Mary's Sweet Bread
10 Mark Street
Pawcatuck, CT 06379
(860) 599-0340

Mary's Sweet Bread

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DateNameSource Category
2/2/2009Farmers' markets crop up in the areaThe Stonington-Mystic Times From freshly picked strawberries to home-baked pastries, the recently opened farmer’s market... Newspaper Articles
2/2/2009Baking Bread to Make DoughThe Stonington Times Pawcatuck -- On a hot, humid day, when most are finding solace in a swimming pool or air-con... Newspaper Articles
4/3/2008A Sour Ending to a Sweet Thing? Mary’s Sweet Bread bakery struggles to stay openThe Stonington Times Tucked away on an unassuming side street along the Pawcatuck River, on the bottom floor of a... Newspaper Articles
8/17/2007Farmers' market offers more than produceThe Westerly Pawcatuck Press WESTERLY - Drive along Main Street from Friday to Wednesday during the summer and you’ll see... Newspaper Articles
7/25/2007Doesn’t Come FresherThe Providence Journal-Bulletin WESTERLY Going to the Westerly-Pawcatuck Farmers Market is like visiting the garden to see w... Newspaper Articles
7/17/2007Free Samples Banned At Farmers' MarketThe Day Stonington — No more free slices of Portuguese sweet bread. No more tastes of salsa and dip.... Newspaper Articles
7/2/2006Baking A Loaf, Making A LivingThe Day Marketplace Raised in a traditional Portuguese family, Mary Soares' life revolved around what was happen... Newspaper Articles
4/16/2003Resurrection of a family traditionThe Day It was a ritual when Mary Mattos Soares made her Portuguese sweet bread. Every detail had... Newspaper Articles
5/17/1987FARE OF THE COUNTRY: Sweet Bread, Portuguese StyleThe New York Times Some Sunday mornings in the country, when work does not call, we set out the margarine, the ... Newspaper Articles
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2/2/2009 The Stonington-Mystic Times
Farmers' markets crop up in the area
From freshly picked strawberries to home-baked pastries, the recently opened farmer’s markets in Mystic seem to have it all. Familie... (more)
2/2/2009 The Stonington Times
Baking Bread to Make Dough
Pawcatuck -- On a hot, humid day, when most are finding solace in a swimming pool or air-conditioned room, Mary Soares, "the bread l... (more)
4/3/2008 The Stonington Times
A Sour Ending to a Sweet Thing? Mary’s Sweet Bread bakery struggles to stay open
Tucked away on an unassuming side street along the Pawcatuck River, on the bottom floor of an average-looking house, there is a bake... (more)
8/17/2007 The Westerly Pawcatuck Press
Farmers' market offers more than produce
WESTERLY - Drive along Main Street from Friday to Wednesday during the summer and you’ll see the same old brick buildings and be met... (more)
7/25/2007 The Providence Journal-Bulletin
Doesn’t Come Fresher
WESTERLY Going to the Westerly-Pawcatuck Farmers Market is like visiting the garden to see what’s ready to pick. Except there are... (more)
7/17/2007 The Day
Free Samples Banned At Farmers' Market
Stonington — No more free slices of Portuguese sweet bread. No more tastes of salsa and dip. No more chunks of fresh tomato. No more... (more)
7/2/2006 The Day Marketplace
Baking A Loaf, Making A Living
Raised in a traditional Portuguese family, Mary Soares' life revolved around what was happening inside the four walls of her parents... (more)
4/16/2003 The Day
Resurrection of a family tradition
It was a ritual when Mary Mattos Soares made her Portuguese sweet bread. Every detail had to be just right. Her husband and si... (more)
5/17/1987 The New York Times
FARE OF THE COUNTRY: Sweet Bread, Portuguese Style
Some Sunday mornings in the country, when work does not call, we set out the margarine, the strawberry jam and the apple butter, and... (more)

Baking A Loaf, Making A Living

Mary's Sweet Bread Forged By Tradition, Necessity And A Great Recipe

By Katrina Gathers
Filed under: Newspaper Articles
The Day Marketplace
7/2/2006

Raised in a traditional Portuguese family, Mary Soares' life revolved around what was happening inside the four walls of her parents' home. And when she married at age 16, that tradition continued with her husband. By 21, Soares had given birth to three children, and it was then that her mother decided it was time to pass on a different family practice: making sweet bread. Two more children, minus one husband and three decades later, Soares is the owner of Mary's Portuguese Sweet Bread, a business run out of the first floor of her Mark Street home. For her, making bread was a life-saver. “The way I grew up, I didn't go to movies, go on dates or go to dances. When my ex-husband told my dad that he wanted to date me, my father said he'd have to marry me. So he did,” says Soares. “I was taught to be a good wife and mother and do as I was told. My husband didn't let me work outside the home, so I did this. “I took care of everyone but me,” she added. Soares is still taking care of others, but is using her bread as a way to honor her mother's memory and to provide herself with a steady income. After her divorce nearly eight years ago, the Pawcatuck resident cut back on her baking and took on a full time job at a local casino. But she continued to share her bread with friends who came over for coffee, and word spread in the community. Soon she was providing loaves to stores in Pawcatuck, Westerly and Mystic. Around that time, she remodeled her home to make the first floor a licensed commercial bakery. Her biggest triumph came recently, when Soares secured a deal with Shop Rite to provide her sweet bread to a handful of the region's grocery stores, including one in New London and another in Norwich. On a recent visit to her Mark Street home/bakery, Soares was pulling loaf after loaf from the oven in preparation for her trip to Shop Rite. In less than two days, she prepared and baked more than 240 loaves. “I feel like I'm at a point in my life where I can finally live,” says Soares. “If I succeed, I'll take the credit. If I fail, I'll take the blame. I want people to know the bread lady.” But getting to know the bread lady might not be so easy. Soares is an insomniac, who will often rise at 2 a.m. just to throw “a batch or two” in the oven. She loves all things Elvis. And she is still learning how to use the navigational system in her SUV (she had to ask someone how to get across the Gold Star Memorial Bridge). She doesn't sit still for long, so her red-brown hair is often flying off her shoulders. Despite a secluded home-life, Soares says she wouldn't change a thing. “If things didn't happen the way they did, I would still be that meek, shy person with no self esteem,” she said, not one negotiating contracts and selling her breads to chain stores. And part of her past is paying tribute to her mother. Soares has three cable-knit quilts that she uses to cover her breads. Her mother used two of them when she did her own baking. “This is her bread. This is her story,” said Soares. “What I know and what I do is because of my mother.”