Mammy’s Bakery a beacon of hope in pandemic

Fri, 01/01/2021 - 8:00am

    Mammy’s Bakery owner Jessica Deshiro and staff continue to put smiles on for customers through the COVID-19 pandemic even if the smiles are hidden behind masks. Deshiro said she feels lucky Mammy’s, at 100 Main St., Wiscasset, has been able to continue with little change.

    “When I opened the bakery almost two years ago, we had a great takeout/to-go meal selection, so we didn’t need to change too much of what we were already doing … Each day I walk into the bakery, I am humbled and grateful our lights are still on and we are able to unlock the door for customers.”

    Mammy’s has also been providing food items free of charge for those struggling and in need of a snack or meal. Deshiro said she knew because the pandemic was going to affect businesses, educators and families, she wanted the community to know she and Mammy’s would have its back. Some of the items the bakery provides are sandwiches, pastries and pre-made meals. Customers can identify the items by a small “x” on the packaging.

    “I knew we were going to be facing some scared, hungry bellies who may not feel comfortable coming forward or walking into a food pantry … The staff and myself wanted to make it known via social media that we are always a place someone could come in and grab a sandwich, meal, or pastry out of our cooler and not feel outed or in the struggling spotlight.”

    Food insecurity – and the embarrassment or shyness to ask for help – are things Deshiro and her family have experienced in the past. Mindful of those needs and emotions, Deshiro said her efforts to help are fueled by the idea there are children and elders who go without eating or people struggling to cope with isolation and the day to day.

    While Deshiro is tenacious in promoting Mammy’s goods and services on social media, she is not one to seek attention for her generosity. Wiscasset’s Linda Campbell highlighted Mammy’s deliveries and her campaigns, such as promoting children’s health through fundraisers, combating Alzheimer’s and supporting Save the Bees.

    Said Campbell, “She gains nothing but the satisfaction of knowing she has helped others … I'm taking care of two elderly ladies right now. I go in to help them out … and she knew these two ladies were kind of housebound this time of year, so she gave me some bread … and told me to continue coming back once a week. She'd give me meals and frozen soups for them at no cost … She's just been doing a phenomenal job to the community.”

    Deshiro said she is driven to help others for their sake, and to make her grandmothers proud. “I think it was a year that a lot of us became a little less selfish and gave back not wanting any recognition … We want the community to know that Mammy’s is a place they can come and get that meal support.”