Wine and cheese are a pairing as classic as any, and one we wholeheartedly love. That’s why we were super excited to chat with Kayla the owner of Salt & Bubbles Wine Market and Bar. Located in the Essex Experience in Essex Junction, Vermont, Salt & Bubbles has quickly become a local hotspot. In addition to their wine bar (which can be rented for small private events) the team offers catering for off-site events. Kayla’s knowledge of wine is rich, and her personality as bubbly as libations she pours! 

Read on to learn more about Kayla and Salt & Bubbles! 

How did you get into wine?

I was working for Marc Provencher who opened Taverna Khione in Shelburne, VT. He focused on showcasing unique and different wines all from Greece to go along with all the authentic Greek food he was bringing to the Vermont food scene. Part of the job training included learning about the Greek “places of origin” or what I now regularly refer to as appellations, a term I use more frequently than I’d ever thought possible back then. I got the chance to taste, learn, and get the hang of the wine world. 

I started reading about wine more and wound up at Honey Road where not only was the wine program fabulous, but the education was really top notch. Learning from experts not just on these regions but how to talk about wine, sell it, and enjoy it was fascinating to me. As I continued to work at Honey Road with mentors like Allison Gibson and Dana Parseliti I found a path for myself, and knowing how I best learn, I needed a goal – Certified Somm. The rest is history and many many many empty bottles and scribbles in notebooks. 

Do you have a favorite wine?

I can’t pick a favorite wine, but I’ll share one that stands out and embodies a fun wine concept of “terroir” (fancy to say, nostalgic to taste and smell, and an all around romantic concept). The bottle is COS Cerasuolo di Vittoria, a blend of Nero d’Avola and Frappato from Southern Sicily made by some legends of natural wine and winemaking in general in Sicily. I remember drinking this bottle and feeling transported to another place, a moment in time, tasting specific notes of earth, fruit, sun, and having a lightbulb moment enjoying sipping on this delicious treat. It’s still a favorite bottle for me and COS is still a favorite producer. That being said, I love a lot of different wines from all over the world!

What inspires your work?

People inspire all of this. Wine is wonderful and romantic, but to me it’s really a vessel or a bridge to connecting with others. It’s a moment in time to maybe relax with your friend or partner, to learn something new or discover even the smallest thing about yourself (i.e. your palate and what you enjoy). While serving guests at Salt & Bubbles, I love sharing new knowledge and information in small bites that feel accessible and watching first time guests become regulars. 

I love seeing Salt & Bubbles actually be the place I envisioned it to be – a place for people to come and celebrate being together, celebrate each other, to reconnect, to be joyful, or just to be content and happy in these small moments. Each day friends get together with old friends, or partners get a few moments of peace from their rambunctious kids, or get to know our regulars enough to know their kids names, ask how their new job is. It all matters and especially learning how much we all really need each other and need connection. I’m not just happy but feel compelled to continue to provide that safe and joyous place for community to be built and sustained. 

How would you describe Salt & Bubbles as a venue for intimate events? 

A small, cozy, bright space for your group to gather, taste, enjoy, and indulge. We can curate a more specific menu to your needs but are focused on a cheese, charcuterie, and other small tapas style items that pair well with wine. We offer flights or tastings, bottles (especially of bubbles) and would love to host your next event.  

What’s your favorite moment during a wedding?

Every wedding has one, or hopefully many, but the first moment of full blown joy and laughter gets me. For me, it was when everyone began to dance. My wedding was a traditional Jewish wedding in a few ways, one of which was the horah dancing that immediately ensued after my husband and I came back from the altar. Everyone, young and old, began to dance, and while I can’t say I loved being lifted in a chair, I did love seeing everyone together joined in this one moment of smiles, happiness, especially after being so far away from one another. 

What’s your favorite thing to do in VT? / Local spot to visit? Etc.

I love riding my horse or walking my dogs anywhere in Vermont. Two favorite spots are Charlotte Park and Wildlife Refuge and Mills Riverside Park in Jericho, VT.

What’s a fun fact about yourself? 

I love animals and I have 2 rescue dogs, 1 rescue cat, 1 rescue horse! I love them all and they are how I both stay sane and sometimes go insane. 

What’s a song that always gets you on the dance floor?

Anything Cher!


Thank you, Kayla! Learn more about Salt & Bubbles in the vendor guide. 

The 2022 Vermont Weddings Gift Guide

It’s here: the ultimate collection of Vermont-made gifts perfect for any Vermont wedding occasion or Vermont lover. We’ve curated over 100 gift ideas for everyone on your list. And, every single gift supports a local VT business. 

On a more personal note, this guide has been a huge labor of love. We logged countless hours compiling this list, and we’re so happy that launch day is finally here! It’s been such a fun experience to connect with well known brands and discover new businesses. One thing is clear: Vermont is full of talent. We’ve already gifted things from the guide (and bought a few for ourselves…) and we’re confident the guide will help you do the same. 

We’re also really proud this resource supports the Vermont Foodbank (keep reading for details on that – and how you can help). The 2022 Vermont Weddings Gift Guide gives back to our local community in more ways than one, and we’re so excited for you to check it out.

What’s included in the Vermont Weddings Gift Guide?

Over 100 gift ideas – all from local, Vermont businesses. The guide is organized by business, with a little background info and our curated picks for recipients, such as couples, bridesmaids/groomsmen, parents, favors, etc. Many of the featured businesses identify with at least one of the following: women-owned; minority owned; eco-conscious; certified-organic; family-owned. 

Plus, we included a few yummy cocktail recipes and tips for creating Vermont welcome baskets and writing the perfect thank you note.

What makes the Vermont Weddings Gift Guide unique?

We’ve never seen another gift guide quite like this one! 

For one: everyone featured is a Vermont business, so it’s truly a celebration of our state. 

We also handpicked gifts for any wedding gift-giving coming your way. You’ll find suggestions for couples getting married, bridesmaid gift ideas, groomsmen gift ideas, gift ideas for parents of the couple, and unique wedding favor ideas. Of course, you can mix and match these ideas to best fit your crew, but these selections will help get you started. 

There are a variety of styles and price points represented. 

The Gift Guides that give back to the Vermont Foodbank

In keeping with the theme of supporting our local community, we donated part of each featured artist’s registration fee to the Vermont Foodbank. We raised $1,300, which translates to 2,165 meals for neighbors in need.

Here’s my ask of you: The 2022 Wedding Gift Guide below is free, but we created two amazing supplemental gift guides that you can download for a small cost to take your gifting to the next level (read more about them below). 

If you enjoy The 2022 Vermont Weddings Gift Guide and are about to make a financial donation, please consider buying the supplemental gift guide bundle! I’m sure you will find even more great ideas AND you’ll be helping us donate even more meals to neighbors in need (part of each Bundle purchase goes to the Foodbank).

How to shop the Vermont Weddings Gift Guide

Click the open bracket button in the bottom right corner of the preview below and the Gift Guide will appear as a full-screen, interactive guide. To get the full viewing experience, I recommend viewing this on a desktop rather than a phone. Then, you can flip through the pages like a catalog. Everything is interactive, so just click on a gift to shop. (Please note that Vermont Weddings cannot guarantee inventory or availability; contact each maker directly if you have questions.) 

If you’re using this guide to build your own Vermont registry, we recommend using a site like Zola, so you can add gifts from any local business. 

Don’t forget to download the free gift tracker to keep track of all those sweet gifts!

Why does shopping local matter?

Have you seen the meme about when you buy from a small business owner, an actual person does a happy dance? That’s actually true! When you buy from a local business, your neighbors (the people behind that business) benefit! Small businesses make up a large, important part of the Vermont economy and choosing to buy from them is a tangible way you can help our community.

Isn’t shopping local or buying from small businesses more expensive?

This is a common misconception and one we’re excited to tackle. Yes, some of the gifts included in the gift guide are splurge-worthy gifts, because they are handcrafted or one-of-a-kind. But buying local isn’t always more expensive, especially when you consider the quality. And – there’s the double bonus of the real impact supporting a small business. We included a range of price points in the guide to fit most budgets.

Want Event More Gift Ideas?!

We’ve got you covered! We created two supplemental gift guides that build upon the Vermont Weddings Gift Guide (with some new wedding gift ideas and pricing information included!). 

The Gift Guide Pairing Menu

This is perfect if you liked the gifts from the guide, want want help putting it all together. We’re giving you several bundle ideas and our best tips for creating your own unique gift bundles that will delight your friends and family. Click here to buy.

Gift Ideas for the First Five Years

Consider us your gifting fairy godmother! We’re giving you three traditional anniversary gift ideas for years 1 – 5, and ideas for other events such as baby showers and housewarmings. Basically, we got your first five years of marriage covered – no stressing about gift ideas here! Click here to buy.

Bundle the Pairing Menu and Gift Ideas for the First Five Years together and save 20%. Plus $2 of every bundle goes directly to the Vermont Foodbank. (You can create a bundle from either link above.)

Love for the 2022 Vermont Weddings Gift Guides 

We gave early access to some Instagram followers and asked for their feedback. Here’s what they had to say:

“This truly is a gift masterpiece – WOW! I honestly wish I had this while planning my wedding, but I’m stoked to have it for future events. As a fellow Vermonter, it’s amazing to see all the talent from our state.” – Brooke, Vermont bride

“This introduced me to so many Vermont makers that I didn’t know I needed in my life.”  – Jill, Vermont bride

“Not only did I learn about some new brands, but it also reminded me of some really great Vermont brands that I’ve seen in passing…now I know of some people I could gift them to, based on your suggestions.” – Liz, Vermont Bride and Wedding Professional 

“I already have three things in my shopping cart – this makes it so easy to shop small and help out small businesses who deserve it!” – Crystal, Vermont bride

alternative wedding registry ideas

Vermont Businesses Listed in Our Gift Guide

Here’s an alphabetical index of who you’ll find featured inside the guide:

802 Dinner Party – 33
A Clover and One Bee – 42
AO Glass – 37
As Little Cooking As Possible – 13
Belle Savon Vermont – 40
Blake Hill Preserves – 35
Botanical Tribe Apothecary – 9
Caledonia Spirits – 25
Catinko Creations – 19
Cards by Cato -12
Carrier Roasting Coffee -32
Ceci Leibovitz Jewelry – 6
Cedar Creek Crafts – 15
Cheese & Wine Traders – 32
Courtney Reckord – 4
Crazy Cotton Candy Lady – 41
Daily Chocolate – 30
Earth & Salt Shop – 7
Elmore Mountain Therapeutics – 7
Erin Elyse Designs – 18
Farmer’s Body – 8
Farmhouse Flowers – 42
Fire.Fire. – 41
Found & Feral – 4
Yes Miss Bridal Jewelry by Gosia Meyer – 5
Hope Sharp – 21
JK Adams – 38
Kestrel Coffee Company – 35
Lake Champlain Chocolates – 31
Lawson’s Finest Liquids – 28
Linds Loves Ink – 14
Mad River Distillers – 25
Maquam Winery – 28
MarMadeThat – 17
Mint Print Studios – 14
Morado Designs – 23
Nomadic Kitchen – 30
PajamaGram Company – 23
Runamok Maple – 34
Salt & Bubbles – 29
Sam Macy Designs – 21
Shelburne Gift Company – 10
SILO Distillery – 24
Snug Bug Shop – 20
Special Occasions by Sarah – 16
Stonecutter Spirits – 24
Tanglewood Floral Preservation – 43
Tiny Girl Gang Cards – 18
Vermont Bowl Company – 39
Vermont Maker’s Market – 19
Vermont Rocks – 22
Vermont’s Own Gift Shop – 39
VT Charcuterie – 36
Willough Designs – 12

We hope you enjoy the 2022 Wedding Gift Guide! It was such a fun project, and we’re confident it will help you with your gifting needs.

Did you enjoy the guide or buy something from it? Tag us on Instagram so we can see and celebrate!