Vermont Comedy Club builds a business on local laughs

Burlington Free Press
For years, Natalie Miller and Nathan Hartswick harbored a dream to open a comedy club in Burlington.

“We felt we needed a few things in place for brick-and-mortar to work,” Miller said.

The first thing that needed to be in place, according to her husband and business partner, was a Vermont comedy scene.

“Nobody knew it existed,” Hartswick said.

Before building a comedy club, the couple had to spark that scene. On their wedding day five years ago they opened Spark Arts, a workshop space in the South End of Burlington. The comedians and Northeast Kingdom natives trained students in standup and improv comedy, helping to create not only a new generation of performers but a support group of family and friends ready to turn out for comedy shows.

That laid the figurative foundation for the Vermont Comedy Club, which opened a year ago next week in the old armory on Main Street. Miller said the venue that hosts performances by local, regional and national performers has met their expectations for business success in the first year.

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