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Red Hen Baking Company will move to new Camp Mead location

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05/03/2007

By Lisa Loomis

Duxbury's Red Hen Baking Company will move to the former Camp Mead complex in Middlesex at the end of the summer.

Proprietors Randy George and Eliza Cain will move their production facilities into the new space and add retail to their offerings.

"We've been looking for a space that would allow us to design our production space as we'd ideally like it to be and that would give us more space, plus allow us to increase the retail side of our business," George said.

He and Cain opened their business on Route 100 in 1999. They are located in the building where Green Mountain Chocolates started.

"Camp Mead and Middlesex seem like the perfect fit for us. We're hopeful that, because that route is well traveled and is in a little village with visibility from the road, that we can expand our retail offerings.

Camp Mead was purchased last week by Moretown residents Don and Lise Wexler. They purchased the former restaurant/motor lodge/museum and Army Navy surplus store from Claire and Gus Gosselin, Barre.

The Wexlers, longtime Moretown residents, closed on the property on April 24. Their first priority is going to be remodeling the space for the Red Hen Baking Company. Then they will take a look at the other buildings and spaces and assess what is next.

Camp Mead consists of just under seven acres with 14 cabin/motel units, a 93-seat restaurant and other buildings which have been used for a variety of things over the years, including a museum, retail space and more.

"The history of the site is interesting. In the 1930s it was the base for about 100 men working for the CCC. There are pictures of them here. They were working on Winooski floodway projects," Don Wexler said.

And while he plans to concentrate on converting/expanding the restaurant for the bakery, he'll keep the cabins in the hospitality business - at least for this summer. The cabins are rented this summer, as they have been for the past 20 years, by the same groups of long-term visitors.

"The same people have been coming for years. It's nice back there. The property backs up to the river gorge and there's a pool on site," he said.

Wexler is currently reviewing his state and local permits to see what exists and what may need to be addressed.

In addition to the logistical work, he's looking at what types of businesses would compliment the bakery on the site.

"This might be great space for a welcome center or a café. There's high-speed internet access here and this is the start of the Mad River Scenic Byway which Middlesex and Moretown received last year," he said.

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