Snapshots: bristol's tandem

Our hometown is Bristol, Vermont, nestled in the Green Mountains. Our downtown has one stoplight and about a block of storefronts. Small town life is, by definition, small — but it can also be vibrant and surprising, just as full of unfamiliar flavors as it is familiar faces. And one of our favorite places in downtown Bristol to experience that kind of vibrancy is Tandem, the downtown storefront that Jess Messer and Lauren Gammon transformed into a pop-up events venue and commercial kitchen in 2015. 

In the three years since its opening, Tandem has become a gathering space in our little town, a place for cozy brunches and inventive dinners, a home for a summertime night markets and holiday pop-ups. It's where Jess and Lauren foster their own businesses, and help support those of other chefs and makers. 

Perhaps most of all, it’s a place that celebrates food — the farmers that grow it, the hands that prepare it, the eaters who consume it. This love of good food is what connects Lauren and Jess, the thread that runs through their friendship of nearly 20 years. “We joke that yuzu cemented our friendship,” says Jess.

Jess started her business — Savouré — in Montreal after her family moved to Canada in 2010; a former human rights researcher, Jess used Savouré as a way to connect with the farmers and culture of Quebec, crafting fermented veggies and pickles, jams, and handcrafted sodas. She brought the business with her when her family moved to Vermont. Her seasonal sodas are made from wild foods, herbs, and roots, or locally grown produce. She delights in putting local ingredients to use in surprising and inventive sodas, using the bounty from Vermont's farms, fields, and forests in sophisticated flavor combinations. When a hiker stumbled across wild plums on nearby Snake Mountain, the hiker brought a bushel to Jess at Tandem and asked, “Do you want to do something with them?” She did, of course.

When we tagged along for a morning of food prep at Tandem, Jess was concocting a brew of pink peppercorn and fresh rhubarb. Her sodas taste of the seasons in which they’re made — and this soda was the embodiment of spring. 


Meanwhile, Lauren was busy prepping for an upcoming dinner, shaving spring asparagus and zucchini for one of her courses (read on for the recipe, below!).

For Lauren, food is a means of exploration. She caught the travel bug young, and after attending college in Vermont, spent years hoofing her way around the globe — seeking out street vendors and local food everywhere she visited. Today her catering business, Nomadic Chef Catering, focuses on farm-to-table cuisine that celebrates Vermont food, but pairs those roots with international or unexpected twists.


Tandem defies easy explanation. There aren’t any regularly posted hours, and the space doesn’t have a website. Jess and Lauren like it that way; they don’t want to be railroaded into one vision for the space, preferring flexibility and some spontaneity. Our Bee's Wrap team has dined here for our holiday dinners, shopped here during night markets that are part farmers' market, part street fair, and cozied up with a cup of coffee during mud season brunch pop-ups. 

As we travel Bristol's Main Street every day, we're grateful for Jess and Lauren's creativity, their love of food, and their vision for what a community gathering space can be. It's part of what gives our small town such a big heart. 



Shaved Asparagus with Smoked Trout

Recipe courtesy Lauren Gammon


  • 1 pound asparagus
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 2 large potatoes
  • 1 small onion
  • Garlic cloves, peeled
  • Fillet of smoked trout
  • Half and half
  • Lemon
  • Preserved lemon
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Egg yolk


Boil down two peeled potatoes, small onion, and two cloves of garlic in four cups of salted water.


In a high speed blend, combine cooked potato, onion, garlic, and broth with  one fillet of smoked trout and ½ c. half and half; blend into a thick cream. Season with white pepper.


Meanwhile, shave asparagus and zucchini with a hand-held peeler for a ribbon-like effect. Toss vegetables with lemon juice, minced preserved lemon, garlic to taste, and EVOO. Salt to taste. Gently heat egg yolk over double boiler, making sure not to cook.


Serve fresh marinated asparagus and zucchini ribbons with 1/2 cup of trout cream on the side. Use the yolk to drizzle a zig-zag in the cream. Enjoy! 

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Letter from sarah: business can’t afford to be silent on climate change

For a long time, conventional wisdom had it that companies shouldn’t tackle hot-button political issues. That’s advice borne out of fear: the fear that, in exchange for voicing our opinions, we risk angering customers or losing sales. 

As the founder and CEO of Bee’s Wrap, I’m motivated these days by a greater fear: that, should our elected officials fail to act on the crisis of climate change, the damage we cause to our planet will be irreversible, negatively impacting our families, our communities, and our ecosystems forever.

As a Certified B Corp, Bee’s Wrap is committed to using business as a force for good. We make sustainable products that reduce single-use plastics, use environmentally friendly and safe ingredients, and are constantly looking for additional ways to reduce our carbon footprint. I am proud to run my company in a state that values these things too, but I know that together, we can do more. This year, Bee’s Wrap added its voice to the collective commitment of the Vermont business community to do better for our environment.

On Thursday, Jan. 23, Bee’s Wrap joined dozens of other Vermont businesses to advocate at the Statehouse for climate action policies in 2020. We participated in training, lobbying, and a press conference, as well as individual and group meetings with corresponding representatives.

While the Green Mountain State has a history of innovative environmental policies, the current climate challenges require audacious solutions. This legislative term, our lawmakers have the opportunity to pass more ambitious and much-needed policy. 

I feel it is important that our elected officials hear from the Vermont business community, as we are important stakeholders in Vermont’s economy and have an impact on the environment we all share. Our team joined others from companies like Seventh Generation, Ben & Jerry’s, Danforth Pewter, and Brattleboro Savings and Loan, along with environmental nonprofits VPIRG and 350VT, to speak directly to our elected officials and we urged them to take immediate action. Bee’s Wrap’s focus is on reducing the usage and availability of single-use plastics, increasing the accessibility of renewable energy, and prioritizing the reduction of climate pollution, and we support the comprehensive 2020 climate policy agenda outlined by VPIRG. 

Vermont’s small size and long history of participatory democracy provides an opportunity for Vermont business (and individual Vermonters) to have direct, substantial, face-to-face conversations with their own state representatives and legislative leaders. Bee’s Wrap participated in this event to advocate for our business values and shared priorities for bold climate action. We did this alongside our corporate peers, demonstrating together that the need for action is vital and urgent. I am proud to have led Bee’s Wrap in the participation of this direct demonstration of our core values and am excited to continue advocating for the necessary change that our state and world need.

Why biodegradability matters

Plastic is forever. Bee’s Wrap isn’t. And that’s by design.

Bee’s Wrap is naturally biodegradable and compostable. We started making Bee’s Wrap after growing deeply concerned about the persistent effect of plastics on our planet. Plastic never leaves us. It lingers in landfills for centuries. It enters our soil, our waterways, and our oceans, breaking down into tiny but ever-present pieces.

We set out to make an alternative, and we knew from the beginning that whatever we made needed to be biodegradable. That’s because we believe in considering the entire life of the products we make and consume, from their creation and manufacturing to their eventual end. Where does a product come from? How is it made? And crucially, what happens when we no longer need or use this item?

This is where biodegradability comes in: A product that is biodegradable can be easily returned to the earth. It’s a technology as old as time, and everything made in nature returns to nature with time. There’s no complicated recycling process, and no need to send your Bee’s Wrap off to a special facility. Made from four simple ingredients, Bee’s Wrap comes from the earth, and is designed to return to the earth. 

Importantly, what you do with naturally biodegradable materials matters. Modern landfills are lined and packed tightly, creating an oxygen-poor environment where even food can take decades to decompose. One study conducted by the University of Arizona uncovered 25-year-old hotdogs, corncobs, and grapes, as well as 50-year-old newspapers that were still readable. Food waste that decomposes in landfills also generates methane gas, which has 34 times the greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide, according to Project Drawdown, a coalition of researchers working on climate change solutions. 

This is why composting is so important; food waste, yard waste, and other organic material holds valuable nutrients that can be returned to the soil after decomposition. The same is true for Bee’s Wrap. When your wrap has reached the end of its useful life — typically after about a year of regular use and proper care in your kitchen — you can use your wraps as a natural fire starter, or you can add them directly to your backyard compost pile. With a little time and the right environmental conditions, your Bee’s Wrap will break down into nutritious compost that you can use in your backyard garden. 

We’ve designed Bee’s Wrap to be hardworking, a trusty companion in your kitchen and on the go as you seek out plastic-free alternatives that are good for you and the planet. As your Bee’s Wrap begins to wear out, we hope you’ll look on those signs of wear and use as a welcome reminder of the natural cycles that surround us.

The joy of inconvenience

Choosing inconvenience can be an act of quiet revolution. 

For too long, we’ve been told that convenience will cure what ails us. How convenient, to find our meals prepackaged in the freezer section of our grocery store, our bread baked and sliced and stowed in plastic bags. It’s convenient to pop a load of laundry in the dryer and to have our work at our fingertips, forever accessible on the devices we carry in our pockets. We click a button and, conveniently, that which we need — or think we need — arrives on our doorstep: underwear, paper towels, a birthday gift, a box of cereal.

We don’t talk often enough about how convenience can harm us. For the convenience of a smartphone, we trade the quiet of disconnecting. For the convenience of fast and pre-packaged food, we swallow a meal that may leave us sluggish or unsatisfied. Pre-packaged meals and one-click shopping leave us with a mountain of waste bound for the recycling can or the landfill. We’ve been promised efficiency and speed, and the freedom of time. Sometimes we receive that. Sometimes we don’t. 

The truth is, there’s joy in inconvenience. In the smell of bread baked at home, the magic of a few ingredients kneaded together and turned into sustenance. There’s joy in taking laundry out to the line, in standing in the sunlight and hanging clothes to dry. There’s joy and pride in knitting a sweater, or mending a pair of jeans. 

woman wrapping homemade bread in bee's wrap sustainable food storage

We’re not arguing for a return to the past, or for a rose-colored view of the very real work that it takes to clothe and feed and nourish ourselves in a way that’s kind to our bodies and our planet. There’s a time and a place for convenience, and there’s also luxury, and privilege, in the ability to savor inconvenience. 

Is it, occasionally, inconvenient to make a meal from scratch? To bundle a sandwich in Bee’s Wrap, or to spend a few minutes at the sink, washing dishes and reusable containers and Bee’s Wrap by hand? Yes.

Sometimes, we choose the joy of inconvenience, the quiet resistance of finding a different way of moving in the world — a path that’s lighter for the planet and more fulfilling for the individual. We choose to slow down. We choose thoughtfulness. We choose reuse. And we find, in those habits, new satisfaction.