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Brother Victor-Antoine’s gifts are such that he could easily have a cooking show and be a commercial success. But his humble devotion to his vows means that he only makes enough to live, and no more. The rule of Saint Benedict, by which Brother Victor-Antoine lives, dictates that he charge only as much as the cost of the materials, plus a small amount more to keep the monastery running. “We don’t charge for the time. It’s very time-consuming to make it this way.”
The monastery has regular tables at the Arlington and Millbrook farmers’ markets, and several retailers in the area carry the vinegars, though with a significant markup, and Brother Victor-Antoine hopes to find more retail outlets for his products. For the last few years, he has been the sole monk at the monastery, doing almost everything himself. He does get interns from Vassar every year, who help with office and gardening work, and Ms. Shershin is there weekly, but the effort is principally his own. “We must live from the work of our hands,” he says, though he acknowledges that his profit-free way of doing business is anachronistic in our aggressively capitalist society. But that’s the whole point; the vinegar is both a means and an end. Res ipsa loquitor.
Appointments can be made to buy vinegar and other products from Our Lady of the Resurrection Monastery by writing to Brother Victor-Antoine at the address below.