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June 26th, 2017

Spotlight on Business: Butterfly Bakery is Growing Up

Butterfly Bakery of Vermont owner Claire Georges

After nearly 14 years in business and 9 in its current location, Butterfly Bakery of Vermont is getting some new digs. The fast-growing popularity of its new hot sauce and mustard lines have pushed the limits of its current space and necessitated an upgrade from 600 to a much more comfortable 3000 square feet.

Hot sauce might seem like a surprising product for a bakery, but the addition developed naturally. Claire Georges, owner of Butterfly Bakery of Vermont, added frequently varying sweet and savory specials to her product lineup at the Montpelier Farmers Market in 2011. While many specials developed fans, none was so thoroughly loved as her wild assortment of Vermont pepper hot sauces.

In 2015, she decided to plan ahead and ask Vermont farmers to grow peppers specifically for her. She put in her order for 800 pounds in February, but demand continued to grow throughout the summer and when harvest time came, she realized that 800 pounds wasn’t nearly enough. She put the word out to farmers that she would buy all the peppers they had and ended up with 2,500 pounds – which turned out to be just barely enough to make to the 2016 harvest.

“I was amazed. I’ve developed a lot of products in my life, but I’ve never had a one that quite literally sells itself,” said Georges.

Georges purchased a 6,500-pound mix of jalapenos and habaneros in 2016 and that has, yet again, proved to not be enough. With roughly 6 months to go before the 2017 harvest, she has already cooked up over 4,000 pounds. So, she pulled out all the stops and put in orders with nine Vermont farmers for nearly 17,000 pounds of chili peppers for harvest in 2017. While she had also been using Vermont Food Venture Center in Hardwick, it doesn’t have the capacity to store that many peppers, so it was time to consolidate and move everything into one, nearby, location.

Georges expects her new Montpelier location to be up and running in the beginning of May. The new space will house a bakery and food processing kitchen, a 300 square-foot freezer and a newly redesigned shipping facility to accommodate her swiftly growing website. Her hot sauces, mustards, granolas, cookies and chunks are available in stores throughout Vermont and for purchase at www.ButterflyBakeryVT.com. Follow Butterfly Bakery of Vermont on Facebook and Instagram to get an invite to this summer’s Open House.

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