Follow the Locals: Dakin Farm's Sam Cutting Works Hard and Plays Hard | BTV Magazine | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Seven Days needs your financial support!

Pin It
Favorite

Follow the Locals: Dakin Farm's Sam Cutting Works Hard and Plays Hard 

click to enlarge Sam Cutting - CALEB KENNA
  • Caleb Kenna
  • Sam Cutting

Version française

Sam Cutting IV, president of Dakin Farm in Ferrisburgh, was 5 years old when he got his first paying gig on the family farm. He polished apples his father bought by the bushel at local orchards, then sold the fruit "red side up" at the roadside farmstand on Route 7.

Cutting paid back his father's purchase price and kept the profit — perhaps $80 in a weekend, he said.

"He really got me hooked," said Cutting, now 62. "That was a lot for a little kid."

Throughout his youth on the farm, Cutting took on more work, smoking hams over smoldering corncobs and gathering sap for maple syrup. As the family business grew, those became cornerstone products at Dakin Farm, whose annual revenue has increased from $10,000 in 1960 to $8 million today, according to Cutting.

Roughly 60 percent of Dakin Farm's business is through internet sales, with a significant spike during the holiday season. Last winter, the company packed a record 8,033 orders in a single day.

Visitors to Vermont can get a taste of Dakin Farm at the Maple Open House Weekend on March 21 and 22, or shop its stores in Ferrisburgh and South Burlington. Those simply flying through the Burlington International Airport can find similar Green Mountain State specialty products — syrup, summer sausage, maple popcorn, cheese — for sale in the airport gift shop.

BTV caught up with Cutting to learn about the arc of his career — from Addison County apples to nationwide e-commerce. Business growth hasn't kept his family from vigorous recreational activity: hiking, sailing, biking, skiing. Cutting has traversed the 273-mile Long Trail as a teenager and as an adult. When his daughters were growing up, the family tackled tall mountains in the summer.

"It was three little girls, a golden retriever, my wife and I," Cutting said.

Until knee replacement surgery slowed him down in the spring of 2018, Cutting cycled about 2,000 miles a year. His annual mileage is reduced now, but his enthusiasm is not.

"I love to recreate," he said. "Right from the beginning, my motto was 'Work hard, play hard.' I've always been an enthusiast of what Vermont has to offer."

What Addison County hike do you recommend? One parameter: At the end of the hike, you eat at a nearby restaurant.

I have to say Snake Mountain [in Addison]; that's very accessible for people. The view from the summit is incredible. Snake Mountain is a little more remote than Mount Philo [in Charlotte], and it's a bigger hike. It's just a nice length to get a really good workout, with an incredible reward of the view at the top.

If I were going to eat on the way home, I guess I'd go to Vergennes. 3 Squares is a funky little place. I'd get a falafel in a pita, with some tahini and vegetables.

It's springtime, and you're going on a see-the-buds-coming-out drive. What route do you take?

Historically, one of my favorite things to do in the spring would be [to] go for a long bike ride. I would drive to Island Pond, park, get on the bicycle, and go up to Norton, across to Canaan and down the Connecticut River Valley to Bloomfield. And then back to Island Pond. It's that corner of Vermont — the Northeast Kingdom — and it's gorgeous.

What's a shorter bike route for people who can't pedal 100 miles?

There's a flatter one, and it's a beautiful little route: Go down 22A to Addison and take 17 over to West Addison. At the West Addison General Store — "WAGS" — have a Gatorade and Fig Newtons. They give you the sugar you need. Then take the Lake Road back to Panton. And at Panton, you either go out to Basin Harbor or head back to Vergennes.

When your daughters were young, what was a favorite family outing on a spring day?

Hiking, and we would often go to the Adirondacks across the lake. Or hike up Camel's Hump or anywhere along the Long Trail. We'd stop and buy a sub and bring it up to the top of the mountain.

It's date night for you and your wife. What three places might you go out to eat?

One favorite is the Bearded Frog in Shelburne. I would probably have the haddock. Another favorite is the Windjammer [in South Burlington], and I would have the scrod. A third favorite would be Fire & Ice [in Middlebury]. And there I'd have a steak and the salad bar. What Addison County hike do you recommend? One parameter: At the end of the hike, you eat at a nearby restaurant.

I have to say Snake Mountain [in Addison]; that's very accessible for people. The view from the summit is incredible. Snake Mountain is a little more remote than Mount Philo [in Charlotte], and it's a bigger hike. It's just a nice length to get a really good workout, with an incredible reward of the view at the top.

If I were going to eat on the way home, I guess I'd go to Vergennes. 3 Squares is a funky little place. I'd get a falafel in a pita, with some tahini and vegetables.

It's springtime, and you're going on a see-the-buds-coming-out drive. What route do you take?

Historically, one of my favorite things to do in the spring would be [to] go for a long bike ride. I would drive to Island Pond, park, get on the bicycle, and go up to Norton, across to Canaan and down the Connecticut River Valley to Bloomfield. And then back to Island Pond. It's that corner of Vermont — the Northeast Kingdom — and it's gorgeous.

What's a shorter bike route for people who can't pedal 100 miles?

There's a flatter one, and it's a beautiful little route: Go down 22A to Addison and take 17 over to West Addison. At the West Addison General Store — "WAGS" — have a Gatorade and Fig Newtons. They give you the sugar you need. Then take the Lake Road back to Panton. And at Panton, you either go out to Basin Harbor or head back to Vergennes.

When your daughters were young, what was a favorite family outing on a spring day?

Hiking, and we would often go to the Adirondacks across the lake. Or hike up Camel's Hump or anywhere along the Long Trail. We'd stop and buy a sub and bring it up to the top of the mountain.

It's date night for you and your wife. What three places might you go out to eat?

One favorite is the Bearded Frog in Shelburne. I would probably have the haddock. Another favorite is the Windjammer [in South Burlington], and I would have the scrod. A third favorite would be Fire & Ice [in Middlebury]. And there I'd have a steak and the salad bar.

Do, See & Sample

Outdoors & Rec

Food & Drink


click to enlarge Sam Cutting - CALEB KENNA
  • Caleb Kenna
  • Sam Cutting

Sam Cutting IV, président de Dakin Farm à Ferrisburgh, avait 5 ans lorsqu'il a obtenu son premier emploi payant sur la ferme familiale. Il polissait les pommes que son père achetait par boisseaux à des vergers locaux, puis vendait les fruits « côté rouge en haut » dans un stand sur le bord de la Route 7.

Il remboursait ensuite le coût d'achat à son père et gardait le profit. Un week-end pouvait lui rapporter 80 $.

« J'ai vraiment eu la piqûre, dit Sam, maintenant âgé de 62 ans. C'était beaucoup pour un enfant. »

Tout au long de sa jeunesse sur la ferme, Sam a cumulé les boulots, comme la fumaison du jambon sur des épis de maïs brûlants et la récolte de l'eau d'érable pour fabriquer le sirop. Avec la croissance de l'entreprise familiale, ces produits sont devenus des incontournables de Dakin Farm, dont le chiffre d'affaires annuel est passé de 10 000 $ en 1960 à 8 millions de dollars aujourd'hui, selon Sam.

Près de 60 pour cent des ventes de la ferme se font en ligne, avec un pic important pendant la période des fêtes. L'hiver dernier, l'entreprise a atteint un record de 8 033 commandes en une seule journée.

Les visiteurs au Vermont peuvent obtenir un avant-goût de Dakin Farm lors du Maple Open House Weekend, les 21 et 22 mars, ou s'approvisionner dans ses magasins de Ferrisburgh et de South Burlington. Ceux qui ne font que transiter par l'Aéroport international de Burlington peuvent dénicher des produits semblables, spécialités de l'État des Montagnes vertes – sirop, saucisson d'été, maïs soufflé à l'érable, fromage – à la boutique de souvenirs de l'aéroport.

L'équipe de BTV s'est entretenue avec Sam pour en savoir plus sur son parcours de carrière, depuis la vente de pommes dans le comté d'Addison jusqu'au commerce électronique mondial. La croissance des affaires n'a pas empêché Sam et sa famille de pratiquer toutes sortes d'activités sportives, comme la randonnée, la voile, le vélo et le ski. Sam a parcouru la « Long Trail » de 439 km deux fois : à l'adolescence et à l'âge adulte. Quand ses filles étaient petites, l'été, il partait avec toute la famille à la conquête des hautes montagnes du Vermont.

« Trois petites filles, un golden retriever, ma femme et moi, nous partions tous ensemble », dit Sam.

Jusqu'à ce qu'une opération de remplacement du genou le ralentisse au printemps 2018, Sam faisait plus de 3 000 km de vélo par année. Sa cadence annuelle a diminué, mais pas son enthousiasme.

« J'adore les loisirs, dit-il. J'ai toujours dit que plaisir et travail vont de pair. Je profite à fond de tout ce que le Vermont a à offrir. »

Quelle randonnée recommandez-vous dans le comté d'Addison? Un seul critère : il faut qu'à la fin de la randonnée, on puisse manger dans un restaurant à proximité.

Je conseille Snake Mountain, qui est très accessible. La vue depuis le sommet est incroyable. Snake Mountain est un peu plus reculée que Mount Philo [à Charlotte], et la randonnée est plus vigoureuse. C'est une belle distance pour faire un bon entraînement, et le panorama au sommet en vaut largement l'effort.

Si je devais m'arrêter pour manger sur le chemin du retour, j'irais à Vergennes. Le 3 Squares est un petit restaurant vraiment original. Je prendrais un falafel dans un pain pita, avec du tahini et des légumes.

C'est le printemps, et vous voulez voir la nature revivre. Quelle route allez-vous emprunter?

L'une des choses que j'aime le plus faire au printemps, c'est une longue randonnée à vélo. Je me rends habituellement en voiture à Island Pond, je stationne et j'enfourche mon vélo. Je monte en direction de Norton, je bifurque vers Canaan, puis je descends jusqu'à Bloomfield le long de la Connecticut River Valley. Je reviens ensuite à Island Pond. On appelle cette région du Vermont le « Northeast Kingdom » et c'est absolument splendide.

Avez-vous un trajet plus court à suggérer pour ceux qui ne peuvent pas pédaler 160 km?

Il y en a un plus plat et très beau : descendez la 22A jusqu'à Addison, puis prenez la 17 en direction de West Addison. Au magasin général de West Addison – le « WAGS » –, prenez un Gatorade et un paquet de biscuits aux figues Newtons pour obtenir l'apport en sucre nécessaire. Puis, empruntez Lake Road jusqu'à Panton. À Panton, vous pouvez soit aller à Basin Harbor ou retourner à Vergennes.

Lorsque vos filles étaient petites, quelle était votre activité familiale préférée au printemps?

La randonnée, le plus souvent dans les Adirondacks de l'autre côté du lac. Nous aimions aussi gravir Camel's Hump ou faire n'importe que tronçon de la Long Trail. Nous arrêtions chercher de gros sandwichs que nous mangions au sommet.

C'est le soir d'une sortie en couple. Quels sont les trois endroits où vous iriez manger avec votre femme?

L'un de nos restaurants favoris est le Bearded Frog à Shelburne. Je commanderais probablement l'aiglefin. Nous aimons aussi le Windjammer [à South Burlington], où la morue est délicieuse. Et il y a aussi le Fire & Ice [à Middlebury]. On y va pour le steak et le bar à salades.

Do, See & Sample

Plein air et loisirs

Boire et manger

Related Locations

More...
Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

Pin It
Favorite

About The Author

Sally Pollak

Sally Pollak

Bio:
Sally Pollak is a staff writer at Seven Days, where she mostly covers food and drink. Her first newspaper job was compiling horse racing results at the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Comments


Comments are closed.

Since 2014, Seven Days has allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we’ve appreciated the suggestions and insights, the time has come to shut them down — at least temporarily.

While we champion free speech, facts are a matter of life and death during the coronavirus pandemic, and right now Seven Days is prioritizing the production of responsible journalism over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor. Or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Latest in BTV Magazine

  • BTV — Spring 2020
  • BTV — Spring 2020

    We're delighted to have you! BTV: The Burlington International Airport Quarterly is a bilingual magazine — translated into French for our Québécois visitors — that highlights Vermont's recreational, cultural and dining scenes according to the season.
    • Feb 18, 2020
  • Explore Hidden Wilderness Along the Burlington Wildways
  • Explore Hidden Wilderness Along the Burlington Wildways

    You might not realize it from the hustle and bustle of downtown, the postwar suburban sprawl of the New North End, or the hip postindustrial South End, but Burlington is pretty wild. Like, Henry David Thoreau/Walden Woods kind of wild. Despite its urban trappings, Vermont's largest city hides a treasure trove of natural wonders. The trick is knowing where to find them.
    • Feb 18, 2020
  • Get a Taste of Vermont at the Burlington Farmers Market
  • Get a Taste of Vermont at the Burlington Farmers Market

    "Farmers market" and "Vermont" are basically synonyms, right? The Green Mountain State is known for its cheese, its maple and its dedication to local food. And in Vermont's largest city, the Burlington Farmers Market is a community fixture. A trip to the market is a weekend ritual all season long.
    • Feb 18, 2020
  • More »

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative
newsletters:

All content © 2020 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401
Website powered by Foundation