Green Mountain Market and Deli serves up some New England spirit.
By Cicely M. Eastman
Property owners and brothers Bruce, Steve and Terry Bonnette saw a need in the community for good old-fashioned, New England home-cooked food like they remembered as children, and set out to fill that void. In a world where many households are run by two working parents or a single parent, busy with after-school events and no time left over to cook delicious meals, Bruce Bonnette thought there must be a better option for families than picking up dinner at a fast-food restaurant.
With Bruce leading the effort, Green Mountain Market & Deli on Route 9 in West Brattleboro now offers that better option, and has been doing well and growing steadily since it opened one year ago on Oct. 7, 2016. Equipped with a full kitchen, head chef and store manager Ric Owen prepares delicious home-cooked meals that may be eaten at the deli, seated at rustic slab wood tables, or brought home — all at a reasonable price.
From his tenure running the Double Header restaurant in Hinsdale, N.H., during the ’80s, Bonnette knew running a food business was challenging and required expertise. He searched for someone with experience and know-how to join the team. On the recommendation of employees familiar with Owen’s success at the Bernardston Country Market just south of the Vermont border in Massachusetts, Bonnette welcomed Owen on board.
“We are extremely happy that he came to work for us. It is a match made in heaven,” he said.
Owen brings to the table what he has learned not only at his former employer, preparing food for the deli and as its butcher, but through his experience as a sous chef at the former Gilly’s Seafood restaurant (he even knows Gilly’s lobster bisque recipe, sorely missed by this reporter — so excited!) and pastry chef at Marlboro College.
“My previous boss had ideas that worked well for the (Bernardston) community. I’ve taken these ideas with me,” Owen said.
Specials are posted on the board daily, in addition to the items on the menu: sandwiches, burgers, soup, salads and the very popular “grab ‘n go” meals conveniently placed in a chest refrigerator by the door for a quick grab on the run. Healthy options are also available, including grilled chicken Caesar, chef’s, Greek and garden salads.
Each day features a different New England style, home-cooked meal, made from scratch. On Mondays, meatloaf; Tuesdays, shepherd’s pie; Wednesdays, burritos or General Tso’s chicken; Thursdays, Mexican or Italian meals; and on Fridays, fish ‘n chips. Lasagna, vegetarian meals and other dishes are also offered from time to time. Macaroni and cheese, shepherd’s pie and other traditional favorites may be ordered by the pan ahead of time, and catering for business lunches is offered.
The full-service deli, featuring turkey and roast beef roasted on the premises, is a convenient quick stop on the way home. The pizza dough and bulkie and grinder rolls are baked there too. Chicken tenders, onion rings, and fish are hand breaded, and the deli makes its own potato chips. For dessert, the bakery is stocked with pastries, cookies, cakes, pies, whoopie pies and other freshly baked treats.
Plans are to expand the deli meats selection and eventually add butcher services, adding a bigger butcher case.
A full smoker in the back yard slow cooks meat for brisket, ribs, chicken and pulled pork. Employees have been told that they have “the best barbecue in town.” This will be offered year-round. “I’m not afraid of the cold!” Owen claimed.
Now that’s true Vermont spirit.
The market also offers a substantial selection of staple items, plus an ever-growing inventory of specialty products like Chubby’s Barbecue Sauce and, of course, maple syrup — specifically, D&D Bell maple syrup from West Brattleboro’s farm on Akley Road. Bonnette said they are also working on expanding their local wine selection and their home-canned foods.
“The comments on our food, our service, and our staff has been very rewarding and we are so thankful for all of the support. We are also very excited about the future. We are listening to our customers and we will be adding new things as we move forward,” Bonnette said.
Feedback from the community continues to be very positive as the market grows and as more and more people learn about it, but it takes time to get the word out.
Tourists are welcome, however Bonnette’s and Owen’s goal is to continue to cater to the locals — the people that live here every day.
“I am proud of all of the food,” Owen said. “It is my heart and soul. I enjoy feeding people good food.”
If you go
Green Mountain Market & Deli
423 Marlboro Road, West Brattleboro, Vt.