I was riding my bicycle around Brunswick, Maine this past summer when I stopped by a bakery that I’d never seen before. I halted my tracks to observe and look to see if there was anyone around. Well, no one was there because the bakery was closed. I continued onto my route and kept the bakery in my mind. After chatting with a friend, she mentioned “Union St. Bakery & Cake Shop.” It was the same place that I had originally seen, and so I asked if she recommended I go there. She exclaimed that they serve “huge portions” and gushed about how she “could never finish an entire sandwich.”

I went to Union St. Bakery immediately afterwards—and, this time, I first checked to make sure they weren’t closed.

Union St. Bakery exudes comfort; every menu item emits a familiar feeling and adds a flavorful touch. The interior is rustic and projects a leisurely atmosphere. The bright yellow-orange wall beams with small touches of antiquity from the wooden furniture. The menu is displayed onto a large chalkboard with aesthetically pleasing handwriting. I was hit with an instant waft of freshly-baked goods, which I later learned ranged from deletable blueberry muffins to luscious slices of chocolate cake. For a more refreshing dessert, a tart raspberry panna cotta invites guests to open the door and select what caught their eye.

chocolate, brownie, chocolate cake, cake
Rebecca Sather Jenkins

As I explored the bakery, I felt immersed into a new world reminiscent of Studio Ghibli’s “Kiki’s Delivery Service,” and I felt at home with the overall vibe. Chatter filled the bakery with families coming together to enjoy a nice meal or parents picking up treats for their children. The menu offered a variety of comfort food ranging from heart sandwiches to packed salads. And did I mention dessert? It doesn’t matter if you have a sweet tooth or not; you wouldn't regret indulging in their desserts.

Let’s move onto what I ordered: a Turkey BLT sandwich, homemade potato salad as my side, and a raspberry panna cotta. I stood in front of the cold dessert refrigerator debating if I should grab an airy chocolate mousse or the panna cotta. I went with the latter, but there’s no doubt I would have devoured the chocolate mousse in seconds. My mouth-watering Turkey BLT sandwich arrived. The golden brown toast held the tasty filling and, on the side, a portion of potato salad. My friend was right—the sandwich was huge and smelled amazing. The sandwich itself was crisp and packed with flavor from the perfectly-cooked bacon and tender turkey. A refreshing potato salad was the ideal addition on a hot summer day. I would like to thank Bowdoin for developing my sweet tooth and Union St. Bakery for further strengthening it.

Nicole Lacasse

To all my fellow Polar Bears and Brunswick townsfolk, I highly recommend checking out Union St. Bakery. It emulates a warm hug and embraces everything it means to have a home-cooked meal. Take yourself out on a date, bring friends, your partner, whoever. I can’t recommend this place enough, and I'm so glad that I took the journey this summer—there have been many since!