Localvore Today’s Impact on the Local Economy

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As the Spring semester comes to a close and my academic career at Champlain College does as well, I have began to flourish by narrowing down my passions for my post-academic pursuits. The very thought of working within the local food and beverage industry of Vermont has granted me with intense excitement. I’m the guy at the co-op reading the labels and ingredients to find out as much as possible about certain companies and the goods that they provide and then comparing these goods to their competitors.

localvore index

I love keeping my consumer habits local and I am extremely passionate about how the local Burlington start-up Localvore Today has the exact same mission as my individual goals. I think there is an endless amount of opportunities in a state like Vermont, where local communities always come first when it comes to the food/beverage industry.

Localvore Today is the tool for local businesses to tell their story and can act as an e-commerce resource to promote environmental sustainability and socially responsible business practices within the state of Vermont. I especially admire how CEO, Dan White, in a sense re-invented the lightbulb with his entrepreneurial idea of a localized Groupon website. I hold a high respect for Dan because he decided to start working for Groupon as an account executive in order to promote his idea and learn about the business model of Groupon in order to have the background to succeed wit the implementation of  his localized Groupon concept in which he could incorporate his own personal social mission on a daily basis.

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Localvore Today does a tremendous job of connecting local businesses to the consumers who hold them in high regards. Dan’s formalization and execution of his idea in Vermont is simply genius. Dan was held to a non-compete clause after he left Groupon, but Groupon at the time did not operate in the state of Vermont, and at the start of 2012 when Dan started the company he was one hundred compliant with his non-compete clause. Dan’s goal is to give back to the area in which we are living in, and give incentive for other local businesses to do the same.

dan white localvore today in action

Every company that Localvore Today works with is independently ran and do not possess a corporate or national headquarters located outside of Vermont. In a state like Vermont that is riddled with a significant state trade deficit it is so important to maintain local business growth and to promote the consumerism of local goods and services which Localvore Today has excelled at doing time after time during the last 4 years of operation at their Lake St. location nestled right against Burlington’s revitalized harbor. (thank you Bernie Sanders, who was mayor at the time and advocated for a waterfront to be proud of)

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Dan has created a way through the conception of Localvore Today for more local Vermont businesses to strive to meet B-corporation standards. Groupon may be a somewhat valuable resources to many, but Groupon is no Localvore Today because Localvore Today has the ability to connect nonprofit organizations that hold similar passions and perspectives with the local businesses of Vermont, so that consumers can connect easier to local merchants through e-commerce and digital marketing. Localvore Today uses GoogleMaps to show the user where each local merchant is located, and describes each merchant in detail on the Localvore website, so that the consumer can get a better sense of how the local merchant fits into the local community and how they impact the local economy of Vermont.


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Today there are approximately over 20,000 subscribers on the e-mail lists for daily deals of Localvore Today. The anti-Groupon site receives a share of each sale, but refrains from charging local merchants out of pocket for their services. The Localvore Today concept works so well in a state like Vermont because many businesses despise discounting or using pedestrian digital content to describe the maturation of their business. Localvore Today provides digital marketing content solutions for a community centric marketing approach, and as a result can boost the dollars spent on local goods and services in the local Vermont economy.


Also check out this new app I have been using called Buycott. It allows you to support causes relating to consumerism, and allows you to scan food products that have bar codes to tell you if the supply chain or manufacturing process is using sustainable and socially responsible business practices.


International Beverage Opportunities


Svijany Pilsner from Czech Republic

In the past decade the craft beer industry has expanded to become a major part of the alcoholic beverage industry, and as a result we have seen a creativity boom in the beer making process within the industry as a whole. The likes of Anheuser-Busch and Miller-Coors have tried to appeal to niche beer markets that desire for creative beverage choices, but the craft-beer industry has appealed to more consumers in the last ten years and has captured a large portion of market-share from the Macro-breweries. The beer industry overall is an over-saturated market because of the few barriers to entry. Macro-breweries have much less flexibility to manufacture small quantities of unique beers, therefore have to stick to only the few flagship beers that they have always made. The macrobreweries generate the largest revenues because their companies invest more in marketing and advertising, but honestly I think beer making is an art it should go back to its roots where smaller breweries rely only on word of mouth marketing from their consumers

Craft beer is defined as small (annual production of 6 million barrels or less), independent(less than 25% of the brewery is owned or controlled by an alcoholic beverage industry that is not a craft brewer), and traditional(Majority of total beverage alcohol volume in beers that have innovative brewing ingredients). Macro-breweries inhibit creativity in an industry where innovation could potentially not just appeal to avid beer enthusiasts, but even to your usual non-beer drinkers. International craft beer trade could be of great potential to the State of Vermont where they rank first in beer consumption in gallons per capita in the United States at 16. Vermont has the most breweries per capita of any state in the United States.

I just got back from a trip to Prague, Czech Republic wheredan bornstein prague I had spent the last four months studying and had the chance to try some beers from all over Central Europe. Below I have listed my favorite beers that I think need to be imported to Vermont from Central Europe. All the beer selections that I picked to showcase below are varieties of beer that I tried when I was abroad. Not all of the beers shown are craft beers which, but still have serious investment potential as fast moving consumer goods to import to Vermont.


Steps of how to Import Beer locally in the US:

  1. Get your permit TTB Form 5100.24
  2. Email if there are any questions to ttbimport@ttb.treas.gov

Breweries that have the potential for importation to the U.S.:


Pivovar Matuska:

logo_17_17Broumy, Czech Republic Founded in 2003 by Martin Matuska.

  • Offer Unfiltered and Unpasteurized Beer
  • 4 man team brewery
  • Bottom and Top fermented beers
  • Brew without sugar, syrups or hop extracts
  • Brew with only water, malt, hops, yeast and decoction mashing


cc60fc0234949544ce1021204070f9d2_320x320Beer Bros:

Zyradow, Poland 

  • Showcased is the Hippie Session IPA a beer that could have consumers mesmerized by the label alone
  • I met the brewer of Beer Bros at Beer Geek in Prague and his enthusiasm for the product was astounding



Steigel-Brauwelt, Austria also deep roots in Salzburg, Austria

  • Privately owned since 1492
  • Famous for their saying “Quality over Quantity”
  • Only brewery with 12 degrees of original wort(higher malt content)
  • Produce 28 different types of beer





Svijany, Czech Republic Established in 1564svijany

  • Brewery is located in a small village
  • Unpasteurized lagers
  • Was sadly acquired by ABInBev a multinational beverage and brewing company





Benešov, Czech Republic

  • First established in 1595
  • Hops are grown in the region that are still used today
  • Produces 5 different types of beer
  • Ltd. to Joint-stock company





Vienna, Austria Opened in 1837 by Heinrich PlankOttakringer_dose

  • Last large brewery operating in Vienna, Austria
  • Brewed in the 16th district of Vienna
  • There is a Viennese special expression named after the 16 rack of beer, “16er Blech”
  • There is 300 person concert venue in the brewery



Why there is import and export opportunity in Vermont for beverage investments:

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Best brewery in the world is in Vermont?

Hill Farmstead Brewery is located in Greensboro, Vermont and has been rated the best brewery in the word twice the last two years from Ratebeer.com. I have not yet been to the brewery myself it is located in what Vermonters call the NEK or the Northeast Kingdom. It is on my list to go visit and pick up a 64 oz. Growler as soon as possible.


News Article about Hill Farmstead Brewery


Brewers Association Infographic: