Maple's was started in the spring of 2006 as the manifestation of a long-held dream of combining my love of handcrafted foods and local organic agriculture. But the entrepreneurial spirit was inherited- my grandfather Jack Angelone opened Maine's first pizza shop after World War II and I grew up watching him, my father, and my aunts manage family-run pizzerias. I knew that I eventually wanted to go out on my own, with a business model that fit my convictions and would allow me to create something I could be proud to pass on to my children as my grandfather did to his.
After years of teaching, travel, and work in various facets of the foodservice industry, I decided to pursue my passion and began talking with local producers about what Maine had to offer for fresh, organic produce, and thinking about how I could best work with them. The truth is that I have a serious sweet tooth, and knew that desserts would somehow have to factor in if I was going to be excited to cook something every day. I had been making gelato at home for years, and had become disappointed with the trend towards mix-based and syrup-flavored ice creams here and abroad. Since milk and eggs are two things we produce year-round in this northern climate, and several farmers I spoke with were happy to work with supplying our business, I decided to leap into the retail and wholesale ice cream business...and so Maple's was born.
From the very beginning, I was struck by how excited folks were to try our products, and to hear about the process behind artisanally-crafted gelato (gelato is Italian-style ice cream, and features a base made from whole milk and egg yolks cooked into a custard, with less cream added than American-style ice cream and less air whipped in during the freezing process). We are committed, even now as we expand our distribution throughout the region, to producing our creations in micro-batches fresh to order every week. Each batch starts out as beautiful, farm-fresh dairy, eggs, and produce, and is lovingly crafted from stovetop to batch freezer (the machine that churns and freezes the custard base) to the table where we hand-pack each pint. I feel good about our creations, and about the role we have been able to play in advocating for and supporting both local farms and artisanal food traditions.
I have been blessed to have wonderful, supportive friends and family who have helped and encouraged me at every stage of this business. We have been embraced by the community and by our customers in Portland and beyond, and the friendships I have developed over good food are what have gotten me through the more challenging aspects of running a business as a young woman. Honestly, though, most of it has been very fun. Now Ihave two young children of my own, and I feel extremely lucky to have work to do every day that I feel passionate about, and that my daughter and son will grow up being a part of this business and of the amazing community of people I'm so fortunate to be surrounded by. I am proud to have the privilege of creating food that brings people joy, and hope to continue doing so for years to come.
Owner, Maple's Organic Desserts
Letter from the founder of Maple's