Exploring the Northeast Kingdom
This month, we’re focusing on the Northeast Kingdom, a.k.a. the NEK, to highlight sThis month, we’re focusing on the North East Kingdom, a.k.a. the NEK, to highlight some facts about this region of Vermont that often gets overlooked. The NEK includes the counties of Essex, Orleans and Caledonia, and is bursting with natural areas and beautiful landscape. The NEK “is a powerhouse of a location for people who love swimming holes, outdoor adventure, colorful characters, and a cultural identity distinct from anything else you’ll find in New England.” Among these outdoor activities to see is Lake Morey and the network of trails surrounding it, a hike up to Lake Willoughby, or outdoor concerts weekly throughout the summer at the Catamount Film and Arts Festival.
There are a handful of fantastic BIPOC-owned businesses in the NEK to explore, including Whirligig Brewing in Saint Johnsbury. We’ve interviewed the founder and owner of Whirligig, Geoffrey Sewake, which you can read below. Additionally, we’ve pulled some BIPOC-owned businesses for you to check out – whether you reside in the NEK or are looking to discover another part of Vermont.
Curious but cautious? We get it…it’s not always comfortable or safe for us in locations across Vermont. Email email@example.com and we’ll help talk you through concerns you have visiting new locations.
Read up on all of these opportunities below!
Get to Know VT PoC
Businesses and People
OWNER OF WHIRLIGIG BREWING, IN SAINT JOHNSBURY
Geoffrey Sewake was born in Los Angeles but grew up mostly in Washington state and California, in a multi-generational Japanese-American family. After attending Vermont Law School and living for a short period in New York City, Geoffrey returned to Vermont with his wife “to raise kids around dirt and trees.” On being a business-owner in Vermont, he loves “the ability to create something to speaks” to his experience. Furthermore, he feels lucky to have chosen Vermont as his home – and sees it as a special place to be in the brewing business.
Read the rest of our interview with Geoffrey Sewake here.
Find all the ways to connect with Whirligig Brewing below!
Small Business Grants
EMBRACE Grant for Vermont Microbusiness
In response to COVID-19, the Vermont Community Action Partnership and the Micro Business Development Program came together to establish the EMBRACE (Economic Micro Business Recovery Assistance for the COVID-19 Epidemic) direct grant program.
Apply today at this link.
Accelerate the development of your startup idea today, through LaunchVT. Submit your application by March 18th!
Click here to read more.
BIPOC-Owned Businesses in the Northeast Kingdom
Pica Pica, located in Saint Johnsbury, offers traditional as well as creative twists to Philippine cuisine. A common question that underlies this core Filipino cultural trait is the greeting one hears when entering a home. You will be asked:
“Kumain ka na ba?” (“Have you eaten yet?”)
Find them in our BIPOC Business Directory here.
Flipped Vermont Tech
Flipped VT Tech offers more than just a drop-off computer repair experience. They aim to turn your IT or web design frustrations into foundational tools to aid in your daily productivity.
Learn more about their services at this link.
Saint Johnsbury Ballet Studio
A Classical Ballet studio, run by owner and educator Liliana Cubero. Celebrating 25 years in 2020, they offer youth and adult classes for anyone who wishes to learn ballet.
Sign up for a class at this link!
Salt Bistro is chef owned and operated, serving a unique menu of Italian and house favorites. They’re open for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch! Local delivery is FREE in St. Johnsbury, in response to COVID-19. You can also book them for catering needs!
Click here for more info.