People who visit Mainely Mexican in Presque Isle now have sugary treats to try thanks to a new mini dessert shop located inside the restaurant.
NEAR ISLE, Maine – People who visit Mainely Mexican in Presque Isle now have sugary treats to try thanks to a new mini dessert shop located inside the restaurant.
On April 1, Florence Joseph welcomed community members to A Pastry Harvest. The dessert counter is located in the dining room of the Mainely Mexican and offers homemade cheesecakes, cannoli, danishes, cream horns, whoopies, cookies, sweet buns and scones, as well as as various flatbread recipes.
Joseph had jobs related to cooking and baking throughout his adult life and most recently worked at Café Demoiselle until the business closed last year. A Pastry Harvest started out as a small custom cake business based in Joseph’s house, and she plans to continue offering custom cakes in her new location.
After Joseph found himself made redundant during the pandemic, she applied for a job as a cook at Mainely Mexican. She suggested restaurant owner Jay Edgecomb help her expand the dessert menu. This conversation culminated in a partnership that made Joseph’s bakery a reality.
“Jay believed in my vision from day one,” Joseph said. “He provided the equipment, the space and the support to help start this. “
Edgecomb said he hopes A Pastry Harvest will attract new customers to Mainely Mexican for the main menu and dessert options.
“[I’m looking forward to] see Florence succeed. She’s worked on it a lot and she has a passion for baking that I enjoy, ”said Edgecomb.
Joseph said his new business has gained a lot of support from the local business community. Judy Boudman, former owner of Café Demoiselle and Café Sorpreso, donated the dessert display at Café Demoiselle. The Aroostook Central Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting on April 1 that included a welcome song from Clarissa Sabattis, leader of the Houlton Maliseet Band, of which Joseph is a member.
While cutting the ribbon, Sabattis noted how thrilled she was to see Joseph’s hard work come true.
“Florence is dedicated and her love for what she does really shines through,” Sabattis said.
Joseph currently has two employees at A Pastry Harvest and hopes to hire more people as the business grows. Currently, the dessert shop is open during the same hours as Mainely Mexican, but Joseph said there is potential for expanded hours if she sees demand from customers.
“It would be great to use the [restaurant’s] a space for people to stop and have coffee and dessert, ”said Joseph. “Maybe people could use the space for a morning meeting or to access the WiFi. “
While A Pastry Harvest has always had the support of close friends and other members of the community, Joseph is eager to expand the company’s customer base.
“I’m happy to bring my pastries to a more open market,” Joseph said. “It’s exciting to get orders from people I’ve never met and to expand what we can do.”