The small straw bale building in the parking lot of the Fall River Pub and Grill at Hwy. 7 and the Elphin-Maberly Road is back in business. In past summers a coffee shop has been open at that location, and now it is the home of the new Maberly Bakery.
Bonnie and Ross Palmer recently purchased the former Maberly United Church and were planning to build bake shop on their property over the next year or two.
“But when the opportunity to lease the coffee shop came up we changed our plans,” Bonnie said early this week when interviewed at the shop.
While the shop is small Bonnie is baking bread, cinnamon buns, lemon squares, and hundreds of butter tarts each day on site.
They opened over the Canada Day weekend as a test run and Bonnie says “we were overwhelmed. Everything sold.”
They spent the next two weeks preparing, celebrating their anniversary and opening a few days before the official launch of their business last Saturday morning (July 15) at 6:30am. From now until at least Labour Day they will be open from 6:30am – 5pm but it pays to go to the shop early in the day because by mid-afternoon the selection gets pretty thin. I visited on Monday at 2pm for an interview but had to return on Tuesday morning to get a photo because there were only 3 lonely butter tarts in the display case.
It is early days for the business, and hot dogs on homemade buns are available now, but the plan is to put on a breakfast sandwich, prepare homemade sausage rolls and Jamaica patties for lunch as well as a daily sandwich. All this will complement an increasing line of classic Ontario baked treats.
“We do catering, special orders, and are planning to run a year round business,” Bonnie said. Hours will shorten in the fall, but the hope is that even in winter the shop will be open at least on Wednesdays and Saturdays for local and regional food lovers to pick up home baking.
The shop also serves brewed and espresso based coffee drinks and teas, and Kawartha Dairy Frozen Yogourt with a selection of frozen fruit. Kawartha Dairy Ice Cream is available in the Fall River Pub.
The Palmer's have long term business ambitions.
“I love business, the challenge of it, and I love this area, Frontenac and Lanark County, as well. There is a lot of potential here, and in this location,” Bonnie said.
But for now, the focus is more on smaller issues, such as making enough butter tarts each morning in a small oven to get through the day.