Fat Toad Farm, a small business located in Brookfield, has been named the 2018 Vermont Family-Owned Business of the Year. Husband and wife team, Steve Reid and Judith Irving and their daughter Calley Hastings have owned and operated Fat Toad Farm for 10 years. Throughout most of this time, Christine Porcaro, their “almost daughter”, has also been a critical member of this family team.
Fat Toad Farm specializes in producing a variety of caramel sauces made from local goat’s milk. The family is being recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration for employment growth, financial success, expansion and community involvement.
When it started in 2008, Fat Toad Farm was a small operation. The family was using milk from their own goat-dairy to produce the caramel sauce in their farmhouse kitchen. Over the next few years the business grew steadily, but in 2015 sales began to spike and the owners knew they needed to expand. In late 2015, Fat Toad Farm sold their goats to Ayer’s Brook Goat Dairy in Randolph and then partnered with Vermont Creamery to source a year-round supply of fresh local goat's milk to meet consumers demand. By the close of 2017, sales had increased by 70 percent from 2015 and the company has been experiencing strong growth since.
“Purchasing goat's milk from Vermont Creamery on a year-round basis has allowed us to focus solely on the production, sales and distribution of goat's milk caramel. Purchasing milk has reduced our milk costs by half. With that, we have increased our year-round staffing and expanded in marketing, sales and production,” said Irving.
Fat Toad Farm will be presented its award during the 2018 Vermont Small Business Awards Ceremony cohosted by Vermont Business Magazine in June. The ceremony is open to the public and registration will be available in May.
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