Although all VFN members have demonstrated a commitment to local food, Gold Barn Members go above and beyond to build partnerships with Vermont growers and producers by centering local, seasonal food products in their menus and business models.
By prioritizing strong partnerships Vermont’s vast network of independent growers, farmers, and producers, Gold Barn Member restaurants are doing their part to strengthen Vermont’s food system, support rural communities and economies, and engage in Vermont’s agricultural industry and working landscape.
As of April 2023, VFN has 56 Gold Barn Members, who collectively spent close to $9 million on Vermont-grown and crafted food and beverage products in the past year.
Gold Barn Members make up approximately the top 25% of VFN membership, in terms of local purchasing. To receive the Gold Barn distinction, members must spend at least 35% of their annual food purchasing budget on local food and products. They also must have at least 10 local producer partners, which could include vegetable farmers, beekeepers, maple sugarmakers, meat producers, dairy farmers, cheesemakers, brewers, cidermakers, tree fruit growers, or other specialty food and beverage producers.
In May of 2023, select Gold Barn Members are offering special, limited release menu items to celebrate local food and support VFN’s mission this month. These menu items are a celebration of local, seasonal food, and $1 from the purchase of each item will be donated to VFN in support of their annual programs, and their work advancing relationships among farmers, chefs, specialty food and beverage producers, and consumers. Learn more about the participating restaurants - and make a plan to taste their amazing dishes - on the DigInVT blog.
And look for this window sticker when you dine: