Gretchen Hardy, 32, of The Porch Cafe and Catering, is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. She traveled extensively throughout Europe and India, working on farms, in vineyards and bakeries. After completing her degree, she moved to Vail, CO, to work in several fine dining restaurants.
In 2010, she teamed up with local chef Bo Foard to create Hardy Foard Catering. The partnership immediately flourished.
At first, they focused on catering and used a tiny commercial kitchen. In September 2013, they built a food truck called The Porch, based in the Stow Road Industrial Park in West Chesterfield. The food truck and catering service quickly outgrew its quarters when it expanded to handle dozens of weddings and events a year, so in May 2015 The Porch Cafe moved to 648 Putney Road in nearby Brattleboro.
Both partners' spouses and other relatives are involved in various aspects of what has become a bustling family venture. Hardy will be honored at an awards ceremony on June 14 at the Middlebury Inn along with Vermonters in other commercial categories selected by the SBA.
• Go here to visit the Capital Region Brew Trail
• Go here to visit Dowd On Drinks
• Go here to visit Dowd's New York Wines Notebook