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Openings, closings and changes

Published April 8, 2009 at 4:56 a.m.

For years, Emily Conn’s friends have been asking her to let them eat cake. To be more specific, they’ve been begging for bites of a dense, chewy, almond-buttercrunch confection that Conn cooks up for special occasions. Now the treats are on sale at the Shelburne Farms Welcome Center, Dobrá Tea, City Market and Healthy Living, so aficionados can snack on ’em as often as they want.

When Conn started The Bakery at the Farmhouse Kitchen in her home in the South End of Burlington, she was already a 20-year veteran of the food industry, with recent gigs at Shelburne Farms and baking at’s employee café. There she cooked alongside manager Chris Conn, who happens to be her husband. “He ‘fired’ me so I could pursue this,” Conn explains with a chuckle.

Conn’s delicious four-inch rounds sell for a little more than $5 and currently come in three flavors: original, chocolate and maple. “Right now I’m making maple ones to honor the season,” she says. “This summer I’ll do it with berries. In fall I’ll do caramelized cranberries.” Will she whip up other products? “Maybe in the future I’ll branch out,” Conn suggests. The cakes are “time consuming,” she says. “They’re definitely ... handcrafted.”

Is your mouth watering for a free sample? Conn’s doing a demo at City Market this Saturday from 11 to 3.

When “Soup Mama” Lorraine Murray moved out of Burlington, she left a lot of busy professionals nursing a yen for home-cooked broth. Finally someone has plans to fill the void. Debbie Krug, a 22-year-old UVM grad and participant in the Vermont Women’s Business program, is gearing up for eco-friendly soup delivery beginning in August.

Inspired by her environmental studies major, Krug will be “coming at it from an environmentally conscious angle,” she says. She plans to use produce from local farms and deliver via bike. Based on requests from potential customers, she’s also hoping to partner with a bakery and deliver loaves alongside the pints and quarts.

Young as she is, Krug has cooking experience: She was the assistant chef at Waitsfield’s Center for Whole Communities and currently directs the food program at the Burlington Children’s Space.

How far is Krug willing to go to deliver the goods? Within a mile of the McClure Multi-Generational Center to start, “but depending on interest level and my capacity, I’d be willing to go to the South End and maybe Winooski,” she speculates.

The former Country Pantry in Fairfax has new owners — Amanda Wolcott and Jessica Cross — and a new name: AJ’s Country Pantry.

The eatery was sold soon after its previous owner, Sulaiman “Sam” Jadallah, was charged with a pair of sexual offenses.

According to a staffer: “It’s the same good food, low prices and good portions. Same cooks, same servers, same everything.” The more things change...

Until finances forced a recent shutdown, Crowley Cheese of Healdville was the “oldest continually operating cheese producer in the United States,” according to its website.

Nobody answered the phone at the creamery, but an online message explains: “We are sorry to announce that as a result of the recent economic downturn, Crowley Cheese has found it necessary to discontinue production of our cheese ... It is our hope that in the future, we will be able to once again offer to our loyal customers what has proven to be one of America’s favorite cheeses.”

Another recession casualty: Home Bistro of Plattsburgh, which makes frozen food sous vide — the gourmet version of boil-in-a-bag — has filed for bankruptcy. The company’s lawyer told the Press Republican that Home Bistro, started in Vermont in 1999, has plans to reorganize and stay in business. The founders learned the technique from Gerard Rubaud.

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About The Author

Suzanne Podhaizer

Suzanne Podhaizer

Former contributor Suzanne Podhaizer is an award-winning food writer (and the first Seven Days food editor) as well as a chef, farmer, and food-systems consultant. She has given talks at the Stone Barns Center for Agriculture's "Poultry School" and its flagship "Young Farmers' Conference." She can slaughter a goose, butcher a pig, make ramen from scratch, and cook a scallop perfectly.


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