- Melissa Pasanen ©️ Seven Days
- Claudia Amparo
Claudia Amparo, owner of Parkside Café in Hinesburg, has expanded to Vergennes with the late-June launch of Maple Café. The new restaurant is open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily in the Kennedy Brothers building at 11 Main Street. It duplicates the menu of breakfast and lunch sandwiches, tacos, burgers, pastries, and gluten-free empanadas of Amparo's original Hinesburg café, which she bought in late 2020.
Amparo, 40, moved with her family to Vermont from the Bronx in 2016. Two years later, she launched Baba's Tacos food truck, which remains in operation and caters mostly private events, she said.
Amparo started another food business, Vermont Banana Bread, in February 2023. She ships freshly baked banana bread direct to customers and sells it at her cafés and through Lantman's Market in Hinesburg. The busy entrepreneur and mother of four hopes to expand retail distribution of the banana bread "when I get more time," she said.
Maple Café came about after the owner of the Kennedy Brothers building approached Amparo to see if she was interested in the vacant café space that was most recently occupied by Live Young Kitchen, she said. She welcomed the opportunity to "come to a new town, meet more people and expand" her business. "This is the American dream," she said. "We have to take it and work it."
Amparo said her businesses rely on a team of 11 full-time employees, six of whom she provides with housing. "No housing, no business," she said.