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LEONARDO’S SAUCE IN STORES

Leonardo's is now distributing its pizza sauce to retail locations.
Leonardo’s is now distributing its pizza sauce to retail locations.

Leonardo’s Pizza Sauce is now distributing in retail locations throughout Vermont and nationwide, according to an April 21 release by the company. As one of the only dedicated pizza sauce companies, the Burlington and Portland, Maine-based pizza company is distributing 16-ounce jars of the sauce in four different flavors: original, asiago, garlic and chipotle. Leonardo’s Pizza Sauce is an offshoot of Leonardo’s Pizza, the company says, a second-generation, family-owned enterprise.

The company noticed growing offerings in at-home pizza-making components, like pizza dough, pizza stones and pizza peels but a lack of quality, flavored pizza sauces, so the family set out to share Vermont pizza sauces by the jar. “With balanced flavor and a consistency just right for pizza, Leonardo’s Pizza Sauce elevates homemade pies to a higher standard…high quality ingredients such as fresh, vine-ripened tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil and select spices help to ensure intense flavor profiles in each jar of sauce,” which covers two pies, the company stated in the release.

“The sauce is really what makes the pizza, and we’ve spent 26 years perfecting our sauce in our restaurants before making it available in grocery stores. We are thrilled to be able to share this product with more Vermonters,” said Kelly Byers, co-owner of Leonardo’s and manager of the sauce company. The sauce will be carried locally at City Market, Healthy Living, Lantman’s and at every Hannaford location in the state, and Leonardo’s Pizza Sauce can also be purchased on Amazon.com.

SMOKE & CURE OWNER TO SPEAK

Chris Bailey of Vermont Smoke & Cure will be the featured luncheon speaker at the June 9 Vermont Specialty Food Association’s annual meeting.

The Vermont Specialty Food Association is a statewide organization representing over 125 food producers and 30 suppliers, and is one of the nation’s larger statewide associations for the specialty food trade, celebrating 31 years of service to the industry.

Among the educational workshops that are part of the yearly conference this year: Trends to Watch in ‘Good Food,’ from production to profit — knowing your numbers, digital trends and tools to manage your online business marketing and GMO labeling Q&A. The popular gathering of Vermont food producers will be held at the Mountain Top Inn in Chittenden.

The Vermont Specialty Food Association also recently welcomed the following members to the organization:

Community Capital of Vermont in Barre, a statewide micro-enterprise lender specializing in startups and low to moderate income entrepreneurs.

Fabbri USA 1905, based in Worcester, Mass., which specializes in ingredients for ice cream, gelato and pastries and produces authentic Italian, gluten free, natural, non-GMO, Kosher, confections with no high fructose corn syrup.

Little Red Fox Bakery, based in Essex, offers imaginative and polished seasonal pies, tarts, cookies and tortes to order. Sherpa Foods, based in South Burlington, produces handmade beef and vegetable momos , or Nepalese dumplings, with all natural ingredients.

MILNE EXPANDS TO BANGOR

THe Milne Bangor Team; Adrienne Buzzell, Jill Bradford, Priscilla Kimball, Emily Mulse, Denise Hardy.
THe Milne Bangor Team; Adrienne Buzzell, Jill Bradford, Priscilla Kimball, Emily Mulse, Denise Hardy.

Milne Travel American Express, a travel management company based in Barre, has established a new branch office at 193 Broad Street in Bangor, Maine, the former location of Bangor Travel. The new location will bring Milne’s regional reputation as a well-known provider of travel services and technology to the skills and experience of six local travel professionals. “This office strengthens our company and our position as the largest regionally owned travel agency serving businesses and individuals in Maine,” said Scott Milne, president of Milne Travel, noting that there is currently growth in the corporate travel and leisure industries.

Milne Travel, founded in 1975, is one of the largest family-owned travel management companies in the Northeast. The new Bangor office will operate as an American Express Representative offering American Express Cardholders services like pay with points, Fine Hotel and Resorts and Platinum and Centurion Travel benefits- in addition to their best value guarantee.

SUNCOMMON GETs NEW DIGS

On May 31, SunCommon, the largest solar company in Vermont, will move into a brand new net-positive building in Waterbury, according to a company press release. The company outgrew its old office space in the wake of a boom in the state’s solar industry and had been seeking to move to a bigger, more efficient space, the company said. The largest building of its kind in the state, the new headquarters are located on Route 2 in Waterbury and are a piece of the company’s larger clean power plan. The building was designed by nationally-recognized green architect Bill McClay, the release said. In addition to creating clean power, and reducing dependency on fossil fuels, the building was a “great model for other businesses across the state,” the company said in the release. SunCommon is nearing 3,000 Vermonters served, and is in planning stages to create the first-ever rooftop CSA in the state on the new building. “Once in place, this will make it the largest net-positive building in Vermont, which means the building will generate more energy over the year than it consumes,” the company said.

LENNY’S DEPLOYS MOBILE UNIT

A new mobile unit allows Lenny's Shoe & Apparel to bring its products directly to companies.
A new mobile unit allows Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel to bring its products directly to companies.

Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel recently reintroduced a “mobile footwear unit,” the company said. On May 3 and 5, Lenny’s partnered with Manufacturing Solutions Inc. in Morrisville, during which time the crew showcased over 400 pairs of safety toe footwear on-site for the MSI employees. MSI gave each of their full time employees a stipend towards safety-toe footwear, and more than 90 employees took advantage of the program. The mobile unit allows Lenny’s to bring its products directly to companies across Vermont and New York.

VHFA ADDS PERMANENT AFFORDABLE UNITS

The Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) Board of Commissioners committed federal low-income housing tax credits and state affordable housing tax credits that will provide almost $25 million in upfront equity to construct and renovate housing for low-income Vermonters, the agency announced in a recent press release. The $2.578 million in 10-year federal credits and $400,000 in five-year state credits support 356 rental homes in 11 communities across the state.

“This year VHFA recognized the urgent need among our most vulnerable neighbors – the homeless – and we revised the state’s qualified allocation plan which governs the allocation of these tax credits to give priority to applications that create permanent supportive housing,” explained Sarah Carpenter, Executive Director of VHFA. “One quarter of the federal housing credits will fund 31 units dedicated to people who were formerly homeless. It is clear that this policy change has been successful in helping to create permanent homes for Vermonters who are homeless,” she continued. “Unfortunately, we were not able to fund four projects that could have provided an additional 157 affordable housing units.”

New homes will be added to the housing market in Burlington, White River Junction and Montpelier. VHFA will also totally renovate and secure the long-term affordability of existing housing in Rutland, Marshfield, Bennington, Shaftsbury and Arlington. All of the units utilize green building and design standards, and will be highly energy efficient.

GREEN MOUNTAIN POWER CEO RECOGNIZED

Fast Company announced on Monday that Mary Powell, Green Mountain Power’s president and CEO, was selected to be one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business, the power company said in a press release.

Powell was honored for her transformational leadership, the release noted, in helping transition customers away from the traditional grid. The magazine cited the company’s work in becoming the first utility to offer customers the Tesla Powerwall battery.

“This is a tremendous honor, and speaks to the cutting-edge work taking place in Vermont to lead the way on a new energy future,” said Powell. “As Vermont’s energy company of the future, GMP is partnering with customers on an exciting energy transformation that moves away from the 100-year-old grid system, to a new one that is more reliable, sustainable and cost-effective.”

Each year the magazine selects 100 visionary leaders, with a goal of highlighting people who are creating new opportunities and driving change within their own industries. Powell was listed as number 32. The number one spot on the list this year was Lin-Manuel Miranda, the composer, lyricist, and star of Broadway’s “Hamilton.” The international honorees come from a range of industries, spanning everything from tech and design to energy, media, government and food. For a full list, visit fastcompany.com/most-creative-people/2016