Folks often ask us, "Which came first, the chocolate or the granola?" Our company started with, and first became famous for its its hyper-fresh granola loaded with nuts and toasted with pure Vermont maple syrup. Some time later, Nutty Steph's invented Magic Chunks; cubes of granola covered in chocolate. Since the early Nutty Steph's facility had only granola baking equipment, founder Jaquelyn Reike quickly made plans to produce her chocolate covered chunks in the Green River Chocolate kitchen. However, the owner of Green River Chocolate, Allan Sorotkin, soon became unable to render his craft because of numbness in his fingertips that resulted from chemotherapy and Nutty Steph's was forced to buy a chocolate factory - oh darn!
With the help of the community, some generous landlords at the Middleground Artisan Complex, the creative infusions of Patty Smith, a lot of faith on the part of Aunt Jan, and a trusting engagement with Allan while he healed himself with diet, Nutty Steph's was reincarnated. Following the granola and Magic Chunks, Nutty Steph's hired Josie Green to develop and expand their line of handmade chocolate bars and rotating small-batch confections that drew travelers from far and wide to their new Middlesex, Vermont location. Green, as well as publicist Cecilia Leibovitz, eventually became cooperative owners of Nutty Steph's for several years until they went on to develop their own crafts, writing and millinery respectively. Throughout this period of growth, transition and experimentation, the chocolate shop transformed weekly into "Bacon Thursday," a European-style beer and wine pub with live music and hot plates of humanely raised bacon to dip in melted chocolate, both of which were often dished up by a local legend known as B Yobie. Nutty Steph's held Bacon Thursday over 250 times, from 2008 through 2015, at which point they closed the infinite book of raucous memories and friendships that were created at the Middlesex institution.
Although Nutty Steph's no longer hosts Bacon Thursday, the company has continued to grow and transform into a strong chocolate factory and fresh granola haven, serving the public in a memorable shop while operating a bustling wholesale and online operation. Throughout the history of Nutty Steph's, Jaquelyn has maintained her obsession with sourcing, taking particular care to understand where the ingredients come from and how they are handled, as well as the impact they have on the planet and the people who produce them. Jackie recently identified her ideal sources for our two primary ingredients: oats and chocolate. It was a long time coming and years of navigating the dark and wild world of industrial food to finally land on ingredients that are so culturally and environmentally beneficial that you can literally taste it.
Meet the Business Founder
Stephanie Jaquelyn Rieke began Nutty Steph's at the tender age of twenty-three by baking maple-sweetened granola and delivering it to local establishments on roller blades. Demand for the product quickly outpaced her ability to be a one woman show and thus she began her winding and vulnerable journey as a community builder and social entrepreneur. She grew weary of the alias Nutty Steph, and gave her first name over to the business in 2008, thereafter using her middle name instead. Jaquelyn is passionate about creating the best place ever to work, offering benefits for the workers that are hard to find in small town Vermont, makes certain that she employs individuals with special needs, and encourages all staff members to take part in collectively governing the company. Today, Nutty Steph's is a busy little world, continuing to melt, mix, pour, wrap and deliver real food from the heart nearly every day of the year. Make your life simple by eating what tastes good!
We are located at
961 US-2 Middlesex, VT 05602 • 802-229-2090