3 May

Four years ago, the Local Agricultural Community Exchange (LACE) opened its doors to a crowd of hundreds of excited food lovers and believers.  Mr. Ed and Mary Corrigan generously offered to lease the 10,000 sq ft that had formerly housed the Homer Fitts Company at 159 N Main Street to LACE. That spring of 2007, the community encouragement and support showered on LACE to push forward the mission to improve accessibility of fresh, local foods downtown set the organization off to a great start.

Today, with hard economic times, the loss of the Farm Fresh Market & Café as co-tenant, and the rising cost associated with such a large facility have all pointed LACE towards the need to re-focus. The positive impact of LACE programming out of the Community Kitchen has been greatly felt throughout the community. LACE provides a place where folks who have been disenfranchised from society are welcomed into the kitchen to gain job and social skills through the work of creating a sustainable local food system, and feeding the community wholesome meals.

Looking forward towards a sustainable future for LACE, the board of directors and staff has a plan of action: “We are taking it to the Farmer’s Markets!” This summer, the LACE Focus On Occupational Development (F.O.O.D.) culinary vocational training program will be making locally sourced products and selling them at farmer’s. Look for the LACE F.O.O.D. Stand at the Barre and Montpelier Markets!

Meanwhile, LACE will set up temporary shop in a local kitchen while seeking a permanent new space for next year. As LACE closes one chapter, the founder and director Ariel Zevon, along with the staff and board of directors wish to express heartfelt thanks to this community for all the kindness, support and effort it has taken to make it through these first four years. LACE welcomes the community to take part in the development of the organization as it evolves into the next phase: “Come find us at the Farmer’s Market in Downtown Barre, celebrate fresh foods with us, check out the work our F.O.O.D. trainees are doing, help us decide where LACE needs to go from here to best serve our community!”

Coming up in May:

LACE will only be open WEDNESDAYS from 11am to 8pm. Check out: Moving Sales, Gallery Sales, the Open Table Dinners and weekly film screenings.



  1. Kristina Stykos May 3, 2011 at 10:06 am #

    Having been on the LACE board of directors for several years, i got a close up view of the extraordinary vision and typical economic struggles of this non-profit organization. I applaud the ethics and hard work of founder Ariel Zevon, LACE staff and volunteers in their unflagging efforts to bring awareness and solutions to issues of food security, job creation and local food production in Central Vermont. The LACE mission continues to be relevant and successful in its goal to deliver pragmatic results that benefit all members our community at every level. May LACE’s next chapter bring greater stability to an organization that has become one of Barre’s most indispensable institutions.

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