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March Producer of the Month

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Vermont Fresh Pasta

by Liam Gyori
January 2013

Nestled under the looming Okemo Mountain, the facilities of Vermont Fresh Pasta are easy to miss if you don’t know to look for them.  As you would expect from a Vermont business the emphasis is very much on the product itself, with the enthusiasm and pride in their work evident from speaking even briefly with the staff and management.  Using fresh product is a great way to enhance the quality of a dish, with many regional chefs choosing Vermont Fresh Pasta to offer their customers an excellent example of traditional Italian cooking, without the burden of in house production.

A small operation with only a dozen employees including owners Ken and Tricia Jarecki, you wouldn’t know it from the quality and range of products they offer.  Featured in retailers as well as restaurants throughout the Northeast, Vermont Fresh Pasta products come in an ever expanding variety.  Displaying a flexibility so important to surviving during tough financial times, they constantly work with local vendors to tailor recipes directly to meet their needs.  The range of ravioli alone is impressive, with some seasonal favorites such as butternut squash and roasted garlic standing out as particularly delicious.  They also produce a line of sauces and pesto, the latter of which is often featured in the Co-op’s very own hot food buffet.  Recently they developed a line of ramen noodles using authentic techniques, which is especially exciting for those of us who only know the chemical-ridden ramen popular with college kids.

A common story theses days, Vermont Fresh Pasta saw some hard times with the recession, but they have been able to battle back by looking at local business as a serious avenue for growth.  As consumers look more and more for locally produced goods, they have seen an increasing  portion of their sales going to co-ops and small businesses.  While not all their ingredients are available from local producers, they stay community-minded by seeking out-Vermont made cheeses when possible and even go so far as to send scraps that would otherwise be wasted to a local pig farmer.  
Vermont Fresh Pasta has had a long-standing relationship with Black River Produce, and moved their production facility out of a basement into the former Black River distribution center.  After losing their own distribution vehicle to Irene, a tragedy that affected many Vermont residents, Vermont Fresh Pasta now relies on companies such as Black River, Provisions, and Albert’s Organics for shipping their product.  It’s a great example of Vermont businesses recognizing their interconnectivity and doing what they can to help support each other.

Now celebrating their 20th year of business– cause for celebration for any company these days– look for their products close to home at the Co-op in our Deli department, on shelves in the Dairy department cooler, or check out their website (www.vermontfreshpasta.com) for product listings and specials.  The Co-op will be featuring all of their products on sale in January. Just as delicious as they sound, please help support local products and check them out!

Visit the Co-op on Thursday, January 10, 11 am – 2 pm, and meet the folks from Vermont Fresh Pasta!