BRATTLEBORO -- As the weekend was winding down, people gathered to eat at the Strolling of the Heifers' Organic Farmers' Breakfast.
On June 9, The Works Bakery Cafe on Main Street hosted the breakfast, which offered fresh local food before the Tour De Heifer Cycling and Farm, Food and Fiber Tours began.
"We're looking forward to doing a lot of business," said The Works General Manager Tim Billings. "We had a lot of fun yesterday serving people for the parade. We're looking forward to doing it again today."
The Works has been in business in Brattleboro for three years now. The owner, Richard French, approached Billings about three months ago and told him that the Works would be hosting the Farmers' Breakfast for the Strolling of the Heifers.
Products were donated for the breakfast, which included Cabot cream, Drew's All Natural salsas, Vermont Smoke and Cure ham and Pete and Gerry's organic eggs. The eggs were used for breakfast sandwiches as well as quiche.
"Great companies. Great products to work with," said Billings. "It's hard to keep the staff from eating it all."
He added that a lot of people were involved in making sure folks received a good meal for the breakfast.
"This is our first Farmers' Breakfast so you know, you get the nervous excitement," Billings said. "Do I have too much food? Not enough food? When are people going to show up? But you know, we're trying to keep it nice and light for the staff and customers."
By 9 a.m., The Works had already sold one of each of its specials for the day. Tables were beginning to fill up with people ready to start their day. Breakfast was served from 7:30 a.m. until noon.
During the parade on Saturday, Billings said he had seen balloons painted as Holstein cows, which stuck out in his memory. He noted the excitement of the kids and downtown in general.
Billings mentioned that the weather had turned out to be better than expected. It brought more people out to Main Street to see the parade.
The Works had gotten crowded as the parade moved through the downtown. Billings thought the sunshine put people in a good mood.
"There didn't seem to be a whole lot of stress yesterday, which was really nice in people's eyes," he said. "It was just a relaxed atmosphere."
Employees of the bakery couldn't see much from inside. There were so many people in the building and standing outside that employees were given breaks so they could enjoy parts of the parade during their shifts.
Billings didn't get a chance to talk to many people during the parade. He left the cooking line after the parade to prep for the breakfast.
"We did a really good job of setting the staff up for success for yesterday and today," he said at the breakfast. "Keeping the lines of communication open and telling them what the menu is and what's expected of them. Hopefully, today, when we get busy, we're going to fall into place and put out a great product for people in a very reasonable time."
Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.