A craft coffee roaster will soon be joined by a local purveyor of Portuguese food in a downtown Old Town storefront.
Pastries de’Amor will open its new brick-and-mortar storefront at 259 Main St. in Old Town this weekend, offering ready-to-eat pastries, soups, stews and other pre-made goodies made by April Anderson, who last summer began selling her food at local craft shows and pop-up markets.
It will join the already-open Blind Tiger Coffee, a coffee roasting company owned by Charles Biando, who recently relocated his roastery from Philadelphia to Maine. Biando only roasts in the Old Town space, and sells his beans wholesale to cafes and stores across the country.
The two businesses are among a handful of recent additions to downtown Old Town, which has been gradually building back since a 2019 fire left a hole along Main Street.
Anderson began cooking the Portuguese, Azorean and Cape Verdean food she grew up eating out of her home kitchen in Milford last summer, after moving to Maine from her hometown of New Bedford, Massachusetts, which is home to a large community of people of Portuguese descent.
She’s now cooking out of the shared commercial kitchen space at Fork and Spoon in downtown Bangor, creating everything from Portuguese kale soup, meat pies and chicken dishes to baked treats like pao de queso, a cheese bread, and changas, a sweet-filled puff pastry. She also offers some pan-Latin dishes, like enchiladas, churros and plantain latkes, and Brazilian items like brigadeiros, a popular truffle-like candy.
Anderson said she found an extremely positive response from customers at the markets she has visited each weekend for the past nine months — so much so that she jumped at the chance to open a permanent location.
“It’s extremely exciting to open up a storefront,” Anderson said. “It’s going to give me the opportunity to try lots of new things with my food.”
Anderson initially intends to only offer pre-made food, and not offer meals to order. She also is hosting a number of her friends she made in the Bangor-area craft fair circuit, who will sell everything from body products and candles to handmade bags and accessories out of her storefront.
Biando, of Blind Tiger Coffee, does not have a coffee shop or retail space in Maine, though you can buy Blind Tiger beans at Tiller & Rye in Brewer, and online at blindtigercoffee.com.
259 Main St. was formerly the home of Gossamer Press, a print shop that last year merged with Snowman Printing in Hermon and closed its Old Town location.
Pastries de’Amor and Blind Tiger Coffee open as the city of Old Town attempts to secure strategic properties downtown to revitalize the area. This week the city announced it would purchase 241 Main St., which it hopes to market alongside the former Old Town Canoe headquarters to other small businesses that want to move to Old Town.
Other recently opened businesses in downtown Old Town include restaurant and nightclub Kanu; Kin, a shop that sells Native American arts and crafts; and The Minor Gallery, showcasing the work of artist Matt Smolinsky. Kosta’s restaurant opened late last year in the Main Street spot where it started more than 15 years ago before relocating to Brewer. Another restaurant, Pepper’s Landing, is expected to open in the coming weeks.