Flavorful Food Prepared With Integrity From Local Farm Products
Super-fresh ingredients from nearby farms give our products flavor — There’s no need to add sugar or a bunch of salt, so they're really healthy and they taste fantastic.
Eat great food and by doing so, become an active participant in the movement to preserve Vermont’s working landscape.
Join us in supporting small farms, local food producers, and the localvore movement.
Inspiration behind Joe's Kitchen
Joe's grandmother’s kitchen in East Randolph VT is the inspiration for the wholesome, flavorful, value-added agricultural products from Joe’s Kitchen at Screamin' Ridge Farm. When Joe was a kid, his grandmother's kitchen was the hub for the entire family. An assortment of cousins, aunts, uncles, and friends were constantly trooping through, and all were greeted at the door with the smell of the ubiquitous soup pot simmering on a back burner. Gram’s kitchen was definitely the place to go when you were hungry.
With equal regard for flavor and economy, Gram used whatever was at hand to pull together a great-tasting soup; ingredients like roasted chicken, potatoes, onions, and vegetables. What really made Gram’s soups special though, were the quality ingredients harvested from the garden out back and the seasonings. Fresh parsley, oregano, thyme and rosemary were snipped from the kitchen garden in the summer months and during the long, cold Vermont winters, Gram made do with the ample shelf of spices right next to the stove. Joe’s mom continued the tradition and passed it on to Joe with love and skill; she spent many hours cooking for him and with him as he grew up.
This training was a great basis for Joe's early career as a restaurant chef and entrepreneur. He trained in France, then cooked and managed restaurant kitchens for about 20 years.
After moving to Vermont in 1999, Joe began learning how to grow food. Screamin' Ridge Farm started small, with one tiny plastic greenhouse and a walk-behind tractor. Over the next several years, the farm slowly grew into a successful business focused on winter spinach production and a wide variety of summer crops (with 3 large hoophouses and a "real" tractor). The farm sold produce at the Montpelier Farmers Market and into summer and winter CSAs.
Connecting directly with customers at Farmers Markets and through the CSA, Joe saw first-hand his customers' struggle to find the time and inspiration needed to prepare healthy meals from raw farm products. He saw an opportunity to realize his ambition of both growing ingredients and cooking them into great-tasting prepared foods.
Joe's Kitchen began as delicious hot soups available at the Montpelier Farmers Market. CSA customers also received a smattering of ready-to-eat foods and meal-launching sauces in their boxes. Our production space was in rental kitchens initially, then at the Mad River Food Hub for a few years. The Red Hen Bakery was our first wholesale customer, the Hunger Mountain Coop was our second substantial customer and they remain one of our biggest supporters (thank you HMC and HMC shoppers!).
We now produce in our own kitchen in downtown Montpelier, VT, right across the tracks from Hunger Mountain Coop. Most of the produce and herbs we grow on our small farm at our home in East Montpelier are used in Joe's Kitchen products. We also purchase a lot of produce, meat, and cheese from local producers, plus a little beer. Our focus is on creating great-tasting, healthy food using primarily local ingredients cultivated sustainably.