By Ally Lanasa, Staff Writer
(Oct. 15, 2020) Although the Berlin Farmers Market ended on Sept. 27, regulars can still enjoy baked goods and local products downtown on Sundays.
Baked Dessert Café, 4 Bay St., is now open on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with market day special deals on sweet and savory items.
The menu includes “family style” favorites, including maple brown sugar scones, orange cranberry white chocolate bread, morning muffins, chicken pot pie croissants and rustic olive bread.
“Our Sunday times will remain the same throughout the winter,” said owner Robin Tomaselli.
The café will offer seasonal goods during the holidays, she added.
“Initially, we have always been closed on Sundays, and then of course, the covid hit, and Ivy [Wells] had reached out to us to ask us if we were interested in doing the farmers market on Sunday,” Tomaselli said. “At the time, it seemed like a really good idea considering the fact that it seemed like people were more comfortable shopping outside than they were coming indoors to shop. We agreed to do the farmers market, and quite honestly during the month of May and June just doing the farmers market on Sunday was what really sustained us through what was really a difficult time in the beginning.”
Tomaselli said the first Sunday the bakery was open, Oct. 4, was a great success.
In the adjoining courtyard, Iron Skillet Coffee, Goat Plum Tree Farm and Becky’s Beanz have set up tables to sell fresh produce and coffee beans.
“People kind of reached out to us initially,” Tomaselli said. “It seemed like a really good idea to us. We don’t have a lot of space in the little outdoor eating section that we have adjacent to our building, but it made perfect sense to add them. I think that the vendors that participated on [Oct. 4 and Oct. 11] were excited to do that.”
She added that she plans to continue having various pop-up vendors as long as the weather permits.
To practice social distancing, only three vendors can safely fit in the courtyard.
“The idea right now is to rotate those vendors and to reach out to some other small businesses that may be interested in providing activities or setting up to sell food or produce or even art,” Tomaselli said.
The outdoor space is the property of Mike Queen, who also owns Rayne’s Reef on North Main Street.
“He graciously, during the whole covid crisis, has allowed us to set up that outdoor eating space and had indicated that he is certainly happy for us to do what we like,” Tomaselli said. “We are just kind of maintaining that space as far as the flower beds and weeding and making sure it’s clean and there’s no trash.”
Tomaselli will be actively seeking people who would be interested in setting up a small tent or stand on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“As long as people are practicing social distancing and being respectful and there are masks worn, then I can see that continuing unless there is some objection,” she said.
Despite the challenges of the novel pandemic, Tomaselli is grateful to run a small business in a supportive community.
“The silver lining in the cloud is that the crisis really forced people to think outside of the box and be super creative,” she said. “I think we see that all over town, and I think our town officials have been super supportive in trying to create events and spaces and situations, where we, as small businesses, can still thrive.”
For more information, visit www.bakeddessertcafe.com or call 410-641-1800.