The third location of Scout & Co. opened Monday, October 5, at the Innovation Center of Vermont at 128 Lakeside Avenue in Burlington. Locals will note that it has a few key differences from the Scouts already purveying coffee drinks and ice cream on North Avenue and in Winooski. Co-owner Andrew Burke says he'll wait until spring to bring his signature frozen desserts to the Innovation Center. Since this Scout is open only on weekdays (for now), there will be no Saturday doughnuts from Miss Weinerz, either. But, by the end of this week, chef Owen Hoppe, who's known Burke since their middle school days, will debut savory breakfast and lunch at the café.
Like the other Scouts, this one showcases exceptional single-origin coffee. On Monday, co-owner Thomas Green's preparations featured espresso from Massachusetts company George Howell Coffee, and customers could order drips from Oregon's Heart Coffee Roasters and Brio Coffeeworks of Burlington. Scout is also slowly debuting its own house roasts under the name Vivid Coffee, crafted by Ian Bailey. "We're starting it in Winooski, and it will start creeping out at the other locations," says Burke.
In the café's first days at the Innovation Center, customers sipped their coffee with croissants, cookies and muffins from Josh Lemieux of the Williston Coffee Shop. Hoppe — most recently of Doc Ponds and Hinesburgh Public House — has yet to reveal his full menu. With a kitchen composed of two panini presses, two induction ovens and a slicer, he admits he's limited, but he has ambitious plans. His breakfast sandwich will feature eggs, cheddar, hash browns and a choice of meat with kimchi ketchup. A braised-short-rib sandwich will satisfy meat lovers, while a ZLT — replacing the bacon with marinated and dehydrated zucchini — will cater to vegetarians. Hoppe also plans to make a few dishes familiar to those who frequented the Bluebird Coffee Stop in the same space, including kale Caesar and breakfast tacos.
All of Scout's fare is handcrafted and local, including the butter, yogurt, farm cheese and Portuguese milk mayo made using the milk from grass-fed cows at Kimball Brook Farm. A banh mi will showcase whey-braised pork. "We're really trying to stay somewhat milk-centric," Hoppe says. "Treating dairy proper is kind of the MO of the business."
So is giving back to the neighborhood. "Owen and I both grew up in the South End, so really being a part of this community is important to us and something that we come from," says Burke.