Signs of the season are springing up all over — crocuses have appeared, as have daffodils, and tulips are not far behind; garden centers have opened their doors; ice cream stands are coming back; the ice is out on Highland Lake; and some new businesses have started up in town.
Sweet new thing
The new Village Donut Shop & Bakery in Bridgton, located at 224-A Portland Road (next to Mac’s Place, in the same building), has created quite a buzz since it opened in March. The shop is owned and operated by Bruce Wiley, who also runs the Village Donut Shop & Bakery in Raymond. He decided to venture out in Bridgton due to public demand for homemade doughnuts and pastries in town. So far, things are going well and I can personally vouch for the quality and deliciousness of his wares. I am not particularly fond of sweets but my mother is a big fan of their “bear claws,” and I really enjoyed their sausage and cheese croissant and look forward to trying a chicken pot pie. The shop is open daily from 5 a.m. to noon. Drop by for some coffee and a doughnut – or two. You will not be disappointed!
Thriftocracy and a blind date
Mary Plummer has started another new, double-sided enterprise in town, Thriftocracy – Bargains for Better Living, at 263 Main St. The small thrift shop opened in March and features clothing, books and other items, many for babies and children. These are sold to support the second part of the enterprise, the nonprofit Read to Feed. Mary started Read to Feed to promote the weekend food backpacks program at Songo Locks School, which ensures children facing food insecurity have enough to eat over the weekend during the school year. She is also partnered with the Good Shepherd Food Bank and now distributes food donations through the shop as well as at the Naples Public Library. This Sunday, April 30, from 6 to 8 p.m. she will host “Blind Date with a Book” fundraiser at the store, where people pay $5 admission and receive a “blind” book wrapped in a plain brown cover and a treat of popcorn or other snack. Of course, participants can also do some after-hours shopping while they are there. The store is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Follow Thriftocracy on Facebook and learn more about Read to Feed at readtofeedme.org. Mary may also be reached at 619-2797 or 440-7184.
Groundcover herbery workshop
You know spring has sprung when garden centers and nurseries start displaying their goods and offering workshops. Yet another new shop in town, Groundcover, at 209 Main Street, will be hosting a Plant Your Own Herbery workshop on Saturday, May 13, from 10 a.m. to noon. This event is part of their 2017 Turn the Garden Out series of spring workshops and it is designed for those interested in learning how to plant a container tea garden, kitchen garden, or cocktail garden. For more information and to register email firstname.lastname@example.org. Better yet, call 803-8551 or stop by the shop, meet the owner and check out the selection of garden tools and supplies, housewares, home décor and gifts on offer.
New sports bar; new brunch
On Saturday, April 22, the Big Dog Sports Bar opened for business at the Pleasant Mountain Inn, the previous location of the Campfire Grille at 656 North High St. (Route 302) in West Bridgton. The Big Dog Grill will offer patrons all the fun of a sports bar with hearty food and a range of specials. It will be open Monday to Friday, from 4 p.m. to midnight, and Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to midnight.
Meanwhile, the Campfire Grille, now located at 518 Portland Road (heading out of town towards Naples), will be serving brunch every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For further details visit wwwthecampfiregrille.com or call 803-2255.
Time for tee
Golfers will be happy to know that the Commons Driving Range, 146 Harrison Road (Route 117) is now open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Clubs are available for the whole family so everyone can finally get out and practice for the upcoming summer season. For more information, call 647-8900.
Create something new
If you have ever wanted to learn how to paint pictures or create your own personal artwork, now is the time to check out the art classes being offered at Gallery 302. Painting with acrylics, basic composition and art journaling are among the topics that will be covered in the spring session of classes taught by members of the Bridgton Art Guild. For a list of classes and registration forms, visit gallery302.com or call 647-2787. A visit to the gallery at 112 Main St. to see what’s on display is always worthwhile and the public is always welcome to attend the wine and cheese receptions held to open new exhibitions.
The Village Donut Shop & Bakery has made Bridgton a little sweeter since it opened in March.