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On your mark, get set, dough! McAdam looking for someone to open village bakery

The vacant building in the southwestern New Brunswick village of McAdam may soon be filled with the aroma of warm treats and fresh bread. The building is currently sporting a sign from the last tenant. (Submitted by Village of McAdam - image credit)
The vacant building in the southwestern New Brunswick village of McAdam may soon be filled with the aroma of warm treats and fresh bread. The building is currently sporting a sign from the last tenant. (Submitted by Village of McAdam - image credit)

The delicious scent of coffee and pastries wafting out the open windows of a tiny bakery nestled across from an historic train station in a quaint village — it's enough to evoke a Hallmark movie.

But in the southwestern New Brunswick village of McAdam, it may soon be a reality.

In an unusual ad posted to McAdam's Facebook page, the village advertised the opportunity to open a bakery in a "well-maintained" and "modernized" building, with stoves, ovens and fridges included.

Mayor Ken Stannix said the idea came to him when a local resident told him how much she'd love to see a bakery in town.

McAdam Mayor Ken Stannix says the village's population has grown by about 100 people in the past four years.
McAdam Mayor Ken Stannix says the village's population has grown by about 100 people in the past four years.

McAdam Mayor Ken Stannix, seen here in a file photo, said a bakery suits the historic area. (Joe McDonald/CBC)

Over the years, the building has been home to a number of businesses, including a shoe repair shop, a hairdressing salon and a restaurant, Stannix said.

But he thinks a bakery suits the area.

"I think a bakery goes in with the artisan view of the street," he said. "You have the history of the station there [and] baking is a historic activity."

Stannix said within the first 48 hours of launching the ad, five people expressed interest and even more have been in touch since then.

The village of McAdam Facebook page posted an ad promoting the opportunity to open a bakery in a 'well-maintained' and 'modernized' building.
The village of McAdam Facebook page posted an ad promoting the opportunity to open a bakery in a 'well-maintained' and 'modernized' building.

The village of McAdam Facebook page posted an ad promoting the opportunity to open a bakery in a well-maintained and modernized building. (Submitted by Village of McAdam)

He wants the successful candidate for the bakery chosen by the end of March, with the hope it will be ready to open for the summer season.

Stannix said there's a lot of foot traffic in McAdam from May through October, with people visiting the train station and the Gun Dealer, a large firearms shop.

The McAdam Railway Station is a former working depot and a national and provincial historic site that offers tours and acts as a visitor information centre. It's also famous as the place where for years you could get amazing homemade pie, known far and wide as railway pie.

"I would love if they could know how to make those types of railway pie. The woman that was running the restaurant, she was creating some railway pie for us last summer," Stannix said.

The McAdam Railway Station, built in 1900 and now a museum and historic site. Over the years, the McAdam Historical Restoration Commission has fundraised millions to restore it.
The McAdam Railway Station, built in 1900 and now a museum and historic site. Over the years, the McAdam Historical Restoration Commission has fundraised millions to restore it.

The McAdam Railway Station, built in 1900, is now a museum and historic site, bringing many visitors to the area from May to October. (Sarah Petz/CBC )

As of right now, Stannix said the village is looking at what criteria should be considered when picking the right person.

"If they have the acumen for the baking and the product is good and then if they have some sense of how to run the business and make it successful, I think then you have a really strong winning combination," he said.

Blair Hyslop knows a thing or two about running a successful bakery.

Hyslop and his wife, Rosalyn Hyslop, who sits on the Bakery Association of Canada board, run the iconic Mrs. Dunster's, a large commercial bakery with locations in Sussex and Moncton.

Blair Hyslop of Mrs Dunsters Bakery. The business has expanded by 50 percent in the past year. It now employs 80 in Sussex
Blair Hyslop of Mrs Dunsters Bakery. The business has expanded by 50 percent in the past year. It now employs 80 in Sussex

Blair Hyslop of Mrs. Dunster's Bakery, seen here in a file photo, said he is always happy to see people opening bakeries in the province. (CBC)

At a time when a lot of baked goods are sold frozen in retail stores, Hyslop said "local bakeries play an important role in keeping fresh products in the market and available for consumers."

He said there are a few key components to a successful bakery, the biggest one being fresh and delicious food.

But having a business mindset is also important, especially with extraordinary inflation affecting the cost of ingredients.

Stannix said part of the thinking behind opening a bakery is to create an environment where people want to come and be part of the village's growth.

The village says the bakery will come will be equipment such as stoves, ovens and fridges.
The village says the bakery will come will be equipment such as stoves, ovens and fridges.

The village says the bakery will come with stoves, ovens, fridges and other equipment. (Submitted by Village of McAdam)

And for him, bakeries make him feel nostalgic.

"It's like when you walked into your house years ago, when your mother had just made fresh rolls and you sat down, you put butter and peanut butter and jam on those fresh rolls and that was comfort food," he said.

"And so I think that elicits that response when you walk into a bakery."

Hyslop agrees that local bakeries can be important to a community, something he notices when watching the hustle and bustle in the mornings outside of his Sussex retail store.

"It's a place where community goes and meets," said Hyslop.

"Shelf life is very short on fresh products, and so people come back often and it brings them joy."