Hey folks! Pull up a chair, take a seat with your smart phone, whatever way you are reading this blog and come into something new for this mom. I am venturing into writing about market vendors, their products, where you can find them, and a little background on each vendor. The person who fueled the fire for me to write about vendors is my first feature, Michele Carson of Vermont Pickle. I have known Michele for almost five years, and have seen some of the great changes that have brought Vermont Pickle to where it is today. What gravitated my interest in her products is the garlic, which is the catalyst for her success today.
Vermont Pickle started its journey in 1994, at the Rutland County Farmer's Market in Rutland, VT. Michele began with Rhubarb Jam, Pickled Green Tomatoes (still a product available to consumers), and food related craft items; offering consumers something different seemed to peak her interest and its a food love affair she's perfected over time. After discovering pickled garlic, through a vendor (no longer in business) @ a fair, she found the signature item that would take center stage for her small, made in Vermont, specialty food company.
From left to right: Hot Carrots, Carrots, Fiddleheads (limited time only), Snap Peas, Dill Beans, Maple Sweet Pickles, Dill Pickles, Hot Dills, and Garlic.
Michele recalls the memorable milestones for Vermont Pickle, from obtaining a distributor for her products, qualifying for a small business loan, and growing beyond her small kitchen she started in. Other great moments have been placing first @ Farm & Food Fest 2000, and taking second place @ the International Pickle Fest, both for garlic. She enjoys going to various markets and festivals, meeting new consumers and indulging their quest for specialty food items.
I asked Michele for a moment that wasn't in her favor, which turned out to be a batch of garlic that didn't turn out well; this far from deters her from pushing forward to succeed at what she does best, providing quality products for consumers.
As a small business owner, Michele offers this advice to anyone wanting to start their own business or looking to expand on an already existing small business: start small and do your homework first, most importantly, love what you do.
I close this post with a recipe, one of many that can be found on Vermont Pickle's website; as a garlic lover and an omnivore, listed below is a yummy pasta dish to try (can be vegan, non-vegan, & gluten free, if needed).
Garlic Angel Hair Pasta
2 Tbsp Olive oil
6-8 cloves, Vermont Pickle Garlic, chopped
1 14 oz jar Artichoke Hearts (not marinated)
1 6 oz package of sliced Baby Portabella mushrooms
1/2 lb Angel Hair pasta
Start water to boil for the pasta, and follow package directions (angel hair is so fine, it really only needs 5 mins to cook pasta). Heat oil, in a skillet. Drain artichoke hearts, and coursely chop. Add garlic to skillet, along with mushrooms, to saute for about 1 min. Add artichoke hearts, season with salt & pepper, saute for about 1 min. Place prepared pasta into a shallow serving platter, pouring vegetable mixture over pasta. Serve while hot. Serves 4-6.
Visit Vermont Pickle today!