This August 3-10, Mad River Food Hub (MRFH) will host the second annual Mad River Taste Week event highlighting the farmers and food producers of the Mad River Valley. Originally conceived as a way to bolster marketing efforts for the local food and agriculture community, Taste Week has quickly become a community-wide celebration of good food and local flavor.
“This event is the best way to experience all that the valley has to offer for anyone interested in delicious local food. It’s great for locals and tourists alike to get better acquainted with our farmers and food makers, and it’s great for those makers to get their products in front of more people,” said Bill Cavanaugh, MRFH facility manager.
Mad River Taste is a local marketing effort that supports the vitality of the Mad River Valley’s farmers and food makers by increasing product awareness, establishing a local brand around the highest quality products, and providing a centralized location to purchase and learn about local food.
Taste Week will consist of over 30+ tours and tastings taking place around the valley including a tour of von Trapp Farmstead, a tasting of Collaborative Brewing’s exciting new beers, and a walk through the operation of Ploughgate Creamery. A full schedule is available at madrivertaste.com/tasteweek.
As part of Mad River Taste, in 2017, Mad River Taste Place opened as a retail opportunity to buy these locally grown and produced food and beverages. In addition, the Taste Place is home to the Vermont Cheese Council and offers the best cheese case in the state with over 100 local cheeses that customers can taste and purchase.
"Mad River Taste Place offers visitors and locals to taste, learn about and purchase some of the best food and beverages that Vermont has to offer," said Robin Morris, MRFH founder and president. "It helps our visitors create a connection with our makers and growers and then continue to purchase these food and beverage product in their local stores."
In addition to the Mad River Taste effort, MRFH is continuing its mission of promoting local creation, local solutions and local vitality through support of local farms and food businesses. In addition to providing fresh and frozen storage space, the Food Hub has four shared processing rooms for rental by customers looking to produce value-added products in a USDA inspected environment.
As the only shared-use USDA facility in Vermont, the Food Hub is uniquely equipped to incubate businesses that seek to make value-added meat products such as sausage, bacon and hams, and dry cured salami and whole muscles. These products are important for livestock farms who are looking to improve profitably by utilizing lesser-valued cuts in products that are unique and delicious.
Through a partnership with Vermont Technical College (VTC), the Food Hub runs five-day meat cutting and two-day sausage and smoking courses aimed at training the next generation of butchers in Vermont and around the country. Mad River Food Hub also works to support new and emerging meat businesses through one-on-one training and HACCP consulting.
The Food Hub has been fortunate to work with so many excellent Vermont farms and food producers, including Babette’s Table, Vermont Salumi, Full Moon Farm, Agricola Farm, and von Trapp Farmstead, and continues to work to incubate the next generation of Vermont food businesses. With in-house expertise in meat production, food safety, business planning, and regulatory issues, the Food Hub is strongly positioned to build on the last eight years of operation as the local food market in Vermont continues to grow.
Bill Cavanaugh can be contacted by phone 802-496-3100 and email Bill@madriverfoodhub.com.