Quince Vision 2020
In 2020, people throughout New England are enjoying the Common Quince on their breakfast/dinner tables and cheese plates, at favorite restaurants, and in their home landscapes. Many more young children are aware that the quince is in the same family as the apple and pear and that it can thrive in our climate. Existing old quince trees have been identified, cared for if necessary, and highlighted as important horticultural features in the neighborhood and larger community. Much more regionally produced quince is available in the wholesale pipeline and the Connecticut River valley area where Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts meet is known for its availability of several varieties of Cydonia oblonga.
Vermont Quince Company (VTQ)’s gross sales of specialty quince products have grown to a sustainable level, and the company has positioned itself as the reliable purveyor of specialty quince condiments and preserves to markets and restaurants throughout New England. Remaining true to its commitment to ensuring that regional people enjoy relatively limited regional quince, a minimum of 10% of gross sales is sold direct to individuals at regional food festivals and events. VTQ also serves as a broker for raw fruit as necessary to ensure that all regionally grown quince gets to market in a sustainable way.
The grant-funded Vermont Quince Nursery & Propagation Center sells young trees annually and has begun the first series of Cydonia oblonga grafting experiments with an eye toward reporting results in peer-reviewed publications. The quince archives of the North American Fruit Explorers have been digitized and put into the public domain, and the heart of VTQ’s activities are workshops, presentations, and cooking classes for community members to learn about growing and cooking with quince. The Quince Center is staffed by a part-time coordinator/grower/educator plus seasonal apprentices and interns.
VTQ’s food production operations are overseen by a part-time, year-round production manager who coordinates batches with majority owner Nan Stefanik who leads new product development, sales & marketing, and planning. VTQ continues to value its co-packing arrangement with Fox Meadow Farm and access to various licensed kitchens in the community, but also has exclusive use of a small kitchen and storage area as part of the Quince Center.