Here they are—the best team in the business!
Sugarsnap’s event coordinator, Kristen has been working in event planning for over a decade. While she only moved to Vermont from California recently, she has quickly fit into the farm to table culture of the state and seems like a true Vermonter. While she pays close attention to all aspects of catering, her heart lies with the food and knows that a good meal is the key to any party. A fan of classic rock, she also jams like no one else while clearing tables.
Laura is the glue that keeps everything together and operating the way it is supposed to. Her days are filled with details and deadlines. She started her food career in high school working at a British Tea Shop. After a number of stops, including Olivia’s Croutons, Sundance Resort, Smokejacks, she was the Pastry Chef behind the nationwide launch of Vermont Mystic Pie. Since then, she’s been a Chef Instructor at NECI and the Executive Pastry Chef at The Essex. Her favorite treats? Ice cream and sorbets and chocolates. Outside of work, you’ll find her with her husband Mark and children, Connor and Eleanor, checking out new food hot spots or at the farmer’s market.
The owner and life force behind Sugarsnap, Abbey is always working to improve the company. Whether it’s testing a new product for her breakfast or chatting with farmers, Abbey is the reason why Sugarsnap is the award-winning service that it is. Prior to opening the company, she worked in field biology and journalism, but abandoned those to rent a farm in the Intervale and open a take-out prepared foods cafe which grew into a full blown catering company. While it seems like she’s always working, she does spend her downtime with her family, hiking, biking and tasting the wonders of Vermont’s farms.
With over 18 years of cooking experience, Chris brings a well seasoned hand to the role of executive chef. Before starting his own restaurant Big Chili Republic, Chris worked at Richmond's The Kitchen Table and with Chef Bill Allen at O Restaurant, honing his craft and developing his own style. After his run with Big Chili Republic, Chris took a position with Sodexo where he gained invaluable experience managing large operations in a high production catering environment. With these skills in hand Chris is excited to be a part of the Sugarsnap team, driving our culinary pursuits to new levels. As he puts it, cooking is all about "finding that balance between art and science" and is looking to do just that -- mixing well studied culinary technique with a fervent passion for food and flavor!
Our bridge between farm and table and Assistant Director of Operations, Tessa makes sure that our farm products end up on your table. She joined Sugarsnap in 2014 with the revered title “best volunteer ever” and has ascended ever since. A local of the area, she takes the time to appreciate the wonders of the Burlington area. Brewfest, for example, is like a holiday for her and her husband.
Our Corporate Catering Coordinator Jackson Taymans is at the helm of coordination and oversight for our delivery business. This mild mannered leader doubles as a self-taught chef, making a name for himself at Burlington local food landmarks such as the Skinny Pancake and Hen of the Wood. He lived in Russia once he finished undergraduate at UVM but after being called home by the Green Mountains, he now spends his time enjoying the area with his dog Toby.
With his composed demeanor and years of experience, Joe has been nothing but an outstanding addition to our team since he joined us in June as our new sous-chef. He has been working in a kitchen since 1998 and is a true aficionado of french cuisine! As a Vermont native, Joe spends much of his time outdoors - hunting seasonally with his father and walking with his wife and their two “kids” - a french bulldog and boston terrier mix. You’ll also find him metal detecting on our local beaches - his best find yet was a 1820’s militia belt buckle!
Since May, Mike has been interning at Sugarsnap to complete his Bachelor’s Degree in Culinary Arts at the New England Culinary Institute. He has been working professionally in a kitchen for two years and moved to Vermont last year for school from his home in New Jersey. When asked what his favorite food might be, he promptly replied, “Pie - all of them.” Mike spends his time outside of work listening to a variety of music and hanging out with his beloved cat.
Beginning as an easy-bake oven connoisseur, Sam has been mastering the art of pastry-making since childhood. She is the first in her family of talented home-bakers to work professionally - joining our team in January as an intern to complete her Bachelor’s degree in Baking & Pastry from the New England Culinary Institute. She thrives in our industrial-size kitchen, and loves creating a variety of delicious croissants and laminated doughs. Sam is upholding her great-grandmother’s legacy as a proficient and passionate baker, and brings that ebullience to the Sugarsnap kitchen every day.
A love of being outdoors and working with his hands is what drew our new farm manager, Matt Lasser, to a career in the agricultural sector. Since March, Matt has been running our 3 acre farm single-handedly. With tireless effort, he provides Sugarsnap with many of the ingredients we use in our kitchen each day. When he’s not in the field, you can find him camping in the Green Mountains, creating unique taco dishes in his kitchen, or producing music for his rising techno-pop band. Matt insists, though, that being on the farm doesn’t feel like work at all. “I get to be outside all day, and put some plants in the dirt - what could be better than that?”
Our newest intern, Meg, can be found just about anywhere with her camera in hand. When she's not bothering the kitchen team to garnish the food perfectly, to act candid for her photos, or to stage a plate just so, she can be found at events capturing the team in action, and offering a helping hand whenever needed. Meg not only works with the kitchen and event teams, but she also assists Matt at our farm in the Intervale. She is thrilled to do just about anything to be closer to the veggies, herbs, and flowers in the soil; her favorite crops to harvest are calendula and garlic. When she is not with us, you can find Meg climbing, swimming, or wild harvesting throughout the natural landscape of Vermont. Meg is a UVM senior, majoring in plant biology, and minoring in food systems.
After graduating from Iowa state, Jess picked up and moved to Burlington to work as an event coordinator here at Sugarsnap. Eager to use her degree in event management, Jess has been busy booking events and aiding client’s in making their visions come true. Being new to Vermont, Jess spends her time off exploring all that Burlington has to offer. She is excited to hike, ski, and attend live music events. While she may be busy, she still finds time to satisfy her love for photography and is working on boosting her portfolio.
Three weeks post-graduation from Champlain College, Gare became a member of our team as an event coordinator. With a bachelor of science in public relations and event management, Gare has plenty of experience in the food and event industry. He started his journey back in high school where he worked for a local kitchen, he then continued to work in kitchens when he moved to Vermont for school. With the help of Champlain College’s networks, he made the link between food and event management industries, and was eventually lead here to Sugarsnap. Here at Sugarsnap, Gare has spent countless hours with clients, working alongside them to ensure the event runs flawlessly. Sugarsnap is not the only place Gare spends his time, he can also be found in the kitchen at Spot on the Dock, hiking, camping, or traveling the world.