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Local Team Spirit

Have a local nibble while they dribble

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Forget hot dogs of unknown origin and popcorn with fake butter. Frost Heaves President and General Manager Alex Wolff plans to pack the concessions with local products - and the stands with local fans. "We're trying to create a distinctly Vermont experience at a pro basketball game," he says.

The Frost Heaves play at the Municipal Auditorium in Barre and Memorial Auditorium in Burlington this week. While Wolff is still waiting to find out what the concessionaire at Memorial will allow, he's able to pursue vendors of his choice for the Barre games. As of press time, he was hoping to serve Vermont Smoke and Cure Sausages wrapped in locally baked rolls; Ben & Jerry's ice cream; Madhouse Munchies chips; and pizza slices from the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont's Farmers' Fare project. Local coffee and cider will be available as well.

Given the team's slogan - "We're going to be the bump in their road" - the prize for most appropriate potential snack goes to Rex's Outrageous Road Crew Crunch. Made in Jericho, the mix comes in four flavors: milk chocolate "mud," peanut butter "sand," dark chocolate "asphalt" and white chocolate "gravel."

Supporting Vermont businesses fits with the club's general philosophy. The team's website describes its operations using buzz words such as "sustainable," "built to scale" and "of the community." Even the Frost Heaves' bus is with the program - it runs on bio-diesel.

And what about food for the players? Wolff says they get a lot of their groceries at local stores such as Burlington's City Market, and chow on gourmet dinners from The Busy Chef in Essex. Though not all the players hail from in-state, Wolff declares, "They're running on Vermont fuel."

For details about this week's games, see the calendar spotlight, p.23B, or visit http://www.vermontfrostheaves.com.

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