Waitsfield & Warren
"The Loan Fund isn't just looking for ways to make a buck off business people. They're looking for what what's good for Vermont."
Joe Bossen has a lot on his plate. He’s the founder, owner, chef, delivery man, marketing guy and more at Vermont Bean Crafters. “I wear a lot of hats,” he says, laughing.
Begun in 2011 and based in Waitsfield’s Mad River Food Hub, Vermont Bean Crafters makes bean burgers, bean balls, soups and even cookies. These bean-based products are distributed at grocers, coops, restaurants, hospitals and schools. Beans are sourced locally, as are additional ingredients such as sweet potatoes, onions, carrots and grains.
After graduating from Green Mountain College, Bossen worked at various jobs including a stint in at Boardman Hill Farm, where Vermont farmer Greg Cox mentored him in sustainable agriculture. “Our food system uses so much of our energy,” Bossen says. “Even local agriculture can require huge amounts of energy to grow. Beans are different.” Beans, he explains, are nutrient-dense, shelf-stable, and require less heat and water to grow than other crops.
Bossen was referred to VCLF by the Carrot Project, which helps smaller food producers find financing and technical assistance services.
“The Loan Fund isn’t just looking for ways to make a buck off business people. They’re looking for what’s good for Vermont,” he says.