ACEDC assists two Bristol business projects

Vermont Business Magazine The Addison County Economic Development Corporation recently assisted two Bristol businesses in securing financing for commercial development projects.

ACEDC provided a $100,000 loan to Stoney Hill Properties, LLC (SHP) to support their vision of building worker housing and providing commercial and light industrial space in Bristol. ACEDC has been working with Kevin Harper on the Stoney Hill Properties Project for three years, primarily to identify funding and financing resources. ACEDC advised SHP to apply to the Northern Borders Regional Commission (NBRC) and wrote a letter of support for their application.

The project, through the Town of Bristol, was awarded $500,000 to support site work and infrastructure. Loans from the National Bank of Middlebury and ACEDC will help to cover the costs of the private infrastructure, including stormwater, wastewater, sidewalks, roadways, utilities, and data.

The project will support the creation of around 150 full-time jobs and 20 part-time jobs by the businesses that occupy the planned commercial spaces. SHP has secured a subdivision permit and conditional use permit to accommodate the first tenant, All Earth Renewables. Additionally, the development will include 20, mixed-income housing units, to be developed by Evernorth and the Addison County Community Trust.

“This private/public partnership would not have been possible without ACEDC’s help in finding the grant monies, as well as providing the project with ACEDC loan funds,” said Kevin Harper, SHP Manager Member. “The Stoney Hill site is highlighted in the Town Plan as a mixed use, “infill” opportunity given its location in the village proper, its proximity to the recreation park, the High School, and the downtown business district.”

ACEDC also provided $50,000 to V Smiley, owner of V Smiley Preserves, LLC to support plans to transform from a majority wholesale business to a majority direct sale business.

The key to this direct sales growth strategy is Minifactory, a brick-and-mortar location in Bristol, which opened in April 2022. Minifactory is a coffee shop, bakery, dine-in and take-out eatery, and grocery that includes retail sales of V Smiley Preserves, produced on-site. Also planned are wholesale and e-commerce sales of V Smiley Preserves and an educational curriculum to build community and impart preservation techniques.

They plan to teach professionals fruit production work and home cooks how to preserve and benefit from eating more seasonally. Minifactory is located in the former Bristol Cliffs Café at 16 Main Street in Bristol. V Smiley Preserves (VSP) makes Vermont honey-sweetened preserves with an emphasis on fruit and aromatics grown in Vermont.

“ACEDC’s support provided a path towards the dream of building a warm and delicious community-driven space for gathering and nourishment,” said V. Smiley. “I am so excited and proud to run two, intertwined local food-focused business in beautiful Addison County. It’s a particular honor to be the next owner/caretaker of the four decades old business that we locally call ‘the bakery’.”

ACEDC: The Addison County Economic Development Corporation is a 501(c)(6) member-based, private, not-for-profit corporation, governed by a Board of Directors elected by the member businesses and organizations. ACEDC’s mission is to create an entrepreneurial and innovative environment, nurturing businesses to launch, grow, and thrive. ACEDC is dedicated to helping Addison County businesses from all backgrounds, at all stages, in all sectors and size to grow and create good-paying jobs. We offer services to individual business, assist groups of businesses, and work with business associations. We also partner with local, regional, state, and federal partners to advance community and economic development in the County.

ACEDC activities are made possible, in part, by a grant from the State of Vermont through the Agency of Commerce and Community Development. Loan programs are made possible by USDA/Rural Development.