Two Fat Cats Bakery on India Street in Portland has new owners. Stacy Begin and Matthew Holbrook, owners of Blackbird Baking Co. of Maine LLC in South Portland, took over the bakery as of Feb. 1.
Begin launched Blackbird Baking, a home-based bakery specializing in pies, about 18 months ago, while also working another job. "We got to the point where we were very busy, and we had to make a decision about whether to grow and go up to the next level" or give it up, she says. She and Holbrook, her husband, debated whether to open their own storefront, add a commercial kitchen to their house or take over an existing business. Through their research, they found Two Fat Cats listed for sale and spent months negotiating with the owners before buying it for an undisclosed price.
The bakery will keep its name and continue to offer its signature products, like cakes, pies and cupcakes. Begin and Holbrook also retained its staff of nine. She says business has been "very good" in the last month. "We were given a great gift of a supportive and welcoming atmosphere."
The bakery hopes to add new products, Begin said, including new maple items this month in honor of Maine Maple Sunday. New products will also be available for St. Patrick's Day and the annual Portland Flower Show, which happens March 7-11. Though Begin handles the day-to-day management, she tries to bake at least once a week.
The couple also plans to make minor capital improvements to the facility, closing it on March 12 to paint and resurface the floors.