BREWER, Maine — Kelly Thompson got a taste for healthful cooking as a nutrition student at the University of Maine around the turn of the millennium. She hopes her passion and penchant for baking has finally evolved into a livelihood.
The Hermon resident cut the ribbon on her new business, The Whole Grain Bakeshop, on Wednesday afternoon in Brewer, joined by several city officials.
The business operates in a kitchen in the basement of St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church on Holyoke Street. It specializes in sweet treats ranging from brownies and muffins to sweet potato biscuits and dog treats.
Thompson makes all-natural, gluten-free, vegan and whole-grain baked goods, sweetened with things like agave nectar, evaporated cane juice crystals and pure maple syrup. Thompson said her food is tasty for anyone, not just those who might end up sick from eating gluten.
At the end of the day, Thompson donates leftovers and unsold products to the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter to feed struggling residents and families using the shelter’s food pantry.
Dennis Marble, director of the shelter, said that the shelter and its pantry serve about 2,000 individuals and families each year.
Donations like the one given by Thompson “send a message to people in the shelter who sometimes feel completely cut off from the rest of society,” that someone still cares, he said.
If the shelter receives too many baked goods for the day, it will share with another organization, such as Hope House.
“Who doesn’t get a lift from a good sweet?” Marble said.
Brewer city councilor Bev Uhlenhake handed Thompson a key to the city during Wednesday’s ribbon cutting as congratulations for her new endeavor.
The Whole Grain Bakeshop is open 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Food is baked to order and can be picked up at the shop. Order by calling Thompson at 745-7528 or on the website at www.wholegrainbakeshop.com.