Colchester eggs business calls it quits after 83 years

Shadow Cross Farm in Vermont is calling it quits on April 1 after 83 years. (Source: WCAX)
Published: Mar. 28, 2023 at 4:28 PM EDT
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COLCHESTER, Vt. (WCAX) - A Chittenden County company known by many Vermonters as “Good Eggs to Deal With” is selling its final dozen. Shadow Cross Farm in Colchester is calling it quits on April 1 after 83 years.

Locals were shopping at the businesses’ storefront Tuesday for what could be the last few dozen and to swap stories about omelets of years past. The last few cartons filling the cooler were going fast.

“It’s another institution that’s leaving us,” said Dan Carver, who lives only a few minutes from the storefront and would make the walk every few weeks for the freshest dozen possible. “Ten minutes over, 10 minutes back. Grab eggs when the kids were here, grab jumbos when the kids were visiting because they liked what we could make with them.”

While locals say they will be missed, owner Rich Paquette says he’s proud of what his family built. “It’s been really one dozen at a time,” he said.

The family has been supplying local eggs since 1940 but they got rid of their hens in 2000 and have only been a distributor since. Still, their eggs could be found in stores across Vermont. “We covered a lot of the state, even as tiny as we are,” Paquette said.

He says the six family employees working were helping to supply an estimated 80% of eggs eaten in Chittenden County. The decision to close their doors was driven by the desire to slow down. He says he and his wife didn’t feel the need to take on the challenges of the evolving marketplace including fluctuating egg prices and competition from larger markets. “We don’t want to continue learning new challenges. We do what we do quite well but it’s time for us to move on into something less hectic,” Paquette said.

The wholesale accounts have been sold to another food distributor out of South Barre and Paquette will instead focus on his storage business, using the space for storage. In parting with Shadow Cross, he thanks his loyal customers for decades of support.

Those stopping by Tuesday say they understand but will still miss the local label. “It’s sad to see. I’ve been living in town for 30 years but it’s just one more change. This one, I will say for the worse, but I understand why,” Carver said.