SHAFTSBURY, Vt. (WCAX) In 2003 she started her shortbread cookie business. Since then, the Barbara Bacchi has been featured in New England magazines and was Rachel Ray's "Snack of the Day." A one-woman show baking Made in Vermont cookies for on the go.
Sixteen years ago, Barbara Bacchi was laid off from her communications job. "So I figured, what am I going to do at 55," Bacchi said. Inspiration came from the Food Network. "I decided, there's all these small companies around the country making quality products. I can do that."
She took a couple of business classes at the University of Vermont and experimented with some recipes. After finding success at Farmer's Markets, Bacchi took Vermont Moonlight Cookies wholesale with her first client, City Market in Burlington.
"I think I was baking at 12-years-old. I always liked doing it but I never thought of it as a business," Bacchi said.
"I'm definitely proud of my mom. She's come a long way. She's very inspirational. She really bakes her cookies with love," said Bacchi's daughter, Andrea.
And she also bakes them with as many Vermont products as possible, using Cabot butter and Maple Hill Maple. "I thought that was very important. I thought Vermont had something about it that everybody loved. In fact, that's how I ended up moving here," Bacchi said.
If you couldn't tell by the accent, Bacchi moved to Vermont from Brooklyn in the early 1970s and has called it home ever since. I think when people buy a Vermont product, they think it's a quality product," she said.
Bacchi bakes mostly shortbread cookies, because they have a longer shelf life. There's no baking soda, baking powder or eggs.
"When somebody tastes her product, I think it's really special," Andrea said.
She bakes about 700 to 800 cookies a day. There are about 12 varieties of Vermont Moonlight Cookies, some are seasonal. A package of six costs a little more than $5.50. Her sandwich cookies are $4.00.
One thing that you can't put a price on -- after all these years, her commitment to her business. "I don't think I'd ever want to give it up," Bacchi said.
From communications to cookies, Barbara Bacchi has cut out her own space.