Rebuilding with Vermont's RestaurantsJuly 14, 2023
Photo: cleanup volunteers in Waterbury enjoying lunch at Prohibition Pig.
The damage from this week’s floods has been devastating to businesses, farms, and communities all around Vermont - and Vermont’s restaurants have shown up to support their communities in a big way.
We wanted to shine a light on some of the ways VFN members are supporting their communities during these challenging times; and in turn, share some ways that you can support the restaurants (and farms) who are giving so much to their communities.
Note that this list is not exhaustive - we’re fortunate to live in a state where so many people and businesses have rallied to support those who were most impacted, and we can’t include them all in a single blog post! This list is simply a compilation of some of the things we’ve seen happening through our Network. That said, if there’s anyone you think we should add to the list - whether for recognition or support - email email@example.com.
This post was published on Friday, July 14. Last updated Monday, July 31. We'll continue to update as-needed.
Restaurants looking out for their community:
- Prohibition Pig restaurant and brewery in Waterbury served lunch to volunteers helping with cleanup efforts around town earlier this week. Despite suffering devastating losses in their own space, they’ve continued to selflessly support other businesses and individuals in their community. Hen of the Wood Waterbury, also owned by Pro Pig owner Eric Warnstedt, also donated 10% of Friday night’s sales to the Waterbury Food Shelf. (Pro Pig team members are currently out of work while the restaurant undergoes repairs - and paychecks are hard for hospitality industry workers to miss. Support the Pro Pig team at https://www.gofundme.com/f/pro-pig-staff-relief.)
- Stowe Street Cafe started the week by offering free coffee and kindness to anyone who could safely come to their space. They’ve since offered their Airbnb for free as safe housing for displaced Waterbury residents, and organized funds to support the Waterbury Food Shelf and their own “pay it forward” meal program. Venmo @stowestreetcafe to support the fund.
- The Woodstock Inn & Resort remains indefinitely closed, due to damage to the town’s water system. However, Chef Matthew McClure is hosting a series of prix fixe popup dinners over the weekend (July 14-16) at Saskadena Six ski area to support the Woodstock community. They’ll also be making a generous donation to VFN, to support our work as we help farmers and restaurants access the resources they need.
- Brownsville Butcher and Pantry had prepared food to cater the Vermont 100, a race that ended up being canceled. They opted to donate all the food they prepared for the event to individuals facing food insecurity during this time of need, and worked with a variety of aid groups in the area to distribute good, healthy food to those in need. They’re also managing their own community fund, to allow them to provide direct support to anyone in need.
- MKT: Grafton canceled their Friday and Saturday night dinner service, in order to focus their time and resources on helping others who were impacted by the flood. They’ve started a fund to support staff and family who were displaced from the neighboring town of Cavendish, and plan to host a popup dinner fundraiser soon.
- Kayla Silver from Salt & Bubbles in Essex is working with other businesses in the Essex Experience to organize a clothing drive, as well as a fundraising event on July 19. Visit the Essex Experience on Wednesday evening for a silent auction and raffles from several local businesses to raise funds for flood relief.
- Black Flannel Brewing and Distilling is donating $1 from every pour of their Disco Montage IPA to the Vermont Emergency Relief & Assistance fund. They’re also joining Salt & Bubbles and several other businesses in the Essex Experience for Trucks Taps & Tunes, and will have a tasting booth where a percentage of the proceeds will be donated to flood relief.
- Chef Sean Blomgren and his team at the Lodge at Spruce Peak have been busy packing dozens of to-go hot meals for first responders and those in their community impacted by the floods.
Pastry chefs from across Vermont have come together to put on the Sweet Relief Fundraiser Box series. These boxes feature random assortments of pastries lovingly made and donated by some of our favorite pastry programs in the state. All proceeds will be donated to the NOFA-VT Farmer Emergency Fund. Featured chefs and makers include Amanda Wildermuth of Honey Road, Bobby Berg of Haute and Heady, Sarah Howley of Only Cannoli, Laura Schantz of Hen of the Wood, Eric Hodet of Adventure Dinner, and many more.
- Foam Brewers launched a new beer called Strange Weather in anticipation of the storm hitting Vermont on Monday. Once the full impact of the storm became clear, they made the decision to donate $1 from every beer sold this week to the Vermont Flood Response and Recovery Fund and NOFA-VT’s emergency farm fund.
Restaurants in need of support:
- Pearl Street Pizza in Barre suffered $20,000+ of damage due to flooding. Their prep kitchen in the basement was home to vital equipment, dry goods, and food storage, the vast majority of which was lost. Donations to their fund will directly contribute to bringing their staff back to work, and getting their dough operations back underway. In the meantime, Pearl Street Pizza remains open for takeout pizza, pasta, and cocktails.
- Mojo Cafe in Ludlow ended up under 4 feet of water, and is closed indefinitely while they assess the damage and make repairs. They do not currently have a fund set up for repairs, but gift cards can be purchased on their website. They are also now open for takeout, and are selling hoodies and t-shirts to help fund their repairs.
- Pro Pig team members are currently out of work while the restaurant undergoes repairs - and paychecks are hard for hospitality industry workers to miss. Support the Pro Pig team through these challenging times.
- Montpelier fixture Three Penny Taproom was hit hard during the recent flood that ran through the Vermont state capital. In order to support their dedicated staff, the owners of Three Penny Taproom have started a GoFundMe to ensure that their staff are monetarily support during their flood recovery efforts.
- Parsons Dinner House in Barton is indefinitely closed due to flooding. They're also without power, and will most likely loose 100% of their product. Please consider supporting their efforts to rebuild and reopen!
- Homestyle Hotel in Ludlow sustained water damage to their basement and electrical system, and are closed indefinitely while they repair their infrastructure. They plan to reopen sometime in August. Support their efforts to rebuild by purchasing a gift card to use at their restaurant when they open their doors again!
Farms in need of support:
- The Intervale Center flooded almost entirely, and many farmers suffered a 100% crop loss. You can donate to The Intervale to support their farmers.
- 100% of Pitchfork Farm’s 22 acres was underwater for an extended period of time during the floods, and as a result, they lost 100% of their crop. They’ve set up a fund to source donations and support from the public. Donate here.
- NOFA-VT has set up an emergency fund for Vermont farms. Donate here.
Other things you can do to help support your community in the aftermath of the flood:
- Share links to fundraiser events and crowd-funded campaigns on social media.
- Purchase gift cards for impacted restaurants.
- Visit and eat at restaurants in your community that remain open.
- Shop at your local farmers markets and farm stands.
- Fill out NOFA-VT’s volunteer form, to help a farm in your area if they have a need.