Gosselin’s has a new owner, but Bangor-area residents can rest assured the longtime bakery’s doughnuts are not going anywhere.
Christopher Worden, who opened Fat Panda Boba Tea & Market in late 2021, took over as the bakery’s new owner Sept. 1. He bought it from previous owners Yvette and Bruce Stewart, who decided to retire after years of running the business, Worden said.
Yvette Stewart’s grandparents opened the bakery in 1945, she told the Bangor Daily News in 2014. Her parents took over in 1970, then later she ran it with her husband and two brothers. In 2014, Gosselin’s 2 opened in Brewer.
New ownership of the well-known Bangor business has brought questions from patrons about whether the highly sought-after doughnuts will remain affordable and delicious, Worden said. While Gosselin’s at 334 Harlow St. will see renovations starting in October along with expanded hours and offerings, everything else customers love will remain, he said.
“People love doughnuts,” he said. “We don’t sell anything controversial. This is a local business that has quietly made people happy for 78 years.”
Worden, a Brewer native, left Maine for college and later worked as an investment banker in New York and China. He moved back to the United States in December 2019 and had a child, Siobhan, in May 2020.
Worden’s financial background is partially what drew him to the business, particularly its wholesale side, which is booming, he said. Bob, the lead baker at Gosselin’s for nearly 30 years, whips up 3,000-6,000 doughnuts a day, six days a week, which are then delivered to clients. Most of this work happens between 6 p.m. and 1 a.m.
The bakery has more than 100 wholesale accounts, and some order as many as four dozen doughnuts five days a week, Worden said. Clients include Tozier’s, Tradewinds and Northern Light Health.
He intends to grow this part of the business as well as expand hours and offerings at the bakery, which will happen gradually as he hires more employees. Starting next week, Gosselin’s will be open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., which is two hours longer than usual.
By January 2024, patrons can expect the bakery to be open even longer. It will introduce bagels and more pastries made in-house, plus coffee from three different roasting companies — Carrabassett Coffee Company and Farm House Coffee Roasters in Maine and Stumptown Coffee Roasters in Portland, Oregon.
Worden did not take over the Brewer location, which will no longer be part of the business, he said.
The biggest change to Gosselin’s will be cosmetic. Real estate company Epstein Commercial, which owns the building, is bringing the space up to code, including a new HVAC system, ceiling, LED lights, revamped electric and plumbing and resurfacing the floor, Worden said.
He has ordered new kitchen equipment to replace old pieces like a mixer from the 1970s, he said. Bakers will soon have a new fryer, refrigeration, baking cases and other essentials. Credit and debit cards are also now accepted for payment, whereas customers could only pay with cash before.
When all the improvements are complete, it will be a “six-figure investment,” he said. After years of neglect, the bakery will become a clean, comfortable space for customers to sit down and enjoy a sweet treat and cup of coffee, he said.
When Worden was a child growing up in Brewer, he lived in the same neighborhood as the Stewarts. He looked after their cat when they were away, and he delivered Bangor Daily News papers to them as a middle-schooler, he said.
He had not seen the couple for many years while living abroad, but more recently, “I kept hounding them to talk to me first if they were going to retire,” he said. The changing of hands has been unfolding for 11 months.
“I want this to stay in my family for another 80 years,” he said.
Correction: A previous version of this story contained incorrect information about Christopher Worden’s family.