Vermont has its share of creative entrepreneurs, perhaps because of the rural nature of our state. We have had our small-town heroes such as Ben and Jerry of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream, and the team behind Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. Local artists have included such greats as Phish and Grace Potter.
Now, coming up on the horizon, we have a couple of other creators to whom I give praise. One is The Alchemist, a brewery and pub located on Main Street in Waterbury, Vermont. I had the pleasure of going to their newly opened Alchemist Cannery, located just off Route 100 north of Waterbury, with my good friend Kate Carter. At the Cannery they brew their flagship Heady Topper, a very hoppy double IPA. We sampled it and I was impressed. We could actually watch the brew-making process through the showroom and tour area, and buy 16-ounce 4-packs in the retail shop. Sadly, the incredibly popular Alchemist brew-pub on Main Street was hit hard by flooding from Hurricane Irene. They lost their entire brewery in the basement, as well as the pub. Fortunately the owners already had the wheels in motion to open the Cannery at a different location. They plan to re-open the brew-pub as soon as they possibly can. Meanwhile, drop by the Cannery and buy some Heady Topper. You’ll be glad you did!
Another entrepreneur I am particularly partial to is Rex’s Outrageous Road Crew Crunch, the ultimate in salty-sweet confectionery concoctions. Started by Daren Rexroad and his wife Annette, Daren, affectionately known as Rex, explains that it all began with an heirloom recipe handed down by his Texan grandma Jobyna. After a few twists and turns, Crunch made its way to the back roads of Vermont. The factory is located in Richmond, but The Rexroads actually reside in Jericho. They are currently putting their home on the market and hitting the road to market their “crunch” throughout the United States.
My all time favorite of all entrepreneurs were the two local 10-year-old girls that put up their lemonade stand at the base of the Pinnacle Trail in Stowe, on Columbus day weekend, which was probably the warmest weekend in October we’ve ever had. They were right there as the hoards of hikers made it back to the bottom just in time to be refreshed by the yummy lemonade our two young locals were serving.