What do bakers do when they have hundreds fewer lobster roll buns to bake in the winter? They launch a new baking business called Little Spruce Baking Co.

Kim Rodgers, executive pastry chef at Big Tree Hospitality (the owners of Eventide Oyster Co., The Honey Paw and Hugo’s) and sous chef Alison Parsons have added to their responsibilities with a wholesale baking operation in the Pepperell Mill in Biddeford. They launched on Saturday at the Saco River Market, held weekly from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Pepperell Center Event Space, 40 Main St., Biddeford. Little Spruce Baking Co., which is part of Big Tree Hospitality, is also selling specialty croissants on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Elements, 265 Main St., a coffee bar that also sells beer and books.

“We’re really psyched about doing this just because we have such a talented baking department,” said Mike Wiley, a partner in Big Tree Hospitality.

Wiley said they are looking for other coffee shops and similar businesses in southern Maine – especially in the Greater Portland area – that would be interested in selling the bakers’ creations, which include a sourdough batard; a pizza croissant with tomato jam, ricotta and pepperoni; a “moonstruck” croissant with egg, maitake mushrooms and mustard greens; and a PB&J croissant with strawberry jam, peanut glaze and sprinkles.

“We don’t have any plans yet for a brick-and-mortar store,” Wiley said. “We don’t want to bite off more than we can chew right out of the gate.”



Black Cow, the new burger restaurant that’s replacing Sonny’s in the Old Port, will hold its grand opening today. Hours will be 11:30 a.m. until midnight for the restaurant at 83 Exchange St., and the bar will stay open until 1 a.m.


For 10 years, oyster lovers have shelled out just $1.55 for each local oyster they could swallow Thursday nights in the Point 5 Lounge, the bar at Five Fifty-Five on Congress Street in Portland. This Thursday night will be your last chance to enjoy that deal, as the owners of the restaurant and bar are replacing oyster night with a $5 menu.

The good news is that one of the new $5 plates will hold five oysters, so you’ll be getting an even better deal – $1 oysters. Slurp to your heart’s content. Other offerings from the new $5 menu, which starts March 29, include sliders and mac-and-cheese.


If you’re tired of fighting the crowds on Maine Maple Sunday (scheduled for this Sunday), try Maple Madness instead, a Friday-Sunday event cooked up by the boys at East Ender and Foundation Brewing Co., both in Portland. East Ender’s Bill Leavy and Karl Deuben will be creating maple-focused specials to pair with three Foundation Brewing Co. beers they’ll have on tap – Burnside, Venture and limited edition Maple Dark Side Corruption, a beer aged in a maple syrup bourbon barrel. The specials will include meats smoked with staves from the barrel.



Make like Taylor Swift and shake it off on Sunday at the fourth annual Tiki Shake Off sponsored by the U.S. Bartenders Guild and Round Turn Distilling at Tiqa in Portland.

The event will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. at the pan-Mediterranean restaurant located at 327 Commercial St. Tickets are cash only at the door, and cost $5 for USBG members and $10 for non-members, both of which get you six (1-ounce) cocktail samples from this year’s competitors. You can vote for your favorite to receive the People’s Choice Award, and a panel of judges will name its own winner.

The six semi-finalists, selected from blind recipe submissions that use Round Turn’s Bimini Gin, are: Liz Smith from Central Provisions in Portland; Rob Roy from Primo Restaurant in Rockland; Adam Sousa from Blyth & Burrows in Portland; Patrick McDonald and Tara Rook, both from Chaval in Portland; and Owen Wolfertz from Moxy in Portsmouth.

Island dress is encouraged, so get that grass skirt and coconut bra out of the closet and get ready to shake off winter.

Meredith Goad can be contacted at 791-6332 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: MeredithGoad

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