Lunenburg native to open Gleanery in VT
Lunenburg High School graduate Alice James (far left) stands with Liz Ehrenberg and Ismail Samad with daughter in future kitchen with design plans and local pottery.
Story & photo by Samantha Bridgman
What's in a name? Everything, if you ask recent Lunenburg native, now Putney, VT transplant Alice James. James is months away from opening the Gleanery, a combination restaurant, cafe and retail shop focused on reaping the rewards of all life has to offer.
For James and partners Ismail Samad originally of Cleveland, OH and Putney resident Liz Ehrenberg, the way of the future is to focus on fully benefiting from their community.
James has racked up an eclectically impressive resume in the past few years, seeking jobs that always present her with new challenges and opportunities to build on prior knowledge.
A Umass Amherst graduate with a self-designed degree in alternative teaching with a focus on sustainable agriculture, James has trekked near and far, from Mexico to Star Island in the Isle of Shoals. James has taught children at Nature's Classroom and interned on various animal and agricultural farms. Her experience in the kitchen began at Umass where she worked in the student-run vegetarian restaurant Earth Foods. She later worked on Star Island as a baker and kitchen supervisor for three consecutive summers beginning in 2006.
Eventually, James' employment odyssey led her to Putney, VT in 2009, where she met Samad and Ehrenberg while working in the kitchen of the Putney Inn. The trio would daydream about opening their own restaurant, brainstorming its design and function. Fast-forward to April of 2012 - the three are in a position to seriously consider going into business. Their business concept was simple, it was something they each felt strongly about: to glean, (v) to gather (grain) left behind by reapers; to collect gradually, bit by bit.
"It's the way we approach all things,” said James. "There is so much good going on in Putney; so much agriculture and creativity, we [didn’t] want any of that to go to waste.”
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