Category Archives: Business

Business news and events

Omya recalling food grade ground limestone

CINCINNATI -  Omya Inc. is voluntarily recalling certain lots of food grade ground limestone products processed at its Superior, Ariz., plant because of the possible presence of  salmonella.

The company said that there have been no reports of any illnesses or adverse health effects associated with any of Omya’s food grade ground limestone products.

The food grade ground limestone products were sold to distributors and/or manufacturers as ingredients for further processing in the U.S. The food grade products were not distributed for retail sale to consumers.

Although an investigation is still ongoing, Omya is recalling specific lots of Omya-Cal FG-4 AZ, Omya-Cal FG-10 AZ and Omya-Cal FG-15 AZ in the U.S. as a precaution.

The voluntary recall is being conducted in consultation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Rep. Botzow to receive award

POWNAL — State Rep. Bill Botzow, D-Pownal, has been chosen as Lawmaker of the Year by Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility, along with Sen. Anthony Pollina, who represents Washington County, for their work during the past legislative session.
Both lawmakers scored perfectly on VBSR’s 2011-12 Legislative Scorecard and worked on legislation that the statewide business organization’s members believed enhanced Vermont’s economy. The awards will be presented at VBSR’s annual fall conference at Mount Snow in West Dover on Nov. 14.
Russ Bennett, owner of Waitsfield’s Northland Design and Construction and chairman of VBSR’s public policy committee, said in a statement that it was important to recognize the work being doing to improve the “inextricably intertwined” business and social climates.
“Both lawmakers always have a seat at the table for VBSR. They truly understand what makes Vermont’s economy work and the conditions that lead to success for socially responsible businesses and for our citizens,” he said.
Botzow was chosen for his work as chairman of the House Commerce Committee in 2012, passing key legislation to support Vermont’s local food movement and updating the state’s “Benefit Corporation” law.
During his freshman term in the state Senate, Pollina was an important ally on healthcare reform, establishing a “Genuine Progress Indicator” and attempting to overturn the Citizens United court decision, according to the VBSR.
To register for the VBSR fall conference, visit the website at

Walmart developer to thank community

ST. ALBANS — After nearly 20 years of debate to get approval for a Walmart in St. Albans the developers are holding a ceremony to thank supporters.
Construction on the more than 140,000-square-foot store in a former hayfield started almost a month ago. The ceremony is being held Saturday.
The Burlington Free Press reports the store battle was over the desire for people in St. Albans to have easy access to inexpensive goods, versus the wish to preserve a historic downtown.
Downtown businesses, some of whom feared that Walmart would drive some people away from them, now think that the area can support both a giant discount retailer and city businesses.

Vermont hard cider company to be sold

MIDDLEBURY - The Vermont Hard Cider Company - the largest maker of hard cider in the United States - is being sold to an Irish beer and cider company.

C&C Group of Dublin on Tuesday announced that it has agreed to purchase the Middlebury company for $305 million.

The Vermont Hard Cider Company, maker of Woodchuck Hard Cider,  will become a subsidiary of C&C Group with its headquarters and production facility remaining in Middlebury, the companies said.

Vt. unemployment rate up 1/10th of 1 percent

MONTPELIER – Vermont’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for September increased by one-tenth of a percent to 5.4 percent, the state Department of Labor announced Friday.

The state’s unemployment rate compares to a national rate of 7.8 percent.

“As the economy improves and people become more optimistic that they can find a job, this can be accompanied by temporary increases in the unemployment rate as people start to look for work again and thus identified in our survey data,”  said Labor Commissioner Annie Noonan.

Noonan said the state is seeing an increase in job postings by employers.

The September unemployment rates for Vermont’s 17 labor market areas ranged from 3.5 percent in Hartford to 6.7 percent in Newport (local labor market area unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted).

Free Press to sell some buildings

BURLINGTON — Vermont’s largest newspaper is selling some of the buildings it owns in downtown Burlington, but the Free Press plans to stay as a tenant.
In a story published Friday on the newspaper’s website, Free Press Publisher Jim Fogler says seven buildings with about 45,000 square feet of unused space will be put on the market.
The newspaper’s editorial and business operations require only about 10,000 square feet.
The Free Press will keep five buildings on South Winooski Avenue that house the mailroom and printing press.
The total value of the land being put up for sale is $3.3 million.

Green Mtn. Coffee hires overseas business officer

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. filed paperwork Wednesday about a new executive officer position for international business development. The head of the company’s Canadian empire, Gérard Geoffrion, 60, will switch to the new role and receive $390,000 per year plus benefits.
He recently served as the president of GMCR Canada Holding, Inc. and president of the company’s Canadian business unit. In his new role, he will lead the exploration of business opportunities outside North America.

GMCR partner files bankruptcy

SEATTLE — A coffee company that sold a $40.3 million portion of its business to Green Mountain Coffee Roasters filed a bankruptcy reorganization plan this month.
TC Global Inc., the parent company of Tully’s Coffee Shops, announced the Chapter 11 bankruptcy Oct. 10. The move does not affect the wholesale and online Tully’s Coffee business and brand, which Green Mountain Coffee Roasters had acquired.
Tully’s said in a news release that it will continue to buy coffee for its retail stores under its existing supply and licensing agreements with the Vermont-headquartered company.
Tully’s owes more than $346,000 to Green Mountain Coffee Roasters.

Chamber names Pomerleau Citizen of the Year

BURLINGTON — The Vermont Chamber of Commerce will honor longtime real estate developer Antonio Pomerleau as Citizen of the Year at a celebration next month.
Antonio Pomerleau turned 95 last month, and is still actively involved in projects. He’s investing in a major new commercial and manufacturing center announced last month for Newport, for example.
He’s been an active commercial developer in the Burlington area for the past six decades, and has become a major donor to community causes.
Among his philanthropic contributions, Pomerleau has donated $1 million each to St. Michael’s College, the Greater Burlington YMCA, and to the Irene Recovery Fund.

Company furloughs workers

BRATTLEBORO — Burlington-based Carbon Harvest has furloughed six of its 11 workers in Brattleboro but denies rumors it is closing.
President Don McCormick told the Brattleboro Reformer Thursday he is searching for financing to keep the company operating. He said rumors the company will close are “greatly exaggerated.”
The company is billed as the country’s first integrated renewable energy-to-agriculture and algae biodiesel project.
The company harvests landfill gas and uses it to generate power. Heat captured from the power plant is provided to a greenhouse where food can be grown year-round.
McCormick said the company already is selling basil and lettuce to several grocery stores.
None of the three staffers in Burlington were affected by the cutback.