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Vermont District Office

Success Stories

Success Stories

When Viktor Witkowski's family fled from Poland to West Germany in the early 1980s he craved his family's traditional, locally sourced culinary treasures - particularly his grandmother's pierogi, which he describes as "my first culinary memory."

Many years would pass before circumstances would allow him to return to Poland to reunite with family members, but when he was finally able to return his grandmother made sure he reconnected with his Polish roots by introducing him to her time-tested family recipes. "She would only use fresh ingredients, most of which were sourced from my grandparents' farm and the surrounding area," Witkowski said.

Pierogi are similar to the more popular dumplings, Witkowski said, describing pierogi as cousins to the eastern European delight. "It is comfort food at its best," he said.

When Witkowski moved to Vermont in 2012 he was once again reminded of his Polish roots. "I realized that (Vermont's) topography is similar to my family's... Read More

Bill McQuiggan, True Colors owner

For 25 years a Montpelier shop on River Street and its owner have been fulfilling the paint needs of its local residents.

Being in business for 25 years is significant for a man who said he did not have the drive to open his own business and was happy working at a paint store in Massachusetts.

“I promised myself I would never start my own business or subject my family to the stress of owning business,” said Bill McQuiggan, True Colors owner. “But as I became more comfortable about managing, I came to the realization that with enough capital and the right situation I could start my own home decorating business.”

McQuiggan decided to attend a small business round table offered by Central Vermont Chamber of Commerce and the Small Business Administration to see how they could assist him.

“The program encouraged entrepreneurs to submit prepared business plans for review before the round table,” he said. “The board consisted of local bankers, insurance agents... Read More

Barrio Bakery

Each morning, seven days a week, a steady stream of customers line up to buy muffins, croissants, biscuits and coffee at Barrio Bakery located at 197 North Winooski Ave. in Burlington, Vt.

“Our bestseller is the cheddar and rosemary biscuit,” said Jessica Bunce, Barrio Bakery co-owner. “No matter how many we make, they don’t last and we sellout within the hour.”

All of Barrio’s pastries are baked fresh daily and made from scratch. Barrio also offers many of its menu items gluten-free.

Owned and started by Jessica and her husband, Ryan, the objective was to create a neighborhood bakery. Since it opened in Burlington’s Old North End in the fall of 2010, it has become a popular destination for local residents.

When the Bunces purchased their place of business, it was Panadero Bakery. The two decided to rename it Barrio, which is Spanish for neighborhood, to coincide with what they wanted their bakery to be.

“It’s stated in our business plan that we... Read More

Sidehill Farm

A specialty food company in Brattleboro is being recognized by the Small Business Administration.

Sidehill Farm, owned by Kelt and Kristina Naylor, is named the SBA’s 2014 Vermont Family-Owned Business of the Year. Sidehill Farm produces and sells a variety of jam, fruit butter and drizzle, which is a combination of maple syrup and fruit. The annual award honors a family-owned and operated business which has been passed from one generation to the next and is successful in sales, profits and increasing jobs.

Kelt’s parents, Ben and Dot Naylor, started the company in 1976 on their farm in Calais, Vt. and ran Sidehill Farm from their home for the next 24 years. The company was passed to Kelt and his wife Kristina in in 2000 when the two left their home in Boston to take over the family business. To be more centrally located in New England and expand the company, Sidehill Farm’s operations moved from Calais to the Cotton Mill in Brattleboro.

According to Kristina,... Read More