Sugarsnap is a farm to table caterer in northwestern Vermont. We have been proudly serving our community since 2003. We are made up of a team of skilled, dedicated and hardworking professionals with many years of catering experience. We love Vermont, and we love showcasing the incredible food and beverages produced here.
At the core of Sugarsnap are four key elements:
1. Our own farm and our network of local growers
We are lucky to have access to world-class suppliers and ingredients. And it is amazing how much more is possible and available now when compared to 15 years ago.
2. Our fantastic team of cooks, servers, and staff members
Our team is always looking to improve, stay on top of trends and be the very best we can be. Every day, this great team makes delicious food from scratch and serves it with style.
3. A complete focus on catering.
We live and breathe catering, and only catering. Our recipes, systems, methods of preparation, safe transport and temperature control, all ensure that our food is exceptional and just as good as you would would find in a restaurant.
4. A belief in partnerships
We know that together we can do much more than alone. Sugarsnap partners with local businesses and nonprofits to help accomplish our mission.
Way back in 2002, I (Abbey Duke) decided to pursue my dream. Up to that point, I'd had an indirect career path working as a journalist, a field biologist and a marketer... all the while dreaming about my own business. So, I quit my job in marketing to enter "Abbey Duke University." At ADU, I followed a personalized graduate program whose end goal was to start a business that involved growing produce and selling its end product. I worked for Will and Judy Stevens at Golden Russet Farm in Shoreham; I attended business workshops; I spent a winter in Costa Rica working on an agroecology project. During the summer of 2003, while I was going through the process of renting land in the Intervale and creating a business plan, I got a call from Will Raap from Gardener's. There was a little building at the top of the hill (before coming down to the Intervale) that is for rent, was I interested?
The little building had been a fried chicken wing place and, shall we say, had not been properly cared for. All I saw was the potential. In July, 2003 I signed the lease papers and then I started looking for help. I found that help in two chefs: Kirk and Katie Fiore. Together, we created the business concept of Sugarsnap, renovated the building and got it ready to open. It was a truly bootstrapped labor of love. We even rented a jackhammer to make space for new plumbing.
In December of 2003 we opened. Our original focus was freshly prepared take-home dinners and lunches. We grew steadily over the years and catering became a larger and larger part of the business. By 2008 we had maxed out our tiny space and it was time to make a decision: get a lot bigger or stay the same. Kirk and Katie decided they were ready to do something different, so they left the business in early 2009. And I decided to "go big".
In 2010, I led Sugarsnap through a large expansion, raised money and opened up a catering and commissary kitchen in Technology Park, South Burlington. Since then, we’ve grown significantly and we now offer a full bar catering service. In 2013, almost 10 years after our first day, we closed our original Riverside location. In 2017, we closed our last cafe in order to focus completely on catering.
Partnerships and Cookies
At Sugarsnap, we believe that by partnering with other businesses and nonprofits, we can accomplish much more than we can alone. Here are examples of how we work with other organizations.
Cookies: Since 2011, we have been part of Cookies for Good. In this program, we sell 9 different types of cookies to our catering customers. 35% of all revenue is donated to COTS for homeless prevention programs. Over 8 years, this has raised over $90,000. This program is a result of a partnership between COTS (the nonprofit), Sugarsnap and Cabot. Cabot has provided a tremendous amount of operational and marketing support.
ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain. We are the exclusive caterer and venue rental manager of ECHO. It is a wonderful venue right on Burlington’s Waterfront. We work closely with ECHO’s team to build event business and increase the revenue of a valuable community resource.
Bishop Booth Conference Center. We are also the exclusive caterer at Bishop Booth. The center is on Rock Point and is owned by the Episcopal Diocese. We work with them to help increase revenue for the center in order to protect and preserve Rock Point.
What Will the Future Bring
Our whole team is focused on building the strongest and very best business that we can. We are working hard to expand our farm; increase the amount of local products we buy; improve our systems and help everyone succeed. We want to run the very best and most profitable business we can. Through being successful, we can give back to our employees, customers, partners and community.
Here are some things we are doing in 2019:
- We will be hosting dinners and events on our Intervale farm (let us know if you are interested!)
- We are expanding the amount of flowers and decor items on our farm.
- Getting outside of Vermont! We want to stay on the leading edge of catering trends. Four of us are going to a big conference in New Orleans in February. We will write some blog posts about what we learn.
- Have a business or menu idea for us? Let us know.