‘Hot Chocolate Week' Kicks Off in Vermont

Participating businesses are hoping the event drives foot traffic amid the hardships of the pandemic

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Cafes, restaurants and other businesses across Vermont are holding their first-ever “Hot Chocolate Week,” aiming to drive interest in the state’s world-class specialty food sector.

The week-long event began began Monday and runs through Feb. 7.

“Who doesn’t love hot cocoa?” Charlotte Steverson, co-owner of Kestrel Coffee Roasters in Burlington and South Burlington asked. “It’s worth the calories!”

Kestrel and more than 40 other locations around Vermont hope Hot Chocolate Week drives foot traffic at a time businesses could use a boost during the pandemic.

“We hope you take that sip and you know, have that overwhelming sense of, ‘Oh man, that’s so good!’” Steverson said of the offerings from both her business and other participants. “It should be a little moment in your day that you look fondly back on at the end of the day.”

The Vermont Fresh Network is putting on Hot Chocolate Week.

Jen Ellis, the woman behind the now famous mittens, says she is putting three new pairs of Bernie Sanders mittens up for auction.

“We have a lot of quality ingredients here,” Vermont Fresh Network’s executive director, Tara Pereira, said of the state.

Pereira added that a prime goal of the first-ever event is to promote Vermont dairy farms and the range of food experiences the state is known for — including distilleries.

Mad River Distillers, for example, is selling kits for make-your-own, adult-only hot chocolates at home, using the brand’s Vanilla Rum or Revolutionary Rye Whiskey.

“I’m a big fan of 'just explore,’ you know? Try this hot chocolate with spices. Try that one with homemade marshmallows,” Pereira said in an interview with NECN. “I really want everyone to support their local businesses around the state.”

Many locations are offering special promotions or web extras like recipes or videos.

The website provides a lot more information on all the Hot Chocolate Week participants and how they are celebrating. 

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