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Updated: April 29, 2024 On the record

On the Record: Bakers move business from Portland to suburb for parking, convenience

Woman with platter of cupcakes Photo / Jim Neuger Danielle Camarata, co-owner of b+b bakery, with a tray of cupcakes in the bakery’s new location in the Cape Elizabeth shopping center.

In December 2022, Danielle and Andrew Camarata bought Portland’s Barista + Bites, which the couple renamed b+b bakery. Now, the bakery has moved to a larger space on Ocean House Road in Cape Elizabeth. As the new shop was getting ready to open, Mainebiz sat down with Danielle to find out more.

Mainebiz: How did you come to own the business?

Danielle Camarata: We bought it because I had always wanted to own a bakery. I love to bake. Even growing up, it was always just a dream of mine that I never thought I would have the guts to actually jump and do it.

My husband and I always just browse to see what businesses are for sale, and he stumbled across Baristas + Bites — which I knew very well, because I had worked down the street from it for several years. I ended up contacting the owner and I was like, ‘Should I?’ and he’s like, ‘Yeah, what the heck.’ And look at us now. [Laughs]

MB: What can you share about your product line?

DC: Everything we have is either gluten-free or vegan, or both. For the past year and a half or so, our focus has been on (heart-shaped) Maine whoopie pies, cupcakes and several types of cookies.

MB: Any new products you’re working on?

DC: We will have a gluten-free brownie and three different types of sweetbreads, including a coffee cake bread with a raspberry jam swirl inside. We will also introduce a chocolate chip cookie, which surprisingly we never had. We already offer a lot of sweet dessert-type things, so we’re trying to bring a scone, a muffin and some breads, which tend to make people think a little bit about having a mid-morning snack or mid-afternoon snack, versus a dessert.

MB: Why Cape Elizabeth?

DC: Our Portland location was good for visibility, but we didn’t have great parking for pick-ups and looked around at what our options were for moving. We knew our lease was coming up there, so we opted for Cape Elizabeth for the convenience. It’s still close enough to Portland, and there’s great parking and it’s convenient for employees. We live in Cape Elizabeth, too.

MB: Will you be competing with C Salt, a nearby business known for its sweet treats?

DC: By nature, we will.

MB: How will you get those customers to come here instead?

DC: People will just have to give us a chance. We’re not going to get the people that are looking for lunch, and that are going to grab a cookie with their lunch — C Salt might get more of those.

We’re probably going to get the people that are looking to grab a dozen cupcakes for a birthday party and didn’t pre-order custom cupcakes, but we will have them in stock. Or they’re having a dinner party and want some fancy treats, so they might come here. That’s going to be more our market.

MB: What’s your long-term plan for the business?

DC: Right now, we’re focused on opening and getting established in the community. And I think about places like the Cookie Jar [a nearby bakery, on Shore Road]. They have been doing what they have been doing forever, and they do a really good job at it — it’s an awesome business.

MB: How have you and your husband financed your business?

DC: We were really lucky to get a space that didn’t need a lot of work, and the landlord kicked in some money to help with some of the buildout out back. Other than that, we’ve financed it all ourselves.

MB: As someone who also has a full-time job, what’s your take on business ownership?

DC: When you own a small business, it’s always there. You’re the one responsible for making all the decisions. It’s been an adjustment, but it’s fun because it makes you feel like you have control — and it is fully your thing.

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April 29, 2024

Great story! Best wishes!

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