A Little History......


It’s Arthur’s Fault!
Many of you have asked how we selected the name “It’s Arthur’s Fault!”. For many years, Arthur made all sorts of treats for the family’s holiday gift baskets and while they were always quite effusive in their praise, they blamed him for their weight gain. In the mid-90s, he created what is now our product label as a joke for the family gifts. The self-portrait and label were so well received that we held onto the concept.

In 2000, we launched “It’s Arthur’s Fault!”, a home based specialty food business, cooking school and catering business. We have had a wonderful response to our recipes and Arthur’s love of food and life. Our products have been featured in both the Wine Spectator and the New York Times and our classes brought articles in local newspapers and magazines.

All the products have natural, gluten-free ingredients with a focus on local wherever possible. Arthur loves to include ginger, New Mexican red chilies and other strong flavor components. For items like the ginger, lemons, blood oranges and other vegetable or fruit components, we receive them when in season and prep by hand for use in our products. As an example, our Blood Orange Vinaigrette, which uses California blood oranges, has a limited season because we make what we are able to process while in season. Our most commonly used local products come from Cabot Creamery, Monument Dairy, Shelburne Orchard,Uncommon Grounds Coffee Roasters and Walker Organic Maple Syrup.

 

 

Arthur’s story.............
I have been a cook since Boy Scouts when I discovered that the only way to get food I’d really enjoy was to offer to plan the meals and do most of the cooking. Over the years, I then realized that preparing food for people I loved was a wonderful gift (and I courted my wife, Laurel, with Peach Crepes Flambe over 34 years ago).

Over the 50 years that I have been cooking, I have have had several entrepreneurial ventures. I’ve also been a stay-at-home dad while my wife traveled for her career. My many ventures include luggage design and construction, prepared meals sold to individuals and restaurants and other ventures…

We have played a role in the development of several local Farmers Markets, Food Festivals and other educational opportunities. Through the Farmers Markets, we have come to know many of our local producers and will often rely on their products for our samples, inspiration and for catering events. These producers are not large enough to meet our needs for items like garlic and onions that are grown here in Vermont but we work very hard to support their recognition.

As parents, my wife and I both believed that family meals were well worth the effort for keeping the family healthy on many levels. We continue to have at least one night per week with our adult daughters as a time to come together and enjoy food and company. While I am not a new follower of the Slow Food movement, I have always been a chef who takes the time to prepare all ingredients; whether butchering my own steaks from a whole sirloin or incorporating lemon zest and fresh lemon juice into my sauces.

Beyond learning about foods of the world, I have had to learn about special dietary needs. Both my wife and youngest daughter are gluten intolerant and with a family history of celiac disease, we take this very seriously. My menus have expanded to support their food needs while also properly managing the carbohydrate levels since my wife and I both struggle with diabetes. These challenges are easily met with proper education so I have begun to also offer training in cooking for these two specialized diets.

In the last several years, Laurel and I have had great enjoyment from the cooking classes and the opportunity to spend a full day in the kitchen sharing our love of food. My personal excitement is in perpetually learning about new foods, new producers in our areas and new techniques.

Our daughters, Marikje and Annalise, have grown up helping in the kitchen and with all of our crazy ventures and adventures. Marikje is an extremely talented artist with her degree in Studio Arts from Pratt and Concordia University. She helps with our marketing and new product development as well as many late nights packaging product for web order shipments.

Annalise is a vocalist pursuing her degree in vocal performance. She currently works as a vocal coach while in school. Her singing includes taking part in the Bella Voce Vermont women’s choir and with a newly formed jazz trio. Her skills in teaching developed over many years of helping with cooking classes, catering events and new employee training.

Laurel has been a consultant in Health Care accounting and information systems for over 20 years while encouraging me to launch this business. In the last year she has been more directly involved with our business and taking time off from traveling 45 to 50 weeks a year. Professionally her reputation is not only for her ability to work with her clients for their financial success but by her co-workers as the source of the best restaurants in any city where she has worked.

Thank you for your consideration and for your efforts on behalf of those of us who love food and the role well prepared food plays in our health.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mt. Mansfield Photo by Arthur Shelmandine
Art Director Marikje Shelmandine
Product Photos by Peter Wolf
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