August First Bakery

August First is a locally-owned Bakery/Café in downtown Burlington, Vermont.

We’re completely dedicated to having fun, creating delicious food, and making you feel warm and welcomed and nurtured when you’re here.  We create natural, healthy food from scratch every day right here in our kitchen.

Our space is a big renovated garage in downtown Burlington, where it’s bright and warm in the winter, and breezy and open in the summer.  We have lots of outdoor seating, on our sidewalk, in the green belt, and in our patio area.

Our style is fast-casual, which means  you order at the counter and then we call  your name when it’s ready.

Our Values…

We believe in giving back to our community, and have donated over $90,000 to local non-profits in cash, gift cards, and food.

Black Lives Matter.

We donate 1% of our sales to local groups that support equality, justice, liberation and opportunity for BIPOC community members.

Recipients include:

Black Lives Matter of Greater Burlington (June)

The SUSU Healing Collective (July)

AALV / New Farms for New Americans (August)

The Name…

The name August First is from a poem by the late Vermont poet, Hayden Carruth. It’s a gentle tale of a simple, warm summer evening, filled with memories of love from long ago, appreciation of strong-willed flowers, and the determination of moths at night.

August First is also Lammas Day, a special celebration of the wheat harvest, and a beautiful gathering of community members to share food, joy, and togetherness.

The poem that started it all.

In honor of Hayden, who passed away in 2008, and his former wife Rose Marie, who visited us at the bakery and told us how she remembered the night the poem was written, we keep geraniums in our windows.

August First

Late night on the porch, thinking
of old poems. Another day’s
work, another evening’s,
done. A large moth, probably
Catocala, batters the screen,
but lazily, its strength spent,
its wings tattered. It perches
trembling on the sill. The sky
is hot dark summer, neither
moon nor stars, air unstirring,
darkness complete; and the brook
sounds low, a discourse fumbling
among obstinate stones. I
remember a poem I wrote
years ago when my wife and
I had been married twenty-
two days, an exuberant
poem of love, death, the white
snow, personal purity. now
I look without seeing at
a geranium on the sill;
and, still full of day and evening,
of what to do for money,
I wonder what became of
purity. The world is a
complex fatigue. The moth tries
once more, wavering desperately
up the screen, beating, insane,
behind the geranium. It is an
immense geranium,
the biggest I’ve ever seen,
with a stem like a small tree
branching, so that the two thick arms
rise against the blackness of
this summer sky, and hold up
ten blossom clusters, bright bursts
of color. What is it — coral,
mallow? Isn’t there a color
called “geranium”? No matter.
They are clusters of richness
held against the night in quiet
exultation, five on each branch,
upraised. I bought it myself
and gave it to my young wife
years ago, in a plastic cup
with a 19cent seedling
from the supermarket, now
so thick, leathery-stemmed,
and bountiful with blossom.
The moth rests again, clinging.
The brook talks. The night listens.

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