Spotlight on Red Hen Baking Company

Our Member Deals Spotlight is beaming on Red Hen Baking Company this week! Member-owners can enjoy 20% off their full line of freshly baked breads from May 19th – 25th. Read on to learn more about this wonderful local bakery that’s been turning out fresh organic bread 7 days a week for over 20 years!



The folks at Red Hen Baking Company are guided by a belief that pure, uncomplicated ingredients and the hands of skilled artisans are the building blocks for great food. Their bakery sprouted from humble beginnings with a staff of 8 on Route 100 in Duxbury, VT back in 1999. They were committed to using organic ingredients since the very beginning and became an established presence in the area’s many cooperative and independent food stores. Their bread was beginning to appear at more and more of the area’s finest restaurants and they became mainstays of the Montpelier and Waitsfield Farmers’ Markets. To this day, these venues still make up the core of their wholesale business.

After 8 years of hard work in Duxbury and a seasoned staff that had grown to over 20 employees (many of whom are still with the bakery today), they had the opportunity to move 5 miles down the road to the neighboring town of Middlesex. It was here that they established their new baking facility in a building constructed especially for their purposes with an attached café in a renovated building that housed the former Camp Meade Diner.

Their café has become known as a local destination and gathering place where people can enjoy not only the bread they’re so well known for, but also their increasingly lauded pastries, sandwiches, and soups. To supplement their own creations, the cafe also features beer, wine, and specialty food from near and far. Next time you’re cruising through Middlesex, be sure to stop in!

Although Red Hen has grown considerably since those early days in Duxbury, they remain dedicated to creating the very best food from the best possible ingredients. You can’t make great food without great flour (or potatoes or seeds or meal, as the case may be), so a great deal of time and energy is spent sourcing the very best of these items. In many cases, the folks at Red Hen are closely acquainted with the farmers and millers that are responsible for producing the raw materials used for baking their breads. In fact, over 90% of all the flour they use comes from two farmers within 150 miles of the bakery. Each year, 430,000 lbs of local wheat go into their breads!

Members of the Red Hen Baking Crew visiting Les Cedres farm in Quebec where some of the organic grain for their bread is grown.

They employ methods that are as old as bread making itself and these processes guide their days at the bakery. This method of slow fermentation produces a complexity of flavor, a chewy texture, helps the bread to keep longer, and even adds to its nutritive value. Each loaf is then formed by hand and baked in a hearth oven. The Red Hen family of breads runs the gamut from dense whole grain varieties to light and airy ciabatta and everything in between.

Red Hen Baker Randy unloading fresh baked baguettes

Giving Back

Like any good hen, the folks at Red Hen feel a responsibility to do what they can to nurture the community that has nurtured them. There is never a shortage of work to be done and there are so many good organizations doing that work, but each year their staff selects a few organizations that they would like to support. Last year they directed over $26,000 to the following organizations doing work both close to home and further afield:

To learn more about Red Hen Baking, check out their web page! You can view their cafe menu, read all about their diverse bread offerings, and find great tips for storing your bread to maximize freshness.


Spotlight on Vermont Salumi

Vermont Salumi is basking in the glow of the Member Deals Spotlight this week and all of their traditional Italian cured meats and sausages are 20% off for member-owners from May 12th – 18th. Read on to learn more about the Italian-American force behind Vermont Salumi and the rich traditions that lend genuine authenticity to his products and processes:

According to his website, Peter Roscini Colman was born in Italy and grew up on Cate Farm, an early pioneer of Vermont’s organic food scene, where he learned the importance of sustainable farming techniques for supporting healthy people, animals, and communities. He spent summers in Umbria with his Babbo’s family, where he has fond memories of “warming up” for lunch at his grandparents’ house by eating piles of prosciutto. This sparked a deep love for the Italian delicacy and a desire to learn to make it himself. As these things often go, his uncle Franco introduced him to Pepe, who introduced him to Francesco and David, and soon, Colman found himself apprenticing with these norcini, the famed butchers of Umbria, who taught him the methods, techniques, and centuries-old traditions of salumi-making.

Vermont Salumi founder/owner Pete Colman. Photo by Shannon Alexander Photography

Colman’s apprenticeship ultimately led him to launch Vermont Salumi in 2011. Like most Vermont food businesses, Colman began working out of his home and selling to hungry customers at area farmer’s markets. He amassed a rabid following, which necessitated a shift to the production facilities at the Waitsfield Food Hub, and eventually to his own production and aging facility in Barre in 2019. In his new facility, Colman can now produce up to 45,000 pounds of cured pork products a year. The move also allowed Colman to expand his product line to include larger salamis, such as those suitable for deli slicing, and Italian specialties such as capocollo, bresaola, lonza, and maple-cured and smoked cooked hams (called “prosciutto cotto” in Italian).

Photo by Shannon Alexander Photography


Vermont Salumi’s mission is to produce great food with classic Italian flavors. Their products are made from simple ingredients, careful craftsmanship, and always begin with antibiotic-free, humanely-raised, regionally-produced meats. Colman and his team prioritize clarity of flavor based on simple ingredients and time-honored craftsmanship. “We make our products to be part of good conversations, reward you at the end of a hard day, and fuel your active life,” says Colman.

Colman’s AR Market, adjacent to his Vermont Salumi production facility in Barre, VT. Photo by Shannon Alexander Photography

One of many pandemic-related pivots was the addition of a retail outlet to Vermont Salumi’s production facility in Barre. The name for his new venture, “Alimentari Roscini,” or shortened to AR Market, is a nod to his Italian roots. The word “Alimentari” roughly translates as “grocery” and “Roscini” is the surname of Colman’s Italian family. Colman wanted a direct market for his artisanal cured meats and also recognized that the town of Barre was sorely devoid of any fresh food options. AR Market fills this niche by offering Vermont Salumi’s cured meats along with fresh meats, cheeses, dairy products, beer, wine, and fresh produce, all with a strong emphasis on local. The market occupies half of the storefront and the other half initially offered a deli and wine bar.

AR Market in Barre, VT. Photo by Shannon Alexander Photography

The wine bar has since evolved into a new venture known as Pearl Street Pizza in partnership with Stefano Coppola, Wilson Ballantyne, and Chris Ruiz along with their light blue, handmade Stefano Ferrara Forni brick oven. Coppola and Ballantyne are New England Culinary Institute (NECI) grads who are excited to partner with Colman and work with the Vermont Salumi products he’s making in-house for Pearl Street Pizza’s charcuterie boards. The new restaurant will offer a few fan favorites from the previous wine bar menu including salumi and formaggi plates, and meatball al forno served over polenta with house red sauce, olive oil and fresh basil. They’ll also serve a menu of other classic Italian fare, including two styles of pizza which fellow NECI grad and head chef Sara Chase describes in a recent 7Days article as a “fancier, thinner Neapolitan style, and our grandma-style pizza by the slice, which is fluffier with a crispy crust.” 

Arrival of the handmade Stefano Ferrara Forni brick oven which will anchor the new Pearl Street Pizza addition to Colman’s AR Market. Photo by Shannon Alexander Photography

Here at the Co-op, you’ll find fresh Vermont Salumi sausage in five flavors, along with three flavors of their artisanal salami. 

Spotlight on Breathing In Wellness

We’re thrilled to shine a bright Member Deals Spotlight on a local business that infuses a bit of love into every batch of their handmade herbal wellness products. From May 5th – 11th, Co-op member-owners can enjoy a 20% discount on all Breathing in Wellness products. Breathing In Wellness was founded by Reyna Morgan-Richer, along with her partner Louella, and they aim to bring you a line of products to gently carry you along a journey of self-care. We also happen to think that their products make perfect gifts for the mamas in your life. Read on to learn more about Breathing in Wellness and its evolution in Reyna’s own words:



Breathing in Wellness offers mindfully handcrafted products to help the user be more connected to space and time; for self-reflection and self-care as well as connection to their body. Moments of self-care are essential to our overall well-being. I believe that we come to this space having all kinds of experiences of being with our body, myself included! And Breathing in Wellness hopefully is a step in the right direction for helping the community (and myself) see and feel that.

My vision for Breathing In Wellness has always been one that encourages the PAUSE… Hand on the Heart…  Breathing In… Breathing Out… You are invited to notice the changes in your body and mind and spirit.

I desire Breathing In Wellness to be a healing space. But I didn’t always know that…

Years ago when I realized that I wanted to offer self-care products as my side gig, I just knew that the products I was making with plants were amazing! And it was fun to feel connected in a different way to the work that I was doing. Until 2018 when I left my job in the Human Services field, it was a way to destress. And I saw it as a way that I could encourage others in my field to do the same. Often times I felt overworked and under-appreciated, and working with plants in such a healing way was a real small part of why I began Breathing In Wellness; the plants and salves and salts made me happy. Learning about different plants and flowers and their medicinal properties made me happy. The other part of why Breathing In Wellness came to be, was to heal myself and those I loved when they were experiencing ailments that could be healed with herbs. As a cancer survivor and someone who deals with chronic, at times debilitating pain, I was finding ways to lessen my symptoms in a natural, safe, no side effects kind of way.

The thing that has gotten in the way of my spreading the message of and love in my products, is fear. This stems from childhood and young adult/ adult traumas that I have not fully considered, faced, or processed… But I’m working on it. And that is also a part of Breathing In Wellness.

I now see Breathing In Wellness as a space in which I can be authentically myself through and through. I think on some level that has always been the desire, but I just wasn’t there yet. I desire my brand to be an engaging and encouraging space for and of openness for growth and experiencing what may seem out of reach for whatever reason. This is actually no easy task. But nothing worthwhile is easy, is not fearful. Things can be hard and scary, there’s no issue in that, at all. It’s about moving through that space to a space of acceptance of those fears.

I welcome you to a space that accepts all of the easy and all of the hard things. And I welcome you to begin your process with Self Care.

Photo by Elisabeth Waller

Co-op Connection Featured Business–Addison West

With Mother’s Day and graduation just around the corner, we’re excited to shine a bright light on one of the newest local businesses to join our Co-op Connection lineup — Addison West! This new shop nestled in the heart of downtown Middlebury offers a skillfully curated lineup of new and vintage items intended to excite and inspire, and they offer a sweet deal for card-carrying Co-op member-owners! Read on to learn more about the inspiration behind this new venture and the folks who bring it to life:


What began as a holiday pop-up in the space at 44 Main Street previously occupied by Community Barn Ventures has since evolved into a full-fledged home design, decor, and lifestyle shop featuring an enticing lineup of gifts, furniture, jewelry, lighting, artwork, and other kitchen and home decor. By November of 2022, Community Barn Ventures had relocated to the Old Stone Mill in Frog Hollow, and Monique Bonner seized the opportunity to change course from a decades-long career as a tech marketing executive to fulfill a lifelong dream of running a retail shop. Bonner officially launched Addison West on her 50th birthday, drawing on her previous experience redesigning and renovating countless bathrooms, kitchens, condos, and homes and fulfilling a passion for connecting people with the spaces and things they love. 

Photo by Elisabeth Waller Photography

Bonner particularly enjoys showcasing the work of local makers, artists, and artisans, so you’ll find among her skillfully curated collection many locally-crafted items including artwork by Addison County’s own E.J. Bartlett and Christiana Hodges (of Sunrise Orchard’s fame!). She also has a particular passion for bringing together things both old and new, sharing in an Addison Independent article her love of “mixing new with vintage, things that have history. That’s a huge part of my philosophy on home design and decorating. I also love that buying vintage or antique items and furniture for your home is another way for us to think and act sustainably.” 

Photo by Elisabeth Waller Photography

As for the name Addison West, Bonner shares on her website that, “well, most simply, we live on West Street in Addison County in Vermont. Addison County is a remarkable area. It’s an area grounded in the earth and landscape. It’s surrounded by mountains, full of farms and dairy cows and amazing, resilient, people. And the idea of the West has always seemed to inspire exploration, new places, the undiscovered. So our ethos is all about the grounded, the historical, the foundational, and at the same time inhabiting the magic of what’s new and what’s possible.”

Photo by Elisabeth Waller Photography

When you visit the flagship store in the heart of Middlebury’s downtown, you’ll likely meet Head of Operations Bibiana DeSouza Schott. Bibi enjoys engaging with customers to help them find that perfect item, and also leads Addison West’s technical design work. As for Bonner, she finds herself busy these days preparing a second location, which is slated to open later this month in Waitsfield. Her hope for this larger space is to house more furniture and other large-scale items that are difficult to showcase in the 700-square-foot space in Middlebury. The Waitsfield location will also serve as the headquarters for the e-commerce arm of Addison West, which accounts for about 15% of the business, so be sure to visit their website to explore the full range of offerings. And if you’re having trouble deciding which items are right for you and your space, keep in mind that Addison West offers interior decorating services! Their blog offers a wealth of design inspiration, as well!

Bibiana DeSouza Schott and Monique Bonner behind the counter at Addison West. Photo by Elisabeth Waller Photography

The overarching goal for Addison West, according to their website is “to have people feel grounded and great. Great about their spaces. Great about their homes, their lives, and their gifts – both what they give to themselves and what they give to others. We really want to inspire people to embrace the best of what they have, while at the same time encouraging them to try new, to mix things up.” As part of their participation in the Co-op Connection program, they generously offer a 10% discount to Co-op member-owners, so consider this your formal invitation to visit Addison West and explore all that they have to offer! Whether you’re looking for the perfect Mother’s Day gift, graduation gift, or simply looking for fresh inspiration for your own home, we think you’ll find what you’re looking for at Addison West!

Photo by Elisabeth Waller Photography



Spotlight on Vermont Nut Free Chocolates

Our Member Deals Spotlight shines brightly this week on Vermont Nut Free Chocolates! From April 14th – 20th, Co-op member-owners can enjoy a 20% discount on Vermont Nut Free Chocolates’ full line of confections! Read on to learn more about the inspiration behind this line of allergen-friendly treats and the family that makes the magic happen!



Vermont Nut Free Chocolates was founded in 1998 by the mother of a little boy with a potentially life-threatening peanut allergy. Gail and Mark Elvidge first learned of their son Tanner’s allergy when he suffered a reaction at 8 months old. They were shocked, concerned, and frightened to see this reaction in their small child. To ensure their son’s safety they began to thoroughly read ingredient labels and discovered that the hardest product to find for a nut allergic child was chocolate.

Gail & Tanner Elvidge

Many chocolate companies manufacture products that contain nuts which makes their other products unsafe for nut allergies because of cross-contamination on shared production lines and facilities. Not wanting Tanner to miss out on a childhood indulgence, Gail began making homemade chocolate that was guaranteed safe. The combination of love for her son and passion for chocolate inspired Gail to create Vermont Nut Free Chocolates, a company dedicated to making quality tree nut and peanut-free confections. Vermont Nut Free Chocolates is now located in Colchester, Vermont, and is proud to continue its production in a dedicated nut-free facility with over 30 devoted employees.

They are proud to have a dedicated peanut and tree nut free facility that uses only the finest nut free ingredients available. Their products are handmade and hand-wrapped in Vermont, the old-fashioned way, in small batches to guarantee quality and freshness.

Be sure to visit their website to check out their collection of recipes for chocolate cakes and frostings using their allergen-friendly chocolate!


Scalloped Potato & Kale Casserole

This delicious casserole makes a perfect dish for your Easter brunch, or any occasion when you need to feed a crowd. You’ll find ham and potatoes featured in our Weekly Sale from April 14th – 20th, so it’s a perfect time to give this recipe a try! The original recipe did not include ham and it’s easy to leave it out if you prefer. It’s a fan favorite of our Produce Manager, Kira, who declared it “the most decadently delicious”!

Business of the Month: Middlebury Fitness

Looking to give your workout routine a spring makeover? Or perhaps you’ve set some new fitness goals and you’re ready to take that first step? We invite you to check out this month’s featured Co-op Connection Business — Middlebury Fitness! Flash your Co-op member-owner card and you’ll receive 50% off the enrollment fee and your first class or workout is FREE! Read on to learn more about what this community wellness center has to offer:



Middlebury Fitness is a community health and wellness center founded in 1997 that puts its members’ needs first. Their facility features a wide variety of the most current strength and cardio equipment by the leading brands in the industry. Is group fitness your thing? They offer a variety of live and remote programs and group fitness classes to meet the diverse and ever-changing needs of their member base, ranging from ages 13 to 93. Click here for their class calendar and descriptions. Other services and amenities include personal trainingfree equipment orientationsathletic performance trainingDietician consultationssaunas, and more!

The crew at Middlebury Fitness is incredibly proud to be so active in this great community and annually receives recognition and awards for various initiatives. For the past four consecutive years, they have received the United Way of Addison County’s “Partner Award” for an annual event that has raised $60,000 for our local friends and families in need since 2014. Wow!! They were also the 2018 recipients of the prestigious BOB (Best of Business) award in the Health Club category by Vermont Business Magazine. 

At Middlebury Fitness they understand that you have options when it comes to your health and fitness needs. They aim to meet and exceed their members’ expectations every day and believe they have some of the most attentive, caring, professional, and knowledgeable instructors, personal trainers, and staff you will find. Their ultimate goal at Midd Fit is to ensure that each of their members achieves their personal fitness goals while experiencing exceptional customer service in a supportive atmosphere of fun and camaraderie.

If you are a current member, they’d like to extend a sincere THANK YOU for being a part of the Midd Fit family! If you are not yet a member, please visit and let Middlebury Fitness guide you through your fitness journey today! And don’t forget to mention that you’re a Co-op member-owner!

Spotlight on Sunja’s

We’re shining a bright Member Deals Spotlight on Sunja’s this week!  This local business has been keeping our shelves stocked with authentic Korean kimchi since the early 1990s. In fact, their team tells us that our Co-op was one of their very first retail accounts! All of Sunja’s nutrient-dense, probiotic-packed products are 20% off for member-owners from March 17th – 23rd, so it’s a great time to stock up and save! Read on to learn more about the inspiration behind this local woman-owned business carrying on the Korean kimchi-making tradition for Vermonters to enjoy:

The seed for Sunja’s Oriental Foods was first planted in 1993 when Sunja Hayden began offering cooking classes in her small Northfield, Vermont community. Participants couldn’t get enough of her healthy, delicious traditional Korean foods, which inspired Sunja to began producing food for a retail market. Another motivating force was her awareness of the fact that so many foods we consume contain unhealthy chemical additives and preservatives. Sunja understood the critical role of all-natural, preservative-free, non-GMO foods for health and wellness and wanted to share more of her traditional foods with her community. 

According to Sunja, “I started my company in 1993 because of my affection for healthy eating and my desire to serve my family and friends good, real, healthy food. My love for preparing delicious and healthy meals soon transformed into a desire to do the same for others. I believe in the importance of natural foods with live enzymes, which help the digestive process.”

Sunja making a batch of kimchi in the early days of launching her business.

Here at the Co-op, you’ll find a lineup of several varieties of Sunja’s kimchi. This traditional fermented Korean dish is typically served as a condiment at every meal and there are hundreds of varieties of Korean kimchi depending on regional and family preferences. Kimchi is raw, living food that is rich in flavor, high in nutritional value, and naturally fermented to create rich probiotics from the live beneficial bacteria present on the vegetables. The fermentation process also makes the nutrients in the vegetables more bioavailable and easily assimilated by our bodies. The end product offers a robust source of beta-carotene, calcium, iron, and Vitamins A, C, B1, and B2.  It also boasts a long list of potential health benefits including improved gut health, digestion, and immunity. 

Sunja’s kimchi is produced in Waterbury, VT, and the fresh vegetables are sourced locally whenever possible. Sunja is proud to support local farms and is very particular about how the produce is grown for her kimchi, specifying that her kimchi is made with the freshest vegetables and does not contain any preservatives, sugar, MSG, or additives of any kind. Sunja’s products are also naturally gluten-free and vegan and are third-party verified by the Non-GMO Project


Whether you’re new to eating kimchi or a seasoned pro, we think you’ll love the recipes on Sunja’s webpage! They’ll provide plenty of inspiration for ways to enjoy this Korean superfood!

Spotlight on Jasper Hill Farm

If you’re a lover of Vermont artisan cheese, then you’re likely no stranger to the producer basking in the glow of this week’s Member Deals Spotlight — Jasper Hill Farm. And we think you’ll be thrilled to hear that from March 10th – 16th, Co-op member-owners can enjoy a 20% discount on their full lineup of award-winning local cheeses! Read on to learn more about the brothers behind this epic operation, their innovative approach to cheesemaking, and the legendary underground cellars where they age cheeses to ripe perfection:


Deep in the heart of the dairy country of Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom is a dairy farm like no other. A glimpse of the main barn, painted deep-space blue with cows in astronaut attire and a moon made of cheese, provides the first hint that you’ve landed somewhere unique. Brothers Andy and Mateo, along with their wives, Victoria and Angie, knew they needed to do something different when they purchased this derelict dairy farm in 1998 — the same year that one-third of the neighboring dairy farms in the community sold their cows under intense financial pressures. Small-scale farms like this were becoming more difficult to keep up and running – a 50 cow farm like theirs would have to compete with average herd sizes of about 900 cows out west, as all of that milk is priced by the same commodity market. But the brothers were eager to find meaningful work in the place that they loved and wanted to demonstrate the ability to make a good living milking 45 grass-fed Ayrshire cows on a rocky hillside in Vermont. 

Brothers Andy & Mateo Kehler. Image by Colin Clark.

Over the next 5 years, they worked hard to patch up the barn, build up their herd, improve their pastures, construct a creamery, and carve out a cave that would provide the ideal conditions for aging European-style natural rind cheeses. By 2003, they were ready to sell their very first cheeses and quickly amassed a strong following in the burgeoning American artisan cheese market. An interesting call from neighboring Cabot Creamery would change the course of their plans and set them down a path that involved creating opportunities for other local cheesemakers to get their product to peak potential. Like most cheesemakers, Cabot lacked a space dedicated to cultivating natural rinds. In fact, their warehouses were focused on keeping surface mold away from cheese. The Kehlers were nearby, hungry to grow their business, and most importantly, had a temperature and humidity controlled space designed to grow natural rinds. The result was Cabot Clothbound Cheddar and the awards and accolades soon followed, as one of the first batches took home Best of Show at the 2006 American Cheese Society Conference.  Andy & Mateo recognized the potential in these kinds of collaborations and drew up plans for an expanded aging facility beneath one of the pastures of Jasper Hill Farm.

The Cellars at Jasper Hill

Two years later, they formally opened the Cellars at Jasper Hill —  a 22,000 square-foot aging facility featuring seven vaults specifically calibrated for various cheese types. This allowed them to partner with a network of other local cheesemakers and reduce the barriers to entry for those interested in value-added production. According to their website, “ripening work for natural-rind cheeses takes up more than 70% of the labor for a batch of cheese, over its lifetime. By pooling these efforts, farmstead producers could spend more time focusing on the true drivers of cheese quality: milk production and cheesemaking. Instead of sending hundreds of small boxes through the post, refrigerated trucks now pick up pallets of cheese destined for regional and national distributors. The Cellars is now the final stop for cheeses coming from six different creameries. Its mission is to be the standard-bearer for quality and innovation in the artisan cheese industry.”

The award-winning Harbison. Image by Bob Montgomery

Andy & Mateo have a knack for distilling the local landscape into their cheeses. They took this approach to new heights in 2013 when they opened a state-of-the-art laboratory on their farm, complete with a staff of food microbiology experts. The idea for this new endeavor was sparked by their partnership with Harvard scientist Dr. Rachel Dutton in 2010, who was using cheese as a model to research how small microbial communities interact. One of the profound discoveries of Dr. Dutton’s work was the notion that the environment (cows, cheese caves, pastures) and methods (washing, salting, managing acidity) were as important to the development of cheese rinds, if not more so, than the ingredients. Microbes, including yeast and bacteria, are critical partners in the cheesemaking process, turning milk into solids, and those solids into cheeses with distinctive aromas, flavors, and textures. American cheesemakers have very limited options when sourcing the cultures for their cheeses, as there are only three domestic suppliers of these critical microbes, all of which are multinational chemical corporations, including DuPont and Cargill. This significantly limits the number of available cultures and stifles the individualism that artisanal cheesemakers crave.

The happy grass-fed cows of Jasper Hill Farm. Image by Blake Noyes.

With strong science to support Dr. Dutton’s findings, a new lab, and a team of microbiologists lending their expertise, Jasper Hill Farm has been able to experiment with creating their own microbial cultures, which are sourced directly from the milk produced by the cows on their farm. They have also found that their raw milk cheeses, like Winnimere, contain all of the microbes needed to produce a fantastic cheese, thus avoiding the need to add microbial cultures. While this all may sound very high-tech for something as rudimentary farmstead cheese, Andy and Mateo are quick to point out that a cheese will never be better than the milk that it’s made from, you can’t make good milk without healthy animals, and you can’t have healthy animals without a healthy landscape filled with nutrient-dense forage. The microbial ecology of raw milk is the sum of these practices on a farm.

The proof of success lies in the supreme quality of the cheeses coming out of the Cellars at Jasper Hill. Their cheeses have garnered a long list of awards including ‘Best American Cheese’ at the World Cheese Awards and ‘Best in Show’ at the American Cheese Society for Harbison; an American Cheese Society ‘Best in Class’ for Bayley Hazen Blue, and two Top 20 nods at the 2020 World Championship Cheese Contest for Highlander and Lait Bloomer. If you’re worried it might all be going to their heads, a quick trip to their YouTube channel will reassure you that they’re not taking themselves too seriously. The music video parodies are a must-see, as is a clip of their Bayley Hazen Blue being shot into Earth’s outer atmosphere with the help of a weather balloon, an HD camera, and GPS tracking software. The cheese was successfully lofted 100,000 feet up and then retrieved where it parachuted down a couple of towns to the west of the Greensboro, VT launch site. Talk about stellar cheese!!

The Bayley Hazen Blue Moon launch. Image by Ryan Nolan.


Spotlight on Great Harvest Bread Company

There are few things more alluring than the smell of freshly-baked bread mingling with the aroma of fresh-brewed coffee and baked goods, all of which are part of the experience when visiting Burlington’s Great Harvest Bread Company Bakery and Cafe. But when a trip to Burlington isn’t in the cards, we’re thrilled to say that you can still get your fix for that incredible fresh-baked bread right here at the Co-op. Great Harvest Bread Company is basking in the glow of our Member Deals Spotlight this week and all of their lovely loaves are 20% off for member-owners from March 3rd – 9th. Read on to learn more about these Burlington-based millers and bakers of wholesome whole-grain bread and goodies:

Burlington’s Great Harvest Bread Company first opened its doors in 2003. At the helm were co-owners Sara and Ethan Brown, who had first met at a Great Harvest Bread Company bakery in Montana (the business is a franchise of the Montana-based company of the same name) and dreamed of opening their own. They set up shop on Burlington’s Pine Street in a former maple syrup factory and became hands-on owners with Ethan stone milling the whole wheat flour, baking the bread, and serving customers while Sara managed the business and its employees, made soup for the café in her nearby home kitchen (equipped with a caterer’s license), and tended the hillside garden she planted in front of the bakery. 

By 2018, the Browns were looking for a change and found eager new buyers in Chris Brown (no relation) and Joanne Casale. According to a feature in 7 Days, Chris is a seventh-generation Vermonter with plenty of experience in the food scene, having previously worked at Keurig Green Mountain. Joanne is also no stranger to food service – her family ran an Italian eatery in upstate New York where she grew up. The couple picked up right where Sara and Ethan left off, continuing the tradition of house-milled, long-fermented, freshly baked bread and baked goods. They freshly mill 100% whole grain, pesticide-free, non-GMO flour every day on their Meadows stone mill at the back of the bakery. Using long fermentation times and hands-on traditional methods of baking, they create breads that are truly one-of-a-kind, simple, wholesome, and delicious.

Here at the Co-op, you’ll find a full lineup of their breads, including Farmer’s White, Honey Whole Wheat, Dakota, High 5 Fiber, and Nine Grain. Try them all and let us know your favorites!