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Short Orders Made in Vermont

Craving croutons

In 1991, Francie Caccavo began Olivia's Croutons, named for her then 3-year-old daughter, as a side project in her home near Burlington, Vt. Now daughter Olivia is almost 19, and Caccavo's enterprise has grown into ``much more than a full-time job." The croutons are no longer cut by hand and baked at home in the Caccavo kitchen, and the business is about to expand into a renovated dairy barn. The crunchy nuggets ($3.99 for a 5-ounce package) come in flavors such as butter and garlic, Parmesan pepper, and multigrain. They outperform other store-bought croutons in salads and are especially good eaten straight from the box. Available at Whole Foods Market in Framingham, 575 Worcester Road (Route 9), 508-628-9525, or go to . -- LEIGH BELANGER

Lovely and amazing

If you didn't know these cookies were vegan, you certainly wouldn't notice. Under the brand Liz Lovely cookies ($3.79 to $4.29 for a package of two), cashews spark up oatmeal, gingersnaps become ``snapdragons" with the help of crystallized ginger, and dark chocolate generously coats one side of a mixture of oats, walnuts, and chocolate chips. Liz Holtz and her husband, Dan, founded the company in a tiny attic kitchen in Bryn Mawr, Penn., but moved to Waitsfield, Vt., in 2004, when Green Mountain State investors helped save the day after a big distribution deal meant grow (quickly) or die. It paid off: They're now available in 400 stores nationwide. Available at City Feed & Supply, 66 Boylston St., Jamaica Plain, 617-524-1657; White Hen Pantry, 734 Broadway, Somerville, 617-440-1651; or go to JOE YONAN

Pie perfection

When Tom Raftery, a professional chef but no pie man, was first asked to make desserts for American Flatbread of Waitsfield, Vt., he hesitated. ``If I couldn't do an awesome pie, I didn't want to do it," he says. The test batch was a success, and for the past decade he has been running his own pie-making business in nearby Northfield. Cakeworks pie crusts are made without trans fats and with organic flour, then filled with fresh fruits and berries. Fillings range from the signature triple berry crumb to the mango ginger berry pie ($13 for a 9-inch pie, $6.50 for 6-inch rounds). Raftery also likes to use strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and the seasonal combo strawberry-rhubarb. Raftery does all the baking while his wife runs the business side of this pie venture; their two kids assemble the boxes. Pie fans, call off the search party and stock up on these treasures. Available at the Charles Square Farmers' Market, Harvard Square, Cambridge, on Sundays from June 11 through the end of the month and Labor Day through mid-November. Call 802-583-2253 or go to . -- EMILY SCHWAB

Culture club

Since 1975, Jack and Anne Lazor have farmed 100 acres of land near the Canadian border in Westfield, Vt. Their herd of 45 Jersey cows provides organic milk for Butterworks Farm yogurt (about $3.50 for 32 ounces). Low-fat plain yogurt is clean and tangy, with a delicate custardy texture. Low-fat vanilla is tart, with subtle vanilla and maple flavors. The milk of Jersey cows has a high protein content, so the yogurt cultures have more to feed on, explains Jack Lazor. The result is a yogurt with a firm set that eliminates the need for stabilizers such as cornstarch. Don't stir or shake it, Lazor advises, or you'll upset this yogurt's delicate state. Available at most Whole Foods Markets and Harvest Co-op Markets, 57 South St., Jamaica Plain, 617-524-1667, and 581 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-661-1580. -- LEIGH BELANGER

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