Allison Hooper, co-founder of Vermont Creamery, has been named to the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America for 2018. Hooper, a Sterling College trustee, was one of four people presented with this special achievement award at the May 7 ceremony in Chicago.
The James Beard Awards recognize culinary professionals for excellence and achievement in their fields and further the Foundation’s mission to celebrate, nurture, and honor chefs and other leaders making America’s food culture more delicious, diverse and sustainable for everyone. “While I am thrilled to be honored as a pioneer of artisan cheese in America, this award is not only for me. It is a tribute to three-plus decades of devoted dairy farmers, cheesemakers and mongers who have valorized our craft while doing right by the land and people,” said Hooper.
Vermont Creamery, located in Websterville, Vermont, was started in 1984, and is an award-winning creamery offering fresh and aged goat cheeses, cultured butter, and créme fraîche. The business was sold in 2017 to Land O’ Lakes, a member-owned cooperative based in Minnesota. Vermont Creamery is an underwriter of the School of the New American Farmstead, Sterling College’s continuing education program.
“Sterling is fortunate to be served by an accomplished Board of Trustees. We’re not surprised that Allison has been recognized by the James Beard Foundation,” said Sterling College President Matthew Derr. “When Allison became a trustee at the College, she brought the same kind of vision and commitment to Vermont’s working landscape that she brought to her professional life. She understands deeply how important education is to the future of agriculture and the contribution young people make to the well-being of our small rural communities.”
Hooper joined the Sterling College Board of Trustees in 2014 and serves on the Executive, Advancement and Enrollment Committees, and is the vice chair of the Finance Committee. She will be a panelist at the School of the New American Farmstead’s Winter 2019 class Beyond the Farmer’s Market, a one-day seminar designed specifically for female entrepreneurs who are considering taking the next leap in business development.