After more than 30 years in the insurance industry, a few years baking in a small Vermont bakery on the side, and a two-year stint as a Vermont inn owner, Nancy Ames was ready for her next adventure—opening a bakery.
Ames always knew that something food/baking-related was her passion, but it wasn’t until she lost her job that she decided it was time to follow her dream. Ames already had the name—The Sullivan House—which came from a phrase she often heard
at the dinner table as a child: “If you don’t like what’s on your plate, you can go to The Sullivan House.”
The Sullivan House Bakery opened last year in Gorham, Maine. Ames says the town embraced the idea of a new bakery, even during the pandemic, and with help from a flexible landlord, eager people showing up wanting to work, local artists, local partnerships and a designer/carpenter husband, the bakery was quickly up and running.
One striking feature of the Sullivan House Bakery is its interior design, which was created and installed by Transformit, a Gorham, Maine-based company that provides ready-made and custom fabric design elements for exhibits, events, retail, public spaces, sports facilities and more.
“We installed several Transformit Ready-Made elements overhead at the Sullivan House Bakery, which was not easy during a pandemic,” says Cynthia Thompson, president of Transformit. The design elements include nine suspended circle flats, and a big flower petal central piece called a dazzle (“think daisies, but jazzier,” Transformit’s website says).
In just a short time, the Sullivan House Bakery has become a town fixture, supporting local nonprofits by helping raise over $10,000 for Maine Special Olympics, the Portland Firefighters Children’s Burn Foundation, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association and the Babygirl Foundation.
The Sullivan House Bakery also donates its daily bread to local senior living facilities, low-income housing residents and the Gorham Food Pantry.