News

Vt. Coffee Co’s Ralston launches nonprofit

MIDDLEBURY — The sale of Vermont Coffee Company to Maine-based Stonewall Kitchen should pay dividends to Addison County for years to come.
Not only will the transaction preserve and grow local jobs (see related story), it will result in the creation of a what Vermont Coffee founder Paul Ralston called a “new social venture” called Little Village Enterprises that will tackle food insecurity in the county.
Staffed by former Addison County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Sue Hoxie, Little Village Enterprises, according to Ralston, will do “research and planning to try to address food insecurity and local food production in Addison County. One of the ways I’m going to be able to actualize that is by liberating some of the equity that I have in the coffee company.”
Ralston, a former Middlebury state representative who served on the House Committee on Commerce and Economic Development, has long been a voice for “growing good jobs, close to home.” He sees economic development as crucial in giving local residents the salaries they need to buy homes and raise families.
He alluded to statistics provided by Feeding America, a national nonprofit, indicating around one in four Vermonters is currently food insecure — a situation exacerbated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Feeding America further asserts there’s a gap of $40 million between the resources Vermonters have, and what they need to get the food they require.
“It’s a really significant problem and can’t be addressed by just donations and volunteer programs,” Ralston said. “It has to come from some economic growth, the ability of people to earn enough money to afford to live.”
Ralston promised more details about Little Village Enterprises during the coming months.

Share this story:

More News
Homepage Featured News

Legislators point to action on housing, environment, school funding

Local lawmakers on Monday listed a series of initiatives they believe will define the 2024 … (read more)

News

‘All aboard’ for the parade: Yellow House resident’s train dream comes true

Everybody loves a parade — but the Middlebury Memorial Day parade could really use more cr … (read more)

News

Lincoln’s Jeanne Albert running for House

Lincoln’s Jeanne Albert isn’t afraid of putting in a ton of effort to scale new heights.

Share this story: