Bakery building with banner
Union Cooperative Store Bakery building with Rise Up Bakery banner

Union Cooperative Store Uses a Kickstarter Campaign to “Rise Up”

Angelo Ambrosini and Winston Presett on the steps of the historic Union Cooperative Store Bakery
Angelo Ambrosini and Winston Presett on the steps of the historic Union Cooperative Store Bakery. As boys, they used to help out at the bakery in the late 1930s when it was operated by Gioseppi (Joseph) Piccolini.

With your help, the Union Cooperative Store Bakery will be coming back to life.

In the first decades of the 20th century, the Socialist Labor Party Hall was the location of a fine Italian bakery, located first in the basement of the Hall and later in a purpose-built building just behind the Hall. The building ceased to be used as a bakery in 1939 and was sold to be used for storage by various granite companies. In 2004, the building was acquired by the Barre Historical Society and the property was rejoined to the rest of the National Historic Landmark.

The Rise Up Bakery

At last, the Union Cooperative Store Bakery building is about to be restored as a bakery. The new project is called “Rise Up Bakery”. Under the leadership of Carolyn Shapiro, the Barre Historical Society has started a Kickstarter capital campaign to raise the funds for phase 1 of the project—the stabilization of the building—with the intention of establishing an educational bakery right in the heart of downtown Barre.  The project was the subject of a front page article in the Times Argus.

What is a Kickstarter Campaign?

Kickstarter is an online “crowdfunding” source of investment funds for all kinds of projects. Project creators set a funding goal and deadline. If people like a project, they can pledge money to make it happen. Funding on Kickstarter is all-or-nothing. — a project must reach its funding goal to receive any money at all.  The goal for Rise Up Bakery is very aggressive. With your help, we aim to raise $25,000 by May 17, 2015, at 10:43 pm EDT. Yes, it is that precise.  We need your help. If we do not reach the entire $25,000 in pledges, by that deadline, we will get nothing—zero.

More About the Project and the Kickstarter Campaign?

The campaign is being run on a shoestring by local folks for the benefit of local folks. Even this video that tells all about the project was made by a local 13 year-old boy (you can catch a glimpse of him in the video, just like Alfred Hitchcock). Just click on the play button below:


More about the Bakery:

  • Bakery Open—Fresh Bread for You at Last!

    Jim Haas, resident baker in the restored BakeryUPDATE: The Bakery Window has extended its hours it is now open on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 12:30 to 6:00 pm
    How can bread be both fresh and historic? If you buy it directly from the "Rise Up Bakery" window at the historic Union Cooperative Store bakery building—now restored as a modern wood fired bakery.

    You can now purchase bread right from the wood fired oven.

  • Learned Bakers — Jules & Helen Rabin at the Bakery

    Helen & Jules Rabin and their bread

    Sunday, August 11, 2019 1:00 to 4:00 pm 
    Rise Up Bakery, 48 Granite St, Barre, VT    

    Legendary bakers, Jules and Helen Rabin will be treating friends of the Bakery to the story of their nearly 50 year love affair with wood-fired bread baking.

    Jules will give the history and Helen will demonstrate how its done. Smell the bread baking and eat it when its done.

    Seating is limited and reservations are required. Please do not come unless you have a confirmed registration. The event is currently booked up. If you would like to be put on a waiting list, please email

    Admission is by donation for the benefit of the Bakery (suggested donation of $15-$20, low income or student $10).

  • Rise Up Bakery gets its own Baker—Jim Haas

    Jim HaasThe Barre Historical Society has had the good fortune to find an artisan baker with long and unique experience running a wood fired bakery. This month (July 2019), Jim Haas will become the first baker since Joe Piccolini closed the Bakery in the early 1940s.

  • Inaugural Baking Workshop: Foccacia with Randy George

    Randy George and focaccia

    Sunday, July 7, 2019 1:00 to 5:00 pm 
    Rise Up Bakery, 48 Granite St, Barre, VT

    The historic Union Cooperative Store bakery building, lovingly restored as the Rise Up Bakery, is hosting its inaugural baking workshop. This is your opportunity to learn to bake the classic Italian focaccia in a genuine wood-fired oven.

    The workshop will be led by Randy George, founder of central Vermont's Red Hen Bakery.

    The cost for the workshop is $75 per person and only 12 spaces are available.

  • Union Cooperative Store Bakery Building Reopening as “Rise Up Bakery”

    Carolyn Shapiro stoking the wood-fired oven in the BakerySaturday, December 15, 2018 from 4:00 to 9:00 pm

    The Barre Historical Society announces the grand reopening of the Bakery building, exactly 105 years to the day from its first opening.
    The restored Bakery building is now ready to bake. The sewer has been connected and the heating and electricity, and all the other amenities have now been installed to complement the wood-fired oven. The Bakery is already to make the baked goods from start to finish—all right on the premises. Let the festivities begin!

    For schedule . . .

  • The Bakery rises up!

    Bakery building before and after restoration 2017The first phase of the restoration of the Union Cooperative Store bakery building is nearing completion. If all goes well,…

  • Here’s to the Bakery! Fundraiser by the Three Penny Taproom

    Poster picture showing 2 beer mugsWhat do great beer, fine food, and the Barre Historical Society have in common?  All three are helping restore the Union Cooperative Store bakery building, built by union labor in 1913, and now part of the Socialist Labor Party Hall National Historic Landmark.

    Eat and/or drink at Three Penny Taproom in downtown Montpelier (108 Main St). Five percent of all day's sales will be donated to restore the Barre Historical Society’s Rise Up Bakery.

  • Wood-fired oven is coming to the Bakery!

    Perspective drawing of ovenCan you smell the bread baking? Not quite yet, but we are getting closer. In the first two weeks of…

  • Bakery restoration update 2017: the future looks bright

    Updated BakeryThe restoration of the historic Union Cooperative Store bakery building is moving ahead at warp speed. Here is an update on the most recent grants and news about future plans, community support offers, and still unmet needs.

  • Dine and Dance to Raise the Dough!

    Logo for Make the Dough Rise fundraiser showing silhouette of pizza makers and swing dancersSaturday, November 19 at 6:00 pm 

    Eat great food and swing out at the 2016 Dine and Dance to raise the dough for the restoration of the Union Cooperative Store bakery building as a wood-fired bakery educational center—the Rise Up Bakery.
    Food by Woodbelly Pizza. Music by Green Mountain Swing.

  • Bricks & Mortar—a historic headache

    Carpenters looking a cracks in brickwork in the interior of the bakeryMaintenance of historic structures is a good thing, but sometimes good intentions work against preservation.

    Both the Old Labor Hall and the Union Cooperative Store bakery building have brick exteriors. In the case of the Hall, the brick on the outside of the building is just a cladding on a wood frame structure. The Bakery brick walls are actually structural, supporting the roof. Despite their different uses, the brick exteriors present similar challenges.

  • They forgot the ice cream! Ben and Jerry’s Community Action Team Helps Out

    Ben and Jerry's Community Action Team behind the BakeryBen and Jerry's Foundation Community Action Team make a grant to the Rise Up Bakery and send volunteers to help with the work.

  • Bakery Kickstarter Success!

    Carolyn Shapiro celebratingThe Union Cooperative Store bakery building Rise Up Bakery Kickstarter campaign successfully met its goal. What's next?

  • The Bakery from the Beginning to 2004

    Union Cooperative Bakery BuildingHistory of the Union Cooperative Bakery building, constructed in 1913 as an extension to the cooperative store located in the basement of the Socialist Labor Party Hall. It provided Italian and French baked goods to the community of italian granite workers in the area in the first decades of the twentieth century.