The Mountain Times

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Cheese and crackers

Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company and Castleton Crackers join forces

On Friday, Dec. 7, Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company (VFCC) has announced its acquisition of Castleton Crackers and unveiled an exciting business partnership for the two 'made-in-Vermont' specialty food products. This also marks the first time in recent history that two Vermont companies - one producing cheese and the other manufacturing crackers - have joined forces.

A perfect marriage, the award-winning cracker and cheese companies see endless potential in aligning their like-minded brands to expand their reach and further promote the high quality and rich character of Vermont's ever-expanding specialty foods marketplace.

"Vermont is currently home to hundreds of producers of specialty artisanal foods that illustrate the diversity and character of the state and region," states VFCC's Senior Vice President, Specialty Foods, Valerie Traynor. "Our exciting venture with Castleton Crackers will allow both of our brands to creatively enhance our own product lines while building awareness for Vermont's top-quality specialty food offerings nationally."

Castleton Crackers Founder Whitney Lamy started her company by adapting an 1800s recipe for homemade crackers and sharing them with friends and family. Inspired by the number of artisan and farmstead cheese companies forming across Vermont, Lamy launched her brand at the Rutland Winter Farmers Market in 2008. Having received positive response and success in the first few years of business development, Castleton Crackers reached a point in 2012 of potential growth and expansion that required outside investment to take the business to the next level.

Formed two years ago, VFCC proved the ideal partner; not just because the company's award-winning cheeses pair perfectly with the wholesome Vermont crackers, but VFCC also shares a passion and an overarching vision for promoting the artisanal makers of Vermont food products far beyond the state. Through this new partnership, VFCC and Castleton Crackers will focus their efforts on driving more marketing, organizing operations and expanding product research and development.

"I am thrilled to have found a partner in the Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company," said Lamy. "The team shares my passion for specialty foods and for supporting our state's farming and small business communities."

The partnership was officially announced at the Rutland Winter Farmers Market on Saturday, Dec. 8.

ABOUT VERMONT FARMSTEAD CHEESE COMPANY:
The Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company (www.vermontfarmstead.com) began as an inspiring community effort to save a local farm and its surrounding rural landscape. Today, it is an award-winning cheese company creating an entirely new generation of unique farmstead and artisanal cheeses.

Based in South Woodstock, Vt., the farm is home to a prize-winning, multi-breed herd, with an adjoining 5,500-sq. ft. production facility. The company's creative cheesemakers employ traditional and sustainable dairy farming practices in creating a line of the highest-quality, "old-world" cheeses with distinct Vermont authenticity and style.

Moreover, the company's mission is to foster and support the state's farming communities, having established The Vermont Dairy Foundation as a way to develop sustainable small family dairy farms in Vermont through education and business support. The Foundation was also created to help reverse the trend of declining dairy farms and boost the agricultural way of life in Vermont.

ABOUT CASTLETON CRACKERS:
Founded in 2008 by Whitney Lamy in Castleton, Vt., Castleton Crackers (www.castletoncrackers.com) is an all-natural line of artisanal and hand-cracked crackers inspired by an 1800s recipe. Mixed, rolled, baked and cracked by hand, the wholesome, rustic-looking crackers are available in six flavors: Grafton Graham, Middlebury Maple, Rutland Rye, Windham Wheat, Putney Pumpkin and Richmond Rosemary. Castleton Crackers contain no trans fats or artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. Castleton Crackers are available nationwide.