Amy Bouchard doesn’t claim that her whoopie pies are new, or that they’re much different from the ones she made in her grandmother’s kitchen as a child. And that’s exactly the point. For Bouchard, crafting a finer confection has meant perfecting a whoopie pie recipe that spans generations.
“My brother actually had mentioned to me, ’Amy you ought to sell your whoopie pies,’ and I thought he was crazy at first,” said Bouchard. ”But I experimented with my recipe, and what I ended up doing was kind of bringing back that childhood memory and making people smile.”
“We buy all of our ingredients locally… If we make a blueberry and creme whoopie pie, we buy Maine blueberries.”
Word spread, and after years of building her customer base and creating a distribution network through stores around Maine, she and her husband David caught their big break in 2003. In the midst of a busy day making whoopie pies, the phone rang and it was Oprah Magazine, asking if they’d be interested in sending some Wicked Whoopies to be considered for Ms. Winfrey’s “O List.”
Oprah Magazine didn’t need to wait long for an answer, and Bouchard’s Wicked Whoopies were an easy addition to the O List.
Boston Sword & Tuna
Boston, Massachusetts – Established 1960
If you’re someone who believes that a fish is just a fish, try testing that theory with Tim Malley, CEO of Boston Sword & Tuna. That’s because for Malley every individual swordfish or tuna offers a trove of information that holds the key to its distinct quality.
“If you look at a spreadsheet of prices for swordfish and tuna,” said Malley, “there are about eighteen different prices because they’re priced by size, they’re priced by color… you really have to know the fish very well to be able to satisfy all the customers.“
“Portland, Boston, Point Judith, Gloucester, New Bedford – that’s what these cities, these ports, are all about: New England fishing.“ – Tim Malley, Boston Sword & Tuna
This deep knowledge, attention to detail and keen focus on the discerning tastes of the seafood–loving public is what’s built Boston Sword & Tuna into one of the country’s premier tuna and swordfish distributors. To ensure the best possible quality, special packing and shipping methods are used to guarantee freshness and maintain the quality standards Boston Sword & Tuna has become known for.
So, whether it’s served dockside or in downtown Denver, the fish from Boston Sword & Tuna always tastes close to home. And while Boston Sword & Tuna casts a wide net to bring in customers, its homeports have always been the traditional fishing enclaves of Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
“We like to support the ‘local family farm,’ if you will,” said Malley. Find Boston Sword & Tuna’s freshest catch at your local Hannaford Supermarket.
Brookdale Fruit Farm
Hollis, New Hampshire – Established 1847
What started in 1847 as a subsistence farm to provide for Edwin Hardy and his family is still feeding the Hardy family today. But now, Brookdale Fruit Farm enjoys a much greater bounty as one of New Hampshire’s best–known orchards and fruit producers.
“We have a real balance with the family,” said Chip Hardy of Brookdale Fruit Farm. “Theyre all working together, and working with the community to make… a beautiful situation. And everything’s working together, all in balance and harmony.”
“We can supply a nice, locally grown product, it’s much higher in nutrient value because it’s picked that day.” – Chip Hardy, BrookdaleFruit Farm
Balance and harmony are especially critical for Brookdale Fruit Farm, considering that, in addition to the 90,000 bushels of apples harvested in a year, they also produce more than twenty different vegetables, as well as blueberries, cherries, nectarines, peaches, pears, plums, raspberries and strawberries.
Not to mention a variety of annual and perennial flowers. The evolution of the family farm has also led Hardy to strike a balance between generations–old traditions and modern agricultural technology, the results of which have often been revolutionary.
One of the more notable innovations occurred in the 1960s. Brookdale Fruit Farm pioneered the use of controlled atmosphere storage – a large, refrigerated airtight room that provides the ability to control oxygen and carbon dioxide levels.
In turn, Brookdale Fruit Farm provides crisp, delicious, farm–fresh apples from August to April. Try some of these apples, and other Close to Home produce, at your local Hannaford Supermarket.
Corfu, New York – Established 1947
“New York’s Artisan Cheese,” isn’t just a slogan for Corfubased cheese maker, Yancey’s Fancy. It’s quite literally a way of life for partners John Yancey, Mike Wimble and master cheese maker Brian Bailey. In a time when quality is often sacrificed for volume and speed–to–market, Yancey’s Fancy is turning back the clock to an age when cheese making was more craft than consumerism.
“The best cheese curds are the freshest cheese curds. The less distance you are shipping them, the better off they are going to be.”
“Cheese making in this country, basically, was hire a guy off the street, tell him to dump this in at this time, push this button at that time and make sure that this doesn’t shut down,” said Brian Bailey. “That’s what cheese making in this country evolved into, was the mechanization of the plant.” Today, Yancey’s Fancy blends traditional handcrafted European cheese making methods with special curing techniques to create some of the boldest, most full–flavored cheeses available anywhere.
Their hands–on approach has also led to the creation of many new and exciting varieties of cheeses, including the very first horseradish cheddar. If you need further proof of their authenticity, consider Yancey’s Fancy Buffalo Wing Cheddar. This trademarked creation infuses sharp cheddar with the original wing sauce from the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, NY – birthplace of the Buffalo Hot Wing – and just a short drive from the Yancey’s plant. Yancey’s Fancy cheeses are available at your local Hannaford. Check the cheese section in the deli of your local store today.
East Thetford, Vermont - Established 1980
Dave Chapman makes no apologies for his one-track mind. That’s because, for Chapman and his staff at Longwind Farms in Vermont, focus is what’s borne the sweetest fruit.
“There’s an awful lot to growing tomatoes, said Chapman. “It’s funny, people have asked me, ‘Well, would you consider growing another crop?’, and I’m actually intimidated by it. It took me so long to figure out how to grow tomatoes.”
“The closer you are to the growers, the more likely you are to appreciate what they are doing - and hopefully, to make sure that they are doing what you like.”
Now, with more than 25 years in the field, Chapman knows his way around a tomato, and Longwind Farms is well known in the region for its wholesome, tasty produce. But in this greenhouse, the key to the perfect tomato has had as much to do with trial and error as it has hard work, attentiveness and TLC. In a word: dedication.
It’s difficult for the backyard gardener to understand the effort that goes into producing two acres of greenhouse tomatoes. And because of Longwind’s organic, soil-based growing method, it’s perhaps the most intensive form of agriculture in the world. It includes making their own soil by composting manure from local sources and other organic means, and nurturing and harvesting red wiggler worms to produce fertilizer.
Additionally, Chapman and others on the farm spend hours making minute adjustments to the greenhouse environment using finely tuned precision instruments that control temperature, humidity, moisture and other elements. But it’s all in a day’s work for Chapman and Longwind Farms, growing perfection one tomato at a time.
Look for Longwind Farms’ tomatoes in the produce section of your local Hannaford Supermarket.
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