Meet the Makers!

Meet the Maker: VFVC Farm and Food Businesses share their stories!

In this dynamic video series, the team at the Vt Food Venture Center has profiled 13 of the farm and food entrepreneurs who work with us. From hot sauces to grass-fed beef, from veggie burgers to orchardists, these 13 Makers represent the wide range of clients who utilize production kitchens, storage facilities, business planning, marketing and food safety services, and more. Visit the site to watch them all, or scroll down here to choose the client you'd like to learn about:

Look at a map of Hardwick, Vermont from the late 1800’s and you will find several large hop yards listed. Hop farming was a major industry in Hardwick, a distinct and important part of the town but as of late, largely forgotten. Take a tour of Whitefield Hopyard, and see how they are working to  put Vermont hops back on the map!  


The bees pollinate the apples. The apples feed the sheep. The sheep fertilize and mow the orchard. It is that permaculture way of thinking, and integrated approach to farming, that sets Cate Hill Orchard and Creamery apart. As Maria Schumann and Josh Karp sing in their pasture, we get to catch a glimpse into their life  on the farm, and hear and see the beauty. 

Join the green salsa revolution! Tom Williams, of Tom Knows Salsa, takes us into the fields and the kitchen to share his passion for green salsa. We learn about the tomatillo, and Tom's drive to make a delicious green salsa in Vermont. 

In this video, Claire Georges, of Butterfly Bakery, explains why the relationship with local Vermont pepper producers is so important to her hot sauce line.

Meet Todd Parlo, of Walden Heights Nursery and Orchard. Todd's knowledge of the ecosystem of fruit growing, and his philosophy of healthy plant growth and symbiosis is shared in this story of his work.

The duo behind Vermont Homestead Gourmet are George and Tracy Chaleff; two passionate and hardworking folks who believe in the best. Learn about their bruschetta and goat cheese products - and be inspired to create masterpieces at home! 

Two hundred and seven years ago, Bruce Chapell's forefathers began a farm in East Montpelier. The heritage and legacy is carried forward today by the family, who are maximizing their forage production and making excellent products by using grass-fed practices. Meet Bruce and his son Seth - and the next generation too!

Get to meet the woman behind the goat meat! Shirley Richardson, owner of Vermont Chevon, is on a mission to share the deliciousness known to much of the rest of the world with us. In this video, she tells us more about the lean and healthy nature of the meat, and everyone who meets her gets a little taste! 


If we are what we eat, then we should all be eating more Vermont Veggie Burgers. Meet David Swedick and Jannah Murray Swedick, and their daughter, who make this high end veggie burger with organic ingredients. They're proud to provide something that is good for people and the earth.

Green State Biochar - a product made by biomass waste - can absorb and capture runoff and odors and more. Used as fertilizer or as part of a water treatment process, this product is unique and valuable for farmers of all sizes. Learn from Donna, Roger and Luke as they share the story of biochar - and the future of clean water. 

Meet Niko Horster who walks us through his fields and his rotational grazing! Niko is the owner of Shire Beef, where quality grass leads to quality and nutrient dense beef. Better for the environment and better for you, this farmer knows and uses the natural systems he's using - off setting 8 transatlantic flights with his herds' rotations. 

Ever wondered how your favorite cocktail can add to an agricultural economy? This is how! Sumptuous Syrups, the distinct Farm-to-Bar cocktail syrup, focusing on sourcing flavors and ingredients from small family farms, makes a selection of delicious and pure syrup flavors. Meet Linda and Don - the faces behind the syrup - and the bar! 

And finally, the video that needs no words! Tim Higgins, owner of Higgins Hot Sauce, takes you for a journey into the wintry woods with his crew, tapping trees, kicking back, and cooking up a storm. Tim makes fiery and flavorful hot sauces perfect for the grill, the table, or maybe just to drink straight from the bottle!

We want to thank USDA Rural Development for support for these marketing tools, as well as Carol Degener and Elizabeth Rossano; the creative team behind the Meet the Maker series. 

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