Bengy Adler is the owner of Skinny Pancake, opening its tenth location in Quechee, in February.
By Curt Peterson
QUECHEE— The Skinny Pancake creperie is opening its 10th restaurant and café next month in Quechee. The new business will occupy 2,000 square feet of space at 7161 Woodstock Road.
Benjy Adler, president and founder of the Skinny Pancake, told the Mountain Times the date for the grand opening is not set, but will be before President’s Day weekend. He’d like to open on National Crepe Day Feb. 2, but that may be too ambitious.
A firm date will be publicized.
Like their other locations, the Quechee café will serve sweet and savory crepes, fine coffees including espresso, breakfast sandwiches, salads and burgers. A full bar will feature local draft beer.
Adler said ambiance will be casual—diners will order at the counter and their food will be brought to their table. He is not currently planning live music.
“We want a quiet, comfortable place where people can bring their families, and have a delicious dinner with healthy food, and at a reasonable price,” Adler said. “Or, people can bring their laptops, sip coffee, and relax.”
Benjy and his brother Jonny began the enterprise in 2003 with a creperie cart on Church Street, Burlington, which is still in the same spot. Soon they graduated to a trailer, then to a converted bus. In 2007 they leased their first physical site on Burlington’s waterfront. The second opened in Montpelier in 2009.
By 2013 three Skinny Pancakes shops served Burlington International Airport.
“In 2015 and 2016 we had a flurry of openings,” Adler said. “Our expansion has been prudent. Quechee will be our first new store in two years.”
In the summer busy season, the Skinny Pancake employs 300.
The Skinny Pancake nearest to Quechee is in Hanover.
“The Quechee community attracts tourists and serves local people,” Adler said. “Success will depend on both. Although we do very well with Vermont tourists, we can’t survive on tourism alone – we need to be a great value to local people too.”
The Jake’s Market location was chosen for multiple reasons. “The existing kitchen is very high-quality, the ceilings are high, there is lots of natural light, and Jake’s’ owners are really good people to deal with.”
The Skinny Pancake, according to Adler, is a practitioner of “beneficent capitalism.”
“We want to make history, not just money,” he said. “We are on a mission to maximize our positive social impact.”
Rather than through philanthropy, Skinny Pancake does good work in how they do business.
In 2014, according to “Business People – Vermont,” 65.1 percent of Skinny Pancake’s food was sourced or processed locally.
“Every year we do an audit,” Adler said. “Last year 75 percent of our food was local. Ninety-eight percent of our revenue is spent. If we can direct our spending to local farms, businesses and households, it’s doing service to the community. How we spend our money is how we can make the most positive impact.”
Adler has no specific expansion plans at this time.
“The Rutland food scene is real, and it’s deep,” he said. “I would love to participate in it. But right now we are focusing on running our business and getting Quechee up and running. What we are doing in Quechee will be our model going forward.”