Mi Tierra – Fresh Local Tortillas

When I first encountered Mi Tierra tortillas, I knew they were special. Maybe it was the fragrant perfume of fresh corn that emanated from their packages (who knew corn had a fragrant perfume?!), perhaps it was the fact that they were delivered by a wild-haired, dirt-under-the-fingernails farmer, or maybe it was the name: Mi Tierra – Spanish for “my land.” Whatever it was, I have come to understand that my enthusiasm for these little golden rounds was not unfounded. The more I’ve learned about the people and the story behind them, the more I’ve grown to love Mi Tierra Tortillas.

Dover Hill Creamery

Dover Hill Creamery is located at the top of the beautiful hills of East Dover. Peter, Sara, and Liz Honig live there and raise Nigerian Dwarf goats, and make rich, creamy artisanal cheeses from their milk. Sara and Peter are Liz’s parents, and the three of them, plus Liz’s fiancé, moved there in 2018 after falling in love with goats. At their previous home in Concord, MA, they raised goats as pets, and Liz loved caring for them so much that she took some higher education courses in dairy farming and cheesemaking. She is now the resident goat midwife and animal husbandry expert, Peter is the cheesemaker, and Sara delivers their cheeses to the small group of area shops that carry their products. But all three of them are deeply engaged with their herd — they all know each goat’s name and history and personality, and seem to consider them members of the family.

FinAllie Ferments

FinAllie Ferments is a kraut company based in southern Vermont that uses all locally-grown produce. It’s named after Fin the farm dog and Allie Dercoli, who is equal parts farmer, community builder, and artist, with some electrician sprinkled in for good measure. When she settled in Vermont in 2014, she wasn’t looking to start a business—she was looking for a sustainable community and farming. FinAllie Ferments is simply the result of meeting the demand that naturally arose from her delicious supply of amazing kimchi and kraut.

Just Soap

Sometimes something simple can make the largest impact. Just Soap strives to make a big difference through low-impact practices, intentional efficiencies, and high-quality products. Frederick Breeden started Just Soap as a simple craft project, and it has since blossomed into a thriving household staple, locally and beyond.

Farmers and Cooks: Deli for Foodies

For Sam Estridge of Farmers and Cooks, real conversation means talking about real food: quality, flavor, and tradition. Because what they do is so unlike the industry standard, Farmers and Cooks needs the stores that carry their products to be partners in educating and inspiring their customers. At our Co-op, that hurdle isn’t quite so high, but it’s still kinda weird to think about buying something from the deli case that’s so good you’d be comfortable serving it to guests on a dinner plate. That’s where the real conversations come in.

Pangaea Sushi

I will use the names Myanmar and Burma interchangeably in this article, as Poe and Su Su did during our conversations.

Su Su Min Aung came to the U.S. in 2013 from Myanmar. In her life there, she was an elementary school teacher. But she always knew how to cook. When she arrived here, she jumped right into the little sushi business her husband, Poe, had started. Thanks to Su Su’s finance and business skills and Poe’s operational know-how, Pangaea Sushi has grown into a strong local business–one that now, with its presence here in Brattleboro, has deeply enriched our Co-op community. 

Artisan Beverage Cooperative, Makers of Katalyst Kombucha and Ginger Libation

Artisan Beverage Cooperative, a worker-owned co-op located in Greenfield, MA, brews the irresistible Katalyst Kombucha and the remarkable Ginger Libation. We recently interviewed Dave and Jon, two of their five worker-owners, and got the lowdown on the current state of the kombucha industry, the challenges of bringing new probiotic life into the world, and the science of brewing.

Rhapsody Natural Foods

Elysha and Sjon Welters reside on a beautiful homestead way up in northern Vermont, along with their business, Rhapsody Natural Foods. They’re living out their vision of creating foods that nourish themselves, their family, their community, and the Earth. The care and attention they give to their work comes through in the rich flavors and tender textures of all their products. Try any of them for yourself, and you’ll understand: Rhapsody foods are on another level. 

The Brattleboro Food Co-op Deli

The Brattleboro Food Co-op deli first opened in 1988, thirteen years after we first opened our doors. It has since grown into a full-service deli that includes a pizza oven, self-serve hot bar and salad bar, made-to-order smoothies and sandwiches, grab-and-go meals and snacks, cases filled with entreés and salads to suit any need or desire, meats and cheeses sliced to order, desserts, coffees, and one of the biggest production kitchens in Brattleboro–and there are more developments to come. Despite all the growth and expansion, one important thing has remained the same: everything is made from scratch, ranging from sauces and marinades to salads, casseroles, and baked goods. The stock in our soups is simmered for hours in a big silver cauldron, the eggplants have been sliced and grilled to tender perfection, and the muffins, scones, and cookies are baked fresh every day. 

Red Hen Baking Co.

Red Hen is a bakery located in Middlesex, VT, dedicated to bringing delicious artisanal breads to their local community. Sounds simple, right? But the reality involves so much more. Randy George and Liza Cain have delved into each aspect of their business with an enormous amount of care and integrity, from local agriculture to workers’ rights. As a result they’ve contributed a lot more than beautiful, nutritious food to our area. If there’s one thing you take away from this article, it should be that there is a lot of overlap between great food, a healthy environment, and a flourishing community.

Slipstream Farm

Jon and Lizzie Deloge’s interest in mushrooms started in an unusual way​​—not through foraging, eating, or from psychedelic experiences, but from dirt! A few years ago, through Jon’s study of composting, he came to think of fungi as powerful “commodities brokers of the soil”: they pull in minerals and other nutrients from the surrounding earth and make decisions about which nearby plants they’re sent to. The more he learned about these incredible life forms, the more intrigued he became, and his wife Lizzie shared his interest. With a baby in their future and a desire to homestead and live closer to the land, in 2020 they decided to transition away from Jon’s successful landscape design business in Cambridge, MA, and seek a new home in southern Vermont. 

Cabot Creamery Co-operative

It’s always been a tough road for dairy farmers. Back in the days before the invention of things like cream separators and pasteurization, everything had to be done by hand, and a lot could go wrong. Milk would often spoil before it even reached customers, whether during the difficult process of separating the milk from the cream or the long drive to the railroad depot with horse and cart. And doing all of this alone made it even harder.