Meadowscape Botanicals

Producer of the Month September 2022, Meadowscape Botanicals

The exuberant and resourceful Wendy Mackenzie grew up in the green hills of Vermont, surrounded by her mother’s gardens. Yet, it wasn’t until the mid-’90s that she developed a fascination with herbalism and plants. At the time, she was a high school health teacher in Wilmington, VT, and invited a local herbalist, Isabelle Hadley, to do a presentation for her students. When Wendy got her hands on the dried flowers and essential oils, she was hooked. “This was back when I didn’t know a daisy from a daffodil,” she said, but the seed was planted, and eventually, it blossomed into Meadowscape Botanicals. 

Misty Knoll Farms

The ride to Misty Knoll Farms is about two and a half hours from the Brattleboro Food Co-op, and every turn greets you with a new field, farm, barn, or gorgeous pasture with animals and crops. It is a delightful ride that reminds you of how abundant agriculture is in Vermont.  

During the 1980s John Palmer assisted his daughter in raising turkeys for a 4-H project. Together they raised 20 or so turkeys in his basement and yard. At the end of the project, he gave away the ready-to-cook turkeys to friends and family, generating amazing responses.

Yalla Foods

Producer of the Month July 2022, Yalla Foods

Dan Seals has been the quiet partner behind Yalla hummus & falafel for years. As of January 1st, 2022, he officially owns fifty percent of Yalla Foods Manufacturing, LLC, the wholesale wing of the Yalla enterprise, and is responsible for producing all of the world-class Yalla hummus and falafel we know and love. Atop the foundation of generosity, integrity, and soulfulness laid by founder and partner Zohar Arama, Dan is poised to build an ever more thriving business and bring their delicious creations to an ever-widening Yalla community.  

Prohibition Pig

The inception of Prohibition Pig and their current success have been built miraculously on the back of a natural disaster and a global pandemic. Not many businesses can claim to have weathered such adversity but the folx at Prohibition Pig can. In 2011, the space where their current restaurant and brewery is located on Main Street in Waterbury, VT, was flooded during Tropical Storm Irene, forcing the brewery and pub that occupied it at the time, The Alchemist, to find a new location. However, the owners of Prohibition Pig wanted to keep the 200-year-old building alive and continue its history of serving food and brewing beer, so they persevered through a big cleanup of the premises.

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.”