Weekend Ride Benefits a Huntington Food Hub | Food News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Seven Days needs your financial support!

Weekend Ride Benefits a Huntington Food Hub 

click to enlarge Jubilee Barn in Huntington - COURTESY OF SARAH JANE WILLIAMSON
  • Courtesy Of Sarah Jane Williamson
  • Jubilee Barn in Huntington

For years, Sarah Jane Williamson has hoped to enliven the space inside her historic white dairy barn in Huntington. As the owner of Jubilee Farm and its seasonal farmstand, Williamson sells organic vegetables from the barn on a self-service, honor-system model.

She found a willing partner in Dean Menke, who runs Backdoor Bakery from his home in Huntington Village, offering croissants, wood-fired breads and other treats on a CSA model. "I had been looking for a retail space," Menke says, "and [Williamson] was interested in utilizing her barn more than she has been. We just thought, Why not do this together?"

They secured seed funding from a few "angel investors," Menke says, and this Sunday, August 24, they'll hold a fundraiser for the project. Bike for the Barn is a Huntington bike tour not unlike the Addison Tour de Farms. Rider entry fees and donations will help fund the barn's transformation.

Riders can choose from two tours: one 8.5-mile, mostly flat route, with five snack stops at farms and bakeries; and a more challenging, 10.9-mile loop with three farm or food stops and a swimming hole dip. There's also a one-mile kids' ride. After the ride, farmers and riders will return to the barn for a locavore lunch with live music.

Once Williamson and Menke gather the funds — they're also planning a crowd-funding campaign — and round up contractors, they will build a commercial kitchen and a retail space in the barn, with modest seating that could someday grow into a café.

Williamson would like to expand her farmstand to include meats and cheeses, which she hasn't been able to sell on the self-service system. The pair would also like to make the large planned kitchen available as an incubator space for start-ups and food businesses.

click to enlarge Bread from Backdoor Bakery - COURTESY OF DEAN MIENKE
  • Courtesy Of Dean Mienke
  • Bread from Backdoor Bakery

Both acknowledge that the project is in its early stages, and say they're keeping their plans vague so they can remain flexible. But, Menke says, "My dream is to be baking in the kitchen this time next year." Williamson adds, "Huntington is this amazing hidden food mecca; it's incredible what we have going on here. We have a winery; we have a goat dairy and a brewery, and several incredible bakeries."

Those are businesses she'd like to bring together — in one way or another — under one roof. "This barn has been a landmark in the valley," Williamson says. "We have this beautiful building in a great location. We want to use our infrastructure to benefit the local producers."

The original print version of this article was headlined "Bike to Barn to Table"
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

Hannah Palmer Egan

Hannah Palmer Egan

Bio:
Hannah Palmer Egan is a food and drink writer at Seven Days.

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