"Nutty Steph" Launches Artists' Colony | Arts News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Seven Days needs your financial support!

"Nutty Steph" Launches Artists' Colony 

State of the Arts

sota-nuttystephcolony.jpg

Jaquelyn Rieke doesn’t make art per se, but she considers herself a creative entrepreneur. Six years ago, the 29-year-old Illinois native began manufacturing “Nutty Steph’s” granola at a Montpelier diner “sans any knowledge of commercial food production.” Her granola biz has since grown by 10 to 20 percent annually. Last fall, Rieke opened an 800-square-foot commercial kitchen at Camp Meade in Middlesex, where she makes chocolate products for her onsite Nutty Steph’s Chocolate Shop.

Now Rieke — Jaquelyn is her middle name — wants to rent cheap housing to creative types. At Camp Meade, she lives in the office of a motel that closed in 2007. This May, Rieke will lease 17 adjacent cabins from her landlords, Don and Lise Wexler, in hopes of subletting the unheated red structures to interested artists. Rieke reports that Cabin 1 was recently claimed by a Vermont woman who writes about sustainable agriculture.

Cabins at Camp Meade Artists’ Community, as Rieke has named it, cost $245 per month, or $1200 for six months, if you put down $800 by May 1. She says tenants can paint the cabins, wander Camp Meade’s seven acres of forest and meadows, plant a communal garden, run a breakfast grill in her commercial kitchen, and convert the camp’s former World War II “Victory Museum” into a temporary workspace or gallery.

According to the Barre-Montpelier Times Argus, Camp Meade was built in 1933 for employees of the Civilian Conservation Corps and later became a summer hangout for a motorcycle club. Nutty Steph’s Chocolate Shop currently shares the property with Ann’s Weavery, Grandfield Masonry, Woodchuck Massage and Reiki, and the Red Hen Baking Company.

Rieke suggests that Camp Meade’s history offers a perfect backdrop for the community she wants to create. “Opportunities around communal living and working are ripe right now,” she says of the economic crisis. “This started as a socialist work camp, and that’s kind of along the lines of what it might come back around to.”

As for the empty swimming pool, Rieke notes, “If somebody wanted to start a carp farm, that would be badass!”

Want a spot?

Camp Meade Artists’ Community open house on Sunday, April 19, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. From Exit 9 off I-89, head toward Middlesex and park at the big yellow complex on the right, less than a quarter-mile from the exit. Info, 279-3726.

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

More By This Author

About The Author

Mike Ives

Mike Ives

Bio:
Mike Ives was a staff writer for Seven Days from January 2007 until October 2009.

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.

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  |  Contact Us
Website powered by Foundation