Though the beginning of this week brought snowflakes to much of Vermont, summer is coming, in all its food-trucking, burger-grilling, creemee-licking splendor. In Waitsfield, Charlie Menard and Kim Donahue (chef and co-owner at the Inn at Round Barn Farm, respectively) are summoning warmer weather with a tasty new venture.
This summer, Menard and Donahue will partner to open the Canteen Creemee Company in the former Village Country Creemee stand just off Main Street on Village Square in Waitsfield.
Besides ice cream (made in-house with Vermont milk) and other frozen treats, the outdoor spot will offer fun, accessible fare such as homemade sausages and burgers. Think "Vermont snack bar meets food-truck vibe," Menard tells Seven Days.
Though the food will be less formal than that of the Inn, the chef plans to prepare it with the same level of craft. "I have the resources to be able to produce some really good food," he says, nodding to the Inn's kitchen team and facility, which will enable him to work beyond the typical snack-bar format.
Visitors can expect inspired creemee flavors, too. Menard's basil-white-chocolate and sweet-corn ice creams helped win him the Best Bite award at Vermont Fresh Network's 2013 forum at Shelburne Farms, and the chef says he's looking to carry that creativity forward with soft-serve. "We're going to really, hopefully, take [the ice cream] to the next level — with our own flavors and mixes and vertical sundaes," Menard says, then pauses for effect.
"That's all I'm gonna say," the chef says.
With plenty of renovating, painting and moving in ahead of them, Menard and Donahue hope for a May 1 opening date. Updates and more info are available on Canteen Creemee's Instagram page.
The original print version of this article was headlined "Creemee Creativity"
Justin Turcotte: Gotta love our little food Mecca!
Roy: Meh. They can't compare to Red Hen and dealing with Hunt is often not worth the trouble.
Tammy Goughnour: This will be AWESOME!! Their pastry is out of this world!!
Old Vermonter: Amazing they lasted so long with such terrible business acumem
Bryan Bouchard: It wasn't that good before. Of they didn't reopen it wouldn't be a great loss to the Burlington…