Burlington, VT – The Vermont Coffee Guild held its first meeting on Tuesday November 18th at Coffee Enterprises in Burlington. Membership in this new Guild is open to coffee industry professionals from Vermont. Attendees at the inaugural meetings were from many areas throughout Vermont, including Burlington, Montpelier, and Southern Vermont as well.
Although Vermont has the second smallest population in the United States, we have a thriving coffee industry with passionate and enthusiastic people. Because we are more remote than other states and don’t have a huge local consumer base, coffee businesses in Vermont can be more challenging and face many unique demands running day-to-day operations. The purpose of the Vermont Coffee Guild is three-fold:
1. Collaboration. Utilize the resources and expertise available within Vermont to help each other.
2. Education. Explore opportunities to educate our consumers and our staff members, creating an environment to learn together.
3. Networking and problem solving. Vermonters have a long history of assisting and supporting their neighbors, and we think this should extend to local coffee businesses.
“Being in a room full of coffee people discussing the coffee business is fun. It was interesting to consider the way issues effect each type of business represented.” – Brenda Vinson, Uncommon Grounds
During our inaugural meeting we discussed issues of safety in the workplace, equipment rental programs and inventory management systems. Members expressed interest in experimentation and hands-on classes, whether it be sensory training, shelf life testing, or lessons on equipment operations. General coffee knowledge, training and consumer events were a common theme, particularly in regards to the lack of skill building workshops or coffee seminars in the local area.
We are planning quarterly meetings and hope to have a rotating schedule to host events at our members’ locations. The next meeting is tentatively scheduled for Friday January 16th at 2:00 pm at a Burlington location. For more information regarding the Vermont Coffee Guild please contact Coffee Enterprises at 802-865-4480.