Food for Thought...

End Of An Era For Putney Artisan Candy Maker

PUTNEY, VERMONT - It has been a long, sweet run in Putney for the Vermonter Candy Company, as it was recently announced that the longtime, artisan candy maker is retiring after nearly 70 years in the business. The company is well-known for its peanut brittle, walnut crunch and cashew brittle made with Vermont Maple Syrup.


Article by Joe Milliken * Photos courtesy of The Vermonter Candy Company

The Vermonter Candy Company was founded in 1950 by Herbert “Stick” Handy, who originally launched the business, along with his father, in Dorset, Vermont, before moving the operation to Putney in 1951. Hebert ran the candy-making company until 2004, when his daughter, Carolyn Handy, took over the reins of the family business. Carolyn’s grandfather’s family, who originally resided in Springfield, Massachusetts, also worked in the chocolate candy business going back to the 1920s.

The Southern Pie Cafe in Chester, Vermont: More Than Just Great Pies!

Just imagine the smell of homemade pie, as fresh as the crisp Vermont air where it is baked, because that is what you will enjoy at the unique and friendly Southern Pie Café, located at 94 Common St. in Chester. Combining southern Dixie flavors with local ingredients, owners Scott and Leslie Blair are bringing these tasty desserts along with many other baked and luncheon delights, and serving breakfast, lunch, and coffee to their loyal customers every day. "As with many 'mom and pop' shops, you will most likely see me and or my wife in the shop everyday," owner Scott Blair said in a recent interview.


Article by Joe Milliken * Photos courtesy of Southern Pie Cafe

Originally from Charleston, S.C., Leslie met her husband, Scott who is originally from Lebanon, N.H., when they both worked at a Vermont bakery where she was the head baker. Leslie is a graduate of Johnson & Wales University and has over 20 years of experience in the food industry, while Scott has 15 years of experience in retail sales, technology, and business management. When Scott was lucky enough to taste one of Leslie’s traditional southern pies, the rest, as they say, was history!

Contributing Writer Kyle Branche Interviews Atlanta's Missy Koefod of 18.21 Bitters

Introducing a Standing Room Only interview series by contributing writer Kyle Branche, featuring various "Bitters brand" owner interviews. Bitters focuses on culinary food and drink, with a unique and long history of medicinal practice as well. This month, Kyle chats it up with Missy Koefod of 18.21 Bitters, based in Atlanta.


Article by Kyle Branche * Photos courtesy of 18.21 Bitters

Bitters Hub - What was it that motivated you to get started in the world of bitters production?

Missy Koefod - We love entertaining with real quality spirits but were having a hard time finding the mixers that we wanted to use with really clean ingredients and interesting flavor profiles. One day during an Atlanta ‘snowpocalypse,” we started experimenting while stuck in the house and 18.21 was born!

BH - What experience do you have in the culinary field, or another field, that gave you inspiration to enter into this product?

Contributing Writer Kyle Branche Interviews Bill Buitenhuys of AZ Bitters Lab

Introducing a monthly Standing Room Only interview series by contributing writer Kyle Branche, featuring various "Bitters brand" owner interviews. Bitters focuses on culinary food and drink, with a unique and long history of medicinal practice as well. This month, Kyle chats it up with Bill Buitenhuys of AZ Bitters Lab, based in Chandler, Arizona.


Interview by Kyle Bramche * Photos courtesy of AZ Bitters Lab

CHANDLER, ARIZONA

Bitters Hub - What was it that motivated you to get started in the world of bitters production?

Contributing Writer Kyle Branche Interviews Crude Bitters Owner Craig Rudewicz

Introducing a monthly Standing Room Only interview series by contributing writer Kyle Branche, featuring various "Bitters brand" owner interviews. Bitters focuses on culinary food and drink, with a unique and long history of medicinal practice as well. This month, Kyle chats it up with Craig Rudewicz of Crude Bitters, based in Raleigh, North Carolina.


Article by Kyle Branche * Photos courtesy of Kyle Branche

Bitters Hub – What was it that motivated you to get started in the world of bitters production ?

Craig Rudewicz – It started initially with making my own syrups and flavorings for home use with a desire to use real ingredients. Store bought brands are full of artificial ingredients and high fructose corn syrup and my wife and I wanted to move away from it. I’ve always been a cocktail enthusiast, so the research lead to making my own tinctures, and then eventually bitters. We don’t use any artificial flavors, glycerin, or dyes.

Contributing Writer Kyle Branche Interviews Rob Kaczanowski of Black Cloud Bitters

No. 3 in a series of bitters' interview articles

Introducing a monthly Standing Room Only interview series by contributing writer Kyle Branche, featuring various "Bitters brand" owner interviews. Bitters focuses on culinary food and drink, with a unique and long history of medicinal practice as well. This month, Kyle chats it up with Rob Kaczanowski of Black Cloud Bitters, based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.


Article by Kyle Branche * Photos courtesy of Black Cloud Bitters

Bitters Hub - What was it that motivated you to get started in the world of bitters production?

Rob Kaczanowski - I had a Black Manhattan one night at a restaurant in Calgary and it knocked my socks off. I inquired what was in it and it turned out to be Rye, Amaro, and Chocolate bitters. I really wanted to understand how the bitters were made as it was the backbone of the cocktail. I spent a few months researching botanicals and decided that there was a lot that one could do with flavour profiles with bitters and we started experimenting with various ideas.

Contributing Writer Kyle Branche Interviews Napa Valley Bitters and Distillery Owner Ian Winget

Introducing a monthly Standing Room Only interview series by contributing writer Kyle Branche, featuring various "Bitters brand" owner interviews. Bitters focuses on culinary food and drink, with a unique and long history of medicinal practice as well. This week, Kyle chats it up with Napa Valley Bitters and Diststillery Owner Ian Winget


Article by Kyle Branche * Photos courtesy of Napa Valley Bitters and Distillery

Bitters Hub - What was it that motivated you to get started in the world of bitters production?

Kyle Branche Interviews Apothecary Bitters Company Owner Cole Benoit

A Monthly Series About Bitters

Introducing a monthly Standing Room Only interview series by contributing writer Kyle Branche, featuring various "Bitters brand" owner interviews. Bitters focuses on culinary food and drink, with a unique and long history of medicinal practice as well.


Interview by Kyle Branche * Photos courtesy of Kyle Branche

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA - Bitters Hub's Kyle Branche interviews Apothecary Bitters Company owner Cole Benoit.

Bitter Hub (Kyle Branche) – What was it that motivated you to get started in the world of bitters production?

Sweet To Eat Cheesecakes Is “Cheesecake Heaven!”

LACONIA, NEW HAMPSHIRE – Prepare to have your taste buds blown away, and your sweet tooth tested, when you sink them into the delicious homemade cheesecakes created by Sweet To Eat Cheesecakes, based in scenic Laconia, New Hampshire. Established in the spring of 2015 by Meredith Kelley, her passion is to literally create the best cheesecake you've ever tasted!


Article by Joe Milliken * Photos courtesy of Sweet To Eat Cheesecakes

“I have forever been challenged with making a truly delicious cheesecake,” Kelley told Standing Room Only in a recent interview. “I did not want my cheesecake to just be an 'average-everyday cheesecake' that you could walk into any restaurant and order. I wanted to make my cheesecake, the one that you walked out of the restaurant saying, 'Damn, that was good! Who made that?'... and over time, I honestly feel like I have accomplished this.”

Creating Clean Food and Honest Roots With Genuine Local

Helping Small Food Producers Bring Their Product To Market

MEREDITH, NEW HAMPSHIRE-Welcome to Genuine Local, a “purpose-built” shared-use, specialty food production facility based in Southern New Hampshire and committed to providing local communities, small food producers, local businesses, and farmers with crop surplus, a venue for professional food production, nutritional information, cooking classes and more.


Article by Joe Milliken * Photos courtesy of Genuine Local

Launched in 2016 by Gavin and Mary Macdonald, and located at The Arts Collaborative in Meredith, New Hampshire, Genuine Local is a kitchen and food incubator space designed to assist local, individual food entrepreneurs in producing their recipes in bulk. After converting a warehouse space into the production facility, the Macdonald's have put together an impressive assortment of equipment and resources which includes technical support, training, regulatory assistance, collective ingredients, packing and packaging and access to outside networking and additional resources.

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