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Dining on a Dime: August First Bakery


Published August 2, 2019 at 2:26 p.m.

The Vermonter at August First Bakery - SALLY POLLAK
  • Sally Pollak
  • The Vermonter at August First Bakery
Ten years ago, when August First Bakery opened on South Champlain Street in Burlington, the café donated its first-day sales — about $300 — to King Street Center, a neighboring nonprofit organization.

On Thursday, to celebrate its 10th anniversary, August First once again donated 100 percent of its sales for the day to the nonprofit that provides programs and services for young people. This time, the restaurant wrote a check for $9,338.57 to King Street, said Jodi Whalen, who owns the restaurant with her husband Phil Merrick.

Whalen explained that, as a child growing up in small-town Pennsylvania, she was “personally touched” by adults who worked at organizations similar to King Street. Their positive influence on Whalen “helped me to become the woman I am personally and professionally,” she told Seven Days.

“We love the work that King Street Center does for children and families in our community,” Whalen added. “And we feel that it is our responsibility as business owners to give back.”

I pitched in a pittance of the total, $12, for a sandwich that served two. I ate half  the sandwich, called the Vermonter, at August First; my daughter took her share to North Beach.  The smoked turkey sandwich with cheddar cheese, apple slices, lettuce and red onion was a hit for both of us.

“It was even good cheese,” said my college-age kid, who routinely removes cheese from her sandwiches. (WTF?!) “I didn’t even take it off!”

My lemonade was free at August First, made by two Burlington middle school students who attend programs at King Street. Bree McDonald and Yusuf Ibrahim, both 12 years old, usually make and serve lemonade at King Street’s stand on the Church Street Marketplace.
Yusuf Ibrahim (left) and Bree McDonald - SALLY POLLAK
  • Sally Pollak
  • Yusuf Ibrahim (left) and Bree McDonald
Thursday, they squeezed lemons and shook the drink outside August First. It was a steady gig, but the soon-to-be seventh graders took time to tell me about the after-school program at King Street.

“We have a gym, a playground, and we go on different trips,” said Yusuf, who added that he likes to play tennis there. Bree said she especially enjoys playing dodgeball and basketball in the gym.

Both kids ate lunch at August First that day: Yusuf had a turkey BLT; Bree ate the tomato-mozzarella-basil sandwich and gave a shout-out to its pesto.
They also praised the day’s mission of raising money for the center.

“I think it’s pretty nice of them to do that,” Bree said.

Yusuf concurred: “It’s pretty cool,” he said, “cause it’s nice for King Street.”
Dining on a Dime is a weekly series featuring well-made, filling bites (something substantial enough to qualify as a small meal or better) for $12 or less. Know of a tasty dish we should feature? Drop us a line: [email protected].

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