VFVC Celebrates 7 Years and 300 Recipes
In the month of May, staff, Board members, local officials, and food and farm partners celebrated the seventh year of the Vermont Food Venture Center moving to Hardwick. "I can honestly say that Sumptuous Syrups wouldn't be here if it weren't for the Food Venture Center moving to Hardwick," said Linda Fox, who owns a cocktail syrup company, which is the country's only Farm-to-Bar Cocktail Syrup. The event to celebrate this milestone was held in downtown Hardwick where Andrew Meyer of the CAE Board of Directors and VT Natural Coatings began the evening by sharing the history of the VFVC.
"The 15,000 square food building was made possible by three major funders; the Town of Hardwick, with a Community Development Block grant, the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, and the Economic Development Administration." said Andrew. "Without their support, and the key anchor tenants - Cellars at Jasper Hill and Grassrooots Distribution - this incredible resource for our local economy would never have been built."
He then went on to thank the board of directors of the center for an agricultural economy, as well as Monty Fischer, former executive director, and key staff and partners. The evening including the premiere showing of 10 "Meet the Maker" Videos, which highlighted the business clients who have used the VFVC and business advising services. These videos ranged from Butterfly Bakery, a woman-owned baked goods and savories company, who buys all local Vermont hot peppers, to Templeton Farm, a 207 year old beef and maple farm operation.
Over the past seven years, the VFVC has had 89 food production clients, 17 of whom have traveled from out of state. These food production clients have made over 300 recipes and food products using the shared-used kitchens and food safety expertise. An additional 30-some farmers have used the building for storage, for education and workshops, or for the business advising services provided by the Farm and Food Business Specialist.
Currently, the offerings from the Vt Food Venture Center team includes marketing and branding services, one-on-one business advising, technical assistance, food regulatory advising, and of course - scaling up recipes and batches for growing markets and sales.
Executive Director, Sarah Waring, also highlighted the Farm to Institution program, which is CAE's very own social enterprise - designed to expand farmer's access to institutional markets by providing lightly processed local vegetables to colleges, schools and hospitals. She also gave a special thank you to Connor Gorham, the VFVC Facilities Manager, who has been working on behalf of the farm and food businesses for all 7 years - since it opened!
Learn about the Business Services available.
Inquire about bringing your Business to the VFVC.
Or MEET THE MAKERS with this video series!