DAMARISCOTTA—Faced with the food limitations necessary for their own family, a baker and her husband have decided to open a completely gluten-free bakery and cafe at 77 Main Street in downtown in mid-January named Butter Up Cakes.
Candice and Patrick Brady have three children.
“Two of our children have celiac disease, are lactose intolerant and can’t have high fructose corn syrup, and my husband is the same way,” said Candice. “So, I make all of their food from scratch, anyway. We decided to open the business so other people with celiac disease could have options, too.”
Originally from Michigan, the Bradys originally started their bakery in Bangor. But, as they found out, it wasn’t the best location, so they decided to relocate to Damariscotta where Patrick took a job with a local construction company.
Set to open January 16, the Bradys have expanded their original store concept from more than just a bakery. The new cafe will offer all kinds of gluten-free options such as homemade muffins, bagels, donuts, quiche, and breakfast sandwiches. For lunch and dinner, they’ll offer gluten-free soups, chilis, chowders, pasta, salads, and pierogies.
“Everything that comes out of that kitchen I make myself,” she said. “There is nothing processed, frozen, or packaged. I get to the cafe at 6 p.m. to start work, I go home at 6 p.m. at the end of the day and I wake up at midnight to start baking,” she said.
“When someone comes into our cafe, I want people to have as many options as they would at another restaurant; I want them to experience what it’s like to have regular food and feel safe eating it,” said Candice. “Coming from Michigan, I realized a lot of Mainers aren’t used to certain foods. For example, we make pierogies as my husband is Polish. These are basically Polish dumplings. I’ve had Mainers [from our last establishment] come in and ask about them; they’re really intrigued by them.”
Added to the mix, Butter Up Cakes will be the only restaurant in Damariscotta —and the Midcoast for that matter—offering gluten-free beer and hard ciders, which are naturally gluten-free.
“There is no Maine-made gluten-free beer, unfortunately, so we will be sourcing elsewhere, such as the Glutenberg beer from Canada,” said Candice. “With the hard ciders, we’ll be offering Maine-made ciders from the bigger cideries such as Ricker Hill and Kennebec Cider Company, but we’ve also found a couple of smaller cideries that we really want to use, so we’re working on getting those in as well.”
The cafe plans to offer limited in-house dining with respect to COVID-19 precautions, with tables spaced six feet apart. “When things change, we’ll be able to open to full capacity,” she said.
Candice said she expects a gluten-free clientele from all over the state will have an interest in the new location, given their experiences from their last location.
“When we were still in Bangor, we had people come from Presque Isle, from Canada, from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont,” she said. “With everything closing down due to COVID, I think the gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan communities needed to know that there is something here for them, sort of a light at the end of the tunnel.”
Butter Up Cakes also ships their items nationally, as well.
Learn more about Butter Up Cakes from their Facebook page.
Kay Stephens can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org