I feel so lucky to be a part of a network of creative, inspirational women. I have no shortage of acquaintances, friends, and mentors creating delightful things. We all express our creativity differently and through different mediums, and that's what makes being a creative entrepreneur so much fun. In my Women Who Own It series, I'm interviewing women who inspire me, and who are at their most creative. I'm so excited to share more about them with my audience.
Tracy Sweeney (TS): Location, location, location! Where can Elan Studio readers find Taunton Ave Bakery? Maggie Soares (MS): Taunton Ave Bakery is located at 217 Taunton Ave, in East Providence, Rhode Island.
TS: Tell us a little about where you come from. MS: I was born in Lisbon, Portugal. When I was 15 years old, I moved to the U.S. with my parents and sister. I started high school right away and graduated from East Providence High School in 2000. After school, I worked part time at a Portuguese bakery and, over time, I developed an interest in baking and cake decorating. At the time, I didn't think "this is what I want to do with my life", but I really liked to get my hands on cakes and decorate them!
A few years later, I took a job with a local dentist as an office administrator and dental assistant. I really enjoyed the dental field.
My boyfriend (who would become my husband) worked at an East Providence bakery called Taunton Ave Bakery. A few years later, we were married and the opportunity arose to buy the bakery. He couldn't get it out of his mind so we bought the bakery, and I quit dental work to become a Cake Master.
A decade into the bakery business, I lost my beloved husband to a terrible disease - cancer. I was left with a business, 2 children, and most of my life still ahead of me. Part of my grieving process was dedicating myself to my business even more. I took it to the next level! It's been 3 years now and I have an amazing staff. We work together as a team. I love what I do and feel I have so much more to accomplish (maybe even expansion)!
TS: Tell us more about your business. What are you known for? What are you most proud of? What sets you apart? MS: Taunton Ave Bakery is one of the best bakeries in Rhode Island. For 3 years in a row, we've been picked to participate in the Rhode Island Critic's Choice Food & Drink Event.
We specialize in everything! European pastries and cakes, wedding cakes, artesian breads, coffee, soups, panini, sandwiches, and much more. I'm so very proud of what we have accomplished in the last 3 years.
TS: Has the road to success been smooth? MS: I have to say, yes! I like to be challenged and and I am always curious to learn more and do more with my business. I can't wait to see what the future holds for me and Taunton Ave Bakery.
I was also recognized as Rhode Island's Woman of the Year in 2018 and 2020, and was on The Rhode Show for the first time! It's all very exciting! Most places I go, everyone knows Taunton Ave Bakery. With hard work, you can do anything you want!
TS: What advice can you offer to a female business owner who is early in her journey? MS: Follow your dreams! If it scares you, it means you're on the right path! Believe in yourself, like I did!