Open, for Real | Food News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Seven Days needs your financial support!

Open, for Real 

Side Dishes: Vermont Food Venture Center debuts in Hardwick

Friday marked the unveiling of Hardwick’s Vermont Food Venture Center, a 15,000-square-foot kitchen incubator and food-processing center. Though it quietly opened last summer, supporters such as Sen. Patrick Leahy gathered last week to cut the ribbon.

A key part of the dosh that covered the $3 million cost was $450,000 in federal funds secured by Leahy, who spoke to the hundreds who turned out for the opening. “Wow. This is something,” he gushed.

Shared kitchens, rentable by the hour, where food producers can bake and boil their wares, buoy the center. Users can also package and store goods there, or access recipe and business consulting. Current clients include Sumptuous Syrups, Për’s Smoked and the Cellars at Jasper Hill, a flagship tenant that will mentor other cheese makers.

Among the producers sharing their morsels at the celebration was Lisa Johnson of Yummy Yammy, who comes to the center once a week to roast New England sweet potatoes into a range of dips. “I want to change the way we think about sweet potatoes!” she enthused.

But logistics can get in the way of passion. Johnson was spilling out of her Norwich kitchen when she realized she desperately needed more room. “I had nine Crock-Pots going on my kitchen stove for four hours. I reached a point where I had to have a place like this to come, or I needed to shut down,” she said.

Though the drive to Hardwick takes Johnson 90 minutes, the center enables her to ramp up production as her list of customers expands. “This place really made it possible,” she said.

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

Corin Hirsch

Corin Hirsch

Corin Hirsch was a Seven Days food writer from 2011 through 2016. She is the author of Forgotten Drinks of Colonial New England, published by History Press in 2014.


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

All content © 2022 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401

Advertising Policy  |  Privacy Policy  |  Contact Us  |  About Us  |  Help
Website powered by Foundation