Spotlight on New Leaf Organics

We’re shining our Member Deals Spotlight on New Leaf Organics! This local, organic farm not only keeps our produce shelves stocked with an array of fresh seasonal veggies but also supplies us with an abundant array of veggie and herb seedlings each Spring. Perhaps you have a few of them growing in your garden? All of New Leaf Organics products are 20% off for Co-op member-owners from August 3rd – 9th, so it’s a great time to stock up on the flavors of summer in Vermont. Read on to learn more about this female-powered farm and all that they have to offer:

Nestled in the rolling hills near the Bristol-Monkton town line is a sweet little farm called New Leaf Organics. Now in her 23rd year in business, Farmer Jill Koppel leads her rockstar all-female crew to produce some of the most beautiful and delicious flowers, fruits, and veggies you’ll find anywhere in Vermont. Their farm has evolved quite a bit over the years, but their core mission remains the same; growing high-quality organic produce, flowers, and plants that improve soil health and strengthen the community.

Their Mission

  • to grow high-quality, deliciously fresh organic produce and flowers.
  • to maintain and build the health of our soil and water.
  • to keep this land open and in agricultural production.
  • to bring community together in appreciation of good food and eating with the seasons.
  • to help couples create a memorable wedding day brightened with our beautiful flowers
  • to be a healthy and joyous place for kids to roam and discover and help them learn where our food really comes from.
  • to provide a positive and meaningful place to work for our employees and ourselves.
The 2023 New Leaf Farm Crew

New Leaf Organics grows 5 acres of vegetables, berries, and flowers which are all sold in Vermont. You can shop their online store and/or visit their farmstand. Their online store offers farmstand pickup and delivery options. Farmstand hours are Tuesday-Saturday from 12 pm – 6 pm. While visiting the farmstand, you’ll find  New Leaf’s fresh-picked veggies, berries, and flowers. You’ll also find a great selection of locally sourced products from around the Champlain Valley including fresh breads and granola from Bicycle Mill Bakery; sweet and savory hand pies and small pies from Humble Pie Baking; and take-out meals from Chomp Cookhouse.

New Leaf Organics Farmstand

You can also sign up for their Farm Stand Card Program. What’s a Farm Stand Card? Here’s how their website describes it:

“It’s like a gift card, but tastier. Farm Stand Cards give you pre-purchased credit to use at our Farm Stand. It’s an affordable and flexible way to enjoy the freshest, local organic produce and flowers and support our vibrant local food system. They come in increments of $225, with an additional 10% spending bonus. For example, when you pay $225, you’ll get a spending credit of $250. You can use your card any time you shop to buy anything we sell at our farm stand — from produce and baked goods to bedding plants and groceries. Pick your own flowers are included for Farm Stand Card holders.

​How Does This Compare to Your Traditional CSA Model? Farm Stand Card shares are similar to a CSA in that you receive fresh organic produce and flowers each week and a discount on your purchase while committing to and supporting our local farm. They’re even better than a traditional CSA, though. The Farm Stand Card allows you greater flexibility to shop anytime the Farm Stand is open, and to purchase anything we sell in the stand. It gives you the vegetables, flowers, and local goods you want, when you want them, at the best price. Win-win-win!”


Looking to send a local, organic bouquet to someone special? New Leaf Organics offers Home Sweet Blooms floral deliveries to homes and businesses in Hinesburg, Vergennes, Middlebury, & Bristol! They also offer a pick-your-own flowers option throughout the growing season or you can purchase a flower bouquet subscription. The flower fields are located across the street from the farm stand. 

Need flowers for an upcoming wedding or event? New Leaf Organics raises over 100 varieties of organic, specialty cut flowers and creates exquisite floral arrangements for weddings and events, from casual to formal. Their services, from full-service arrangements and delivery, to “pick-your-own,” to “weddings-in-a-bucket” are a great fit for all your events. Buying direct from the grower ensures the freshest, highest quality flowers at the best price. Buying organic ensures that agricultural chemicals aren’t endangering our environment or the farmworkers who handle the flowers. Click here to read more about why this matters.

According to Farmer Jill, “I’ve been lucky enough to find a dedicated crew of farming “geeks” who get equally as excited about discovering a great new variety to try or the thrill of our first seeds germinating in the Spring. Having a great crew keeps the farm dynamic and is better every season because of them. My kids, Ruby and Ada, and husband Skimmer make sure we don’t work the whole Summer away… Thanks for your interest in our farm! Supporting local farms like ours ensures that high-quality agricultural soils will be kept in farming for generations to come and proof that together we really can keep Vermont agriculture alive and thriving!”

For the latest info and insight into how the season is sprouting, blooming, and unfurling, follow them on Instagram @organicsnewleaf and Facebook @newleaforganics

Spotlight on Aqua ViTea

This week’s Member Deals Spotlight shines brightly on Aqua ViTea! Their full line of Kombucha and Aqua Selzer is 20% off for member-owners from July 20th – 26th! Read on to learn more about this unique local business with humble beginnings on a Salisbury Farm!



Aqua ViTea began in 2007 in the Salisbury, Vermont farmhouse of Jeff Weaber and Dr. Katina Martin, based on the naturopathic principle of “food as medicine.” Weaber and Martin had just relocated to Vermont after 9 years in Portland, Oregon, where Katina pursued medical degrees in Naturopathy, Midwifery, and Acupuncture and Jeff served as the brewer for The Lucky Labrador Brewing Company. Honing the craft of fermentation at work and learning about functional foods and the governing role of the digestive system from Katina at home led Weaber to discover the wonders of Kombucha.

Aqua ViTea founder Jeff Weaber with his wife Katina Martin at their Salisbury home where they first began brewing kombucha

By 2007, he was selling his Kombucha to the happy crowds at the Middlebury Farmers Market under the Aqua ViTea brand, and in 2008, he began bottling his product and selling wholesale to our Co-op and a handful of other local markets. By 2014, demand began to outpace production capacity, and plans to move Aqua ViTea’s production off the farm began to ferment. They first moved to a state-of-the-art facility in Bristol, VT, followed by yet another upgrade in 2017 to an even more impressive facility — the former home of Woodchuck Cider just off Exchange Street in Middlebury. Today, the rapidly growing company is the largest Kombucha producer on the east coast, employing a team of 30 full-time employees proudly brewing low-sugar, alcohol-free, organic kombucha with naturally abundant probiotics, enzymes, and antioxidants, whose balanced blend of sparkling refreshment and bold flavor makes it the perfect substitute for juice or soda. 

The Aqua ViTea team

As the business grew, Weaber called on Mike Kin, who was a close friend of Weaber’s in Oregon, and convinced him to move to Vermont with his family to become the company’s brewer. If you dig the artwork on Aqua ViTea’s packaging and materials as much as we do, you’ve got Mike to thank for these. He sketches each one by hand, creating the funky, colorful, amazing signature artwork that you see on all of AquaVitea’s products!

Mike Kin creates the signature Freshketch artwork for Aqua ViTea


Commitment to Authenticity

Many commercially available Kombucha brands have been found to contain significantly more sugar and alcohol than their labels disclose. Additionally, some large-scale Kombucha products are being manufactured in a lab setting, force carbonated, and even pasteurized, with the probiotic cultures added artificially as “ingredients” to the end product.

Aqua ViTea, since day one, has shown a deep commitment to authenticity. This begins by sourcing the highest quality ingredients, including sustainably sourced organic tea from Middlebury’s Stone Leaf Teahouse and organic cane sugar to feed the ferment. Their Kombucha is the product of a live, active fermentation, which allows the live cultures and enzymes to develop naturally and delivers the tangy effervescence that Kombucha drinkers love. They are one of only two kombucha makers in the country who have invested in a spinning cone column, which allows for the extraction and recovery of volatile compounds, including alcohol, without the need for excessive heat. And since the alcohol is removed at the end of fermentation, the active cultures can grow at their own pace, which results in authentic, delicious, and non-alcoholic Kombucha. They even employ an in-house microbiologist to analyze the safety and purity of their products! The organic alcohol that is extracted from Aqua ViTea Kombucha is repurposed to support innovations like hand sanitizer and new beverage development. The nutrient-dense organic green and black tea used in their brewing process is composted to support local agriculture. 

A tour group from Addison Central Teens visits Aqua ViTea and learns about the cone extractor, which removes the alcohol from Aqua ViTea’s kombucha


Aqua Seltzer

The newest addition to the Aqua ViTea lineup is Aqua Seltzer! Better than your average bubbles, Aqua Seltzers, infused with organic kombucha, are refreshing better-for-you offerings packed with probiotics for immune & gut health. Weaber shares that the idea for a seltzer line was born when he looked at the ingredients list on a can of the seltzer that his teenage kids love to drink and realized that there was nothing much to them. He wondered if there was a way to create a seltzer that also offered functional nutritional benefits aside from simply providing hydration. After months of research and development and countless hours of taste testing, a new, bubbly, better-for-you beverage was born. It’s infused with kombucha, providing 5 billion probiotics per serving, along with amino acids and antioxidants, with only one gram of sugar and 15 calories. They’re thirst-quenching refreshers filled with goodness for your gut!








Spotlight on Tierra Farm

We’re casting our Member Deals Spotlight on Tierra Farm this week to highlight the socially and environmentally responsible practices of this employee-owned business. They provide an array of healthy products to our bulk department that are certified organic, gluten-free, kosher, and GMO-free, all of which are produced in small batches in their solar-powered facility in Valatie, NY. From July 6th – 12th, member-owners can enjoy 20% off their delicious dried fruits, nuts, and other healthy snacks! Read on to learn more about this fantastic small business and its commitment to responsible practices throughout the supply chain:

Tierra Farm is a Certified Organic manufacturer and distributor of nuts and dried fruits located in the Finger Lakes Region of New York. Their customers consist mainly of cooperatives and independently owned grocery stores that value working with an employee-owned, environmentally conscious company that manufactures its own products.

Tierra Farm started as a diversified organic vegetable farm in the Finger Lakes region of New York. The organic nuts & dried fruit portion of the business started in 1999, as a way to generate income in the slower winter months. That portion of the business has continued to thrive and evolve into a year-round operation, though they still maintain their original farm.

Tierra Farm offers its customers exceptional value through unbeatable quality at prices that are fair both to the consumer and to the farmer. Their products are made without preservatives, added oils, or refined sugars, in their own peanut-free facility. They manufacture the products they sell: dry roasting and flavoring nuts and seeds, blending trail mixes, grinding butter, and covering nuts and fruits in fair-trade chocolate. Everything is made in small, hand-crafted batches for freshness.

One of their core values has been to cultivate strong relationships with the best organic farmers in the world. They work directly with the farmers from which they source their nuts, seeds, and dried fruit and have worked with some of these farmers for over a decade. Being in direct communication with their farmers allows the preservation of their organic integrity and ensures fair business practices throughout the supply chain.

Tierra Farm produces only Certified Organic products which are grown without synthetic pesticides, genetically modified organisms, or chemical fertilizers. This helps sustain biodiversity, conserves fresh water, and enhances the soil. They generate over 70% of their electricity from solar panels and recycle over 60% of their waste. Their delivery boxes are made from recycled cardboard and our individual product packaging is always made with recyclable materials and/or compostable packaging whenever possible. Tierra Farm proudly features more than 100 products in plastic-free, home-compostable packaging and is wholly committed to going plastic-free by 2023. If home composting isn’t your jam, they have a takeback program for their compostable bags and encourage you to send your used Tierra Farm bags back to them so that they can turn them into compost. As their website states, they’re “working for a world where the food we eat doesn’t come at the expense of the planet or the people on it.”

Tierra Farm is also committed to community. They recognize that there’s a whole big world outside their doors and they want to help make it as beautiful as possible. With this in mind, they embrace opportunities to s

upport local charities and help them continue to do great work in service to others. 

Recently selected one of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies by Inc. 5000, Tierra Farm remains committed to its team members. Every single Tierra Farm employee makes a living wage of $20 per hour and enjoys a comprehensive health benefits program, as well as a retirement plan and onsite lunch. In August of 2019, Tierra Farm became a Certified B Corporation, one of only 3,000 companies worldwide to earn this distinction.



Spotlight on Rogers Farmstead Creamery

As part of our celebration of Dairy Month, we’re shining a bright Member Deals Spotlight on an organic family farm nestled in the rolling hills of Berlin, VT known as Rogers Farmstead. From June 15th – 21st, all Rogers Farmstead organic dairy products are 20% off for member-owners! Read on to learn more about this Real Organic farm and the family who churns out delicious dairy products for their community:

Nathan and Jessie Rogers met just over 20 years ago while both were working for IBM in Essex Junction, VT. Nate grew up on a dairy farm in Northern New York and had originally dreamed of a life in agriculture, but after observing the struggle that many dairy farmers were facing with declining milk prices and market oversaturation, he initially opted for a different path.  Jessie grew up in Cape Cod and had established a career in chemical engineering when she met Nate. The couple married and happened to move next door to a dairy farm in Fletcher, VT, rekindling Nate’s love for the dairy life and sending the couple on a new trajectory back toward the land. 

The Rogers Farmstead in Berlin, VT

In 2012, they were able to purchase a 133-acre farm in Berlin that was conserved by the Vermont Land Trust. It needed a lot of work, but Jessie and Nathan had the energy and determination needed to breathe new life into the derelict farm. They still weren’t certain that dairy farming was the right niche, so they first experimented with farming organic grains. They understood the critical role of grazing animals in holistic ecological land management, and they had an existing barn, so they decided to bring in a few Jersey cows.

The happy grass-fed Jersey herd at Rogers Farmstead

The Rogers soon found themselves with more milk than they needed and began dabbling in yogurt-making. In 2016, the bakers at Elmore Mountain Bread, who were buying most of the Rogers’ grains for their bakery, happened to introduce them to a mutual friend named Maurissa Mauro of Ploughgate Butter fame. Mauro had recently purchased Bragg Farm in nearby Fayston, VT, and had a creamery facility where the Rogers could experiment with producing their yogurt at a wholesale scale without the usual burden of needing to invest in infrastructure upfront. It gave Nate and Jessie the chance to hone their craft and establish markets for their dairy products.

7-Year-Old Elliot Rogers loves helping out on the family farm

Support for their dairy products was steadfast and strong, leading the Rogers to eventually expand their Jersey herd and construct their own creamery and farmstand on their farm in Berlin. They now produce organic cream-top milk; chocolate milk; whole milk yogurt in plain, maple, and vanilla; fresh mozzarella; and fresh cheese curds. Over the years, they’ve gradually phased out grain production on their farm to focus on maintaining pristine pasture and hayland for their grass-fed dairy herd. You can find their full range of products at their farmstand and, here at the Co-op, we’re proud to carry their milk and yogurt. 

Nathan Rogers pictured with some of the family’s grass-fed Jersey cows

Nate now works full-time on the farm, and Jessie pitches in as often as possible around an off-farm job with the Agrimark cooperative. The couple is often flanked by their two young sons, Tristan and Elliot, who are both eager to pitch in and help where they can. On a recent visit to their farm for photographs for this feature, we were enthusiastically greeted and toured around the farm by Elliot, who was excited to point out that he’d soon be adding a veggie garden plot of his own. It’s good to know that Rogers Farmstead is already working on its succession plan! 

Elliot Rogers enthusiastically greets customers at the family’s farm store in Berlin, VT

The Rogers Farmstead is supported by the Northeast Organic Family Farm Partnership (NOFFP) and is  Real Organic Certified, which is a third-party add-on label allowing small, organic, family-scale dairy farms to differentiate themselves in an ever-increasing landscape of industrial mega-dairies whose practices are no longer consistent with the original intentions of the organic program, despite their USDA organic labels. When you see a Real Organic label on a dairy product, you can be certain that you are supporting a small family farm whose cows are raised on pasture, with animal welfare and environmental stewardship at the forefront.

Elliot and Nathan, along with the family dog Peanut, all enjoy checking on the youngest cows in the family’s grass-fed herd.

The Real Organic Project is a grassroots farmer-led movement working towards certifying thousands of farms across the United States. Their label distinguishes soil-grown fruits and vegetables from hydroponically-raised produce, and

pasture-raised meat, milk, and eggs from products harvested from animals in horrific confinement (CAFOs – confined animal feeding operations). The folks at the Real Organic Project believe that the organic standards, with their focus on soil health, biodiversity, and animal welfare were written as they should be, but that the current lack of enforcement of those standards is jeopardizing the ability for small farms who adhere to the law to stay in business. The lack of enforcement is also jeopardizing the overall health of the customers who support the organic movement; customers who are not getting what they pay for at market but still paying a premium price. And the lack of enforcement is jeopardizing the very cycles (water, air, nutrients) that Earth relies upon to provide us all with a place to live, by pushing extractive, chemical agriculture to the forefront.

We’re grateful to folks like the Rogers family, who are committed to pasture-based organic farming practices that offer solutions to the mounting challenges presented by a rapidly changing climate. 



Co-op Connection Featured Business – Juice Amour

Treat yourself to a bit of self-love in a jar with our friends at Juice Amour! They’re our featured Co-op Connection Business this month and they have a sweet deal for Co-op member-owners. Show your member card when you visit Juice Amour and you’ll receive 10% off their full line of organic, raw, fresh-pressed juices, smoothies, chia puddings, and other healthy, seasonal, vegan lunch and dinner offerings! Read on to learn more about one of Middlebury’s best stops for fresh, healthy foods!


Juice Amour is owned and operated by Sheri Bedard and her father David Bedard. It was the strong belief in the health benefits of consuming vegan food and nutrient-dense vegetable and fruit juices that started Juice Amour on its path to your backyard. Creating nutritious, delicious, beautiful, and accessible food for their community is their driving force.

They wake up early to produce local, raw, organic juice and tasty vegan meals on-site every day. According to Sheri, “Every day we wake up passionate in our belief that healthful food should be accessible, taste delicious, look beautiful, help you feel amazing and have as little negative impact on the environment as possible. Every decision we make here is with those philosophies in mind but (lucky for you) all YOU have to do is enjoy the deliciousness that comes from those efforts.”

Sheri Bedard with her Father, David Bedard


Keeping it Local

Getting as much produce from local organic farmers is a core principle of Juice Amour’s mission to make a minimal impact on the earth while supporting this community. They view their support of local organic farmers as an essential step toward minimizing the global impact of their business as well as providing support and income for their neighbors. As often as possible, ingredients will be sourced locally.

Glass and the “Milk Bottle” Concept

To maximize health benefits for you and minimize the impact on our planet they avoid the use of single-use plastic and recycle and reuse the glass jars their juice is delivered in. They ask customers to return their jars (and receive a $.50 deposit) at the location they picked up their juices so that the jars may be commercially washed and reused again and again. This reduces the cost to their clients while minimizing any negative impact of drinking out of plastic as well as maximizing benefits to the community and planet.

Commitment to Organic

Juice Amour is also committed to supporting organic. Organic farming employs methods that minimize the use of toxins while building soil quality and protecting water quality. Additionally, buying organic supports chemical and pesticide-free practices that are healthier for our farmers and for our planet. Lastly, they also feel that organic foods have more intense and delicious flavors – no wonder their juice is so delicious!

Abundant Offerings

In addition to a bounty of fresh organic, raw fruit and veggie juice options, Juice Amour also offers guilt-free raw smoothies, chia puddings, overnight oats, raw nut milk, fresh vegan salads, tacos, soups, and more! Click here to see their full menu.

Their juice cleanses are extremely popular and are a great way to introduce people to juicing while enjoying incredible benefits, ranging from weight loss to improved health. They also know that the true benefit to juicing is accomplished when it is done regularly so they are constantly adding new juices and products to keep things new and fresh. They have 1, 3, and 5-day juice cleanses to meet your cleansing goals.

If you’re looking for vegan-friendly catering for your next event, you’ll be thrilled to hear that Juice Amour offers a tasty catering menu to make your guests swoon!

Sheri and the Juice Amour crew are proud to be based in Middlebury, Vermont in a spacious, vibrant spot on Merchant’s Row right in the heart of downtown! If you haven’t yet visited, there’s no better time than now! Just don’t forget to flash your Co-op card for a sweet 10% discount!


Supporting the Northeast Organic Family Farm Partnership

In honor of Dairy Month, which is celebrated each June, we’re shining a bright Spotlight on the Northeast Organic Family Farm Partnership. In early January of 2022, the Northeast Organic Family Farm Partnership, a first-of-its-kind campaign in partnership with the Maine Organic Farming and Gardening Association (MOFGA), was created to help solve the crisis of disappearing organic family farms in our region.

Nathan Rogers of Rogers Farmstead Creamery in Berlin, VT, pauses to give one of his grass-fed cows a chin scratch

The Partnership, a collaboration of farmers, processors, retailers, activists, and government agencies, invites consumers to pledge to purchase at least one-fourth of their weekly organic dairy purchases from brands that have committed to sourcing their dairy from Northeast organic family farmers. A central goal of the effort is to increase demand for dairy produced in our region, creating market stability to help save at-risk farms and build greater food system resilience for the future.

Strafford Organic Creamery owners Earl Ransom and Amy Huyffer, pictured with their family and their happy, grass-fed cows

We are proud to announce that your Co-op has joined the Northeast Organic Family Farm Partnership. To secure the future of organic dairy farming in the northeast, we’re committed to purchasing organic dairy products from brands that source their milk from our region. We’re also encouraging member-owners and the community to become informed about the Partnership and take the pledge to purchase ¼ of your weekly dairy products from Brand Partners. When you commit to buying one-fourth of your weekly dairy items from the brands that support our region’s organic family farms, you become a proud Consumer Partner with all of these farmers. 

Why Does This Matter?

Family farms reconnect us to the land and each other. They provide our communities with beautiful open spaces, abundant wildlife habitats, and rural charm. We pick fruit in their fields and orchards and pet their cows at county fairs. Family farms remind us where our food comes from and connect us with the hands that feed us.

When you pledge to buy the products from our region’s organic family farmers, you are not just helping to keep these farms financially viable. You are supporting true environmental and health heroes. Organic farmers foster healthy soils, which are both a founding principle of organic production and key to fighting climate change. Vermont’s organic farms release fewer greenhouse gases than their conventional counterparts, protect our water and other natural resources, are more resilient to extreme weather events, sequester carbon through their management practices, promote biodiversity, and provide greater community food security. Moreover, you are helping to support a fairer, more stable agricultural market, which keeps thousands of small family farms in business and thriving. In fact, organic milk prices are traditionally more stable than the conventional dairy market, so organic farmers often have an easier job of covering production costs. That means they have a better chance of keeping the lights on at the farm and the cows out in the pasture, where they belong.

Mercy Larson of Larson Farm and Creamery in Wells, VT pictured with one of her grass-fed cows

“The Northeast Organic Family Farm Partnership celebrates the fact that when it comes to supporting our region’s organic family farmers, it really does take a village,” said Gary Hirshberg, chair of the Partnership and co-founder of Stonyfield Organic. “Everyone has a stake in the long-term financial health of our region’s farms and farm families. The simple act of pledging to purchase one-quarter of dairy items from the brands, processors, and farms that support these family farmers, can help to ensure that farms remain healthy, vibrant, financially viable, and environmentally and climate-positive parts of the northeast region for generations to come.” 

The late great Jack Lazor of Butterworks Farm in Westfield, VT pictured with wife, Anne, and daughter Christine, along with her family.

The decline in the number of small family farmers is unfortunately not a new story, as the United States, and especially the northeast, has seen drastic reductions in the number of both farms and acreage over the last decade. From 2012 to 2021 alone, Vermont has lost over 390 individual dairy farms as food production has largely been ceded away from small families, and into large, agri-business operations, through no fault of their own. However, organic family farmers are important contributors to a healthy environment and thriving rural life and are important players in the region’s food system. 

Elliot of Rogers Farmstead Creamery in Berlin, VT greets customers at his family’s organic farmstand

The next time you are shopping in the dairy or cheese cases, look for the Northeast Organic Family Farm Seal to identify Partner Brands. When you see the seal, you can be confident that your purchase supports hard-working organic dairy farmers in the Northeast. We will continue to lose our region’s farms without strong consumer support for their products. For more information on the campaign and to take the pledge, click here

Spotlight on American Flatbread

Our Member Deals Spotlight shines brightly on a company with humble roots here in Vermont – American Flatbread! From May 25th – 31st, member-owners can enjoy 20% off American Flatbread’s products (applies only to frozen flatbreads here at the Co-op, not at their fabulous restaurants). Read on to learn more about the history and mission of this locally-born company:


George Schenk, the founder of American Flatbread, founded his business with a firm understanding that food is more than what’s on the plate, which he shares in “The Five Faces of Food” and his simple phrase, “food Remembers the acts of the hands and heart.”

“Food is important. What we eat and how it’s grown intimately affects our health and the well-being of the world,” says Schenk. He created American Flatbread based on the philosophy of food for the greater good, and the company remains committed to building upon that legacy.

American Flatbread was born in Waitsfield, Vermont, but demand for frozen flatbreads soon outgrew the humble kitchens of their flagship location. Rustic Crust, the company that now produces American Flatbread frozen pizzas, took over the reins and says that they’re proud that George entrusted them with his mission and they remain committed to upholding it. 

Headquartered in New Hampshire, Rustic Crust continues to work with fresh, all-natural ingredients to bring you the authentic flavor you’ve come to know and love. According to Rustic Crust CEO Brad Sterl, “Our two good-for-you pizza brands make their home in the beautiful New England countryside, and are made by real people and using real ingredients. American Flatbread frozen pizzas feature 100% organically grown wheat crusts and topped with fresh herbs, vegetables, and the finest of cheeses (no rBST growth hormone!). They’re all-natural, with no preservatives, artificial colors or flavors, and handcrafted from scratch and par-baked in wood-fired ovens.

Truly nutritious, light, crisp, and flavorful — convenience without compromise – American Flatbread pizzas are honestly delicious, the best premium frozen pizza bar none, for people who care about pizza and the planet.


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 18th – 24th. 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 Farmhouse Chocolates

We’re shining a bright Member Deals Spotlight on Farmhouse Chocolates this week! Member-owners can enjoy a 20% discount on all of the delightfully decadent treats from this local Bristol-based chocolatier from March 30th – April 5th! Read on to learn more about the local couple who brings these swoon-worthy chocolates to our Co-op shelves and their deep commitment to ethical sourcing:


Having grown up in a dairy-farming family here in Vermont, co-owner and head chocolatier Erlé LaBounty is described on the Farmhouse Chocolates website as always being more concerned with lunchtime than recess, so it’s no small wonder that he gravitated toward the world of fine food. He’s been crafting delicately balanced, old-world chocolate confections since the tender age of 16! No stranger to epicurean adventures in her own right, his partner and co-owner Eliza LaRocca came to Vermont in 2010 after spending time in Florence, Italy’s specialty food market, Il Mercato Centrale, and leading food and wine tours in Italy, France, and Vermont. 

Farmhouse Chocolates co-owners Eliza LaRocca and Erlé LaBounty

Since meeting, the couple has been hard at work hand-crafting chocolates while building a business and a life together. The business has evolved over the years, having started with a focus on hand-rolled truffles, then expanding to include chocolate-covered, burnt-butter salted caramels, and six different varieties of chocolate bars. While the product lineup has evolved, one thing that has remained constant from the onset was their commitment to procuring high-quality, ethically-sourced ingredients. All Farmhouse Chocolates are crafted with certified organic, fair trade, soy-free 70% and 85% chocolates. The majority of their remaining ingredients are certified organic, and the few that are not are thoroughly vetted and certified non-GMO, as well as being soy- and corn syrup-free; and sourced locally as often as possible.

Moreover, while co-packing (choosing to have products packaged at another, larger facility not owned or operated by the company) is something of a food industry standard, Farmhouse Chocolates proudly produces everything in-house in their Bristol, VT facility.

According to the chocolatiers, “our company’s ethos centers on the meeting of responsibility and pleasure. Sourcing organic, fair trade, and local ingredients, we carefully craft dark chocolate confections that emphasize taste, texture, and aesthetics as much as they do sustainability and purity of ingredients; ethics reflected in our environmentally friendly packaging and small batch production.”



If you’d like to try Farmhouse Chocolates’ delicious treats, we’ll have a tasting on Saturday, April 1st from 11-2!

Maple Baked Pears

Drip, drip, drip….we can almost hear the maple sap collecting in pails in sugarbushes across Vermont and our Weekly Sale from March 16th – 22nd celebrates sugaring season with a handful of ingredients well suited to a hearty maple-themed breakfast! You’ll find local, organic, dark robust maple syrup quarts from Shaker Maple Farm; organic Bartlett pears; Quaker Hill Granola; local, organic Rogers Farmstead Creamery yogurt; local coffee from Bud’s Beans; and Niman Ranch ham steaks that are just begging for a maple glaze. This recipe pulls together many of those ingredients into a Vermont breakfast spread that also doubles as a decadent dessert when you swap out the yogurt with a scoop of local ice cream!