In 1960 Sam and Joan Cutting purchased Dakin Farm and moved their young family into the original 1792 farmhouse. Sam flew full time as a fighter pilot with the Vermont Air National Guard. In the beginning the farm stand was just a hobby that was open during the summer. During their first year in business Sam and Joan were delighted to sell $10,000 worth of their products over the course of the year.
Eventually, Sam learned how to smoke a side of bacon and a couple of hams in an old wooden barrel over smoldering corn cobs according to old Vermont recipes. He would offer these for sale in the farm stand along with the maple syrup he would “hot pack” in retail containers and the sharp cheddar cheese he had selected from the state’s finest creameries.
Boiling maple sap into maple syrup
Dakin Farm worker preparing a smoked ham for shipment
In 1980, upon graduating from the University of Vermont with a business degree, Sam Cutting IV joined his parents in the operation, which by then had become a thriving year round business. In 1993 Sam became president and owner of the business.
The goal of the younger Sam was to take the product line developed by his parents and sell it to the masses through mail order. The mail order business grew each year. Then came the Internet, which Sam embraced to further increase business.
In 2003 with the assistance of The Vermont Economic Development Authority and the Small Business Administration, Dakin Farm built a $2,000,000 distribution center to support the shipping demands created by the catalog and Internet.
During the peak holiday season, Dakin Farm employs over 150 local workers to produce the farm’s products and prepare packages for shipment. During the busiest days of the holiday season, more than 6,000 packages are shipped daily. Between the original farm store in Ferrisburgh, an outlet store in South Burlington, Vermont, and the mail order / Internet business, Dakin Farm sales have exceeded $6,000,000 in 2014.
Dakin Farm's distribution center
Dakin Farm workers prepare packages for shipment
Dakin Farm workers in the distribution center
To this day the time-honored methods and original 1800’s recipes that came with the farm are still used for smoking meat, producing and packing maple syrup and selecting, aging and waxing fine whole milk cheddar cheese.
In the fall of 2012, Dakin Farm entered into a partnership with Cabot Cooperative Creamery. While Cabot, which is owned by 1,200 farm families from Vermont, New England and Upstate New York would maintain their focus on making fine cheese and other dairy products and shipping them to super markets, Dakin Farm would take over the internet marketing, catalog sales, wholesale, fund raising, corporate sales and fulfillment of Cabot cheese. This partnership enabled customers nationwide to order Cabot products year round over the Internet or phone and have them shipped fresh to their doorsteps. Dakin Farm is proud of our relationship with the farmers who own Cabot as well as the farmers who make our maple syrup and other agricultural products. At Dakin Farm we feel it is both our duty and our honor to celebrate what came before us and ship traditional Vermont food specialties from the farm to consumers nationwide.
Dakin Farm workers
Throughout their careers both Sam Cutting III and Sam Cutting IV have been actively involved in supporting their Vermont industries by volunteering time to serve on numerous boards and have frequently taken leadership positions. Both have also traveled to Washington DC, and the Vermont State House, on numerous occasions to work on regulation and funding for pure Maple Syrup, direct marketing, agricultural development and tourism.
Dakin Farm and the Cutting family have been celebrated by national media from coast to coast for their unique, regional specialty foods. One of the more recent and colorful shows featuring Dakin Farm was The History Channel’s segment, called “Only in America” with “Larry the Cable Guy”.