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Mon Vert Cafe Is A Woodstock Institution

By S. Mathur

Mon Vert Cafe in Woodstock VT is a cafe with a philosophy: To serve wholesome, local, organic products in a comfortable atmosphere and create a meeting space for the community.

Owner Sam DiNatale sees it as a community service as much as a business. The Woodstock native bought the cafe from the original owners in 2015, fulfilling her goal of running a cafe in the town where he grew up.

As her resume shows, DiNatale has served her apprenticeship in the art of cooking.

"Culinary education is primarily self-taught and from working in kitchens over the last 6 years," she said. "Started working as an entry level "Cookie-Scooper" at the Woodstock Farmer's Market in 2011 and quickly rose to helping manage the Bakery Department. Accepted the position of Pastry Chef for Worthy Kitchen in the fall of 2013 where I learned about food costing."

Serving healthy breakfasts and lunches, the Mon Vert Cafe is also a meeting place for everyone in town. The menu uses local products. In Vermont, that means fresh, high quality ingredients.

"We focus heavily on supporting the amazing local products Vermont has to offer," DiNatale said. "When you're running a food-based business, you can't go wrong in Vermont."

Even basic offerings like the breakfast sandwiches and grilled cheese are a taste revelation. And the cafe has the best scones, according to customers. Along with really good espresso, and the atmosphere, they're the reason that Mon Vert is considered Woodstock's best cafe. It's a great stop for a satisfying and healthy meal after a morning of rock climbing or skiing.

DiNatale is proud of her staff and calls them Team Awesome. Chef John Pirrello, who has more than 20 years' experience and a culinary degree, runs the kitchen. Assistant Manager Kaitlyn Hall is in charge at the front of the house.

"Kaitlyn is passionate about serving quality espresso and tea drinks," DiNatale said. "She never puts out an espresso drink that isn't perfect. She also has a lot of interest in wines & beers and has been going to tastings around Vermont to expand our alcohol menu."

The creative team includes lifelong friend Mary Urban who designed the logo and menus, and Aubrey Goldie Madison who is responsible for the layout and decor, as well as the cafe's "Anatomy of Espresso" sign.

As a Woodstock native, DiNatale is deeply connected to the community. Her son is a third grader and DiNatale himself was recently elected to the school board at her old school. The cafe has just moved to a new and larger location and continues to grow.

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