Chamber &
Community News 



The Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce (BACC) is pleased to announce the recipients of this year's President's Awards. Immediate Past President Beth Carr presented an award to a business and an award to an individual at the organization's Annual Meeting held on January 25 at the Lilac Inn in front of a crowd of about 90 people. This annual award is presented to a business or individual(s) who make Brandon a better place to work and live.


Chef Robert and Line Barral, started their first business, Café Provence, in Brandon in 2003. They expanded to open Gourmet Provence two years later and last year, they bought the restaurant building and turned two empty storefronts on the first floor in a bar and private function dining room. Besides the restaurant, bakery, bar, wine shop, and retail shop, they also offer cooking classes, wine tastings, weekend culinary retreats, catering, holiday dinners to go, and special functions such as rehearsal dinners, wedding and baby showers, and corporate parties and meetings. They employ approximately 45 people, which makes them one of the largest employers in the Brandon area, and donate to a variety of statewide, regional and Brandon-based organizations, charities and non-profit organizations every year. Carr honored the Barrals and their businesses by saying both Line and Robert are known for their ready smiles, their generous spirits, and for their love and devotion to the Brandon Area.


Carr awarded an Individual Award to Robert Read. Bob is the former owner of Brandon Lumber and Hancock Building Supply, the latter which he started in 1978 as a young man. Several years ago Bob sold the businesses to Bethel Mills and he continues to work at Brandon Lumber. Bob is active and supportive in creating a better, more beautiful and more functional Brandon. After Irene, he started the process of demolition and cleaning the river area. He is willing to partner in projects to help revitalize that area with a new bridge, scenic park areas and some pocket parking that will be a boon to locals and tourists alike. Bob's long support of such a variety of needs in our community exemplifies his true nature as a concerned and active supporter of his hometown.


The Brandon Chamber also ackowledged new Officers and Directors for 2013. The new President is Liz Gregorek of Omya, Inc. Wendy Bizzarro of Heritage Family Credit Union has taken over as Vice-Presdent, Sam Glaser remains Treasurer and Nancy Leary of Nancy Leary Design has been named Secretary. Elected to the Board is just one new Director, Ellen Walter of Blue Moon Clothing and Gifts. Re-elected to the Board are returning Directors Brian Coolidge of Brian Coolidge Painting, Sam Glaser, Sarah Pattis of the Brandon Inn, Joan Rowe of Rowe Real Estate, and Ellen Walter. Retiring Director Beth Carr of Carr's Florist & Gifts was acknowledged for her many years of service and is now considered an Honorary Director.


The Chamber congratulates the President's Award winners on their awards and the new Officers and Directors. For more information contact the Chamber at 247-6401.




First-grade girls scatter petals at the Civil War monument, 2005. Photo courtesy Brandon Museum.
The Brandon Independence Day Celebration Committee is looking for former "flower girls". One of the town's longest standing traditions is the marching of first grade girls, wearing white dresses, in the town's Memorial Day Parade and placing flowers at the base of the Soldier's Monument. Documentation exists showing this tradition has been ongoing for more than 100 years.  


Ellen Knapp, Neshobe School kindergarten teacher and long-time coordinator, says that over the years, she has easily marched with close to 300 girls. Previous coordinators before Knapp, were Carolyn Memoe and Mary Huntley, both of whom had been teachers at Seminary Hill School.


The theme for this year's Independence Day Parade is "Old Home Days" and event organizers are looking for anyone who was ever a flower girl to wear white and join together to form a marching unit. Organizers will attempt to arrange vehicles for those flower girls who are unable to march the parade length.


The Celebration will be held this year on July 6 and organizers are looking for all ol' timers to come back to town. Part of the day's festivities will include acknowledgment of the 200th birthday of Brandon native, 19th century American Statesman, Stephen A. Douglas.

If you would like to march in the Parade with other Flower Girls, please contact Ellen Knapp at Neshobe School at 802-247-3721. For more information about the 2013 Celebration, please contact the Committee at 802-247-6401 or info@brandon.org




Starting this spring, Brandon will be going through the first phase of the long-awaited Route 7 Segment Six project. Water lines will be addressed at two main access points: the Brandon Inn alley and the foot of W. Seminary Street.  


Chamber officials met with Town officials last week to hear about the project and to provide input on minimizing negative impacts to vehicular traffic and the business community. We will be meeting with them again in about a month.  


We want to hear from the business community. If you have ideas or concerns, please see Bernie at the flower shop or contact Janet at the Chamber: email at: info@brandon.org or phone at 247-6401.




Immediate Past President Beth Carr presented the Chamber Year in Review in the inimitable style of the Bard of Avon: 


"An Ode to the BACC"


Brand Aid, Fresh Books, the start of  First Friday,

Town Wide Yard Sales and 4th of July Parade.

Member Dues, Concert Series, Segment 6,

And kindly members who hosted a mix.


Lake Sun, Heritage, Vt. Sports and Brandon Medicine, Town Hall, and Chamber at the birthplace of Stephen.


Insurance questions, Biz cards, Memory Tree, and Brandon Bucks

You think you know the next line, but you are out of luck!


Art in the Snow, the Great Brandon Auction and our favorite  Annual Dinner Volunteers, OV Scholarship, look, we have a winner!


Dinner for the Seniors, Moonlight Madness,and Harvest Fest

How does Janet do it all, she really is the best!


Toy Project, Weekend giveaway, and awards of Beautification 

 Russ the Lighting Elf, Holiday Contest and the Town appropriation?

So one more year has come and gone, and I must bid adieu, but with this I must also give my thanks, to you and you and you.


The Stephen A. Douglas Birthplace Community Center, Inc. (SADBCC) is hiring a Museum Steward to begin work in the spring of 2013. The Steward will work 15-20 hours a week from mid-May through mid-October. The successful candidate will be responsible for stewardship of the Museum and property, as well as recruitment, supervision, and management of a team of volunteers. Go to: http://brandon.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/SAD-Museum-Steward-job-description.pdf  for more detail on the job requirements.   


Please send a cover letter and resume to:

info@brandon.org or by mail to: SADBCC, Inc., PO Box 246, Brandon, VT 05733.   


Questions can be directed to SADBCC by phone at 802-247-6401. Deadline is February 28, 2013. SADBCC, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer.



Otter Creek Therapies, LLC
Occupational Therapy Services
Sandy Bove & Phoebe Chestna
13 Adams Rd., Brandon
Membership Categories:
Health Care; Education

Found Objects
Steven Zorn
4 Conant Square, Brandon
e: info@foundobjectsltd.com
Membership Categories:
Antiques; Shops & Stores


Robert C Sterling, Elder Advocacy

e: sterlingrobertc@comcast.net
Membership Category:
Health Care; Coaching (Personal)  


The Little Pressroom
Ted Shambo and Sarah Stone
18 Creek Road, Middlebury 05753
e: sarah@littlepressroom.com or

Membership Categories:
Printing & Publishing; Graphic Design
Screenprinting; Weddings & Events
Promotional Products 

The Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors will next meet on Monday, March 18, 2013 at 6:30 pm in the Cliver Room at the Stephen A Douglas Birthplace. The Chamber will NOT have a meeting in February.


BACC President Liz Gregorek spoke about the year ahead of us:

"As the President of 2013, I have been thinking about what our focus could be. You may have noticed our theme tonight [at the Annual Dinner] is Brandon's Agricultural Revolution. Just as our agriculture technologies, processes, and ideals have evolved and changed to meet the needs of our society and culture, so to do our businesses and town.


We want it to be known that, Brandon is open for business. We have a variety of businesses, we have almost 4000 residents, we are interested in development, and want to retain what we have.

So....how can we do this and how do these all come together?


I believe it is through activities, entertainment, communication, continuous improvement, and involvement. You've heard a lot of what the BACC has done in 2012 from Beth - a lot of which will continue...But...we can do more.


I encourage you to be involved: share ideas, concerns, solutions through venues such as tonight, Chamber mixers, Chamber website, Chamber board meetings....


The Chambers' purpose...is to be dedicated to the improvement and advancement of a positive and dynamic economic, industrial, professional and business climate in the Brandon area. Together the Chamber board, the Executive Director and YOU can all continue to keep Brandon a town which offers an environment to do business, a safe place to live, and a community which encourages involvement and a place we can enjoy. I look forward to working with you in 2013."



call ahead at 802-247-6401 or check at www.brandon.org to make sure details haven't changed


FARMER'S MARKET - Fridays from mid-May - mid-Oct from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. For more info call 273-2655


FULL SUMMER OF EVENTS AT THE BRANDON TOWN HALL - Live Music, Comedy, Theater, Silent Film Festival and much more. http://www.brandontownhall.org/calendar.php


FREE SUMMER CONCERT SERIES - Concerts are being scheduled. Free. Outdoors in the Park. Excellent Music!


JULY 5 - UNDER THE STARS - Bring the whole family for an evening of great family fun. Free street dance begins at 6 pm hosted by Jam Man Entertainment. Spinning all the family friendly greatest hits from the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and today! Wide variety of food vendors! 


JULY 6 - INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION - "Largest Independence Day Parade in Vermont." Old Home Days. The 2013 Parade will feature Vermont's Own 40th Army Band plus much much more! The Celebration includes Music, Activities, Parade, and Fireworks at Dusk. For more information call 247-6401.


JULY 11 - 14 - The 19th Annual BASIN BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL On the web at: www.basinbluegrassfestival.com. For more info, call 802-247-3275 or email: basinbluegrass@yahoo.com


JULY 23 - GREAT BRANDON AUCTION - 4 pm in Central Park (2 pm preview) Rain or shine. For more info call 247-6401. This is the Brandon Chamber's one and only annual fundraiser.


AUGUST 3 - YARD SALE DAY - Day-long event - Sidewalk Sales and Town-Wide Yard Sales; Sales start at 9 am (some earlier) and last as long as there are still bargains available! Rain or Shine.  Call 247-6401


OCTOBER 5 - BRANDON HARVESTFEST - Come make Harvest People (aka stick figures, scarecrows, Leaf People...) with the experts. You can even take one home! Hay Rides, Apple Pies, Pumpkins, BBQ, Brandon Town Band. Starting at 10:00 am in Central Park; for more info call 247-6401                                    

Recognize this couple? That's Sarah and Louis Pattis!


This photo was taken 25 years ago, when on February 28, 1988, they became the new proud owners of The Brandon Inn. Over the last quarter of a century, Sarah and Louis have extended their hospitality and encouraged their overnight guests to "feel at home" and they have helped many wedding couples "make a little history of their own." Their restaurant, although no longer open for ala carte dining, is still available for private group functions. During the last 25 years, in a addition to being Chef / Innkeepers, they raised their four children (that's Anna Pattis in the photo at age 3 months) and both are extremely involved with the community. Their generosity is evident by the numerous fundraising events that are held each year at the Inn and the plentiful annual donations to local non-profit organizations. Chef Louis continues to prepare delicious meals and Sarah is coordinating fantastic "Vermont Weddings" and events! Every year, in addition to providing overnight accommodations, the Inn hosts weddings, retirement parties, sweet sixteen birthday celebrations, class reunions, proms, retreats, business seminars and memorial services. The Inn also brings tour buses into town. Sarah and Louis are grateful that they have been able to provide a venue to the community for multiple needs. Perhaps you have a special memory of an event at The Brandon Inn that you would like to share.


On Thursday, February 28, 2013, from 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m., Sarah & Louis Pattis will host an OPEN HOUSE at The Brandon Inn. There will be Hors d'oeuvres and also a cash bar with special $2.50 drinks. All are welcome to join them in celebrating their 25th anniversary as Innkeepers and residents of Brandon! They also extend a special invitation to all their fellow Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce Members.


Author/Lynn Garrity is the Front Office Manager at The Brandon Inn and has been employed by Sarah & Louis Pattis since 2007.





Student Art Show

February 1 - 28, open daily 10 - 5






Thai Evening at Center Street Bar

 Tuesday January 29 from 5 - 9 pm

 With Thai Chef Dao Toner



Fresh Rolls with Peanut Sauce $4.99

Chicken Pad Thai $8.50

Shrimp Pad Thai $9.50




Pasta Extravaganza at Center Street Bar

every Friday evening!


Come and try our all you can eat Pasta Buffet

with 3 different pasta dishes,
and Caesar salad for $12.95/person



Brandon Music Presents the Jonathan Lorentz Trio

As part of their jazz series, Brandon Music, located at 62 Country Club Road in Brandon, Vermont will present the saxophonist Jonathan Lorentz on February 7 at 7:30pm. General Admission is $15 and reservations are encouraged. A dinner & show package is available for $30. Venue is BYOB.For reservations call Brandon Music @ (802) 465-4071


Jonathan Lorentz plays with a sound that is warm in tone and rich in melodic complexity. He is a daring and creative improviser who blends modern jazz with blues, rock, and the avant-garde. Jon's recent album Borderlands (his first for the UK's Métier Jazz label) was released to critical acclaim in 2010, and is receiving airplay on radio stations throughout the world. In March of 2011 Fanfare Magazine's Lynn René Bayley remarked that "Jonathan Lorentz has really got it: a great style, an explorative mind, and a concept for this album that goes beyond the usual fare you hear from jazz sax trios."Lorentz is celebrated for having a "real big sound on tenor" (by jazz legend Dave Liebman), and has performed with Dave Calarco, John Menegon, Judi Silvano, Bob Gullotti, Hezekiah Walker, Mike Dillon, Delfeayo Marsalis, Harry Allen, Bruce Gertz, John Lockwood and Yoron Israel. Jon holds a PhD in Jazz Studies from New York University and works as an arranger, transcriber and engraver for Jazzlines Publications. Jon is the founder and director of "NH Jazz Presents" and was recently elected to the board of directors of the Seacoast Jazz Society.


Jonathan will perform in Brandon with bassist John Hunter and drummer Tim Gilmore. 

The Jazz series at Brandon Music is coordinated by NH Jazz Presents, a company that produces a four day jazz tour to venues in Brandon, Laconia, Nashua and Portsmouth. The tour is sponsored by the Margate Resort, Patrick's Pub, David Salzberg, the Saffron Bistro, and the Brandon Inn.




A space has become available at The Granary on Union Street. Rent is $325 per month and all utilities are included.  Click on this link for all the details and contact information



"Cafe Provence" and the "Lilac Inn" have the pleasure to unveil their Vermont Culinary Retreat program to people with a passion for cooking, who love Vermont and all its bounties. How about a special gift for friends and family who live away: 

The Culinary weekend includes per person:

2 nights at the Lilac Inn

Reception with Champagne at Café Provence

2 Dinners at Café Provence

Lunch at Gourmet Provence (Café Provence's bakery)

Visit to Blue Ledge Goat Cheese Farm

3 hr. class/workshop at Café Provence

Brunch with demo at Café Provence

Embroidered apron


The Vermont Culinary Weekend is available for the following dates:

Feb. 1-3 & 22-24

March 8-10 & 22-24

April 5-7 & 19-21


Weekend Schedule

Friday afternoon, guests arrive in Brandon at their leisure and check in to The Lilac Inn. At 6pm Chef Robert will host a reception with champagne and a stationary display of local cheeses in Café Provence private dining room. Each participant will be presented with an embroidered apron and a group picture will be taken. Afterwards they will enjoy dinner in the Café Provence restaurant.


Saturday morning at the Lilac Inn: specially cooked three course Vermont gourmet breakfast of fresh fruit plate, croissant or scone and cooked to order farm fresh egg omelets or pancakes with Vermont maple syrup and bacon, sausage or ham. Saturday 9am until noon: participants will work with Chef Robert in the Café Provence Culinary Theater to work on the menu for Saturday night's 4 course dinner.


At noon guests will enjoy lunch at Gourmet Provence and after lunch will have free time to relax at the Inn or explore the unspoiled village of Brandon.  At 3 pm guests will take a field trip to a local Vermont goat farm and tour their cheese making facilities. They will return to the Culinary Theater to complete the dinner preparations with Chef Robert and at 7 pm guests will dine with the Chef and enjoy the meal they have prepared.


Sunday morning at 9am guests will return to the Culinary Theater where breakfast will be served. Chef Robert will demonstrate eggs Benedict with wilted spinach. Here guests have the opportunity to learn how to make hollandaise sauce and poached eggs. Breakfast will also include French toast Grand Marnier, fresh orange juice, coffee, fruit salad and mini pastries from our bakery.



For information or reservation:

Café Provence: Call 802-247-9997 and ask for Nadene or Chef Robert or info@cafeprovencevt.com

or call Doug or Shelly at the Lilac Inn at : 800-221-0720 or innkeeper@lilacinn.com




 2013 Life Purpose & Longevity Classes with AnnMarie continue in February!


Lessons in Love: A Heart Line Hand Analysis Workshop


Saturday, February 9, 2013

1:00-3:00 pm

@ Nourish Your Purpose in Brandon


Would you like to:

  • experience deeper, more fulfilling relationships?
  • better understand your own emotional style?
  • more clearly communicate your emotional do's & don'ts?
  • respond to other's emotional needs in ways that express respect & love for their own style?

In this always fun class you'll:

  • discover the 4 heart line types & learn to identify them in yours & others' hands.
  • become acquainted with the heart line in your hand and its characteristics.
  • learn how to communicate your emotional turn-on's and turn-off's.
  • gain insight into how others perceive you in relationships.
  • enjoy delicious, organic, love-filled snacks!

From Digestive Distress to Belly Bliss (Part 2) ..because Good Health Begins in Your Gut


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

7:00 - 8:30 pm

@ Nourish Your Purpose in Brandon


Are you tired of feeling:

  • heavy & weighed down, foggy & fatigued?
  • uncomfortable in your body?
  • like your food is making you sick?
  • distracted and embarrassed by certain "symptoms" of digestive dis-ease?

In this second part of my Belly Bliss series, you'll discover:

  • the most commonly problematic foods for your digestion and overall well-being
  • food intolerance signs & symptoms to be on the look-out for
  • a simple strategy to clear them from and HEAL your system
  • strategies to successfully and happily live without the foods that cause you dis-ease 

You don't need to have attended Belly Bliss part 1 to benefit from Part 2.  


You can register for one or both classes at www.nourishyourpurpose.com/events


If you have any questions or want to register directly with AnnMarie, please call: 802.247.5300 or write to: info@nourishyourpurpose.com



National Bank of Middlebury's New Horizons Club is offering a cooking class and dinner with Chef Robert Barral at Café Provence on Saturday, February 9 from 6:00 - 9:00 pm. The theme is Cupid's delight inhonor of Valentine's day. Chef Robert invites you to a very special cooking class where you can simply observe or assist (dare we call you a sous chef?).

What better way to spend a Saturday evening, alone or with a date, than enjoying a full-blown cooking
and dining experience. Not only will you learn how to prepare the menu items, you will get to enjoy an
exquisite three-course dinner in a private dining room at Café Provence in Brandon.For more information about this event or about the New Horizons Club, contact
Misse Smith, New Horizons Club Program Coordinator, National Bank of Middlebury. 388-1632 or 






Brandon Music presents the classical piano and accordion duo, Annemieke & Jeremiah, on Saturday, February 9th at 7:00PM. Dutch classical piano virtuoso Annemieke Spoelstra and Vermont master accordionist Jeremiah McLane join forces for an evening of music by composers from Europe and South America. General Admission is $15 and reservations are encouraged. A dinner & show package is available for $30. Venue is BYOB. For reservations call Brandon Music at (802) 465-4071.


Playing unique arrangements based on traditional folk melodies from the 17th to the 21st centuries, the duo is drawn to characteristic rhythms of dances found throughout Europe and South America. They perform compositions by Astor Piazzolla, Antonín Dvořák, and Béla Bartók, as well as their own original pieces. The sound is simultaneously classical and improvisational: exuberant, introspective, tender and passionate.


Born in the Netherlands, Annemieke Spoelstra has lived in Burlington, VT since 2004. At the age of seven, she began piano lessons with Joke Venhuizen, and went on to study classical piano at the Conservatory in Zwolle, The Netherlands, where she earned Bachelors and Masters degrees as Performing Artist for soloist, chamber music and art song accompaniment. Spoelstra has performed all over the world and is frequently asked as a collaborative artist, to participate in conservatories and national and international competitions for different instruments and voices. She performs solo, teaches piano at St. Michael's College and at her studio and coaches vocalists and instrumentalists for auditions, competitions and performances. She is also the accompanist for the Vermont Youth Orchestra chorus and chorale.


Accordionist, pianist and composer Jeremiah McLane lives in Sharon, Vermont. He has taught and performed throughout the United States and Europe in such venues as the Royal Festival Hall in London, the Picolo Spoleto Festival (South Carolina), and The Moab Music Festival (Utah). He holds a Master's in Contemporary Improvisation from the New England Conservatory of Music and teaches at the State University of New York in Plattsburgh, NY. He has composed music for theatre and film and is founder and director of the Floating Bridge Music School, which offers courses in traditional New England Dance music. He has released seven CDs and received National Public Radio's "favorite picks" award for his second solo recording, Smile When You're Ready, and received the Vermont Council on the Arts "Creation Of New Work" grant.






Members of area book clubs are putting on a fundraiser to benefit Brandon Free Public Library's Capital Campaign and part of the event includes a Giant Used Book Sale. We need the community's help! Donations of books in sale-able condition are now being accepted 


There are many categories of books we will accept and a short list of items we cannot accept. The materials we cannot accept are: VHS tapes, Bibles, computer books which are more than two years old, magazines (and that means National Geographics also), encyclopedias, condensed stories (like Reader's Digest) or travel books older than 2008.


The Giant Used Book Sale will take place at a Library Gala at the Brandon Inn on Friday, March 22 and Saturday, March 23. For more information on donating books or the event, please contact Carol Fjeld at 802-236-4519 or by sending an email at: cekfjeld@gmail.com



Learn how to combine birding and alien hunting and find out what you can do to help protect our trees and wildlife at this hands-on program on invasive insects.

All ages welcomed!
Saturday, February 9, 2013
Neshobe Sportsman Club,97 Frog Hollow Road, Brandon
10 am-1:30 pm
For more information and to register contact Rhonda Mace:
rhonda.mace@state.vt.us or 802-595-0802

The Girl Scouts have organized this seminar in response to the EEE and West Nile Virus incidents of last summer as well as other devastating bugs.





Healthcare Decisions for Small Businesses in 2013
Discussion of the changes coming to the small business health insurance market in 2013 and 2014. Topics to be covered are:

  • Changes required by the federal Affordable Care Act
  • How these changes are being implemented in Vermont and what they mean to Vermont's small businesses
  • Whether a small business should stop offering health insurance or offer insurance through Vermont's on-line Health Benefit Exchange
The moderators for this event will be Bram Kleppner, CEO of Danforth Pewter and Co-Chair of the
Medicaid/Exchange Advisory Board; and Sean Sheehan, Director of Education and Outreach for Vermont's Health Benefit Exchange at the Department of Vermont Health Access
Everyone is welcome! Bring a bag lunch!
WHEN: Wednesday, February 6, 12 noon
WHERE: Ilsley Library Community Room, Middlebury
COST: Free to everyone
RSVP to Sue by email or by phone at 388-7951 x2 


Organized by The Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing

in Middlebury March 18  

Vermont Tourism Bounces Back: Hear the latest research on where travelers are going in-state and what they are spending with comprehensive comparisons of 2011 and 2009 visitors analysis.
Maximize, Partner, Promote: Vermont Tourism and Marketing staff will highlight opportunities in their areas of expertise, ranging from design, marketing, arts and cultural heritage, communications, international sales and legislative relations.
Bonus: All participants will be entered to win one of four free entries to the 30th annual Vermont Travel Industry Conference (VTIC), valued at $200, at the Stoweflake Resort on April 3-4, 2013
, and at the Ludlow site only, two pairs of roundtrip tickets on Cape Air. Attendance is free. Register Now.

For a more detailed workshop flyer click here:


Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce
PO Box 267, Brandon, VT 05733
802-247-6401 ~  info@brandon.org   ~   www.brandon.org