By Jillian H.
This past year has witnessed the opening of several new businesses in Duxbury. One such business is The Foodsmith bakery.
The Foodsmith is a bakery and lunch shop that serves fresh, homestyle food. “We’re not a fast-food establishment…We believe in old-style customer service,” said owner Laura Raposa. “We strive to be a good neighbor and support the community.”
Raposa worked in her dream job as a writer at the Boston Herald for thirty years. Though she was passionate about her work, she realized that her love for cooking and feeding others was just as strong. About fifteen years ago, she began participating in bootcamps at the Culinary Institute of America in New York, spent weekends at King Arthur Flour’s Baking Education Center in Vermont, and did catering for friends and family. In 2011, she even appeared on the second season of “MasterChef.”
“I totally washed out on Day One. It was humiliating, but it taught me a valuable lesson about these TV cooking shows: your cooking skill means nothing. It’s all about your ‘story,’” Raposa said. Jokingly, she added, “I’m still bitter, can’t you tell?”
Though she believed she had found her lifelong career in journalism, she realized that the business was changing and decided to take the rest of her life in a different direction. At age 52, she officially began a career in the food business. She interned at the Boston Flour Bakery and blogged about food until her husband encouraged her to open her own bakery. Thus, The Foodsmith came to life.
Every morning, there are muffins, two kinds of scones, a coffee cake, and sometimes an Energy Bar or quick bread for sale. The lunch menu, however, changes daily. Typically, Raposa and her partner Betsey decide the menu the day before, though it has been decided the morning of as well. Raposa’s days start at 4 a.m. each morning, and she bakes continuously until 7 a.m. Around then, she begins preparing for that day’s lunchtime meals.
The Foodsmith places high value on customer service and feedback. Raposa said, “There have been many days when a customer says, ‘Hey, when are you going to have Asian Chicken Salad again?’ Not missing a beat, Betsey and I look at each other and say, ‘Tomorrow!’ We aim to please.”
“The owners care so much about their customers and the food they’re putting out to them. We have so many regulars and many of them know us by name and vice versa,” said DHS senior and Foodsmith employee Alexandra D. “It’s a community staple.”
Also an employee, DHS senior Samantha D. said, “I like that it’s hands on…I’ve learned about working under pressure, staying organized, managing time, speaking to people, and other forms of problem solving.”
In the past year, Raposa has remained passionate about The Foodsmith despite all the elbow grease. “Every day is different, naturally,” she said. “[But] one thing remains constant: I am happy, grateful and fulfilled at the end of each day.”
“Our breakfast sandwiches are made to order and served on the best English muffin you’ll ever eat. We don’t use deli meat. We roast turkeys, poach chicken and slow-cook pork. We don’t bake pies and cakes ‘on spec’ because we abhor waste. If you need an apple pie, give me a day, and it will be warm when you pick it up. And we serve the best organic cold brew coffee year-round!”
Samantha said, “You can tell right when you walk in, when the aromas of the kitchen hit you, that there’s a lot of care put into the food we make.”
The Foodsmith is open Tuesday through Sunday from 7 a.m to 2 p.m. It is located at 17 Standish Street in Hall’s Corner.