A culinary online center dedicated to promoting the importance and the joy of American home cooking with an emphasis on local products and talent, celebrating the unique spirit and energy of the new food world ethos, especially in Vermont.
I love quotes that add meaning to my life. Here are a few to live by:
We can dramatically increase global food availability and environmental sustainability by using more of our crops to feed people directly and less to fatten livestock.
â€”Jonathan A. Foley, director of the Institute on the Environment, U of MN
Donâ€™t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldnâ€™t recognize as food.
Cooking is at once childâ€™s play and adult joy. And cooking done with care is an act of love.
People who eat according to the rules of a traditional food culture are generally healthier than those of us eating a modern Western diet of processed food.
Food Entrepreneurs Series Part III: The Bakery At The Farmhouse Kitchen
Starting From a Home Kitchen
At the corner of of St. Paul and College Street, you can find Emily Conn, the owner of The Bakery At The Farmhouse Kitchen, with a long line of customers every Saturday at the Burlington Farmers Market. Emily, who you might know for her delicious seasonal Almond Buttercrunch Cake, bakes several other sweet and savory treats, including her savory hand pies, Brown Butter Lavender Bouchons, and Chocolate Meringue Cookies, just to name a few. All of these treats are hand-made and baked solely by Emily each week out of the kitchen of Myerâ€™s Bagels, which is owned and run by her husband, Chris. Although Emily has no formal culinary training, she has much experience working within the food industry. Both Emily and her husband worked at Al Forno, the iconic Italian restaurant in Providence, Rhode Island before moving to Vermont. Emily has also worked at the Shelburne Farms Inn where she managed the South Dining Roomâ€™s dinner parties. She then moved from front-of-house to her own kitchen where she started baking her famous Almond Buttercrunch Cakes, which she sold at City Market. With her cakes in high demand, orders increased and more co-ops were onboard. After 6 years of baking the almond cakes out of her small home kitchen, she was ecstatic when Myerâ€™s Bagels went up for sale two years ago. The Connâ€™s were so fortunate to land the space, allowing Emily to expand her business, and bake a variety of treats.
Burlingtonâ€™s Growing Food Movement
Today, the Burlington Farmers Market is where Emily makes her largest profits. Emily, who is now a vendor member, meaning she has â€śvotingâ€ť rights, has seen the market grow and evolve over the years. However, instead of viewing the other baked goods stands as competition, sheâ€™s says itâ€™s â€śexcitingâ€ť to have more vendors. â€śEveryone offers something different and makes each item their own,â€ť Emily states. â€śThe food world as a whole in Vermont is growing fast. Thereâ€™s not only passion, but quality hereâ€ť.
Creativity is Key
However, the quality of Emilyâ€™s labors of love are unique. She focuses not only on the taste, but on the presentation as well, which is evident from her whimsical, yet elegant farmers market booth. She exclaims â€śitâ€™s all creative!â€ť. This creative drive is evident from Emilyâ€™s bright blue eyes and gleaming smile. The ability to create and play with different flavors and textures is what keeps her going after waking up at 3AM day after day. Although baking is an exacting art, once you have mastered it, you can play and experiment. This is exactly what Emily enjoys doing because sheâ€™s not a â€śby-the-book type of personâ€ť.
Start Small and Slow
As a food entrepreneur, Emily has also learned a lot from her experience starting from a home kitchen. Through this process, sheâ€™s learned the importance of qualityâ€”including visual quality, respect for food, and simplicityâ€”â€śless is more!â€ť She also encourages all food entrepreneurs to go after whatever they are passionate about and to â€śstart small and start slowâ€ť. She emphasizes that the food community here is growing, and everyone here is open to helping support those that are just starting out.
As for Emilyâ€™s plans for the future? Her dream is to eventually have her own retail store. Until then, look out for her products in Vermont co-ops, online, and of course, every Saturday at the Burlington Farmers Market. In addition, starting this fall, you can order hand pies online and pick them up at Myerâ€™s Bagels.
Thank you, Natalie, for capturing so well the amazing art and craft of one of Vermont’s best bakers, Emily Conn–a baker whose creativity makes her, in my mind, head and shoulders above the rest!
Posted: 8-30-2015SUBSCRIBE TO THIS BLOG’S FEED
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