 We moved our headquarters from England in 2009 and  now have our offices and a dedicated CD store at the Compass Music & Arts Center, in Park Village.  We specialize in contemporary music and rediscovered  masterpieces - not the same old pieces that everyone else records..... we have just completed a massive ten -CD  series for  Russia's greatest living composer  Artyomov, a similar series for Cambridge MA organ composer Carson Cooman and are signing superb artists from around the world Including (this year already) USA, UK, France, Australia, Malta and Iran.  Our recordings are available at all CD and digital /streaming sites but you can come to our store, discuss and sample over 500 titles of music from the 15 th to 21 st century.  

We are open Monday-Saturday 10-5 at 333 Jones Drive, Brandon. 247-4295. 
Please note we do NOT have a local recording studio.

Studio and Gallery Spaces available to rent now at the Compass Center


Calling all artists in all disciplines! Have you ever dreamed of creating and working in a supportive environment with other artists? A place where there is space for artists to create, display and sell their work, provide classes, meet with colleagues and have access to a café and other amenities.  Compass Music and Arts Center is such a place. For more information and to schedule a visit, call Edna Sutton at 802-247-4295.  Very reasonable rates starting from $170 per month inclusive of all utilities.  Short leases available.
Compass Music and Arts Center 333 Jones Drive, Park Village, Brandon, VT.

Get on board the successful Gateways
to Adventure promotion!
You can sponsor a page at any time,
for one full year, for only $25.00
Sponsor ALL eleven pages
for only $200.00  
Gateways to Adventure        Click here for a printable PDF   Sponsorship form


Chamber "dollars"- a refresher course!

Every now and then I think it's important to
remind those of us who have been taking Brandon Green for years, and new businesses that have joined the Chamber, about the process for handling the certificates.
The $5.00, $20.00 and $25.00 certificates are legal tender and handled just like a check. You take the Brandon Green and give your customer change back, just like cash or a check. Then you deposit the Brandon Green into your account, just like a check. Simple and supportive of all our members.
Click here for more info on our popular Brandon Green

Vermont Association of Chamber Executives
Insurance program offerings for Chamber members.
VACE health insurance program is back! 

Other products still offered through VACE include, Dental and Vision packages.
M ore information on all of these products can be found at
Or contact the Richards Group (802) 775-2503 

Next Chamber Meeting-
Monday, March 18th, 2019 will be our next meeting!  6:30pm

The third Monday of the month.

The Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors will meet at 6:30pm in the Cliver Room at the Stephen A Douglas Birthplace. Chamber membership
and the general public are invited to attend.