It is with sadness that I announce the permanent closing of Harvest Market. Unfortunately, it is no longer financially viable to continue operations in the immediate or long-term future.

This was not an easy decision, as Harvest Market was literally a dream come true for me.

When Jake and I first moved to Stowe in the early ’90s, I was inspired to open Harvest for several reasons:

• I was inspired by my recent travels. During the ’80s, Jake and I lived and worked in Austria for several years. My job in sales for Burton required that I travel quite a bit, visiting distributors and retailers around Europe. Every time I visited a new European city, I would first head to the specialty cheese, meat, bread and pastry shops before visiting the snowboard shops. I had a passion for great local food and the cultures they represented. Moving back to Vermont, I missed the European food scene.

• I was inspired by — and later mentored by — my good friend Ina Garten. Before becoming the famous cookbook and TV personality that she is, Ina owned a specialty food store, the Barefoot Contessa in East Hampton. I fell in love with it and dreamed of having something like that of my own someday. I will always be grateful to Ina for working closely with me on Harvest to design the store and create the recipes.

• Finally, I was inspired because I was a working mother who wanted to provide home-cooked meals for my family, but usually ended up asking: “Pizza or Chinese tonight?” What I offered at Harvest is what I wanted for my own family.

For over 25 years, Harvest has been at the center of my family’s life. So many of our family traditions revolved around the fabulous food lovingly prepared by our own cooks and bakers. Whether it was our annual Thanksgiving feast or simply Challah bread on Fridays, Harvest always enriched our lives and enhanced our celebrations.

One time an interviewer asked Jake to describe his perfect day. Without hesitation he said, “I would snowboard all day at Stowe, stop by Harvest Market to pick up a feast for family and friends and then serve it all while watching a Giants game (they would win of course).”

While our focus was fabulous food, what really made Harvest special were the people. It’s hard to express the gratitude I have for all the wonderful people who have worked at Harvest over the years. They are the ones who made Harvest much more than a workplace; they made it a family. A special shout-out to Maddy, who was passionate about food and about people, and always treated the business as if it were her own.

Thank you to all our loyal customers. We will miss you.

Donna Carpenter, a Stowe resident, is owner and board chair of Burton Snowboards.

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