Couch Brook Farm

Couch Brook Farm

When I asked Elaine Morley what it’s like to have the same job for forty-one years, she replied that things are ever-changing at Couch Brook Farm. Her day’s work varies according to the seasons and cycles of growth. And when you purchase the organic fruits, flowers, veggies, herbs, or pottery produced at Couch Brook, you not only contribute to a small, independently- and woman-owned organic farm, but you also support a rootedness and steady, enthusiastic dedication that has lasted since Elaine created her business in 1981 at the age of twenty-three. Now, at sixty-four, she and Couch Brook are still going strong.

New England Naturals

Just south of the border in Greenfield, MA, New England Naturals has been a pioneer in granola since 1977. Their granola was first baked in pizza ovens and some of the original recipes are still being produced today. The mission of NEN is a commitment to the values of trust, integrity, excellence, and sustainability. Being an employee-owned organization allows their staff to be deeply invested in their work and ensures that a high quality product is produced each and every day—all while having stock in the company. They are seeking to grow their distribution across the country with a continued push towards healthy ingredients and delicious flavors. 

Grateful Greens

Just off Main Street in Brattleboro, VT, a farm called Grateful Greens is growing nutrient-dense greens in what was an unused basement and office facility. It’s an amazing concept built on the goal of creating a more sustainable and resilient food system. This dream is made possible by founder James Mayer’s can-do attitude plus his experience with the use of highly efficient indoor farming techniques. It has also been brought to fruition through investment, property, and knowledge from the folx at Delta Vermont. This extremely successful farming model is in the early adopter phase and with proper planning, use of renewable energy, and expansions, it could become something that truly brings to us a more secure local food system.

Tavernier Chocolates

Dar Tavernier-Singer and John Singer, founders, owners, and operators of Tavernier Chocolates, have called Brattleboro home since they moved here from the Bay Area of California in 1999. In 2014 they started Tavernier Chocolates, and in 2016 they were featured as Producer of the Month here at the Brattleboro Food Co-op. As we explore the chocolates available for Valentine’s Day season, it felt appropriate to circle back and catch up with Dar and John on how they have fine-tuned their approach and their sourcing practices, and where things are headed in the coming years.

Zenbarn Farms

| Producer of the Month
Producer of the Month January 2022, Zenbarn Farms

As people turn the calendar to 2022, creating or reinvigorating healthy habits could be on the to-do list. Some might try a new exercise regimen at the gym or a winter snow sport in order to get outside in the brisk cold. Others might limit dairy or maybe try out meatless Mondays. The new year can bring a new you and ultimately some fun adventures into health and wellness. In order to assist in whatever wellness regime you may undertake, our Wellness team stocks herbs, teas, multivitamins, probiotics, and a plethora of supplements you might need. One of the new botanicals that people turn to is the hemp plant, which when dried and extracted offers the cannabinoid CBD.

Holiday Gifts Staff Picks

The holidays are here, and our staff must be thanked tremendously for creating an amazing atmosphere at the Co-op. From stocked shelves to handmade food to great customer service we are fortunate to have such a thoughtful and talented group of people serving in this community owned grocery store. For this reason, we are taking a pause from our Producer of the Month feature and focusing on staff and their holiday gift selections. Additionally, you may have already seen many of our staff on social media; and we will continue to post portraits throughout December in an effort to highlight so many of our wonderful people! In this Holiday Gift Guide, we will feature some of the familiar faces you see here at the Co-op with their favorite products for the holiday season.

Shelburne Farms

Some cheese is made in large factories from milk that’s been shipped from hundreds of miles away. Some is made in small cottages on tiny farms. Shelburne Farms cheddar is made in the Vermont equivalent of Hogwarts, Winterfell, or a Disney castle, depending on your reference point. This non-profit is a uniquely Vermont fairy tale: Shelburne Farms cheddar is the rich, savory, crumbly-creamy crowning jewel of an organization that strives to make a positive difference in the world, radiating out from its historic, pastoral 1,400-acre campus.  

Real Pickles

| Producer of the Month
Producer of the Month October 2021

Every October cooperative businesses from around the world celebrate National Co-op Month. As our fellow cooperators at the National Cooperative Business Association state, “National Co-op Month is an annual opportunity to raise awareness of a trusted, proven way to do business and build communities. Under the theme, “Build Back for Impact,” this year’s Co-op Month is also a chance to leverage our shared cooperative identity in the face of some of the biggest challenges we face: a global pandemic, climate emergency, and systemic racism. As we build back an economy that works for everyone, our biggest impact comes from embracing the values and principles that make us truly unique.” 

Dwight Miller Orchards

Dwight Miller Orchards

On a gorgeous sunny July afternoon I sat on a picturesque stone wall at Dwight Miller Orchards in Dummerston, VT, with Malah and Read Miller. During our time together they indulged me in all things related to growing fruit and running one of the oldest orchards in Vermont. Their family has been growing fruit here since the 1800s, while living on the land since the 1700s. Running an orchard takes hard work, perseverance, flexibility, and a great family. Each year brings its own set of successes, hardships, and innovations—with the year 2021 having a solid apple harvest outlook.

Pete’s Greens

Pete Johnson first identified his love for farming when he grew and sold pumpkins as a child with his siblings in the Pacific Northwest. The pumpkins were gorgeous and it was a financially successful business. Flash forward to the mid-1990s, when Pete Johnson was about to graduate from Middlebury College and, for his senior thesis, he built a solar greenhouse on campus. This project was the result of his fascination with winter growing and the idea that plastic or glass structures could positively impact the growth of vegetables in the extreme winter temperatures of Vermont.

AlpineGlo Farm

There is a way for professional dairy farmers to have truly loving partnerships with their animals. This is the central notion of AlpineGlo Farm that Rachel Ware wants to convey. Plus, milk from animals who are relaxed, secure, and respected invariably makes the best cheese. Aspiring animal-loving goatherds, pay attention!

Miller Farm

The Miller family’s dairy farming tradition began in southern Vermont in the 1800s. Then in 1916, Arthur Lyman Miller was seeking a larger plot of land and purchased 300 acres in Vernon. The family and their herd of Holstein cows migrated to Vernon and began to ramp up their farming capabilities. Since the farm’s inception in 1887, they have always raised Holstein cows, making them one of the country’s oldest registered herds. Now, in 2021, they raise over 300 total cows, including young ones and a bull, and they milk close to 190 on a daily basis.