Erin Canavin’s brown butter brownies were her best seller.

Canavin, who lives in Gorham, baked them at home and sold them at local farmers markets. She called her part-time business Fat Pants Bakery, for obvious reasons.

Canavin was one of the earliest members of Fork Food Lab. She moved in in August 2016, a good month before the official grand opening. She needed the space, equipment and mentoring the lab said it could provide, and the idea of “just being among all those other food makers was really intriguing.”

She left the lab in March. The reasons are complicated. A couple of months before she started her membership at Fork, she got a job working in the kitchen at Slab restaurant in Portland. Between Fat Pants and Slab, Canavin found herself working seven days a week.

“Basically something had to give,” she said. “I was doing well at Slab, and I knew there was room for advancement there.”

Fat Pants was doing well, too, even if at times it felt like a roller coaster. But Canavin needed more money to really grow the business. Slab just seemed like the smarter choice.

Canavin was also worried about time lost with her 10-year-old daughter and 15-year-old son.

Fat Pants closed at a profit in March, something Canavin is proud of because bakeries typically don’t do as well over the winter in Maine, she said. The bakery is on the back burner for now, but she’s not ruling out resurrecting it one day. She says her first try gave her confidence that she can do it again.

Canavin plans to go to Fork Food Lab’s first anniversary party so she can visit with everyone she met there.

“I collaborated with a bunch of people that I’m still friends with,” she said. “Just that exposure to other food makers and like minds, it was definitely an awesome experience for me.”


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