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Peacham Cafe Receives $40,000 Grant

Peacham Cafe Receives $40,000 Grant

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Published by mel7333
Peacham Cafe Receives $40,000 grant from the VT Preservation Trust
Peacham Cafe Receives $40,000 grant from the VT Preservation Trust

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Published by: mel7333 on May 03, 2014
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Date: April 29, 2014 Contact: Mary Ellen Reis Peacham Café P.O. Box 16 Peacham, VT 05862 Phone: 802-473-0390 mel@novastaza.com 
 The Preservation Trust of Vermont has awarded the Peacham Café project a $40,000 grant towards the construction of a Café which is planned to open in the summer of
2014. The Café, once the old Union Store in the early 1900’s, will be located in the heart of the
historic village. Started in 2006, the Café project is a grassroots initiative spurred on by several Peacham residents who saw the need for a community gathering place to enjoy a cup of coffee, chat with neighbors and purchase common grocery staples. The group then organized to form the Peacham Café Group LLC that consists of nine managers who supervise the project. The Peacham Café Group LLC is a subsidiary of Peacham Community Housing, which owns the  building. With the help of in-kind donations from dozens of volunteers and a formal fundraising campaign, the Group plans to restore the building and rent the space to a Café operator. The renovation of the building includes plans to maintain the historic role of the building and capture the essence of the site as it was when it was the old Union Store.
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

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