October 3, 2023


Business Woman

After husband’s death, Brunswick woman’s baking goes from therapy to booming business

4 min read

Kristie Freeman (remaining) poses with her fiancé Zeb Dodge and daughter Hannah in their kitchen on July 7, 2022. John Terhune / The Times Document

Four-layer lemon raspberry cake. Chocolate peanut butter pie. Tiramisu.

Not extended ago, Midcoast people in research of a late-night time deal with may well have been caught with a sweet bar from a vending machine or it’s possible some gasoline station ice cream. But around the past two years, police officers, university college students and other nocturnal sugar fiends have remodeled Kristie’s Creations from a facet hustle into a bustling 24/7 household bakery on the in any other case tranquil Hennessey Avenue in Brunswick.

“We bake each day, two shifts a working day,” reported owner Kristie Freeman. “That’s all we do. We’ll go all night time based on what we have for orders. Friday evenings we typically really don’t go to mattress.”

Pumpkin muffins. White chocolate blondies. Jumbo citrus twists.

Freeman constantly beloved baking expanding up. While other young children tuned in to Saturday early morning cartoons, she favored PBS cooking displays.

Orders for the relaxation of this 7 days line a fridge in Kristie Freeman’s kitchen on July 7, 2022. John Terhune / The Instances History

Just after a coronary heart assault killed Freeman’s spouse Russell in 2017, baking became extra than a interest for the now one mom of a teenage daughter: it was an emotional launch.

“I thought my life was more than,” she remembered. “But I experienced to get a career, do a little something to assistance myself and my daughter. I started off baking on the side. It grew to become my remedy – just a motive to go on and keep going.”

Freeman normally shared her creations with her fellow nurses at Mid Coast Hospital. She waved off their suggestions that she start a business but started distracting herself during restless evenings by investigating and developing a industrial kitchen.

Then, the pandemic arrived, and Freeman identified herself amid an ocean of laid-off Americans. Needing some way to make dollars, she made a decision to shell out additional time on Kristie’s Creations, which to that issue experienced been a tiny side job.

“We started off out with a bake sale, just to tell people, ‘We’re listed here,’” Freeman stated. “The bake sale just never ended.”

A range of treats and drinks wait around to be ordered from the Kristie’s Creations bakery stand on July 7, 2022. John Terhune / The Instances History

Dark Chocolate Cherry Scones. Ham and Cheddar Quiche. Meatloaf.

Zeb Dodge wasn’t significantly of a baker, but he understood how to cook.

Dodge, when a childhood sweetheart of Freeman’s, reconnected with her in 2019. When he, as well, misplaced his task to the pandemic, he joined his now-fiancé in the kitchen for marathon baking periods that regularly extend till 6 a.m.

“It’s our lifetime now,” he claimed.

Besides using the direct on the bakery’s rabidly common comfort food stuff dinners, which he aims to cook the moment-for each-7 days, Dodge was dependable for the business’ most exceptional factor: its unattended, 24-7 bakery stand, in which shoppers can pay out for an assortment of treats with Venmo, PayPal or, many thanks to a locked fall box, money or check.

“I termed Kristie and claimed, ‘Why never we make a bakery stand rather of a farm stand?’” Dodge claimed. “It form of just went from there.”

20 to 30 consumers go to the bakery stand each individual week, which accounts for about fifty percent of Kristie’s Creation’s small business, in accordance to Freeman. Several late-night time staff, including taxi drivers and police officers, quit acquire for sweets, as do a escalating number of school college students.

“Word spreads speedy via Bowdoin,” explained Bowdoin University shuttle driver Angela Keating, who uncovered about the bakery from her colleague Jennifer Jacobs. “Before you know it, I’m using children there each and every night time.”

It is no mystery why the learners flock to Kristie’s, Keating stated.

“The cupcakes are just divine,” she stated. “I wish I would have under no circumstances found it because it’s genuinely really hard to travel by.”

Kristie Freeman (still left) stands with her daughter Hannah and fiance Zeb Dodge next to their 24/7 bakery stand on July 7, 2022. John Terhune / The Periods File

Million dollar bars. Frozen bananas. Cannoli.

Hannah Freeman, a school student, cake decorator and occasional flavor-tester, stated she’s been content to see her mother’s enthusiasm expand into a Brunswick staple.

“Our aspiration growing up was to have the bakery on the corner,” she mentioned. “Instead, we type of just produced it below.”

However the enterprise has made some modern updates, like two cameras to reduce theft from the bakery stand’s coolers, Freeman reported she’s information with Kristie’s Creations as it is. Immediately after experiencing personal tragedy and expert hardship, bringing some sweetness into the planet is more than value the late nights in the kitchen.

“I love seeing the kids arrive down on their bikes,” she stated. “I appreciate to be that neighborhood position grandmas wander their youngsters down to get a very little address. I invested 4 several years just depressed and unhappy. I just want to make individuals delighted.”

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