Standard Baking Co. is a “best of Maine” staple on Portland’s Commercial Street, offering traditional baguettes, breakfast pastries, and many other popular treats. Their walk-in retail business is about 70% of sales, and their wholesale customers are small, local businesses, including specialty grocers, small restaurants, and coffee shops.
Co-owner Alison Pray told us, “Business has been strong, growing consistently every year for 23 years! It’s deeply gratifying to see many of our first customers still coming in daily or weekly along with many new faces.” She told us that everything’s made in-house by skilled bakers, many who’ve been working there since their earliest days. And, it also takes a dedicated, knowledgeable team of administrative folks, retail sales assistants, and delivery drivers to make it all work so smoothly, 7 days a week, 360 days a year.
Alison said that the most exciting new development in recent years has been the access to locally grown and stone-milled grains. Since the Somerset Grist Mill opened in Skowhegan, more and more local farmers are growing grains and experimenting with ancient varieties like Emmer and Spelt, which allows them to create new breads and pastries. She noted, “We recently added a double chocolate cookie made with rye flour grown in Aroostook County.”
You can read about their history and philosophy in the book, Standard Baking Co. PASTRIES, part of a Down East Books series focusing on Maine food producers. Learn more at http://standardbakingco.com/