Tina Cromwell doesn’t yet have permits or an opening date, but she’s got a space – a new home for 9-year-old Bam Bam Bakery, which closed its retail business on Commercial Street in Portland last year and focused on takeout only.

Cromwell says she has leased 148 Anderson St. in Portland’s East Bayside neighborhood to realize her goal of having “a more workable commercial kitchen” and a shipping department. (She has been working with the online marketplace Goldbelly to sell her gluten-free goods nationwide.)  In her new retail space, in addition to her own baked items, Cromwell plans to offer gluten-free products (such as crackers) that she can’t make herself, as well as gluten-free beer and wine.

Online ordering through the bakery’s website has been put on hold until the new 3,000-square-foot location is open. Cromwell said she expects to open in late spring.

New pizza delivery in Yarmouth

The owners of Brickyard Hollow Brewing Company at 236 Main St. in Yarmouth announced on social media over the weekend that they are opening a small pizza place in the former Dunkin’ Donuts space at 242 Main St.

Brickyard Hollow Pizza is “designed primarily to deliver our unique craft pizza, protein bowls and salads to Yarmouth as well as the surrounding communities,” according to the announcement. Go to brickyardhollow.com for a complete list of streets in Cumberland, North Yarmouth and Falmouth where delivery will be available.

Brickyard Hollow also has a location at 20 Bow St. in Freeport.

A brewery replaces a brewery

Zach Page, the former head brewer at Lone Pine Brewing in Portland and at Trillium Brewing in Boston, is partnering with Nick Bonadies, a former vice president of Trillium, to launch Belleflower Brewing Co. at 66 Cove St. in Portland. That’s the former location of Brewery Extrava, which opened in summer 2019 and closed permanently in November. They plan to open later this year.

More winter breaks

Fore Street has been on an “extended holiday break” since, well, the holidays, with plans to reopen “towards the end of January,” according to its website. The restaurant is still offering curbside pickup on weekends (Friday and Saturday this week) featuring items such as a delectable-looking Maine island lamb pie and chef Fred Eliot’s pâté en croute.

Scales is also on a temporary winter break, but has not announced its reopening date. Likewise, Cong Tu Bot and Emilitsa are taking winter breaks with no date for reopening yet announced and “late spring,” respectively.

The staff at Tandem Coffee and Bakery at 742 Congress St. in Portland is taking a break in January, and the business will reopen in February, according to co-owner Will Pratt. Roasting, shipping and online ordering, however, are going on as usual.

Restaurants in Maine often take a break in winter, traditionally a slow dining-out season anyway, to deep-clean or give their staffs time off, but the pandemic means even more are doing so this year. Check websites before making plans.

MOFGA celebrates its golden anniversary

MOFGA, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, has released the poster for the 2021 Common Ground Country Fair. Courtesy of MOFGA

Last year, the pandemic pushed the Common Ground Country Fair online. This year, the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association appears, like the rest of us, to be hopeful for a brighter, healthier 2021. Last week, the organization kicked off a year-long celebration of its 50th anniversary by unveiling the poster for the 2021 fair, which – if all goes well – will take place Sept. 24-26.

The design, by Kathryn Cody Russell of Limington, features a carrot “tree” sprouting eggplants, peppers, corn and blueberries. Its roots are potatoes. The fair itself will celebrate its 45th anniversary this year. Fair posters are collectors’ items in Maine. MOFGA is also planning to reproduce some all-time favorite fair T-shirt designs.

In August, look for a celebration to mark the first meeting of MOFGA in 1971. And add this to your 2021 reading list: A book about the organization, to be co-published with Down East Books this year.

New leader for Full Plates Full Potential

Justin Strasburger has been named the first executive director of Full Plates Full Potential, an organization dedicated to ending child hunger in Maine.

Strasburger most recently was executive director of the Boston-based Bottom Line, an organization that helps low-income students get into, and stay in, college. He is a native of New Jersey, but has strong Maine ties, having spent summers here growing up and then returning to attend Bowdoin College in Brunswick.


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