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

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!

Pin It

More by Hannah Palmer Egan

About The Author

Hannah Palmer Egan

Hannah Palmer Egan

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


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

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