WHO WE ARE
Deborah Snow co-owner
Deborah, a native Ohioan, began her career as a professional photographer highlighted by an exhibition for the United Nations. She shifted careers in the early 80s to food service management, catering directorship and running a small restaurant in Boston. A short stint working for Bread and Circus as prepared food manager, catering at Amherst College and Northfield Mount Hermon followed, culminating with the catering business that would eventually become the Blue Heron.
Barbara White co-owner
Barbara, originally a Jersey gal, has been in the Pioneer Valley for 32 years. She began her career as an elementary school teacher, worked in an alternative school in the 70s for a few years, moved to Massachusetts, had two daughters and ran a few community-based mental health programs for teenagers. After obtaining her masters in counseling psychology from Antioch New England, she became a campus dean at Northfield Mount Hermon School and worked briefly at Greenfield Community College. She eventually returned to NMH to become director of parent programs and began a catering business with Deborah, which led to the Blue Heron.
At the Blue Heron, we subscribe to the belief that you are only as good as the people around you. We have surrounded ourselves with a diverse group of talented individuals whom we are proud to call employees and friends.
Kendra Malone general manager
Justin Mosher executive chef
Shannon Reade catering manager
Dave Derouin catering chef
Patrick Hanas sous chef
ABOUT THE BLUE HERON
Inspired by their lifelong love of food and hospitality, Deborah Snow and Barbara White opened the Blue Heron Restaurant on the banks of the Sawmill River in Montague, Massachusetts in 1997. The Blue Heron quickly rose to prominence as one of the best restaurants in the Pioneer Valley. After a successful six year run, Deborah and Barbara went in search of a new location to accommodate their growing customer base. The vacant Old Town Hall in Sunderland seemed like the perfect spot, and in 2004 the Blue Heron re-opened in its current home.
The Blue Heron is an intimate, relaxed upscale restaurant featuring globally inspired cuisine sourced ethically from our Valley and beyond.
The Blue Heron is fully handicapped accessible.
ABOUT THE BUILDING
The Old Town Hall was built in 1867 to house the Sunderland town offices and grammar school. Over the years, the building has served numerous municipal functions; in fact, we’ve had several couples celebrating anniversaries tell us that they got their marriage license in what is now our kitchen! The first floor and basement were remodeled in the 1940s, but the second floor retains its original construction, including the Great Room’s stunning pressed tin walls and ceilings.
In 2004, Deborah and Barbara compiled a local “dream team” to remodel the deteriorating town hall. Jeremy Toal and Scott Baum of Turtle Island Design (Montague, MA), Laurie Frazier of Cobalt Design Studio (Northampton, MA) and Steve Greenwald of Renaissance Builders (Gill, MA) came together to transform the classic New England building into a well-appointed fine dining restaurant. Visit here for photos of the remodel.
The Blue Heron is committed to maintaining a strong agricultural and economic community. We believe deeply that we must play an active role in the stewardship of our planet.
The abundance of small family farms in the Connecticut River Valley allows us to stay connected to the source of what we eat. Whenever possible, we purchase seasonal, regionally grown products, farmed without the use of antibiotics, hormones or GMOs. Our meats are pasture raised and grass fed without hormones or antibiotics. If we cannot source a menu item locally, we purchase from farms and ranches committed to sustainable farming practices. Visit here for a sampling of the farms we work with.
Best of the Valley 2005-2016
Couples’ Choice Award 2013-2016
Award of Excellence 2006-2016
Certificate of Excellence 2012-2016
Best of New England 2009 & 2010
“Blue Heron. Sunderland, MA,” August 2015
“Cuisine on Wings,” January 2014
“Flying High,” September 2006
“Find of the Week,” May 2013
“Must-Eat Massachusetts,” November 2012
“Recipe for Entertaining,” March/April 2011
Bon Appétit Magazine
“Top Secrets,” September 2006