MiVT: Live Young Kitchen

Published: Aug. 10, 2020 at 5:44 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, Vt. (WCAX) - A Charlotte man is dealing with the loss of a loved one by creating Made in Vermont food that your body will love.

A couple of summer's ago, Brad Young took some time off to figure out his future. "I think, more than anything, I was kind of realizing I was in search of something," Young said.

His wife, Jill, died from brain cancer three years ago. As a result, Young developed some bad eating habits at one point, weighing 260 pounds. "I realized how heavy I had gotten and how many things I couldn't do anymore," he said.

During that summer off, Young started his weight loss journey and took up gardening, growing butternut squash. He started cooking for family and loved it. "And the reality was, the food I'm making is hard to find commercially, so that really hit home," Young said.

A friend introduced Young to the Vermont Food Venture Center in Hardwick. He worked with the staff there and local marketing professionals to create Live Young Kitchen -- minimally-processed, vegetable-based syrups, sauces and dressings with low sodium, no sugar and oil free.

“What I try to do is do things that will trick your brain. I have a habanero and we decided to add lemon to that, because the lemon taste makes you kind of go there, instead of missing salt,” Young said.

In addition to farmers markets, Live Young Kitchen is in nearly 25 stores and specialty grocery outlets in Vermont, and can be found as far away as Nantucket.

"There's people with diabetes, there's people with heart conditions, just people wanting to eat better, and it's starting to resonate, which is really fun," Young said.

About 20% of Live Young Kitchen’s products are made with Vermont-based ingredients, but Young is working on a new line of products with 100% Vermont-based ingredients and he’s calling it ‘VT-Great.’ “I’m excited about that. Just something that really let’s me showcase the Vermont side,” he said.

Just one of many products from Live Young Kitchen -- food with no added sugar, but a company that's bittersweet.

"The whole thing kind of happened, because I lost Jill, but because I lost her, I realized how short life was and I kind of realized what really matters," Young said.

The food helped Brad Young’s body get healthy, but it’s the business providing healthy mind and spirit.

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