Sugar Mountain High | Food News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice
Pin It
Favorite

Sugar Mountain High 

Side Dishes: West Topsham farm to open a butcher shop

Walter Jeffries recalls April 28, 2008, as the day that changed everything. That was when his St. Johnsbury butcher told him he was retiring. The owner of Sugar Mountain Farm in West Topsham had always imagined building his own butchering facility on his farm one day, but that announcement “sped up our plans,” says Jeffries.

After close to four years of planning, he hopes to open his butcher shop in January. It will be the first single-farm slaughterhouse and meat-processing facility in the state. Once the basic building is complete, Sugar Mountain will add a smokehouse and sausage-making room to produce its hot dogs — a staple at the Chubby Muffin in Burlington.

Jeffries, who has been bringing his pigs to Massachusetts for slaughter, estimates he’ll cut his farm’s carbon footprint nearly in half by eliminating 23,000 miles of driving per year. Thanks to a superinsulated slab foundation and stacked storage rooms, the cold Vermont air will be able to cool Jeffries’ refrigerators naturally for approximately half the year, he speculates — another major money saver.

Jeffries says 90 percent of his sales are to restaurants, including Hen of the Wood at the Grist Mill, Michael’s on the Hill and A Single Pebble, and to stores such as Hunger Mountain Co-op in Montpelier. The rest of his 250 pigs go to CSA members. There is no plan for on-farm retail. With the addition of his butcher shop, Jeffries hopes to have the time to reestablish sheep in his fields. “Eventually, we’ll do goats and cattle, too,” he adds.

One small step for Jeffries, one giant leap for Vermont meat.

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

Pin It
Favorite

About The Author

Alice Levitt

Alice Levitt

Bio:
AAN award-winning food writer Alice Levitt is a fan of the exotic, the excellent and automats. She wrote for Seven Days 2007-2015.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Seven Days moderates comments in order to ensure a civil environment. Please treat the comments section as you would a town meeting, dinner party or classroom discussion. In other words, keep commenting classy! Read our guidelines...

Note: Comments are limited to 300 words.

Latest in Food News

Recent Comments

Social Club

Like Seven Days contests and events? Join the club!

See an example of this newsletter...

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative
newsletters:

All content © 2017 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401
Website powered by Foundation