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

Seven Days needs your financial support!

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!

More By This Author

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


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