Savor the Season Locally

 

November has arrived in full swing, and we have gathered some festive local activities to warm up these colder days. It is time to mark your busy holiday calendars, but remember to be mindful of keeping it local and simple. Look no further than our own backyard in beautiful Shelburne, Vermont!

First up, here is a perfect day out after the big Thanksgiving celebration. Shelburne Museum is holding their “Deck the Halls” holiday event starting the weekend of Friday, November 27 and again from December 5-6. Feast on the exhibits to the sounds of live music, enjoy their special holiday art activities, and take a lively horse and wagon ride. You are warming up nicely already!

What better way to get into the holiday spirit and support local business than a traditional evening holiday stroll in Shelburne on Friday, December 4. After the tree-lighting and caroling, stop in for mulled wine while finding that perfect culinary gift at Chef Contos Kitchen and Store. Now that is a brilliant recipe for a local holiday.

Treat yourself while checking off your gift list at the Shelburne Vineyard Pop up Holiday Market on Saturday, December 12.  This is a full immersion of local goodies to give and savor in one festive location.

May your days be warm and bright!

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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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You’re in Good Company: Shelburne’s Food Artisans

Not only is Shelburne home to iconic Vermont brands (Vermont Teddy Bear and Shelburne Farms, to name two); our quiet town is home to a strong, and growing, community of hard-working, passionate artisans. They do things by hand, they follow their hearts and they produce incredible products. Here are some to check out.

Studio Cacao Chocolatier

Deco-Box

photo courtesy of Bijou Fine Chocolate

Kevin and Laura Toohey, with their son Ronen, make each and every chocolate truffle by hand here in Shelburne. In fact, Studio Cacao was the first tenant to join Vermont Artisan Village back in 2012. Kevin, a trained chef, recently returned from a week at the L’Ecole du Grand Chocolat in New York City excited to tweak his silky-smooth truffle. “When a truffle is made properly,” he told us “it is super light and carries flavors well. I want you to bite into one of our truffles and get a real burst of flavor.” Sounds great to us! Toohey is currently at work perfecting a fleur de sel caramel and truffles infused with rose geranium. Check Studio Cacao out online and in the Burlington Town Center Mall on Church Street.

Folino’s Pizza

Photo courtesy Seven Days

Photo courtesy Seven Days

Folino’s Pizza, housed in a shared space with the award-winning craft brewer Fiddlehead Brewing Company, has a simple mission: To Make the Best Pizza. Fresh dough is made daily and shaped, by hand, into pizzas scattered with simple toppings. Every pie is baked in a 1000-degree brick oven to bubbly, charred-crust perfection. Wait! Before you take that first bite, don’t forget to grab a growler of Fiddlehead’s funky, citrusy IPA.

Chef Contos Kitchen & Store

Chef Courtney Contos is a Chicagoan by birth, a chef and a consultant who has worked with Charlie Trotter and Martha Stewart. She recently opened a kitchen store in town where she sells a curated selection of cool stuff for the kitchen and home and hosts cooking classes. We hear that she recently hosted an Apple Cake Cook-Off and Fall Party. She makes us excited about food and is a vibrant personality. Plus, she’s launching a culinary tours business and has one of the best foodie Instagram feeds around.

Shelburne Vineyard

 

Located across the street from Vermont Artisan Village is Shelburne Vineyard, a pioneer in the Vermont wine industry. Shelburne Vineyard harvests almost 20 acres of grapes every year to produce award-winning wines like their Marquette, made from a red grape cultivated to thrive in cold-climates like ours. The Vineyard practices sustainable agriculture. The Winery is open seven days a week for tastings and tours. We’ll often pick up a bottle of Marquette and a few pizzas from Folino’s to bring home for dinner.

handmade-screen-print-pillows

photo courtesy of Cricket Radio Linen

Cricket Radio Linen
Elizabeth Archangeli and Angie Lizotte are the designers behind Cricket Radio Linen, which makes beautiful linens and other gorgeous goods like pillows, aprons and the most adorable baby onesies! We are thrilled to have Cricket Radio onsite at Vermont Artisan Village. Their products provide a beautiful backdrop for beautiful food. Cricket Radio’s designs are influenced by Indonesian batiks, vintage Americana and rural Vermont and have a decidedly Martha Stewart-meets-etsy flair (no surprise, they were finalists last year in Martha Stewart’s American Made Awards).

Shelburne Country Store

This country store, right off the Shelburne Green, dates back to 1859. Like any good country store, the Shelburne Country Store has anything and everything, including rubber duckie stickers, Bite Me boxer shorts, maple candy, handmade bracelets, scarves and authentic Vermont beef jerky. The collection, and store, is managed by Steve and Deb Mayfield.

What are some of your favorite Shelburne-and-area artisans? Please check out our Facebook page and share your ideas there.

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