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)

Doesn’t Come Fresher

By Donita Naylor
Filed under: Newspaper Articles
The Providence Journal-Bulletin
7/25/2007

WESTERLY Going to the Westerly-Pawcatuck Farmers Market is like visiting the garden to see what’s ready to pick. Except there are six farms, no weeds, and two of the crops always at peak season are Caboose Kettle Korn and Mary’s Portuguese sweet bread. “It’s a surprise each week,” said Kelly Presley, of the Westerly Land Trust, which now co-sponsors the market with the Ocean Community YMCA. Each Thursday, from noon to 4 p.m., farmers from Rhode Island and Connecticut bring their herbs, flowers, berries and vegetables, most of them picked that day, to 85 Main St., on the Rhode Island side of the Pawcatuck River. Last year the market was on the Connecticut side, but this year the Pawcatuck Park site was closed for construction. “A lot of people were sweating it out,” Presley said. The land trust acquired the lot last July from the federal government, which seized Renskip Motor Sales to shut down a money-laundering operation. The YMCA signed on as co-sponsor in time for the market to start July 12. Early tomatoes, blueberries and the first ears of sweet corn came in last week, joining the cucumbers, basil, radishes, lettuces, summer squash, broccoli and zucchini. Still ahead is a whole summer’s worth of beans, peas, herbs, many varieties of tomato, squash, melons, sweet peppers in unusual colors, Swiss chard, cabbage, cauliflower and the Thanksgiving turnips, carrots, beets, pumpkins, decorative corn and bird-house squash. “I WAS JUST down there weeding the okra,” said Lou Ann Healey-Rippin, 53, of the Healey Farm in North Kingstown yesterday. Okra isn’t expected until August, but tomorrow she’s bringing sweet corn (50 cents an ear), as well as tomatoes, cut-flower bouquets, cut basil, hanging plants, Swiss chard, summer squash and potted rosemary, oregano and thyme. Healey-Rippen farms 30 to 35 acres, mostly by herself. Her theory is that standard vegetables are available everywhere, so she likes to try unusual varieties. Among her tomatoes is a large one with dark skin and red flesh, called the Black Prince, a tomato “berry” that grows in clusters, and a yellow brandywine tomato, which has a lower acid content. One of her favorite specialties is an elongated, thumb-size “fairy tale” eggplant that is lilac in color and can be roasted whole or grilled, and a round “eight-ball” zuchinni that she says is perfect for stuffing. White eggplant with purple stripes? Patty-pan squash with scalloped edges? They might turn up, and probably before the turnips, which she just planted. With watermelon, however, she sticks with the regular, seeded, round kind. The seedless ones, she says, aren’t as sweet. “I’m working to get people really interactive and take notice that fresh vegetables from your local farm are the way to go,” she said. “Buy local. At least you know where it’s grown, what soil it’s grown in and what chemicals are being used.” Healey Farm, she said, isn’t certified organic, because she uses a commercial 10-10-10 fertilizer and sprays the corn to keep out those unappealing little bugs. HIDDEN BROOK GARDENS in Ledyard, Conn., however, is certified organic, and corn isn’t one of their offerings. “Corn’s hard with an organic farm,” said Anita Kopchinski, 42, who escaped, along with Bill Sokol, 57, from corporate America for a greener life. They grow food with a focus on heirloom varieties to encourage biodiversity and flavor, their Web site says. Kopchinski said their cherry tomatoes and an early tomato are ready, and they bring their lettuce as a salad mix. One variety in the mix is an Asian green called mizuna. A farmers’ market is good for the bottom line, Kopchinski said. “It’s hard, I think, to sell all your stuff on your farm.” The Westerly site has high visibility, she said, and draws a variety of beachgoers, summer people and locals looking for the treasured flavors of summer. This summer is the first at the market for Smith Flower Shop, store manager Mark Messier, 52, said. He said produce is relatively new at his store on 136 Beach St., Westerly, “so this is a way of introducing our new product line.” Smith Flowers’ association with Schartner Farms brings blueberries and sweet corn to the table. Everything is grown in Westerly or Exeter, he said, except the Schartner-label Grammy Schartner’s Jams in flavors that include strawberry, blueberry, rhubarb and peach. Hybrid lilies are a specialty at Smith Flowers. The Smith cutting garden can be seen at Hubbard and Beach streets, and at the market he’ll be selling Oriental lilies in pots and mixed bouquets. There’s an advantage to being the home team. “We did have to run back and cut more lettuce last week,” Messier said. ACROSS THE RIVER, on the Connecticut side, is a farm that played a role in the Revolutionary War. John Whitman Davis, 83, known as Whit, works the farm that was established by Thomas Stanton in 1654. Stanton and the early settlers relied on wild hay in the salt marshes to keep their animals alive. Generations of laborers on the Stanton Davis farm used to cut the salt hay by hand with scythes, pitch it onto a wagon, haul it back to the farm and stack it in haystacks. Davis tells how George Washington’s army would send a scout to say they’d need fodder for, say, 100 oxen, and that guards would be posted to keep the British troops from setting the haystacks on fire. If the weather cooperates and he’s feeling well, Davis may show up at the market one Thursday. Other participants are the Highland Thistle Farm of Canterbury, Conn., and Fenner Ridge Farm of Hope Valley, where Ken Mott grows blueberries, tomatoes and just enough corn for his family — and the raccoons, which polish off “about a dozen a night.” Mott has moved with the Westerly market to all its different locations since it started. He also participates in a market at Goddard Park on Friday mornings and is helping start one at the Pastore Complex in Cranston. Markets help the farmer survive, he said. MARY SOARES, 58, of Pawcatuck, brings her Portuguese sweet bread, her helpful grandson, James, 10, and bushels of life experience. “When I started this, I never expected it to go this far,” she said. “Every time a new challenge comes, yeah, my knees are knocking, but I’m the only one who knows it.” She said that although she makes her bread from the same recipe her siblings use, hers comes out better. She thinks it’s because she does it to honor her mother and grandmothers “and all the work they did that went unnoticed.” “I work my brains off in summer,” she said, “but if you’re doing what you like, it’s not work.” Since starting her business, she was instrumental in changing the law that denied development grants to entrepreneurs in Connecticut’s wealthy communities. She finds inspiration in Oprah Winfrey, the world’s wealthiest female entertainer. “Oprah — She can’t sing, she can’t dance, she can’t make Portuguese sweet bread.” The market will continue on Thursdays into October. Messier, from Smith’s Flowers, expressed a farmer’s optimism: “Hopefully, it will grow.” dnaylor@projo.com