The best thing to happen to brownies since, well... chocolate.
In The News
Vermont Brownie Company at Westchester Fundraiser ...alongside B.B. King!
Our fabulous 1-packs, complete with custom stickers and personalized insert cards, were recently created for a Westchester County fundraiser that featured an appearance by the legendary B.B. King! The event, hosted by the Greenwich Education Group Foundation, raised over $40,000 to provide financial aid to students attending Beacon, The Spire School and Pinnacle in Stamford.
Merchant's Bank Features Vermont Brownie Company in TV Commercial
Become a "Local Hero!" by Katie O'Reilly
Vermont Brownie Company was included in a recent news article by Day Spa Magazine about the burgeoning "farm to spa" movement:
"Talk to friends in other businesses about cross-promotion opportunities," (Cynthea) Hausman urges. "We get our dry cocoa powder for chocolate treatments from the Vermont Brownie Company, another female-owned company located only 20 minutes away."
Click here to read the full Day Spa Magazine article.
The White Library (blog) by Sandra Downie
Today is a sweet day for so many reasons, but one of them is because of the yummy giveaway from the Vermont Brownie Company. I first learned about the company and owners, Katherine and Shawna by watching an episode of "Throwdown With Bobby Flay" in which they did a brownie face off! After that episode, I immediately ordered a sampler packet of their brownies.
As a brownie aficionado, I simply fell in love with the wide variety of decadent brownie flavors they offered. They are rich, moist and have very deep chocolate flavor. I have to admit, I couldn't choose just one, so I ordered their sampler packet. My favorite? Their Maple Toffee Crunch is ridiculously divine! I also love that they are a company that supports sustainability and that they source their ingredients locally from VT. I am all about that! So my lovelies, if you are a die hard brownie fan like myself, then you are going to want to get your hands on this sampler pack. Who knows, you might just decide you want to share some of them.
Vermont Cheesemakers' Festival slowly maturing
Written by Mike Donoghue, Free Press Staff Writer
SHELBURNE, July 25, 2011 — Much like its primary product, the annual Vermont Cheesemakers' Festival appears to get better with age.
The festival that started with the hopes of attracting a crowd of 500 cheese connoisseurs in 2009 actually attracted 1,000 fans for the inaugural event. This year, organizers limited tickets to 1,750 tickets, and they were gone one month before the doors opened Sunday at Shelburne Farms.
"The first year we decided we would sell 1,000 tickets, and we hoped to get 500 people. We sold out the first year about a week or 10 days before. I was a little panicked because people were not accustomed to not being able to go to a Vermont event, not be able to buy a ticket," said Allison Hooper of Brookfield, one of the organizers.
"We are trying to up the ticket sales slowly so that we can keep the flow for the traffic and the intimacy of the event so that people don't come and feel that it's not special," she said.
She said the 1,500 tickets planned for last year were gone before the event.
"This is not just a Vermont event. It's a regional event or a national at some level. They come from all over," she said. Tickets go on sale in February.
A check of the parking lot at Shelburne Farms proves it with vehicles registered in states all along the East Coast and into Canada.
The festival also attracts food writers from across the nation, the Food Network and even Martha Stewart Living, said Hooper, co-owner of the 27 year-old Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery in Barre Town.
The creamery employs 48 people, but some Vermont cheese companies take advantage of distributors to promote their products.
Provisions International of White River Junction was offering various cheeses it promotes, including Jasper Hill Farm in Greensboro. The distributor helps sell for about 30 cheesemakers.
"It's gone very well. It has been a great turnout. It definitely kept moving all day," said Craig Biathrow of Provisions.
"It was very productive day. We met a lot of new people. Sample some new cheese for people. It was educational for retailers and consumers alike. Hopefully cheese sales will increase now," Biathrow said.
The festival also attracts many of the top Vermont wineries and beer brewmasters. But it also is a chance to showcase many of the obvious things that go with cheese, such as crackers, pickles and brownies.
The Vermont Brownie Company of South Hero was displaying some of its wide-ranging tasty products, co-owner Shawna Lidsky said. She said the specialty food company even has a brownie that has goat cheese in it.
"Not only do you have to have a good brownie, but you have to have a very unique brownie. One that has goat cheese in it. That's how we earn our place here," Lidsky said.
"People come over and are totally blown away by the fact that not only are they having a brownie, but there is cheese in it. I think sometimes they are getting a break from cheese and then they find out there is cheese in the brownie," she said.
"They love it. It's great for us to meet all these people because they come from all over the country," Lidsky said.
Some products are a little more obviously cheese related, such as pizza. Mach's Mobile Wood Fire Pizza of Pawlet set up portable units to serve customers. The Rutland County business specializes in fresh, gourmet and organic ingredients.
"It was great to see tour buses coming in," said co-owner Deannna Mach, who had a tent overlooking the lake and a nice breeze. She would support a second day and would like to see some bands to entertain the people who are sprawled out on the lawn.
Vermont Brownie Company Makes my Job AWESOME!July 21, 2011
My all time favorite dessert is the brownie. I am not picky either. I love a boxed brownie, a gourmet brownie, a stale brownie, brownie crumbs…you get the idea. I knew it would not be hard to please me when Vermont Brownie Company graciously offered to send me a sampler pack of their most popular brownies to review. I even got a brownie magnet for my fridge…whooooooo!!
For $21 you can give that special someone six unique brownies. So far they are all delicious, but I was blown away by the Maple Toffee Crunch. Toffee is really getting me going these days and this brownie is no exception. The first thing my daughter said when she saw the packaging was "this is perfect for my teachers," and I would agree.
With that said, Vermont Brownie Company represents an area of the country that is touched with down to earth people and sophistication. The brownies are made using local, farm-fresh ingredients and are preservative free. The packaging is representative of the brand 100%. The logo is a sheep, which is appropriate since Vermont had more sheep than people in the 1800s. Everything about this product is exactly what I associate Vermont to be: beautiful, simple, and refined.
The best part about my job is reading the inspiring stories of the people who start the companies I review. Take the time to review how Katherine And Shawna created Vermont Brownie Company. Proof that people have the ability to make dreams become a reality and turn struggles into success. So inspirational!
Perfect Goody For: Your child to bring to their new teacher the first day of school. Forget the Apple, when there are brownies in town!goodiesforgifts.com
Vermont Brownie Company vs. Bobby Flay
Tune in to the Food Network to see the best thing to happen to Bobby Flay since red meat (the man is a master griller!). Vermont Brownie Company is honored that Bobby Flay chose us for a "Throwdown"! Make sure to watch and find out if our delicious gourmet brownies can stand up againt brownies baked by one of the most famous chefs in America.
We thank you for your continued support!
Katherine and Shawna
Vermont Brownie featured on the Morning Roundup at WOKO
Hear the recap of our sweet victory on the Food Network in this recent radio interview on WOKO.
3 For The Money: Businesses on the brink of making it big
Livin' Magazine - Sept/Oct, 2010
Everything is Coming up Daysies at Vermont Brownie Company
Vermont Brownie Company wins 2010 Daysie Award for Best Vermont Specialty Food.
South Hero, Vermont - August 5, 2010 – Vermont Brownie Company is thrilled to be the 2010 Runner Up in the Vermont Specialty Food Category by readers of Seven Days Newspaper www.7dvt.com. This is the first Daysie Award for Vermont Brownie Company.
Vermont Brownie fans are to thank for this success. Their votes placed VBC in this much honored spot. You may be wondering who finished first. It was the esteemed and internationally recognized Cabot Creamery. A deserving award because VBC uses Cabot Creamery products in their brownies. Every Vermont brownie is baked with butter from Cabot Creamery. You might say the brownie does not fall far from the tree. At Vermont Brownie Company quality comes first.
"We are truly humbled by this honor. We want to thank our customers and the readers of Seven Days for placing us in the same company as Cabot Creamery. It is an awesome feeling to know people love Vermont Brownie Company Brownies as much as we love making them. Look for some new exciting developments in the near future," says Vermont Brownie Company co-founders Katherine Hayward and Shawna Lidsky.
Vermont Brownie Company Featured on Fox Business Network!http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/4156882/utilizing-money-for-marketing-more-effectively/ http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/4156883/using-social-networking-to-market-your-company/
January 26, 2009, Burlington Free Press
Vermont Brownie Gives Back this Valentine's Day
Myra Mathis Flynn, Free Press correspondent
South Hero's Vermont Brownie Company is relatively new and is already up to some good deeds. The owners Shawna Lidsky and Katherine Hayward have partnered with Women Helping Battered Women to dole out some tasty treats. They are donating 10 percent of their Valentine's Day Box brownies to WHBW, all in the name of good will.
What does WHBW mean to you, and, in your opinion, to the community?WHBW supports women and children, the heart of our community. That's why the heart shaped brownie is significant, not just for Valentine's Day, but beyond. WHBW changes lives. We're hoping to do a bit of that as well with our brownies.
Do you see more partnerships in your future?This is a huge part of why we started the company. Brownies make people happy. If we can bake and sell brownies and give back to the community at the same time, then we've met our goal.
How has this partnership changed the way you feel about the community?We knew that as a brand new company we wouldn't have the resources or profits to simply donate a large sum of cash to an organization. That's what makes us so proud of this partnership. We can work hard and with the support of the community, hopefully write a nice size check to Women Helping Battered Women. We definitely want to thank the community for their support.
January 21-28, 2009
Good Food Side Dishes: Businesses put their ethics where their mouths are
By Suzanne Podhaizer
This Valentine's Day, those treats you buy for your sweetheart could say something besides "I love you." Until February 14, the Vermont Brownie Company is donating 10 percent of its proceeds from heart-shaped brownies to Women Helping Battered Women. "We were actually approached by them, and it's an organization we feel strongly about supporting. Their theme for this fundraising is healthy relationships, and it's centering around Valentine's Day," says co-owner Katherine Hayward.
Fans of Hayward's business partner — Former Channel 3 sportscaster Shawna Lidsky, who was recently laid off during a spate of downsizing — will be happy to know she's working in the brownie biz full-time. "It was unexpected, but the timing has worked out really well," Hayward says. "We've been getting in more and more stores . . . We're really busy." Healthy Living, Natural Provisions and Sweet Clover Market now carry the sweets.
November 2008 - January 2009, Destination Vermont Magazine
December 2008, Champlain Business Journal
November 26, 2008, Burlington Free Press
March of Dimes fundraiser highlights work of local chefs
The March of Dimes has called upon the new Vermont Brownie Company to provide a sweet treat for the evening. "We thought 'March of Dimes, perfect,'" said co-owner Shawna Lidsky. "A huge part of our mission statement is to select events throughout the year that make an impact on the community. They needed deserts and here we are."
October 16, 2008, Burlington Free PressReaders vote: Best Sweet Treats
By Melissa Pasanen
"Wow, are they brownies or fudge?" wrote Allison MacKenzie of Georgia about the new Vermont Brownie Company brownies. "I love that they clearly use the finest ingredients and don't skimp a bit on the chunks of goodness in each little bite," she continued.
WCAX sportscaster Shawna Lidsky and realtor Katherine Hayward teamed up to launch this new venture in early September. "We both enjoy baking and we were just looking to do something that can enhance our lives and other people's lives," Lidsky explained. "Anybody can make a brownie, but it's amazing how bad a brownie can be."
Their brownies, needless to say, are very good, made with as many Vermont-sourced ingredients as possible and in sophisticated flavors like espresso dulce de leche with Green Mountain Coffee Roasters espresso and white chocolate-raspberry with berries from the Charlotte Berry Farm. The maple toffee crunch variety sports big chips of toffee on top and the dark chocolate chevre made with Vermont goat cheese is like a cream cheese brownie only better. After many tests, Lidsky reports, the baking duo earned the professional "stamp of approval" from WCAX morning regulars, chef Curtiss Hemm of New England Culinary Institute and chef Robert Barral of Cafe Provence.
October 8, 2008, Seven Days
Sweet Stuff - Side Dishes: Brownies with a Local Twist
By Suzanne Podhaizer
Most area residents know Shawna Lidsky from her decade-long role as WCAX's morning sports anchor. What they may not know is that the peppy brunette recently added a secondary gig to her resume, and it's got more to do with sweet eats than track meets.
Lidsky — along with business partner Katherine Hayward, a real estate agent with RE/MAX North Professionals — owns the new Vermont Brownie Company. The women spend 25 to 30 hours a week mixing, tasting and wrapping their dense treats, made with Callebaut chocolate from the Belgian company's plant in St. Albans. A slew of Vermont specialty products add variety. Lidsky created the basic brownie recipe, orders the ingredients and deals with the public, while Hayward focuses on managing the books and inventing innovative flavors.
They came up with the local brownie idea while palling around on New Year's Day. "[We were] dreaming about the new year, and thinking that a business that was fun would be a great addition to our lives," Lidsky recalls. Next, they did a little research. "We got to the computer, and nobody had done it."
Why did they choose 2008 to begin a new venture? "There's something about that 10-year mark where you still love what you do, but there's more out there," Lidsky muses. "And it's a way to incorporate ourselves into the community a little more . . . there's nothing better than bringing a tray of brownies to somebody."
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