Home News and Features Rabble-Rouser Suddenly Closes

Rabble-Rouser Suddenly Closes

Image of large glassplate window with
Rabble-Rouser, 64 Main Street, Montpelier. Photo by Carla Occaso.
Rabble-Rouser in Montpelier is closed. If you walk along Main Street, you will see the windows papered up and a sign on the door stating, “Rabble-Rouser is closed. The locks have been changed. For access or more information contact: Stone and Browning Property Management.”

A peek through the cracks of the brown paper on the windows shows the store still has food items on display, plants, and stacks of newspapers on racks inside.

Rabble-Rouser, formerly Nutty Steph’s, moved to its location on the first floor of 64 Main Street in October 2019. The business, led by Jacquelyn Rieke, was founded by Rieke in 2003 at the former Coffee Corner (now the Bohemian Bakery), where she used the kitchen at night to make granola, according to a Seven Days article by Susan Pollack published in September 2019.

The enterprise was forced to close after the flood last year because of immense damage, according to a GoFundMe page published last July to raise money to get Rabble-Rouser back in business. The GoFundMe page also stated, “The entity had also recently undergone changes in workers and was struggling already, this flood has only made the situation worse. With our basement being flooded, so much of our furniture getting destroyed, and chocolate-producing machines being affected, it will take huge amounts to recover and repair the space.” The GoFundMe page author is listed as being Rauli Fernandez. The store reopened in mid-September 2023. 

This sign on the Rabble-Rouser window at 64 Main Street in Montpelier states that the business is closed. Photo by Carla Occaso.
Before relocating to Main Street in Montpelier, Rieke had a chocolate/granola business in Middlesex in the complex where Red Hen Bakery operates. In that location, the store sold chocolate, granola, and drinks on a smaller scale.

Before its sudden closing June 1, the store sold granola, chocolate, beverages, and other items. 

Rabble-Rouser was nominated as a finalist for the best chocolate brand in Vermont, among the likes of Champlain Chocolates, Daily Chocolate, NU Chocolate, and Snowflake Chocolates, according to ballot.sevendaysvt.com. It also offered workshops on various skills, according to its Facebook page.

A call by The Bridge to Stone and Browning Property Management was not returned by Sunday, nor was a call and email to the Rabble-Rouser contact information.