Wednesday, June 29, 2011


TONIGHT we will begin the first of many kismet community kitchen events. every wednesday we will have some sort of entertainment and dinner provided by another food loving member of our community. tonight, starting at 5 pm, we have soup and salad 5 buck buffet served by our friend corinne novetti. the proceeds of the buffet will go to the food bank in barre, as there are still many families suffering from the flood and poor economy. following the buffet, we will have one of my favorite events, live competitive storytelling!
hope to see you later!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

post flood day 29


RE: Kismet re-opening, june 26th, 2011


I am excited to announce that kismet will be re-opening on Sunday June 26th! Thank you so much for your support and encouragement! It has been a very emotion and exhausting month for all of us here at kismet, but we have been truly nurtured back to health by this community.

One of the greatest gifts of having had this experience has been the opportunity to witness the generosity of my neighbors. Though I have participated in and organized fundraising events before, I have never had to fundraise for myself or my business, and have never contemplated how vulnerable it feels to receive in such abundance. Thanks to the grace and charm of each individual who contributed, all of us at kismet have remained hopeful and spirited.

In addition to the news of our re-opening, I am writing to introduce our new hours, daily specials, and the “kismet community kitchen” event series. Each wednesday night, kismet will provide an evening of entertainment, food and an opportunity to contribute to other families and businesses in need. Much like at our previous location, we will be offering our kitchen to other small food businesses or concepts so that they may share their unique menus, products, or concepts. This is a great opportunity for small food businesses as well as a great chance for the community to sample a variety of interesting and nurturing local food products.

Beginning june 26th, kismet will be open for sunday brunch from 9-2, tuesday through saturday 8-2, and wednesday through saturday evenings we will be open at 5 pm. Wednesday nights will house “kismet community kitchen”, in which a variety of entertainment and local foods vendors, chefs, and farmers will be showcased and sampled. Our first event, this wednesday June 29th, will feature story telling and a $10 buffet meal with proceeds going to the barre food bank. In addition, the next 4 weeks we will be collecting donations for the barre food bank, to assist in aide to families in our area.

For more information, and a calendar of events, please visit our blog at Or contact us directly at (802) 223 8646.

crystal maderia
52 state street
montpelier vt 05602

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

inch by inch

slowly, steadily, and ever so subtly, kismet is getting her feet back on the ground. Of course we have had a lot of work in making that ground dry, firm, and organized! But now, more than even just three days before, things seem to be coming together.

Though not all of our refrigeration has been delivered, and we still have some storage issues, we hope to be re-opening THIS SUNDAY for a bit of brunch and celebration! then regular hours next week for sure!

hope to see you soon!
we miss you all


Saturday, June 11, 2011

bakesale lounge

lookslike we may be able to re-open fully on the 24th of june (nearly a month after the flood)- till then, we have
bakesale lounge today- 9 am till 1 pm. pastries & $5 mimosas--

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

post flood day 13

it feels like forever since kismet was open- but we are slowly making progress-
Today the back parking lot was mostly cleared and hosed down, and we began cleaning the kitchen and preparing the space for the upcoming demolition of the back office. Now that I have decided to renovate the kitchen, rather than repair the walk-in and basement, i can source the proper equipment and design shelving and systems for re-opening. In the meantime, we need to find a new office for kismet, and decide if we will follow through with previously organized plans to re-organize the dining room and install the espresso machine and other equipment we purchased before the flood.

Morale is high, thanks to everyone's support, but the work is not over. Kismet and our family was not the only business impacted by the flood; many businesses and families have suffered great loss, and we look forward to helping montpelier raise money for other businesses and homes. Please continue to support our neighbors, as they too may be struggling.


p.s. thank you netta for helping clean today- you were amazing!

Sunday, June 05, 2011

the i love kismet rally

As many of you know, the last ten days have been one of the most bizarre and intense weeks at kismet. After heavy rains on thursday night (may 26, 2011), kismet's basement was completely flooded. Like most other businesses in town, as well as businesses and homes in our neighboring towns, business as usual came to a halt. After an assessment of our losses, we were able to determine that kismet would need $55,000 to re-open. WOW! what a number! For whatever reason, closing down completely was not an option, as Kismet is the home and lively-hood for my family as well as the that of my 27 employees. With the help of my advisors and investors, I was able to create 3 plans. A B & C. C meant we would close the restaurant. Plan A meant raising the money we needed and creating a timeline for re-opening. As other restaurants and businesses opened up around us over the weekend, it became clear that it would be difficult to keep our morale high enough to stay focused. From the street, everything seemed fine- though behind the building we were still deep in muck, broken equipment, and toxicity. A visit from the health inspector determined that we would not be able to re-open until we figured out adequate storage, fixed up the basement, and repaired or replaced our walk-ins. Yikes.. my employees began to ask about the security of their jobs, and the community began talking about kismet. For the length of last week, i left the kitchen and became the project organizer, fundraiser, damage control center, negotiator, and spokesperson for kismet. With the help of the community, we started the week strong with $25,000 in pledged support and relief aid! As the week went on, I was overwhelmed by the extreme generosity and creativity of my neighbors. Other business owners around us offered all sorts of support including meals for my staff (thank you julios, pinky's, and bagitos), items to raffle or auction (thank you woodbury mountain toys, global gifts, positive pie, magic wheel community bikes, cheshire cat, salaam, lochlin smith, capitol kitchen, & many others), and then there were so so so many who stopped in to write us a check or just offer encouragement. With all of this support coming in, my staff rallied to pull together a last minute bake sale, raffle, and all day fundraiser. Chris P stayed up all night making the i love kismet shirts, and at 7 am we gathered and began our last efforts to try and raise enough money to reach our goal of $55,000.
Yesterday was amazing! seeing all of our vendors and the our community together was a rare treat as I am usually in the kitchen all day- the weather was finally beautiful (we ALL needed that), and spirits were high. At noon we had sold out of most everything at our bake-sale (thank you graeme, nessa, salt, and kate for your yummy goodnesses), and moses was diligently selling raffle tickets. After the fashion show we lit the grill, grilled some burgers, and liquidated our "condemned", but salvageable inventory. Having people close to us, cheering us on, was one of the greatest gifts of this whole year! My employees need the morale, and encouragement, and kismet desperately need the support. At the end of the day, we were able to total our donations, and were amazed to see that we had raised a total of $44,000 this week! wow...

For me, now, is the work of figuring out how to make $44,000 work for our budget. There is still so much to do, and we will need to be closed for at least 10 more days to get new equipment, get our storage space situated (perhaps build a new one completely), and deal with some of the damage that still exists in the basement. I would also like to follow through with previously scheduled plans to complete the dining room and kitchen renovations that began in november. I want to have the staff back this week, with paychecks going to them on schedule, and have things back in order without completely compromising our very delicate budget. I keep remembering that we have done this before, and are capable, we will just have to be creative.

thank you for your intense and incredible support! i look forward to future opportunities to raise money for other businesses and to keep montpelier a healthy and vibrant town.
thank you

Friday, June 03, 2011

love kismet

gifts/items we hope you will love:

urban moonshine gift basket
10 lbs raw local honey
capitol kitchen gift basket
skooter & toys from woodbury mountain
plan starts from cate farm
dress from cheshire cat
photography from heather grey
bicycle from cosmic wheels
2 workshops guided by william rike-jones
jewelry from ginny sassaman and lochlin smith
summer outfit from salaam
a $1400 gift certificate for wedding photography by jordan silverman
original artwoork by several local artists
gift certificates from positive pie
assorted organic wines
organic tequila, gin, rum, mead

-- The last few days have been so intense.. we have raised nearly $35,000 dollars in just three days, and been able to organize and assemble what could be our last fundraising event for the flood relief of kismet. Walking around the streets, people have stopped me to ask how I am doing, or to give me words of encouragement- and I have to say that I have never felt so vulnerable- There have been moments when I have wanted to give up- when the task felt to large-out of control- or unrealistic- and almost suddenly, as if I had been touched on the shoulder by an angel, I was being given some huge gift of support and reminded to keep moving forward. One of the largest gifts of this week, is to focus on doing what i know how to do while asking for guidance for the things i want to do better. My staff has been amazing- though they are all nervous and emotional themselves- as we all contemplate the future of the restaurant.
Honestly, I really cant wait for this part to be over- I have done fundraising before for other causes- and been so excited in the task of helping others reach their goals- it has been a completely different experience fundraising for my own business- especially after all the support we asked for (and received) just a few months ago when we moved kismet to state street. I wish that our situation was different, as I know there are many others who need support right now- and really cant wait to be in the position to raise the funds that others are needing to get their homes and farms in order again. soon-- soon we will be there...
thank you to everyone who has sent money, flowers, kisses and hugs- and thank you to all of you who have wished and prayed for kismet-- just one more day to go-

you can still donate on our secure (& refundable) paypal account. pass this to everyone you know--

on the news!


Thursday, June 02, 2011

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

flood recovery, day 6

Another beautiful day in montpelier- on the outside of the flood, beyond the oil spills and overflowing dumpsters, there are roses blossoming and all sorts of new growth on the trees.
I came to town this morning for a meeting with the small business association for montpelier.
Lots of business owners were there and we talked about communication systems for the city, flood recovery, and particular issues like mold, sump pumps, and sensors for the future. I was able to explain kismet's unique situation, and everyone was very supportive and understanding.

Today's goal:

fully organize a fundraiser for saturday by the end of the day.
raise $5000 today in cash

begin washing wares from the basement (we have hot water!)