The Vision and Passion Behind The Vermont Artisan Village

Thanks to a Bronwyn Dunne and Natalie Lovelace from “In the Kitchen with Bronwyn” for this story.

A Vision
Located in Shelburne on Route 7, the up-and-coming Vermont Artisan Village is a community of Vermont food producers and artisans that showcases some of the best handcrafted products Vermont has to offer. Macy Mullican first had the vision for the project after chairing the 400 year Vermont Quadricentennial Celebration, “Taste of Champlain” during the summer of 2009. Walking out from Shelburne Vineyard, where she has worked since 2002, she saw the potential of the property across the street as a place for community members to gather, work and incubate ideas to support Vermont’s sustainable, local food and artisan movement.

A few months later at the winter NOFA conference, she shared the concept of an artisan village with others. A few days later, to her surprise, an individual reached out to her showing interest in the project. This moment became the catalyst that called her into action, and she has not slowed down since. Almost 6 years and many 3:00 AM mornings later, Macy’s vision has materialized and the supportive landowners, who also own J. Graham Goldsmith Architects, are now anxious to start building.

A Sustainable Food & Business “Think Tank” for All
The existing vineyard, brewery, surrounding conserved agricultural land, access to public transportation and proximity to downtown Burlington makes the location a prime tourist destination. However, Macy states that the village is not simply for tourist, “it’s for everyone!” She wants the village to be a thriving center for all of Vermont’s residents, and hopes that partnerships can be made to make these products more affordable while still supporting the honest and hardworking producers. Macy, who grows a lot of her own food to cut down on cost, understands that quality local, organic food is more expensive. She states, we must “eat less, eat healthier and realize we need to budget more for healthy food in our daily diets.”

Macy describes the village as a potential “think tank” of sorts for Vermont agriculture and cuisine. It is a place for artisans, food producers, chefs, food enthusiasts and visionaries to come together to exchange ideas and aid one another in creating more sustainable business practices. Macy underscores that “it is all about collaboration and synergetic relationships” One business’s waste can become another’s fuel, excess materials can be shared, and distribution can be worked out together.

Join The Community!
Thanks to J. Graham Goldsmith Architects, in addition to Act 250, they are well on their way. Each space can be built to each tenant’s individual needs and desired environment. The only requirement is that the space is 80% manufacturing and 20% retail, allowing for a unique experience for guests. Macy states that “it’s different when visitors can see the product being made – being made is key”. Not only does this allow visitors to get to taste the best of Vermont, but also understand the process, bringing transparency to the village.

Macy and the J. Graham Goldsmith Architects have laid the groundwork for the exciting project and are looking for individuals to join the vibrant community of artisans celebrating Vermont’s working landscape. The location makes this property radiate with the potential to become a thriving idea/culinary/ag hub that supports local businesses and attracts visitors from far and wide.

Interested in getting involved? Email Macy today at vtculinary@yahoo.com and be sure to like Vermont Artisan Village Shelburne on Facebook for all of their exciting updates.

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