Got a favorite way to start your vacation day? We’re guessing that for many travelers, relaxing with their beverage of choice while taking in their vacation surroundings is a popular opener to the day. Guests at Smugglers’ will find a full menu of special beverages at The Perk, a new café located in the resort’s Country Store. The adjacent courtyard with gardens contains plentiful seating for anyone who wants to settle in and sip.
The beverages available at The Perk are made all the more special by the inclusion of delicious products sourced from Vermont companies. The coffee is freshly ground from two types of organic beans from Mountain Grove, a roaster based in White River Junction, Vermont, and owned by a family with 25 years in the coffee business. The milk, also organic, is from Kimball Brook Farm of North Ferrisburgh. The Perk’s maple latte includes maple syrup from Underhill’s Davis Family Maple.
Don’t miss the selection of delicious goodies – also Vermont products, made by Sweet Crunch Bake Shop & Catering in Hyde Park. The selection will change from time to time, but you’re always likely to find quiche, scones, fruit bars, granola bars, sweet breads and muffins and cookies, including … a drum roll, please … the maple cookie that received a shout-out from tv personality and chef Rachel Ray.
With Smugglers’ focus on families, Country Store manager Melinda Sholes and Perk manager and barista Hally Glasser knew it was important to develop drinks for children. The Perk’s kids’ drinks play on the names of Smugglers’ beloved mascots Mogul Mouse and Billy Bob Bear and resort entertainer the Friendly Pirate. Kids can choose from the Mocha Mouse chocolate smoothie with vanilla yogurt, chocolate syrup, chocolate sprinkles and whipped cream, or the Billy Bob Berry smoothie with fresh berries, vanilla yogurt, whipped cream, berry drizzle and sprinkles. The Perk’s baristas will also whip up a Friendly Pirate frappe with vanilla ice cream, banana, chocolate drizzle and cookie crumbles.
Prior to The Perk’s opening this summer, Melinda and Hally put in many hours of training, in addition to menu development and “field trips” to visit other coffee bars in the area, such as the two bars at the University of Vermont. They worked closely with Dan Angelini at Mountain Grove for training, including understanding the finer points of coffee, becoming familiar with the coffee wheel of flavors, and learning the skills to grind beans and prepare a variety of beverages.
“Our grinder is Swiss made and produces a better flavor because it is a conical design grinder that is gentler on the bean,” observes Melinda. Hally adds, “We were lucky to train on our actual machine. It is extremely finely tuned; in fact, so very well tuned that we can even adjust kids’ drinks to be a bit cooler, the way kids prefer them.” While building their coffee knowledge, they learned about the craft and art of coffee and all the subtle (and not so subtle) tastes and aromas.
The cafe opens at 7:00 am and closes at 9:00 pm so that early risers as well as night owls can savor delicious beverages and snacks. Perk-fection!