This morning we went to one of my regular haunts, the Quietside Muffin Company in Southwest Harbor. I first found it from an article I read in the Ellsworth-American. It was about how a woman, Ginny, reinvented herself in midlife (so you know what most grabbed my attention!). I loved the story and checked the place out.
When she first got started, Ginny made homemade muffins and put them in a cooler outside her home. When she sold 30 of them the first day and 30 the second day, Ginny realized she was onto something. By the time Joseph and I found her, she had a commercial license and had turned a portion of the front of her home into a storefront. She sold muffins, pies, and cookies. The muffins were standard flavors, the pies were made from whatever was in season and the cookies were whatever tickled Ginny’s fancy that day.
The first year Joseph and I looked for it, we drove around a while. All we found at the off-the-beaten-path address was a house. The we saw the cooler…and realized we forgot we were in Maine. The address was correct; we were at the muffin company.
Over the years Ginny’s little home-based business earned a reputation for excellence. We watched her grow each year from just her, to her and her mom, to hiring interns who helped during the summer. She offered free delivery on large orders, and had a following of townies and tourists (like me) who returned each year, enjoying both the food and the conversation. And this year would be no exception…or so we thought.
Each year Joseph and I would stop the store, bought some tasty treat and visit with Ginny’s mother who had Alzheimers. She would be behind the counter helping Ginny, or in a chair by the counter knitting happily. Our mothers were about the same age, so Ginny and I would swap stories about them and about being a caregiver. My mom passed in 2010 and a couple years later the Alzheimer’s got bad enough that Ginny could no longer care for her mom at home. That year I felt really sad as Ginny gave me the skinny on her mom’s condition.
Today, when Joseph and I turned the corner to Ginny’s home, I was expecting blueberry muffins and news of Ginny’s mom. We were shocked to see a sales sign on the lawn. As we got closer, the house looked deserted – no cooler by the road, no “Quietside Muffin” sign in the window, no cars in the driveway, no “open” on the front door. It was a shock…and a disappointment. Those muffins were often a Saturday morning treat, but so was seeing Ginny.
We left the back roadStill looking for that treat, we stopped by a nearby coffee shop and bought something, but the scone and muffin we bought were just OK. Good enough, but nothing to write about to you.
Once back at the cottage, I tried to find out what happened to Ginny. The website was non-existent and the domain name was “parked.” A google search produced no info about either Ginny or her spouse. So I may never know what happened to her and if she gave up her business or sold it. I get curious about that kind of thing. It’s probably no surprise to you that I’m curious about people’s life stories, especially good ones about women.
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