Small Bites February 2020
Winter Trainings for Producers
Winter is a great time for producers to engage in trainings and support services to help them open new accounts with stores & distributors.

Pictured above, farmers from across the state participate in the Windham Grows Farmer Cohort improving their business acumen. And below, producers in the Mettowee Valley Food Shed are organizing resources to expand sales to reach new Vermont, and wider distribution areas.

As part of Farm to Plate Network, area food hubs & non-profits like ACORN ( host of the annual Producer Buyer Forum) lead workshops helping producers improve operations & access to new distribution outlets.
Attention Retail Farm Stores:
March 18 in Richmond, Farm to Plate hosts a training for improving your operations & merchandising. Stay tuned for the sign up link coming soon.
Butcher & Pantry in Brownesville happily hosted Governor Scott with a visit to their community oriented store. They have a fantastic following based on their excellent product mix of local, national and specialty from a handful of distributors. Their services includes a focus on hand-cut Vermont produced meat.

Lauren & Peter have an excellent suite of promotional and marketing avenues. With a robust social media presence, they showcase their products and service with email, Instagram, FB and by the old fashioned one-on-one, in-store relations building.

How are you doing with your outreach to customers?
Mountain Energy Mkt in Londonderry purchases and displays local producers at high visibility locations. Be like Donna and keep your local products well placed and well stocked.
Rail City Market in St Albans is seeking a small section of bulk bins in good condition. Anyone care to help Ashley out with ideas or bins to sell? She would love to connect with any independent stores or coops.
What' new? Vermont Products
Live Young Kitchen is a company with a distinct customer base in mind. Their products are nutrient dense, plant-based and nearly all are dairy-free, vegan, non-gmo, with no or low salt, sugar and oil. AND full of flavor. They are also seeking to reduce the plasticfication of the food system by utilizing glass and non-plastic packaging.

Store buyers are seeking distributors to match this customer demand as part of a national trend. Lesser Distribution distributes LYK products to the Jericho Market, City Market, Healthy Living, Lantmans' among other stores.

Brad Young attended the 2019 Producer Buyer Forum clearly making significant connections to widen product exposure and distribution.
Valued Communities: Valued Relationships

Mehuron's Supermarket in Waitsfield has been closed since January 3rd when a fire at an adjacent business damaged the store. Their team is working overtime to get the store back open. Needless to say this has a huge direct impact. There is also a multiplier effect to local producers who have lost a vibrant market. Waitsfield is the heart of the Mad River ski valley and the temporary closure has resonated widely with customers, employees, and suppliers. Farm to Plate extended a helping hand whenever needed.

Natural Provisions an independent natural supermarket is closing its Williston location. The stresses and operational pressure of 2019 and the 2020 expansion of a competing natural foods store to the area has led them to this difficult decision. NP has served its community widely and has supported Vermont producers across all categories.
New Store Opening:
Jake's Old North End (of Jakes Quechee Market) opened in Burlington Feb 5th. AGNE brought a crew of store counselors to stock the shelves. Check out pictures of the evolution of the space and it's opening.

Contact Annie H Harlow for info, support inquiries,
or to share your retail tips

Funding support provided by USDA & VAAFM & High Meadows Fund