10+ Best Small Business Ideas to Start in Vermont [2023])

Explore our top small business ideas for Vermont in 2023. Discover opportunities that align with your passion and Vermont's unique market needs.

By Nick Cotter
Updated Feb 07, 2024

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This page may feature products from our affiliate partners, which could influence the products we discuss due to potential compensation. Despite this, our evaluations are impartial, based solely on our independent analysis. The content here is intended for informational purposes and should not be seen as legal advice. For professional guidance, consulting with a legal expert is recommended.
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Hey there, future entrepreneurs! Ready to take the plunge into the world of small businesses? Well, you've landed in the right place. Welcome to our guide on the 10+ Best Small Business Ideas to Start in Vermont in 2023. Whether you're a Vermont native or a newcomer, there's something about this place that just screams opportunity, don't you think?

As we step into 2023, there's no better time than now to kickstart your entrepreneurial journey. With its rich history, vibrant community, and a thriving local economy, Vermont is a goldmine for innovative and sustainable small business ideas. But, where do you start? How do you identify the right opportunity that aligns with your passion, skills, and the market demand? That's exactly what we're here to help with.

So, grab a cup of coffee (or a pint of Ben & Jerry's - we don't judge), and let's dive into the exciting world of small businesses in Vermont. We promise, it's going to be a ride worth taking!

Organic Farming Business

Organic farming in Vermont is a lucrative business idea due to the increasing demand for organic products and the state's favorable agricultural conditions. Vermont is known for its rich, fertile soil and diverse climate, both of which are conducive to organic farming. Additionally, the state has a strong culture of supporting local businesses, which can be beneficial for an organic farming business.

  • Vermont's fertile soil and diverse climate make it ideal for growing a wide variety of organic crops.
  • There is a growing demand for organic products, both locally and nationally. As people become more health-conscious, they are seeking out organic foods for their nutritional benefits and lack of harmful pesticides.
  • Vermont has a strong culture of supporting local businesses. Residents are likely to choose locally-grown organic products over imported ones, providing a stable customer base for the business.
  • The state offers numerous grants and incentives for organic farming, making it a financially viable business option.
  • Organic farming is environmentally friendly, contributing to the preservation of Vermont's beautiful natural landscape.
image of a Organic Farming Business

Maple Syrup Production

Maple syrup production in Vermont is a lucrative and sustainable venture for several reasons:

  • Vermont is the largest producer of maple syrup in the United States, producing over 2 million gallons annually. This gives Vermont a competitive edge in the market.
  • The state's climate and abundance of sugar maple trees create the perfect conditions for syrup production. The cold winters and warm springs are ideal for sap flow.
  • Maple syrup production is a sustainable practice. Tapping trees for sap does not harm the tree and allows for continuous production year after year. Additionally, maple forests sequester carbon, contributing to climate change mitigation.
  • There is a high demand for pure, organic maple syrup. Vermont's strict grading standards and quality control measures ensure that the state's syrup is top-notch.
  • Maple syrup production contributes significantly to Vermont's economy and provides employment opportunities, particularly in rural areas.
  • Vermont's maple syrup is a key part of the state's identity and tourism industry. Visitors can tour sugarhouses, learn about the syrup-making process, and taste the fresh product.
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Examples of successful businesses:

Despite its small size and rural character, Vermont has been home to several successful small businesses that have thrived in the state's unique environment. From food and beverage establishments to outdoor recreation and specialty products, these businesses have found success by tapping into Vermont's local culture, natural resources, and supportive community. Here are some examples of small business ideas that have flourished in Vermont:

  • Ben & Jerry's: Founded in Burlington, Vermont in 1978, Ben & Jerry's is now a globally recognized ice cream brand known for its unique flavors and commitment to social and environmental causes.
  • Switchback Brewing Company: This Burlington-based craft brewery has gained popularity for its high-quality beers, community engagement, and commitment to sustainability.
  • King Arthur Flour: With its headquarters in Norwich, Vermont, King Arthur Flour is a renowned baking ingredient and product company that has been in operation for over two centuries.
  • Green Mountain Coffee Roasters: This Waterbury-based company specializes in coffee and beverage products, and has grown to become one of the largest coffee roasters in the United States.
  • Outdoor Gear Exchange: Located in Burlington, this outdoor retail store offers a wide range of outdoor gear and equipment, catering to Vermont's active and adventurous population.
  • Woodchuck Hard Cider: Founded in Middlebury, Vermont in 1991, Woodchuck Hard Cider has become a leading producer of hard cider, capitalizing on the state's apple orchards and craft beverage industry.
  • Simon Pearce: This glassware and pottery company, headquartered in Quechee, Vermont, produces handcrafted products that have gained national recognition for their elegance and quality.
  • Laughing Moon Chocolates: Located in Stowe, this artisanal chocolate shop offers a wide variety of handmade chocolates and confections, attracting both locals and tourists alike.
  • Mad River Glen: As a skier-owned ski area in Fayston, Vermont, Mad River Glen has developed a loyal following by preserving its unique, old-school skiing experience and community-focused values

Ski Equipment Rental

Ski Equipment Rental is a service that provides all the necessary equipment needed for skiing. This includes skis, ski boots, ski poles, and even safety gear such as helmets. Renting ski equipment is a great idea for several reasons:

  • Cost-effective: Ski equipment can be quite expensive. Renting allows you to use high-quality equipment without the high upfront cost.
  • Convenience: If you're traveling to a ski resort, it can be a hassle to transport your own equipment. Renting allows you to pick up everything you need right at the resort.
  • Variety: Ski rental shops often have a wide range of equipment to choose from, so you can try out different types of skis and find what suits you best.
  • Maintenance: When you rent ski equipment, you don't have to worry about maintenance. The rental shop takes care of that for you.
  • Learning: If you're new to skiing, renting equipment gives you the chance to learn without making a large investment in gear.

More resources:

Artisan Cheese Making

Artisan cheese making in Vermont is a fantastic idea for a multitude of reasons. Vermont is renowned for its rich agricultural heritage, which provides an excellent foundation for producing high-quality, artisanal cheese. The state's climate and terrain are ideal for dairy farming, and the abundance of fresh, local milk ensures a superior product.

  • Quality Ingredients: Vermont is home to many organic farms that supply high-quality milk, a key ingredient in cheese making. This ensures the production of fresh, flavorful cheese with a distinct taste.
  • Expertise: Vermont has a long history of cheese making with skilled artisans who have perfected their craft over generations. This wealth of knowledge and experience guarantees a product of exceptional quality.
  • Variety: The state's cheese makers produce a vast array of cheeses, from cheddar to camembert, offering something for every palate.
  • Sustainable Practices: Many Vermont cheese makers are committed to sustainable farming practices, which not only benefit the environment but also contribute to the quality and flavor of their cheese.
  • Economic Impact: The artisan cheese industry contributes significantly to Vermont's economy, supporting local farmers and creating jobs.

Craft Brewery Or Winery

Vermont is an ideal location for a craft brewery or winery due to its unique combination of natural resources, a thriving local food and drink culture, and a strong tourism industry. Here are some reasons why:

  • Rich Soil: Vermont's fertile soil is perfect for growing a variety of crops, including the grapes used in winemaking and the grains used in brewing.
  • Abundance of Pure Water: The state is known for its clean, fresh water, which is an essential ingredient in both wine and beer production.
  • Strong Local Food and Drink Culture: Vermonters take great pride in their local food and drink. A new craft brewery or winery would be well-received by locals who appreciate high-quality, locally-produced beverages.
  • Thriving Tourism Industry: Vermont's beautiful scenery, outdoor activities, and charming towns attract tourists from around the world. These visitors are potential customers who can help support a craft brewery or winery.
  • Supportive State Policies: Vermont has a number of policies and initiatives in place to support small businesses, including those in the food and drink industry.

Related business ideas:

Bed And Breakfast Establishment

A Bed and Breakfast establishment in Vermont is a fantastic idea for a multitude of reasons. The state's natural beauty, abundance of outdoor activities, and rich history make it a popular destination for tourists year-round. Consequently, a B&B in Vermont can provide a unique, intimate lodging experience that larger hotels can't match.

  • Scenic Beauty: Vermont is known for its stunning landscapes, including lush forests, rolling hills, and picturesque lakes. A B&B would allow guests to immerse themselves in this natural beauty.
  • Outdoor Activities: The state offers a plethora of outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, and fishing. A B&B can serve as a convenient base for these adventures.
  • Historic Charm: Many Vermont towns are steeped in history, with charming architecture and antique shops. A historic B&B can enhance this experience for visitors.
  • Local Cuisine: Vermont is famous for its farm-to-table cuisine, artisanal cheeses, and maple syrup. A B&B can provide a personal touch with homemade breakfasts featuring local produce.
  • Personalized Service: Unlike large hotels, a B&B can offer personalized service and a warm, welcoming atmosphere that makes guests feel at home.

Local Tour Guide Service

A Local Tour Guide Service in Vermont is a brilliant idea for several reasons. Vermont is a state full of natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant local culture. Having a local guide can greatly enhance the experience of exploring this incredible state. Here are some reasons why this service is beneficial:

  • Knowledge of the area: Local guides have extensive knowledge about the area. They can provide detailed information about the history, culture, and significance of various locations.
  • Personalized experience: A local guide can offer a more personalized experience. They can tailor the tour according to the interests and preferences of the visitors.
  • Access to hidden gems: Local guides know the best-kept secrets of their area. They can take visitors to less crowded, off-the-beaten-path locations that are equally beautiful and interesting.
  • Support local economy: By hiring local guides, visitors are directly supporting the local economy. This can contribute to the sustainable development of the area.
  • Safety: Local guides are aware of the safety measures and precautions to be taken in different areas. They can guide visitors safely through various terrains and weather conditions.

Handmade Soap And Beauty Products Business

Starting a Handmade Soap and Beauty Products Business in Vermont is a fantastic idea for several reasons. Vermont is known for its strong support of local businesses and its focus on sustainability and natural living, making it the perfect environment for a business focused on creating natural, handmade beauty products.

  • Local Support: Vermont residents are known for their strong support of local businesses. This local-centric mindset can help a handmade soap business thrive and grow in the community.
  • Sustainability Focus: Vermont is known for its focus on sustainability and eco-friendly practices. A business offering handmade, eco-friendly beauty products aligns perfectly with this ethos.
  • Natural Living: Vermont's culture of natural living and wellness can provide a large customer base interested in natural, non-toxic beauty products.
  • Artisanal Tradition: Vermont has a rich tradition of artisanal crafts and products. Handmade soaps and beauty products fit perfectly into this tradition, potentially attracting tourists and locals alike.
  • Abundant Natural Resources: Vermont's abundant natural resources, such as honey, goat milk, and herbs, can provide locally-sourced ingredients for unique, high-quality beauty products.

Antique Furniture Restoration

Antique Furniture Restoration in Vermont is a great idea for a multitude of reasons. Vermont's rich history and appreciation for craftsmanship make it the perfect place for restoring your treasured pieces. The state is home to a number of skilled artisans who specialize in this type of work, ensuring your antique furniture is treated with the care and respect it deserves.

  • Preservation of History: Antique furniture is a piece of history. Restoring it helps to preserve the craftsmanship and aesthetics of a bygone era.
  • Value Enhancement: Restored antique furniture often has a higher market value. It's an investment that can yield significant returns.
  • Sustainability: Restoration is an eco-friendly alternative to buying new furniture. It reduces waste and the demand for new resources.
  • Uniqueness: Antique furniture adds a unique, personal touch to your home decor. Restored pieces are one-of-a-kind and can't be replicated in modern furniture stores.
  • Skilled Artisans: Vermont is home to many skilled craftsmen who have the knowledge and experience to restore antique furniture to its former glory.

Specialty Food Store Focusing On Local Products

Opening a Specialty Food Store that focuses on local products in Vermont aligns with the state's strong emphasis on community, sustainability, and quality. The following points illustrate the key advantages of this business concept:

  • Local Appreciation: Vermont's residents often prioritize locally sourced and produced goods, creating a strong customer base.
  • Sustainability: By sourcing locally, the store can reduce transportation costs and its carbon footprint, aligning with Vermont's environmental goals.
  • Freshness: Local products often mean fresher, higher-quality goods, enhancing the customer experience.
  • Supporting Local Economy: Purchasing from local producers helps support Vermont's small farmers and artisans, strengthening the state's economy.
  • Unique Offerings: Vermont is renowned for certain products like maple syrup, cheese, and craft beer, allowing the store to offer unique, region-specific items.
  • Seasonal Variety: Leveraging Vermont's diverse agricultural output allows for a constantly changing variety of seasonal products, keeping the store's inventory fresh and exciting.


Founder and CEO

I'm Nick, co-founder of newfoundr.com, dedicated to helping aspiring entrepreneurs succeed. As a small business owner with over five years of experience, I have garnered valuable knowledge and insights across a diverse range of industries. My passion for entrepreneurship drives me to share my expertise with aspiring entrepreneurs, empowering them to turn their business dreams into reality.

Through meticulous research and firsthand experience, I uncover the essential steps, software, tools, and costs associated with launching and maintaining a successful business. By demystifying the complexities of entrepreneurship, I provide the guidance and support needed for others to embark on their journey with confidence.

From assessing market viability and formulating business plans to selecting the right technology and navigating the financial landscape, I am dedicated to helping fellow entrepreneurs overcome challenges and unlock their full potential. As a steadfast advocate for small business success, my mission is to pave the way for a new generation of innovative and driven entrepreneurs who are ready to make their mark on the world.