- Courtesy Of Community Barn Ventures/jason Duquette-hoffman
- The Stone Mill Public Market
The Stone Mill Public Market held its grand opening on Saturday and Sunday in Middlebury. The market occupies the first floor of the Stone Mill, an 1840 building located at 3 Mill Street that was redeveloped earlier this year by Community Barn Ventures partners Mary Cullinane and Stacey Rainey.
The mixed-use, multistory building is anchored by the fourth location of the Mad Taco on the ground floor, in the former home of the Storm Café. Above the Public Market is the Stone Mill @ Work, a coworking space that opened on November 1. General membership in the space is almost full, according to the business partners. The top floors of the historic stone building offer lodging designed by Burlington-based Slate, which can now be reserved on Airbnb.
The roughly 2,000-square-foot first-floor market includes Dedalus Wine and Cheese, stylish home wares from Slate, the Vermont Book Shop, sandwiches from Arcadian 2Go, gifts and products curated by Cullinane and Rainey for the Stone Mill Collection, and pastries and a rotating guest-roaster coffee program at Lost Monarch Coffee.
"This weekend represented our best intentions for the project," Cullinane told Seven Days. "People were coming into the space, enjoying what it had to offer and enjoying each other."
Other than Lost Monarch — which is the second location of Middlebury's Royal Oak Coffee and operates its café separately within the market space — the market retailers share staffing and one checkout area. "This arrangement made the opportunity to expand easier for our retailers, and so far it's worked out really well," Rainey said.
During the grand opening, customers could explore the entire building. "It was fun to see folks connect and journey through the space, picking up a bottle of wine to take home and a book to read on a snowy evening," Cullinane said.
Deciding which vendors would occupy the space was easy for the business partners, who described their vision for the market as a place where they'd want to hang out. They hope the Stone Mill will be a gathering space with elements that appeal to the entire Middlebury community.
Beyond that, they said, each of the vendors fits the first principle of their business: to work with great people. "These retailers are incredible at their craft, and they treat customer service as a priority," Cullinane said. "There's great simpatico between what's being offered in the market."