- Josie Green, Cecilia Leibovitz and Jaquelyn Rieke
Most of us watched Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory as kids and dreamed of finding a golden ticket in a chocolate bar. Now, for 10 lucky Vermonters, it could actually happen.
Sweets lovers who stop at Nutty Steph’s Granola & Chocolate Factory in Middlesex or at one of 10 other stores — including Healthy Living Market in South Burlington, Burlington’s City Market, Essex’s Sweet Clover Market or Montpelier’s Hunger Mountain Co-op — could end up possessors of the bars.
What does the golden ticket get them? Something almost as miraculous as flavored wallpaper — admission to Nutty Steph’s 10th Anniversary Ball, to be held on November 16 from 8 p.m. to midnight at the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center in Burlington.
Those not lucky enough to find a ticket can still attend. Nutty Steph founder Jaquelyn Rieke says there’s room for 1000 people at the celebration of her company’s growth from a business with “a floundering sole owner” to a successful partnership with chef Josie Green and marketing coordinator Cecilia Leibovitz.
Anyone who’s been to Nutty Steph’s Thursday bacon nights in Middlesex can attest that Rieke and co. know how to throw a party. The ECHO Center will be transported to the 1920s for the occasion, and Rieke says, “We’re hoping for extreme costumage.” To help matters, the 18-piece Vermont Jazz Ensemble will compel guests to Charleston in the “waterfront ballroom,” while Mint Julep gets things going in the “upstairs lounge.”
Sugarsnap will prepare small plates such as Jasper Hill Farm cheese and pickled vegetables, as well as provide six devoted “bacon chefs” to keep the crowd supplied with Vermont Smoke and Cure rashers. Ecuadorian dipping chocolate and Fat Toad Farm’s goat-milk caramel will come alongside the meat for dipping, and “cigarette girls” will be on hand to dole out Nutty Steph’s other artisan chocolates.
For those who want to keep the party going after the celebration, an auction will offer chances to win dinner at Hen of the Wood with each of Nutty Steph’s three owners. Also on the block: millinery lessons from Leibovitz and chocolate-making classes at the factory. Sorry, but no Oompa Loompas are on offer.
The original print version of this article was headlined "Still Nutty"