The warm, homey, heady scent of banana bread was in the air Tuesday afternoon at New England Bakery in Sanford.
Later, at midnight or a little after, the process of making doughnuts was to begin, as it does most nights — doughnuts with intriguing names such as the Warren Buffet, which is a Cherry Coke-flavored donut. Then there is the maple-bacon variety, or peanut butter and pickles, an old fashioned buttermilk and wild Maine blueberry. For elegant occasions, folks might choose strawberry and champagne doughnuts or lemon with lavender icing.
Ben Dube, 23, had been working at a bakery in south Sanford for several months when the opportunity arose for him to buy the business, so New England Bakery was born. The company, he said, supplies an array of commercial accounts in a number of locations with freshly baked loaf breads such as the banana variety, cookies, bars, cinnamon rolls, pies, turnovers and a molasses cookie made from an old, old recipe. And, yes, there are homemade whoopie pies — this is Maine, after all.
Four people work at the bakery, supplying the commercial accounts with homemade baked goods and doughnuts.
The retail side of the business is open Fridays and Saturdays, and on a recent Saturday there was a line out the door, Ben’s wife Allie said.
The couple is always looking for ways to expand, and figured another way to get their product into the hands — and tummies — of Sanford and Springvale residents was to deliver it.
Yes, delivered to your door on weekend mornings.
“You can get pizza and Chinese food delivered, but who delivers in the morning?” Allie Dube pointed out.
So New England Bakery put out the word, and customers have responded. Ben made the doughnuts and then began delivering to households this past Saturday morning.
“Seeing the customers’ face, how happy it makes people,” makes it all worthwhile, Ben said.
“This is a great way to be a part of the community,” Allie said.
She pointed out that a lot of of family and friend gatherings happen around baked goods. People get together for coffee and doughnuts, or tea and cookies and the like.
Ben had been a short order cook for several years before he ventured into business for himself, and at one point he owned a coffee shop in Dover, New Hampshire. These days, he enjoys baking — and creating some 600 flavors of doughnuts.
Folks in Sanford and Springvale interested in delivery must order by 2 p.m. Fridays at 358-6788 for the weekend deliveries.