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Friday, August 10, 2018

Applesauce and Vinegar Company in Central Vermont Trims Its Workforce

Posted By on Fri, Aug 10, 2018 at 6:16 PM

FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
The applesauce and vinegar maker Vermont Village laid off about a dozen of its 50 employees this week and late last week, blaming a sales slump.

The Barre company got its start making small batch applesauce and jumped into the growing market for apple cider vinegar drinks a few years ago. It's overall sales had surged.

But over the last few months, orders slumped and the company decided to lay off about a dozen employees, according to Andrew Lawrence, brand manager. Employees work staggered shifts. The first were notified late last week and the last were notified Tuesday.

“Operations basically had exceeded what we could support with sales,"  Lawrence said Tuesday. "We are trying to get back to that level where we are cash-flow positive.’’

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Friday, January 26, 2018

Sap! Makes a Run in Los Angeles

Posted By on Fri, Jan 26, 2018 at 10:30 AM


Chas Smith pitches Sap! on "Shark Tank" - COURTESY OF DISNEY ABC
  • COURTESY OF DISNEY ABC
  • Chas Smith pitches Sap! on "Shark Tank"

Update, January 29, 2018: Sap! did not strike a deal Sunday night on "Shark Tank," though the Burlington-based company did receive an offer of $600,000 for a 30-percent ownership stake. The local entrepreneurs countered with 20 percent, but in the end no deal was made.

When the founders of  Sap! got an email last summer  about the possibility of being contestants on "Shark Tank," a reality TV show that matches businesses with ultra-rich investors (sharks!), they thought it was a joke. But a follow-up phone call convinced Chas Smith, who owns the Burlington-based soft drink company with his cousin, Nikita Salmon, that the email was not a scam.

Smith and Salmon decided to give TV-entrepreneurship a go, and they completed an application to compete on "Shark Tank." Within three weeks, the Vermonters found themselves in front of the cameras at Sony studios in Culver City, California. They pitched their product — carbonated beverages made from maple sap and birch sap — to five tycoons who either did or didn't make a deal with them.  The segment will air Sunday, January 28, at 10 p.m. on ABC.

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