WELLS, Maine — Customers who stop into Brewed Awakenings on Route 1 in Wells chat about all the usual things — neighbors and family, summer vacations and the weather — but these days conversation often shifts to the latest details of the Real Maine Wedding of the Year to be held in Ogunquit this fall.
That’s because Brewed Awakenings owner, Jackie Maude, is the bride-to-be.
“My customers are very excited. It’s so fun to have them feel like they are a part of it, and to hear what they like and what they are voting on,” Maude said.
Maude and fiance Phillip Carter entered the Real Maine Weddings contest in February with a video showcasing their love for each other, for Maine, and for their new home and business in Wells.
“Most people don’t believe that two 17-year-old kids could fall in love in a way that truly lasts,” Carter said in the couple’s contest video. “But when I met Jackie I knew she was the woman I would spend the rest of my life with.”
He proposed on Christmas Eve at the lobster trap tree in Cape Porpoise.
The lucky couple were chosen in March as the winners of a $100,000 three-day dream wedding event to be held Oct. 10, 11, and 12 in Ogunquit.
After they were announced as the winners, the editors of Real Maine Weddings magazine set to work scheduling four busy planning days with the couple before Maude opened Brewed Awakenings for the season on Mother’s Day.
“Melanie and Christine were wonderful. They were really thoughtful about making sure that we got the planning days done before I opened,” Maude said.
During those four days the couple had a hand in choosing three options for every detail, from the wedding attire, to the cake design and the honeymoon destination. Then the final decision is turned over to the public to vote on the Real Maine Weddings website and choose their favorites.
There are only a few items left up for voting, and so far Maude and Carter are happy with the public’s choices.
“I have some favorites, but I’m not going to be upset at all if some of them aren’t chosen. It’s going to be beautiful no matter what,” Maude said.
One topic that is off limits when Carter is in the bakery is the chosen wedding dress. Maude wants to stick with the tradition of the groom not seeing his bride’s dress until the wedding day. “I’ve been banned from the internet for a few months,” Carter joked as he sat down with Maude this week to talk about the wedding, the coffee shop, old house renovations, and even the couple’s new brood of chickens.
Maude said she’s not really a “girly-girl” but with her long auburn hair, the wedding dress that voters chose makes her feel like Jessica Rabbit.
“I’m enjoying the whole process. Having people who are professional, amazing and very talented individuals help to plan your wedding. I think it’s what most women dream of having,” Maude said.
Maude’s family opened Brewed Awakenings, the popular coffee shop and bakery on Route 1 in Wells eight years ago. She was working as a teacher and helping out at the bakery in the summers.
“I fell in love with it, and took over ownership in 2016. I love the sense of community. It’s a labor of love for both of us,” Maude said.
The couple are high school sweethearts, growing up in neighboring New Hampshire before putting down roots in Wells.
Carter is an aircraft mechanic with the New Hampshire National Guard stationed at Pease Air Force Base. The couple purchased the old cape style house next door to the bakery, and have poured hours of sweat equity into fixing it up over the past several months.
Maude spent summers in Wells with her grandparents and parents and said being a business owner in the town she grew to love as a child is a dream come true.
Customers love the fresh, homemade, locally-sourced menu items including New York-style bagels, breakfast sandwiches, muffins and baked goods. Maude has added some lighter breakfast fare for the health conscious including “The Hippie” which is homemade yogurt with granola and fresh fruit. The huevos rancheros breakfast special is a collaborative effort — Carter makes the black beans each week for the popular dish.
It has been a very busy year for the bakery, and Carter is quick to attribute the success of the business to his future wife and her knack for running the business while making everyone feel welcome and a part of the family.
“She doesn’t say it, but the people come for her, too,” he said.
Maude and Carter have infused their love for rustic charm into the bakery, both inside and out. From the repurposed truck tailgate that hangs on one wall, to the vintage (and functional) refrigerator, and the chalkboard painted picnic tables on the outdoor patio, Brewed Awakenings is an oasis from busy Route 1.
While Maude has focused on making improvements to the bakery, Carter has been working on the grounds and the property since the couple purchased it last July. He built a custom chicken coop for their 25 hens and two roosters, and crafted raised garden beds for vegetables that will become part of the menu in the shop. The chickens haven’t started laying eggs yet, but when they do Maude says she will use them in her baking as well.
“We really want to use as much of our own fresh produce as possible. Everything we make is fresh and homemade,” she said.
Customers can wander past the stone parking lot to the gardens and the chicken coop, where Lucky the rooster crows happily, and bistro tables are set out for people to enjoy their pastries and coffee outside.
“I think people just love the sense of community, the atmosphere, and the really good, fresh homemade locally-sourced food. They leave happy and full,” she said.
“I love running the shop, it’s really my passion. I love my customers, they become like family, and they’re so excited about this wedding. Many of them have seen me grow up. I was 20 when my family opened the bakery.”
Maude will change her last name after the wedding, but while she becomes a Carter, the Maude name will remain a part of the business. The lady sipping a cup of coffee featured in the Brewed Awakenings logo has been named Maude, an ode to the businesses roots.
The couple is thrilled that after a busy summer at the business, they won’t have to fret over details for their wedding, and can just enjoy the day with family and friends.
“This takes all the stress out of it,” Carter said. “We don’t even had to think about the details.” He said it’s also nice that they don’t have to call on family and friends to help out with the wedding.
Brewed Awakenings will close for the season on Columbus Day weekend, and the wedding festivities start two days later. After a busy summer, the couple will be ready for a celebration and then a relaxing honeymoon. Voters chose the Turks and Caicos honeymoon for the couple.
“On the busiest of days here this summer, when things are crazy, I just keep thinking of the Turks and Caicos,” Maude said. “It’s going to be wonderful. All of it.”
Nearly two dozen vendors are participating in the wedding. The Meadowmere Resort will host the welcome party, and the rehearsal dinner will be held at the Ogunquit Beach Lobster House The ceremony and cocktail reception will take place at the Beachmere Inn, with the reception at Jonathan’s Ogunquit.
For a full list of vendors or to vote on the wedding details go to www.realmaineweddings.com/Contest/2018-Ogunquit-RMW-of-the-Year.
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