Small Mom and pop businesses, the couple that know how hard it is to make a dollar, eek out a living being shrewd business people like Sadie’s Bakery in downtown Houlton Maine.
Tim and Sharon O’Donnell for over 32 years set the alarm clock to rise and shine very early. Yes because they have beef cows to grain, hay and water. But also because of the local tradition carried out as sacred. It started in 1948 in the Shiretown, County seat for Aroostook, Maine’s largest of sixteen. Time to make the donuts. Because in a small Maine town the hot fresh coffee and a just made local donut are priceless. The experience of sampling each is the key to jump starting your day. Miss that coffee break routine and you start to back peddle. Nothing goes as planned.
A different flavored donut each day. Everyone in the area can smell the fresh donuts that are addictive. Or dangerous if you are try to walk the straight and arrow when on a diet. The fellow that does my taxes next door to Sadie’s says your will power increases. But it was a struggle not to trot over every time Tim brings a new fresh batch in to the world. To resist loading up with a bag or two of hot, just out of the fryer, home made not cookie cutter store box donuts.
He says chocolate donuts are his weakness.
He tries to limit himself to one or two a week but he is in his 90’s and says maybe they extend life! What would you do at that age? Develop some new bad habits because you can? A local made donut is a small pleasure unique to the small Maine town.
In addition to donuts, breads, squares, cookies and other baked cooks come out of Sadie’s Bakery. On Midnight Madness during the 4th of July Houlton Maine celebration, there is a line out in to the street of folks waiting for a carnival like dough boy with confectionery sugar, cinnamon on them. Or Italian sausages smothered in onions and green peppers and home made rolls. (Stomach grumbling…that’s mine from not enough lunch I guess).
Tim and Sharon say the donuts are no secret shared only by local folks here in Houlton Maine or across the border in to New Brunswick Canada either. They ship 8 dozen to Alaska periodically to a fellow that pays a dollar a piece just for the shipping charges thru the US Postal system’s priority mail. The donuts arrive within 48 hours from being made, packed, shipped from Houlton Maine. They went up up and away..all the way to our 49th state, brought on board just before Hawaii.
What the O’Donnell’s make can not be mass produced and it is a hand made one at a time operation. That is the secret, hard work and what makes each baked good so special, sought after. With the internet, and blog posts like this word can spread and demand increase.
But as Tim says “When we sell out, that’s it for that day”.
Similar to the German sandwich shop owner in Bangor Maine that retired recently after sixty odd years with a well known favorite “coffee pot” sandwich. The tradition builds the attachment and spans generations. Nothing trendy or faddish about the delicacy that is not from a copy cat chain but one of a kind offering.
If the Sadie’s Bakery donuts and our local Houlton Farm’s Dairy home made butter could easily get to Florida.
If the Jordan or Rices red hot dogs you can not buy out of Maine could get delivered to the retirees in the sunny south. Those folks would pay dearly for those items. Someone could become a very rich man. Scarcity adds to the sparkle and increases the hunger that improves the taste. Ever had a Sadie’s Bakery donut or other baked goods item? You have no idea what you are missing.
Being just a donut, butter and hot dog merchant, food broker would be profitable. But maybe they are all special because they are unique to Houlton Maine, the way life should be. Breath deep when you drive up in to Market Square. Chances are your nose will lead you to Water Street, the home of Sadie’s Bakery in Houlton Maine. Houlton Maine is the county seat for the Crown of Vacationland called Aroostook!
MOOERS REALTY 69 North ST Houlton ME 04730 USA