Kismet Owner Experienced First-Hand the Power of Community to Transform Lives

10 November 2016

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Everyone deserves the opportunity to realize their potential.

This belief is at the core of Capstone’s mission. Never was its significance more relevant than when listening to Crystal Maderia, owner and head chef of Kismet, give the commencement address at Capstone’s Community Kitchen Academy graduation last month.

CKA is a 12-week training program that prepares at-risk individuals for a career in the culinary industry. Fifteen years ago, Crystal could have been one of the 11 students she was now standing in front of. That’s when Crystal first came to Capstone at age 23, a single-mother, pregnant, unemployed, and in need of emergency assistance. Capstone staff helped and worked with her to bring stability to her life.

Three years later Crystal returned to Capstone with a vision to open her own restaurant. As Crystal reflects, Capstone staff, like Margaret Ferguson, “became my mentors and support team,” working with her for months on business planning, financing, and legal issues to help her get her restaurant off the ground. “They listened to me and encouraged me all along the way. It was really empowering.”

In 2006 Crystal’s vision and persistence became reality when she opened Kismet, one of the first full-service farm-to-table restaurants in Vermont. Ten years later it has become a highly distinguished and award winning restaurant where she now employs more than 30 staff.

Crystal’s journey embodies what Capstone is all about. We help stabilize lives through our emergency food, heating, housing and other support services. We then provide the tools and resources to empower many of these same individuals to transform their lives. Often, it’s a long term investment, but it’s critical to creating more sustainable households and communities.

At graduation, Crystal encouraged graduates to pursue their own journey as if they were adding seasoning to a dish. “Don’t pinch; grab it,” she implored. “Be bold.”

At Capstone, in partnership with our community, we aspire to be bold and create lasting and sustainable change because we believe in the promise of human potential.


Our Locations

Washington County

20 Gable Place, Barre, VT 05641
1-800-639-1053 or (802) 479-1053

Lamoille County

250 Industrial Park, Morristown, VT 05661 1-800-639-8710 or
(802) 888-7993

Orange County East

22 Whistle Stop Way, Bradford, VT 05033
(802) 222-5419

Orange County West

PO Box 284, 12 Prince Street, Randolph, VT 05060
1-800-846-9506 or (802) 728-9506

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