Cooks typically rely on tried-and-true recipes when they bake cakes. In the kitchen of Sweet Ruminations, a dessert boutique rather than a traditional full-service bakery, baker Amanda Boutcher combines diverse influences: she may craft a tart inspired by the scent of a grandmother’s kitchen, or a pie that celebrates the tender memory of being pied in the face by a stranger. She works with customers to design desserts that suit their own tastes and spring from their own memories. Then, using fruit from local orchards and milk from local, grass-fed cows, she brings the treats to life in gluten and gluten-free varieties.
Patrons can also stop by Sweet Ruminations to sample ready-made sweets: macaroons, cream puffs, and cupcakes are just a few options. Distance is no object to Boutcher, who travels to locations such as the English East Midlands countryside to cater events.
Upon entering, modern spotlights smear light across the glossy ceiling and beige walls like butter on toast––an appropriate evocation of the baked goods to come. There they wait at the counter: gooey fresh-baked brownies, crunchy biscotti, jelly-filled Danish, and crumbly scones that are as large as calzones. Maine Star Coffee lures patrons with the aroma of confections baked onsite, then encourages lingering with locally roasted coffee, steeping teas, and sweet espresso drinks made from locally sourced milk products. The café is also a haven for artists of all types, housing such entertainment as spoken word, acoustic music, and competitive whittling showdowns.
The friendly staff at MaggieMoo’s Ice Cream and Treatery churns dozens of creamy flavors fresh each day before enhancing frozen creations with inventive mix-ins and toppings. They power through shivers to fold nuts, candy, and fruit into ice-cream varieties such as chocolate banana, and sprinkle sugary toppings over ice-cream pizzas, one of Maggie Moo's signature creations. Aside from other avant-garde dessert offerings—which include ice-cream cupcakes—the staff slings frozen favorites including cones, creamy milkshakes, and ice-cream cakes.
Occasional appearances by Miss Maggie Moo, the business's iconic cow, delight customers. She also lends her services to fundraising efforts for local schools and charities.