The “Baker’s Muse” Takes Umpleby’s to Another Level
What is Umpleby’s you ask? And who is the baker’s muse? Well, Umpleby’s is Umpleby’s Makers of Fine Baked Goods on South Street in Hanover and the baker’s muse, as she calls herself, is Carolyn Begley, the charming Australian-born wife of baker and shop owner Charles Umpleby. What a team!!
A trained and experienced chef with a dream of running his own bakery, Charles and Carolyn spent several weekends traveling north from their home in Brooklyn looking for the perfect spot. They thought they found it some six years ago and opened their shop in the Bridgewater Mill Mall in Bridgewater, Vermont. The shop was doing well even though the business is that neck of the woods was quite seasonal, but Charles knew he needed some help. So three years into his venture, he turned to SCORE - Counselors to America’s Small Business - and fortunately Ann Hargraves was assigned to be his counselor.
With her strong financial background, Ann knew right away that Charles needed to get his arms around his finances and take advantage of various tax code opportunities that can be instrumental in helping small businesses achieve their objectives.
With the business doing better in Bridgewater, Charles began setting up every Saturday in the summer at the Norwich Farmer’s Market - with Carolyn by his side. The word spread. Umpleby’s was the place to go for exceptional baked goods including various meat pies with Carolyn’s Australian influence.
Then the call came. Dartmouth College was renovating the building at 3 South Street and looking for someone to open a bakery/café. Charles felt it was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up. “Things were going well in Bridgewater, but Hanover is much more cosmopolitan and not as seasonal. I worked with the team at Dartmouth for several months and we opened the new shop and bakery last November.”
While that transition was underway, Charles turned once again to Ann Hargraves at SCORE for some guidance and support. This time, Ann turned to Alice Trent who for years had successfully run Alice’s Bakery in Norwich. Alice was kind enough to advise Charles on what it would take to own a bakery in the Hanover area.
“Alice gave me the confidence to go ahead with the project,” said Charles. “I wasn’t sure that Hanover really needed another bakery and another café, but so far things are all that we could have hoped for. I should mention that Gavin Davis, of Hartland, Vermont, who has been with us over 5 years and is in charge of the bakery, made the move from Bridgewater to Hanover. He’s a key member of our team.”
With an expanded menu to accompany the expanded seating to accompany the expanded hours, the new Umpleby’s is open 7 days a week with growth plans including a light café dinner menu.
You can reach Umpleby’s at 603-643-3030 or visit them on the web at www.umplebys.com or e-mail them at email@example.com - or better yet - stop into the shop. It is, after all, a bakery and nothing smells better than a bakery.