CAMDEN — Sometimes you need to get away to reinvent your life. That’s what one woman did after moving from Islesboro to Camden last year. Megan Murphy, a baker, decided to turn her rickety 1940s one-car garage on Limerock Street into a little bakery.
“When I got over here, I needed to work out what I really loved to do with what would work in Camden,” she said. “The reality of rent downtown versus what I could commit to as a single mom wasn’t feasible, so this made the most amount of sense.”
Murphy is the mother of four children, three of whom are adults, and her youngest is 7-year-old Rosalie Joy, the namesake of her bakery. She’d been baking for more than 15 years, working for small bakeries in Portsmouth, N.H., as well as on Islesboro and Chebeague islands. Trying to work regular baker’s hours without childcare wasn’t an option, so she took one look at the paint-flecked interior with the electric garage door and decided it needed to be transformed. Within two weeks, she’d found French doors at the ReStore in Rockport, and a $50 jewelry case at a thrift store. She turned that into a baker’s case. After some painting and refinishing, the whitewashed shabby chic garage emerged as Rosalie’s Joy Bakery last month.
However, as a micro-business in a zoned neighborhood, the hours need to remain limited. She’s only open one day a week —every Saturday morning starting at 8:30 am until to around 2 p.m.
“This is a mixed commercial neighborhood and if I were to be open more than one day a week, I’d have to get approval from my neighbors,” she said. “But as most of my customers are my neighbors, that might not be so hard.”
But right now, one day works out perfectly as she’s not ready to commit to more than that this summer.
Working out of her state inspected and licensed home kitchen to do special order baking, Murphy will be pulling all-nighters every Friday into early Saturday morning.
“My whole motto has always been fresh, fresh, fresh,” she said. “I do all my baking the night before and just push through all night. At 8:30 a.m., I’ll open the doors to the garage. But it’s worth it; because everything I put out there will be as good as I personally know how to make it. I know what it’s like to be spending the calories on a cinnamon roll. And if it’s sub par, it’s not worth it.”
On Saturdays, Rosalie’s Joy will primarily offer breakfast items and desserts.
“On the top row of the top rack of the baker’s case you’re likely to find cinnamon rolls, blueberry lemon cinnamon rolls with lemon curd baked in and pecan honey sticky buns,” she said. “We’ll have bacon cheddar scallion scones and fruit scones. On the counter, we’ll have a sour cream coffee cake, which you can buy by the slice.”
But what’s coffee cake without coffee? Murphy has paired with local coffee purveyors Coffee On The Porch, and you will find a fresh carafe on a side console in the morning.
She will also offer custom layer cakes, cookies, brownies and bars, which Rosalie Joy helps her mother with. “Not only does she help me in the kitchen, she’s a great box builder for cakes,” Murphy said.
Look for the white Cape with the pink door at 36 Limerock St. in Camden.
Kay Stephens can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org