Our Mission & History

Love Local. The Skinny Pancake is on a mission to change the world by building a safer, healthier and more delicious food shed while creating everyday enjoyment that is fun and affordable. Please join us.

The first Skinny Pancake was served on Wednesday evening of June 4, 2003. The owners, Jonny and Benjy Adler, had no experience, a cart made of wood scraps from their parents’ kitchen flooring, and a junked sailboat trailer that had been crudely outfitted into a flatbed.

Since then it has been a story of steady growth. 2005 saw the expansion of festival tours throughout New York and New England with our veggie-oil powered school bus ‘Sueno.’ With a deep commitment to serving local foods whenever possible, the Skinny Pancake was welcomed into the Vermont Fresh Network in 2006.

But the migrant lifestyle of the vending cart had its challenges. Specifically: nobody likes to eat in the rain, and we need a kitchen to serve food. So, we looked around to find a commercial kitchen to rent, but then thought, “well, if we’re going to rent a kitchen we might as well have a place for customers to sit…. If we’re going to have a place to sit it might as well be a nice place to sit…. If we’re going to have a nice place to sit we should dedicate it to everything local: local culture, local music, and of course local food & the farmers that provide it.”

Four years after the first creped served, we opened the doors to the first Skinny Pancake down on Burlington’s waterfront at Lake & College in June 2007 with dozens of new crepe dishes for all to enjoy. Countless local (and non-local) musicians have graced the stage while listeners of all ages have packed the house, which is designed so that you can see the musician from every seat.

In June 2009, we swung open the doors to a slightly more “Mini Skinny” in the heart of our little capital, Montpelier. The big windows open up to a patio and the town center. The Chubby Muffin opened in September 2010, along with our full-service catering business ‘Have Your Cake Catering’.

‘The Skinny’ has recently made some exciting progress in 2013 including opening three new locations in the Burlington International Airport (north terminal, south terminal, and Chubby Muffin kiosk) and tripling the size of our flagship Burlington waterfront location featuring a live music stage, full bar, and 100-person outdoor patio seating. In addition, we have expanded patio space at our location in the heart of Montpelier.

We strive to add to the vibrancy and variety of our already-beautiful state and surroundings with unique and local food that is delicious, hearty, and affordable. We hope you come to visit soon!

Here at the Skinny Pancake, we have an unwavering commitment to “the double bottom line”: there is no profit without purpose and no purpose without profit. Since co-owners and brothers Jonny and Benjy Adler served the first crepe during Burlington’s Jazzfest in June 2003, we set out to “walk the walk” rather than just “talk the talk” of the local food movement. We love Vermont and want to share its bounty with friendly service in an authentic and fun atmosphere, but we have something on top of that to prove: you CAN eat local food every day. Restaurants CAN get their food from the farmers and food producers nearby, rather than from giant agribusinesses, sometimes on other continents. Special occasion restaurants do this now, offering a haute-couture farm-to-table experience. We strive to do it at a price that can be adopted into our everyday lives.

To us, eating local isn’t simply including a gourmet VT food product in every crepe, it’s constructing everything we do to be as local and sustainable as possible while still running a healthy business that brings people together to enjoy great food, music, and merriment in our community.

In 2006, still with only the original cart on Church St in Burlington, the Skinny Pancake became the smallest business to join the Vermont Fresh Network. Six years later, we’re committing 1% of our revenue toward non-profit organizations that directly benefit the local foodshed as part of a movement called 1% For the Planet. Today, all of our meats are local. Vermont cheeses and vegetables dominate our menu. Each winter we forecast our food needs and commit to growing contracts with local farmers. Each summer, we buy up local berries and veggies, freezing them to be used during the long winter. As of our annual local food audit last September, we found that 69.8% of our purchases went to local farmers and food producers, the highest of any restaurant of our kind in Vermont.

All along, we remain committed to doing good by doing good business. Good business for us means providing you, your friends, and your family a delicious, fun, local, and original Vermont experience. We love what we do, we are a close group of friends committed to providing you fast and friendly service, and we look forward to serving you!

To learn more about how we help protect the environment, check out our Vermont Green Restaurant Certification.