Those of us who enjoy calling Vermont home are well aware of the perks of living in this gorgeous state. From the unparalleled views and scenery to the local food, we are spoiled by the authentic lifestyle that Vermont provides. Food is an integral part of Vermont living. In working with newly engaged couples, I often hear them say that Vermont was a top consideration for their destination wedding due to the excellent food that Vermont produces. Vermont had embraced Farm-to-table well before the chic term appeared in restaurants across the country.
One of the best aspects of being a Vermont photographer is truly getting to know the community in which I work and live. The relatively small size of the state affords me the opportunity to work closely alongside local businesses. Recently, I had the chance to spend a bit of time at Bread and Butter Farm in Shelburne, VT. Housed within the barn walls, just beyond the double silos, is one of Vermont best-kept secrets: Blank Page Café.
Purchased in 2009, owner and Middlebury College graduate, Corie Pierce had great visions for Bread and Butter Farm. With a focus on local agriculture, Pierce wanted to help feed the community with a focus on health and sustainability. However, Bread and Butter Farm is so much more than just the food; it’s about the community. If planning your Vermont wedding in the summer, keep a Friday evening open for the wildly popular “Burger Night.” This weekly event attracts anywhere from 400-700 people who come together to listen to music and eat burgers and salads all sourced directly from the farm. In addition to burger night, Pierce has focused on community education through teaching for the University of Vermont Farmer Training program, hosting local elementary school programs, and summer camps.
If your wedding festivities prohibit you from spending an entire Friday evening at the Farm, certainly stop by the newly updated farm store. The store is chock full of Bread and Butter produce, meat, and milk from Henry’s Dairy, also located onsite. A stop at Bread and Butter is like a step back in time, in some ways. As you walk into the store you are greeted by happy people who are passionate about their food. Corrine Steel, Farm Store Manager, has a background in sustainable agriculture and holistic nutrition. She can tell you, without skipping a beat, how to best prepare the greens or what ailments their fresh cilantro or fennel will help with. In addition to the farm’s own products, they have partnered with various local businesses to extend its offerings beyond the farm itself. Last minute local gifts for your guests, such as maple syrup or honey, are readily available.
If wedding planning is keeping you busy, you must stop at the farm to get your butter coffee fix at Blank Page Café. This adorably rustic café, owned by former finance executive Mike Proia, is probably one of the coolest cafés in Vermont. Performance coffees, sometimes referred to as Bulletproof coffees, are sweeping the nation. Blank Page Café is one of the few locations in Vermont that has cornered this market. The details of the coffee are for another blog post, but suffice it to say that you will have a difficult time drinking “regular” coffee again.
In addition to the various coffee offerings, Blank Page Café also creates incredibly delicious baked goods. All of their offerings are gluten-free, and many are grain free as well. The ingredients used in Proia’s products are sourced as locally as possible and therefore extremely nutrient dense. As you plan your upcoming wedding, you’ll likely have guests that have dietary restrictions. A wedding can often be a struggle for those who have varying health needs. Offering some selections that are gluten or grain free go a long way to accommodate your guests. While Blank Page Café has not yet dived head-first into wedding catering, they will consider larger orders on a case-by-case basis. Minimally, stop in for a guilt-free treat to keep you healthy and going during this exciting time in your life!