Chamber & 
Community News 


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Congratulations to the Stephen A Douglas Birthplace, one of the places on the State of Vermont's African American Trail. 

"Depicting the stories, events and history of Vermont's first African Americans, the trail features places like the Rokeby Museum in Ferrisburgh, an unrivaled Underground Railroad site where freed slaves Simon and Jesse were sheltered by the Robinson family. One may "meet" the amazing 100 year old Daisy Turner, Vermont's oldest citizen until her death in 1988, at the Vermont Folklife Center in Middlebury. And the Stephen A. Douglas Birthplace in Brandon portrays how this small Vermont village was transformed by the national Abolitionist movement."

The Vermont Tourism Network is formulating tours around these experiences and attractions to appeal to groups interested in cultural experiences.  





A great member benefit of the Brandon Chamber: Not just a free listing or link from our website to yours but an entire page dedicated to your business. More and more members are taking advantage of this benefit and so should you! Send a paragraph or two and up to four photos. If you need ideas, take some time and look through the entire website or cut right to our Members page. Send your corrections, photos and blurb to:






The Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce administers a low-interest revolving loan fund available to businesses for an approved building improvement project. The loan fund was originally established as a way to recognize that each and every improvement to Brandon's built community is important to a revitalized town. This loan has been lent several times in the past and there is $2500 available to be lent at the current time. Please contact the Chamber if you would like more information about this little pot of gold!





Chamber members and Area Non-Profits -- we would like to publish your summer events in our Summer Events Flier which will be mailed mid-June to all mailboxes in the the 05733 and 05778 zip codes. This is a great opportunity to get the word out at no cost to you! Send details to the Chamber at:




Lazy Acres Equines

Michelle Kingston

867 Pearl St, Brandon  ~  802-236-5745

Membership categories: Agriculture; Business Consulting (horse specific); Education; On-Line Store



Mountain Valley Farm
Audrey Miller
street address: Whistlestop Lane, Brandon 

mailing address: 10 Linekin Landing; East Boothbay ME 04544.



on the web at:

Membership category: Private Rental; Lodging




Chaffee Art Center

Margaret Barros

mail: PO Box 1447

street: 16 South Main St and 75 Merchants Row

Rutland 05701  ~  802-775-0356

Membership Category: Arts, Crafts, Artisans & Musiciains



The Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors will  be meeting off-site in May. Our next meeting open to the public and members will be Monday, June 17, 2013 at 6:30 pm in the Cliver Room at the Stephen A Douglas Birthplace.


Learn more about Brandon's waterline project, coming this construction season. There will be a public forum sponsored by the Brandon Downtown Alliance and the Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, May 15 at the Brandon Town Hall at 7 pm. A number of speakers will be addressing the scope of the project, the timeline and what it means to you: a town water user, a local shopper, and / or a traveler of Route 7.

Click here to read more about the work that will be taking place this construction season and to sign up for a e-newsletter which will be dedicated exclusively to Brandon's Segment 6 activities.



In Brandon, organizers will be in Central Park at the bandstand from 8AM to 10AM, to distribute Green Up bags and route assignments.  Coffee, hot chocolate and donuts will be provided.  Folks can obtain bags in advance by calling Jim Leary at 247-9595.   


Folks with pick-up trucks who would like to pick up and deliver bagged garbage can call Angus Chaney 802-279-4997 to volunteer or show up at the bandstand at around 10AM on May 4.


If you live in other towns, contact your town office to see how you can help. Keep Vermont Green! 



We like local: Local restaurants, local stores, local agriculture and LOCAL MUSIC. With great thanks to our Summer Concert sponsors: Lake Sunapee Bank, Casella, Omya, Inc., and Neshobe Golf Course, we are pleased to bring the Brandon community a summer of BRANDON-BASED-BANDS. The concert dates are still being tweaked and will be announced soon but we know we will be hearing the music of:

Feral Godmother
Ten Rod Road
The Keating 5
Gene Childers and the Jubilee Jazz Band


The Brandon Museum new Steward, Dan Celik, is eager to get the Museum up and running for the season. We have many returning Volunteers but we could always use a few more. Shifts are 2-1/2 hours either once a week or every other week. Some people like to be paired up and share a shift with a friend. We are also in need of substitutes and people who can help on a less regular schedule. This is a fun and exciting attraction in Brandon and a great place for community members and history lovers to get involved. Extensive knowledge of history and / or Brandon is not required, but a positive attitude and a love of people are essential. Contact Dan Celik at or call 802-247-3888 (leave a message).
The Museum is scheduled to be open daily from 11 am - 4 pm starting May 13.  It is free to the public and is handicapped accessible. The Stephen A Douglas Birthplace also houses the Brandon Visitor Center and a municipal restroom, which are open daily 8 am - 6 pm 365 days a year. The Douglas Birthplace is located on Route 7, just north of downtown Brandon. The street address is 4 Grove St., next to the Brandon Baptist Church at the corner of Routes 7 and 73 West. For more information, call 802-247-6401 or visit



Brandon's hospitality industry is alive and well. We are fortunate to have an active group of businesspeople who are willing to share what they have learned through the years. You may not even know that your business might have an on-line presence, even if you haven't done anything to make that happen! This is important information; Read on:


Many people know that Brandon's inns, B&Bs, and motor lodge are on the popular travel website  But did you know that your local business may be as well?  TripAdvisor's Brandon page has customer reviews for 12 restaurants and 8 attractions, including artists' galleries and farm visits.  If your business is on TripAdvisor, you are there whether you want to be or not.  If your business is not on TripAdvisor, you may wish to consider listing it for free online marketing to people who are already interested in Brandon, both locals and tourists.  


TripAdvisor recommends active management of your online reviews as being "best practice."  Responding to good reviews as well as bad reviews shows you care about your customers' experience.  You can also post photos and encourage your customers to review your business on TripAdvisor.  To access the site, visit and enter "Brandon, Vermont" in the search box at the upper right.  If you don't see your business on the Brandon pages, there are links at the bottom of the pages to add a new business.




The 25th Great Brandon Auction is just a few months away. Start preparing NOW!

1) The first win is when you donate -- New products or merchandise and gift certificates get special mention in our auction handout. Your recycled donations help you reclaim space in your attic, basement, closet, garage, and even the living room!

2) The second win is when you bid / buy at the auction -- Every time you hold up your bidding card or give a nod to Auctioneer Barb, you are helping increase the selling price of that item. And when you buy, you are contributing to a great cause.

3) The third win is when the Chamber uses funds raised at the auction to continue our programs, events and activities. Many of the things we do for the community include a Free Summer Concert Series, Yard Sale Day, help maintain the Brandon Museum at the Stephen A Douglas Birthplace (which is FREE to visit), donate to the Brandon Toy Project, and much much more.

We have great storage and would love to start filling it up! Please think of us when doing your spring cleaning or if you need to re-gift an item! We can also help you with some creative ideas so the 25th Great Brandon Auction is also the best!

Just a reminder that the Brandon Town Hall will be opening for the season this weekend.  On Friday, May 3rd at 7:30 we welcome back "Ladies' Night Out" for a benefit concert "Songs for Children of All Ages"  This is a Free Will Offering Event.

On Saturday, May 4th we have our first Cabaret featuring the Vermont Comedy Crew hosted by Mr. Tony Bates.  Tickets are $10 a person, reservations are not required but recommended.  Call 247-5420 or 345-3033 for reservations.  Wine, beer, soda, snapple or water will be available for purchase, snacks will be provided at each table.  Due to the nature of the program and because we will be selling alcohol, you must be 21 to attend.

The Friends of the Town Hall will be running a "Baskets & More" raffle as a fund raiser for the hall throughout the season.  "Baskets & More" will be on display all season and patrons can purchase raffle tickets at any of the events.  Winners will be chosen at the end of each month for specific items.  There are over 25 Baskets, gift certificates and special items in the raffle.  Hope to see everyone at these great events.  




Welcome Spring! It's here and we've been patient enough. Our greenhouses are packed with gorgeous annuals, perennials, veggie seedlings, herbs and hanging baskets.

We'll be opening up the farm stand on Friday, May 3rd. We hope you weathered winter well and we can't wait to see you again. 


OUR PLANT LISTS ARE NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE: If you're like us, you've been drooling thinking about planning your gardens and planters already. While it's still a bit chilly for a lot of things, take some time and browse our plant lists. You'll be amazed at our selection, which changes every year!  Beth and Jon spend weeks planning and researching our selection during the winter, so hopefully they'll be exciting for you. Lots of wonderful heirloom tomatoes this year, as well as some fun new annual varieties and grasses. Check them out!     






Make a Tee Time Now!
Golf season at Neshobe has begun!  
Call now and make a tee time.   
This year promises to be a great season.  
Call 802.247.3611 NOW! 


Spread the word!  See you all very soon. Rodney





The Web's #1 travel site, TripAdvisor, announced on April 22 that Brandon's Lilac Inn and Churchill House Inn  have earned TripAdvisor's new Green Leader award at the Silver Level.  This designation marks these bed-and-breakfast inns as leaders in sustainability.  Innkeepers Doug & Shelly Sawyer (Lilac Inn) and Seth & Olya Hopkins (Churchill House) have invested in significant improvements to their properties resulting in more efficient energy use, expanded recycling and composting, and responsible purchasing.  


"Our guests really appreciate that we have walked the walk on greening our inn," says Doug Sawyer.  "Being recognized for best practices in sustainability fits perfectly with the Vermont brand."  Guests take an active role as well, with voluntary recycling and "don't change my linens every day" programs at both inns.  The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources has designated Churchill House a Green Hotel in the Green Mountain State since 2006, and Lilac Inn since 2008.  



Mother's Day Weekend: English Style High Tea and Lunch at Brandon Music

Come celebrate Mother's Day at Brandon Music. We'll be offering two unique events - an English style High Tea on Saturday, May 11 from 3-6pm featuring a parade of hats, and a lunch on Sunday, the 12 from 11-3pm with harpist, Margie Beckoff.A High Tea is a wonderful way to treat your mother or that special person in your life to something a little different. The menu includes a pot of tea, delicious toasted crumpets with honey butter, small sandwiches, scones and preserves, "Fat rascals" (awesome Yorkshire fruit scones), small cakes, and English style strawberry trifle. As an added feature, at 4pm there will be a parade of hats by Maria Ammatuna of Creative Fiber Designs. Guests are encouraged to take part in the fun and wear their own hat. The bigger the better! Adults are $22.95 with children under 12, $12.95.


For our "encore" on Mother's Day itself, Brandon Music will serve a delicious three course lunch while guests are serenaded by harpist, Margie Beckoff.   Margie was such a success on Mother's Day last year that we are delighted to have her back again this year. Tickets are $29.95, including both the meal and performance. Children under 12 are $14.95. Reservations are required as numbers are limited. Call 802-465-4071 or email to reserve your seat. Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Rd. Brandon, VT.



BRANDON MUSIC: Ruth Hamilton's "A Sense of Place" and Favorite Faces  


Ruth says, "The process of making art is the way I feel at peace, fully in my own skin. It is kind of like being born and seeing the world around me for the first time and being awed.  Plus it is just plain fun; a playful and engaging way to live."

The exhibit, "A Sense of Place", a new series of Ruth Hamilton's work is now on display at Brandon Music through June 8th.  Her passion and deep connection to the natural world is reflected in this series, showing an appreciation for the sustenance, the beauty of it, but also a disturbing sense of just how precarious that world is.


Ruth has had a fascinating career: running a ski lodge with her parents as a kid; as a dairy farmer with her first husband; working as a RN in prisons, as a trauma nurse in NYC, and more recently as an RN at Castleton State College where she received her nursing degree; immersing herself into the NYC art scene; and traveling across the country in a pickup truck studying ethnic, indigenous and outsider art and cultures. Creating art though it all, Ruth returned to Vermont thirteen years ago, answering a call to the land she couldn't ignore, where she maintains her home and studio in Poultney.

Ruth created another series of works recently, featuring some of her favorite faces. However, this series is a completely different subject than the wildlife and landscapes shown in "A Sense of Place.  A Britcom fan herself (that's British Comedies to all those missing out); Ruth turned her painting skills to a series of portrait paintings depicting many of her memorable Britcom characters. Many will recognize Rowan Atkinson as Mr. Bean, Judi Dench as Jean Pargetter, Patricia Routledge as Hyacinth Bucket, and Frank Thornton as Captain Stephen Peacock.

The paintings were donated to the non-profit, Compass Music and Arts Foundation, of which Ruth serves as Chair. The Foundation has since teamed up with Vermont Public Television's (VPT) Britcom Club where the paintings are being auctioned off at a series of tea events held throughout April. Members of the club get together at English tea events each April and help choose which British Comedies VPT airs. One of seven venues holding a tea event this year, Brandon Music hosts the private function on Wednesday, April 17th.  The proceeds from the auction will be split between VPT and the Foundation, which in turn supports the new Compass Music and Arts Center in Brandon, VT. Note cards of the paintings are also available to help support the Foundation and Arts Center. They are available for sale online at


Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Road, Brandon, VT. Open Wed. - Mon. 10-6pm. Call 802-465-4071 for more information. Compass Music and Arts Center is located at 333 Jones Drive (within Park village), Brandon, VT. Open Mon - Fri. 9-5pm. 802-247-4295 



Food Safety and Food Protection Sessions

ServSafe® Certification and Food Handler Certificates    


ServSafe® Certification

Best class for Professionals employed in Bed & Breakfast, Lodging, Restaurants, Campus, Business & Heath Care Dining, Day Care Centers, Senior Living Complexes, Food Vendors, Farmer Entrepreneurs, Nursing Homes, All Adult and Child services and Job Training Organizations and more.
Course includes 6th Edition Managers Book and exam booklet answer sheet.
Eight Hour sessions at Brandon locations commence 8:30am to 5:00pm.
Next scheduled classes in Brandon: May 21st, June 18th, July 16th and Aug 20th
Food Handler Certificates
Best for Service and Wait staff, Deli, Grill, Hot and Cold Food production associates.
Sessions includes ServSafe® Food Handlers Guide Book with attached certificate.
Four Hour sessions at Brandon locations scheduled as requested by client.



o   Stress free classrooms

o   Affordable course fees

Tailored group session rates with seven or additional participants

o   Consider hosting a session? Muster ten or more examinees at your facility

o   Flexible Full Day, Two Half Days, Multiple Days or Evenings sessions.

o   Courses conveniently arranged accommodating client business schedules

o   Proctoring for On-Line Study examinations available

o   Sessions usually conducted in Brandon unless otherwise specified

o   Brandon Class locations, Café Provence Cooking Theater, Library or local Country Inn.

General information, schedule a group session, course fees or inquire regarding food service resources available.
Browse web site or call 802.247.0098.
Phone answered by Rosebelle's Inn and Training to Excel.

Training to Excel

Norm Milot, Proprietor
Certified ServSafe® Instructor and Registered Proctor





Dust off the old home videos or create a new one because PEGTV is having a funniest video contest for county residents. The deadline for video submissions will be extended to May 31st.

The clips can be no longer than 90 seconds long. They can be uploaded through our website, dropped off at our studio located at the Howe Center in Rutland, or mailed in. All the forms needed to enter and any technical specs can be found and downloaded off our website. If you have VHS tapes or Mini DV tapes with a clip on it bring it into the studio and we can help you extract it for submission.  


Submissions will be posted to our website so the public can vote on their favorites. The top vote getters will then be viewed by our panel of judges to determine the grand prize, second, and third place winners. The grand prize is a Vixia HD Digital Video Recorder and the finalists will be featured on a live awards show from the PEGTV studios.  

Clips will be compiled into a half hour "Show Me The Funny" program on Channel 15 and will be available to view on our Video On Demand portal on our website and our YouTube Channel. The faster you submit your funny video the longer the public has to vote for it so upload it today! Please don't hesitate to call the studio with any questions at 802-747-0151.




Vermont Restaurant Week continues until May 5


We are once again happy to participate in the 4th Annual Vermont Restaurant Week, to benefit the Vermont Food Bank. Make sure to come and try our special $10 Lunch Menu and $35 Dinner Menu.


Click HERE for menus


Benton Lane Wine Tasting at Gourmet Provence


Thurday May 2nd, 4pm-6pm  ~  FREE!  Benton-Lane is a family owned winery and vineyard located in the tenderloin of Oregon's Willamette Valley.  They produce Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and small amounts of Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay.  Benton-Lanes Oregon Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris wines are currently distributed in 49 states and several international markets.

has designed its own system for caring for its land which incorporates the best parts of the Sustainable, Organic and Biodynamic methods. Lorne Mews longtime winery ambassador will be here to walk you through the wines and answer your questions.

We will be tasting their Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Noir.


At Gourmet Provence, 37 Center St., 802-247-3002




Mother's Day Brunch Buffet at Cafe 

Sunday May 12 - 9:30am-3pm

Adult:  $29.95  Children:  $16.95 (10 and under)



Cold Salad Buffet 
Pates and Mousse Platter with Chutney and Homemade Crackers
Fruit Salad in a Carved Watermelon
Plum Tomato and Fresh Mozzarella Cheese Tray with Lemon, Mint and Balsamic Vinegar
Local and Imported Cheese and Fruit Platter
Chicken Satay on Bamboo Skewer and Garlic Peanut Sauce
Spinach Salad with Balsamic, Maple Syrup and Bacon Dressing
Broccoli Salad with Raisins,  Balsamic Honey Dijon Mustard Dressing
Orecchiette Pasta and Seafood Salad with Tarragon & Chives
Antipasto Platter with Artichoke and Roasted Pepper Salad
Grilled Vegetable Platter with Balsamic Reduction and Asiago Cheese
Muffins and Scones from Gourmet Provence




Omelet Station 
Ham, Cheese, Mushroom, Peppers, Scallion, Onion and more




Carving Station 
 Oriental Pork Loin Marinated in Ginger, Soy, Honey and Pineapple Juice, Caramel Sauce
Roasted Leg of Lamb with Rosemary Red Wine Sauce



Hot Buffet

Poached Eggs Benedict on Whole Wheat Toast, Hollandaise Sauce & Florentine Mix
Belgian Waffle with Berry Compote and Vermont Maple Syrup
Slow BraisedCoq au Vin with Gratin Dauphinois
Stuffed Filets of Haddock with Scallop Mousse, Lobster Szechwan Sauce
Saffron Risotto
Assortment of Mini Quiches
Medley of Seasonal Vegetables with Lemon Butter Sauce



Dessert Station

 Assortment of Desserts from Gourmet Provence


Call 802-247-9997 for reservations


RRCC Golf Classic set for May 31st


Killington - The Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce 28th Annual Golf Classic is scheduled for Friday, May 31, 2013 at Green Mountain National Golf Course in Killington and is sponsored by VSECU and Small Dog Electronics.

The day will include a shot gun start at 1:30pm with a fun day of golf, great goody bags, a chance to win a car from Shearer Honda and a hot tub from Allen Pools & Spa's on two designated hole in one's, awards dinner featuring special guest Master of Ceremonies Jack Healy of Northeast Sports Network and the WSYB Morning Show and much more. 

The tournament format is Captain and Crew with teams of four players.  The cost is only $99 per person and includes greens fees, cart rental, awards dinner, goody bags, a chance to win great door prizes, team prizes, trophies and a silent auction. This is a great networking opportunity and an important Chamber fundraiser.


Sign up your team now by filling out the form on our web site, emailing us or calling our office (802-773-2747). 








The Friends of the Brandon Free Public Library present our second annual "Sunday on Park Street"

A Tour of Park Street Gardens


Sunday, June 23 from 12- 6 pm


Visit a dozen unique outdoor spaces. Demonstrations

A fundraiser for the Library's Capital Campaign

Refreshments will be served, 4 Franklin Street, Brandon


For more information call 802-247-8230

Tickets $25 per person




Woven Word Nest

You can own this original painting! Purchase a raffle ticket now!  

"Words weave dreams, stories and truths into nests which nurture and inform our hopes and aspirations.

On each paper shred in this fantasy bluebird's nest you will find a quotation from a renowned book: from Dr. Seuss to Mark Twain and Homer (the Greek poet, not Homer Simpson!). From J. R. R. Tolkien and Joseph Conrad, to Thomas Jefferson and many more. The three volumes supporting the nest are Winnie the Pooh, (A. A. Milne) To Kill a Mockingbird, (Harper Lee)  and Roots, Shoots and Wings, by Brandon's own Bette Moffett."  


This original painting was created by Liza Myers especially to support the Brandon Free Public Library. Every penny of your  ticket purchase will be given to the Brandon Library as a contribution to their capital fund. A limited number of tickets (200 total) will be sold for $25 each.


When ALL of the tickets are sold, a winner will be chosen. Buy a ticket here or at the Library, Carr's Florist & Gifts, or The Inside Scoop.  


Woven Word Nest, 20 x 16, acrylic on canvas ©liza myers


Vermont Health Connect will be a marketplace where individuals, families and small businesses in Vermont can compare public and private health plans and select one that fits their needs and budget. Vermont Health Connect is for individuals, families and small businesses in Vermont.  

Public Forum in Rutland
Join Robin Lunge, the Agency of Administration's Director of Health Reform, to learn about Vermont Health Connect. 
Tuesday, May 14, 2013: 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm
Rutland Free Library (Fox Room)10 Court Street, Rutland, VT 05701
Click HERE to learn more.




Were you ever a "Flower Girl" in the Brandon Memorial Day Parade? One of the first grade girls from the Seminary Hill or Neshobe School wearing a white dress, who marched in the parade and laid flowers at the Civil War Monument? Its been a Brandon tradition for more than 100 years! Looking for girls and women for a Flower Girl Reunion Marching Unit in this year's Independence Day Parade (July 6). Contact Ellen Knapp at Neshobe School if you 247-3721 if you want to march!

Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce
PO Box 267, Brandon, VT 05733
802-247-6401 ~   ~