Peter Colman Started his company Vermont Salumi about a year and-a-half ago. Salumi is an Italian umbrella term for dry-cured meats, anything he says that is sort of salty and porky.
"Yes so right now we have been pretty much been doing sausage, but I think the dried, cured meats is really an untapped market. I kind of look at it as the way our artisan cheese industry was 20 years ago," Colman said.
Turns out he is right. A new study commissioned by the Vermont Farm Viability Program, Vermont Agricultural Innovation Center and the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board confirmed there is strong local, regional and national market demand for Vermont produced dry-cured meats.
This study can now be used by small producers as part of their business plans. "It confirms that if you look in the right places and you think about what markets that you want to sell to and whether or not it's economically viable for you to produce and sell into those markets and still make money. It's a really good tool in your toolbox of marketing skills," said Liz Gleason with the Vermont Farm Viability Program.
On this day Vermont Salumi was sending out fresh cuts to a couple of different retail spots in Central Vermont. Colman has also started doing some custom processing as well. But dry-cured meats are his passion.
"I guess all we want to do is pursue what we are passionate about and make a little bit of money," Colman said.
In order to increase his cured meat production, Colman will soon rent space at the Mad River Food Hub, one of the businesses interviewed for the new report. The Hub is adding a curing room to help meet the demand for dried meat.
"I am excited to work with the Mad River Food Hub," Colman said. "Without partnerships like theirs and without the Vermont Farm Viability Program helping to do these market research studies -- I think that is the beauty of what we have here in Vermont -- is everyone working together to get these new industries and enterprises up and running."
Vermont Salumi hopes to move into the Mad River Food Hub in a month or so.