The Preservation Trust was a key partner in the project during the initial research. In 2007, the Preservation Trust awarded the Café project a grant to do structural analysis of the building and in 2011, it committed to a $40,000 grant with contingencies to reach specific milestones. The grant was made possible by a partnership between the Freeman Foundation and the Preservation Trust of Vermont. A media event to award the grant is planned at the Café site on Saturday, May 10
at 11:00 a.m. Paul Bruhn, the Executive Director of the Preservation Trust of Vermont will officially present a check to the Café managers during the event. The public is invited to attend and view the construction to date.
“We turned to Paul Bruhn and his team to help us understand the historic value of the building
and how we could capture it in our plans to
renovate,” says Barry Lawson, a member of the mangers for the Peacham Café Group LLC. “The Café building is located within a Historic Village District and we knew the aesthetic look of the building would be of utmost importance.”
Bruhn has been impressed with the perseverance of the Café managers and their efforts to overcome several hurdles relating to wastewater and fundraising.
“The managers have been working together for several years trying to put this together and we
are very pleased to partner wit
h them,” says Bruhn. “Our work is focused on saving and using
historic buildings with a special focus on downtowns and village centers because they are such
an important part of the essential character of Vermont.”
Like many small villages in Vermont, Peacham has had a dwindling presence of retail establishments. The former Bayley-Hazen Country Store in South Peacham closed in 2001 leaving residents no other option but to travel to Barnet or Danville for items such as milk, eggs, coffee, and cheese. The business model is unique for a start up. Peacham Community Housing owns the Café building and, for rent, the new operator will only have to cover basic overhead costs in the first year with favorable rental arrangements in subsequent years. This allows the operator to get started without the financial burden of a mortgage and with a nominal rent. The model has