News Briefs

Londonderry, Vt. company buys Rutland specialty food producer

RUTLAND—Londonderry-based Sugar Bob’s Finest Kind has acquired the all product lines and assets of Rutland’s Vermont Maple Crafters.

Founded in 2014 by Jackson Whelan and Lenny Montuori, VMC’s flagship hot sauce — Vermont Maple Sriracha — has become one of the region’s most popular specialty foods. The company’s product line includes several hot sauces, as well as roasted cashews and peanuts. Occupying 2,500 square feet at the Vermont Farmers Food Center on West Street in Rutland, VMC recently completed construction of a production kitchen, with bottling and packaging capabilities.

Sugar Bob’s Finest Kind is run by Rob Hausslein of Londonderry and Andrea Ogden of Landgrove. They, along with their respective families, have been sugaring together for years and are originators of their own flagship product, Smoked Maple Syrup.

“We’re very excited to be taking over where VMC left off in Rutland,“ said Hausslein. “It’s a great fit, and our prior collaborations have proven that Vermont Maple Sriracha and Sugar Bob’s Smoked Maple Syrup are a winning combination. We’re able to keep the existing staff working seamlessly through the transition, and the kitchen that VMC built here is going to be a tremendous asset to our growing maple syrup business. We see synergy at all levels in this deal, and look forward to the creative opportunities that lay ahead.”

When VMC founder Jackson Whelan relocated with his wife out West for a job opportunity, the partners decided the best thing was to look for a new owner. “Rob and his wife Ann, and Andrea and her husband John, have a great vision for the brand, and a great willingness to roll up their sleeves and get it done,” said Whelan. “We’ve admired their products for some time, and are very pleased they’ll be making good use of the facility that we built in Rutland and retaining our excellent staff.”

Hausslein plans on maintaining an ongoing relationship with Whelan and Montuori as consultants to ensure a smooth transition and help develop new product lines. The private sale transaction took place May 5 with no interruption in business.

“Thanks to all our customers that helped support us over the last few years.” said Montuori. “Wishing Rob and Andrea much continued success.”

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