"We work on a community scale, and so does the Loan Fund. Their decisions are made for the benefit of the community. Ours too."
“We hear a lot about eating local. At Vermont Wood Pellet, we want to heat local,” says Chris Brooks, co-owner (along with Katie Adams) of North Clarendon’s Vermont Wood Pellet Company.
A fifth generation lumberman, Brooks came to Vermont following timbering stints in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Georgia. Right from the beginning, they wanted to do things more sustainably, sourcing their wood from within a 30-mile radius. Their niche also included “being the best” according to Brooks: they came up with a pellet composition that was more energy- and cost-efficient, burning longer, warmer and with less waste.
In VCLF, they found a lender with a similar ethos. “We work on a community scale,” Brooks says, “and so does the Loan Fund. Their decisions are made for the benefit of the community. Ours too.”
Now in its third year, Vermont Wood Pellet has grown steadily, now employing 24 workers in its mill, “and for every one of them, there are four in the woods,” he says. Most tellingly, they’ve also completely sold out of last year’s pellets and are hard at work on getting ready for next winter.
“VCLF played a critical role in our success,” says Brooks. “VCLF sees value, where other lenders might not.”