A behind-the-scenes look at a Maine highlight from season three of Weekends with Yankee.
By Amy Traverso
Jun 04 2019
Two Fat Cats’ Wild Maine Blueberry PiePhoto Credit : Christina Wnek Photography
Portland is New England’s best bakery town. If that claim sounds familiar, it’s because I also made it in our March/April issue for the feature “Food Town Showdown,” in which Portland triumphed over Boston in the bakeries category.
I say it again here with a conviction born of many a carb crawl. Portland shines because the croissants at Belleville are so flaky, the cinnamon buns at Tandem are so fragrant, and the baguettes at Standard Baking Co. could make a Parisian’s heart flutter. These three eateries make up Portland’s baking trifecta—and are the most readily lauded whenever hungry food writers roll into town.
But there’s another kind of bakery that gets even closer to the heart of a city. It’s where you buy your kids’ birthday cakes, where the pie can cure whatever ails you, and where you stop on a whim for a simple but unimprovable chocolate chip cookie. Though often overlooked by trend-spotters, this is the kind of bakery that’s woven into holiday and anniversary memories.
Two Fat Cats is just this sort of place. It was founded in 2005 by the team behind Standard Baking Co. but was purchased by Stacy Begin and Matthew Holbrook seven years later. From the beginning, Begin and Holbrook knew exactly what their mission was: to make “elevated homey desserts,” as Begin puts it. “We know that we’re baking for the milestones.”
They also make an outstanding blueberry pie, which is why I spent an afternoon baking with their team as part of a segment on Maine blueberries for season three of Weekends with Yankee. We filmed the blueberry harvest in Machias, Maine, then returned to the Two Fat Cats kitchen to pile a mix of blueberries, lemon, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar into a flaky crust.
Then we got to taste a freshly baked pie. Eating on camera is always a little awkward, but this pie was worth any bit of self-consciousness.