The Wrap: Bread, cookies and chocolate – Kennebec Journal & Early Morning Guard

16September 2020

Ahmed Abbas of Ameera Bread tosses naan flatbread in his cooking area in 2019. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer If you’re a fan of Ameera bread (or its hummus), you’ve most likely discovered that the popular Middle Eastern pastry shop and dining establishment at 845 Forest Ave. has actually been closed for about a month now. I’m unfortunate to report that the business– at least as you have actually known it– has shut down indefinitely.

And no, the pandemic is not the perpetrator. Owner Ahmed Abbas states he remains in a protracted legal battle with a relative over business that may take months to fix. Meanwhile, the dispute has left Abbas and his household locked out of the pastry shop and with a lot of bills to pay. “My life resembles a disaster, all of a sudden,” Abbas said.

Abbas stated he and his spouse are hoping to find a little area elsewhere in Portland to open a new shop so they can begin baking bread once again and get back on their feet.

Fight plastics pollution with cookies

I have a sneaking suspicion these cookies are going to be great.

Leigh Kellis, founder of The Holy Donut, has introduced a vegan cookie company called The Sugary food Sea Business that will likewise help battle the scourge of plastic contamination in the oceans. The company motto: “Hope is Sugary food.”

Leigh Kellis, founder of Holy Donuts, has released a cookie company with a social objective.

Picture thanks to Chris Kast Kellis was influenced by her daughter Avery, a surfer who found herself surrounded by floating plastic when she was training in Hawaii. The doughnut maker has partnered with Chris Kast, a Portland brand name strategist and creative director, who will act as vice president and chief operating officer of the new business. Kast said they have teamed up with an agreement baker, and cookies must be prepared in a few weeks for sale online at They wish to sell the cookies through regional restaurants as well.

“There’s so much awfulness in the world and in the news right now, we wish to do this with pleasure,” Kast stated. “We want to do this with love.”

The very first three cookie varieties will be sweet sea salt Belgian chocolate, oatmeal raisin and sunflower crunch. At first, 10 percent of sales will be contributed to The Ocean Conservancy, with an objective to increase that amount to half as the company grows.

Dining establishments get grants for looming winter

The Maine Dining Establishment Relief Fund has awarded its first 2 grants.

Smitty’s Cinema in Windham and Rustica Cucina Italiana in Rockland each received $5,000 Sunday during a live webcast from O’Maine Studios in Portland.

The relief fund has actually been hosting weekly online fundraisers called Re-Up ME, which include a cook-along with Maine chefs. Viewers can contribute to the fund during the occasions, but much of the grant cash is originating from corporate sponsorships by Hannaford, Bangor Savings Bank, Cross Insurance and Oakhurst.

Re-Up ME plans to disperse 100 grants by December to help struggling Maine restaurants make it through the winter season, according to Rory Strunk, CEO of O’Maine Studios, who teamed up with Hospitality Maine for the task.

More recipients will be announced on the Sept. 20 Sunday Supper livecast, which will be held at 5 p.m. at

Jenkins talks olive oil

Nancy Harmon Jenkins, a nationally understood food writer, stirs soup in her Camden kitchen in this archive picture . Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

Maine food author Nancy Harmon Jenkins, author of “Virgin Area: Exploring the World of Olive Oil,” will be the speaker at a virtual meeting of the Culinary Guild of New England from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Monday.

Jenkins will discuss how olive oil is made, why it’s so costly, and the ways it benefits your health. She’ll likewise discuss how to pick and use olive oil.

Jenkins, who resides in Camden, is the author of nine cookbooks; her latest is “The Four Seasons of Pasta,” which is a partnership with her daughter, Sara Jenkins, chef/owner of Nina June in Rockport.

Admission is totally free for Culinary Guild members and $10 for non-members. To register, go to 3lMTtYO.

Cocktail fundraiser

Briana Volk, co-owner of the Portland Hunt + Alpine Club, has actually collaborated on a digital cocktail dish book that will raise cash for political causes.

“Collins Against Collins: Drinks for a Revolution,” Volks states, “functions BIPOC, LGBTQA+ and womxn hospitality pros from every state.” Isaac MacDougal, owner of Mixed drink Mary in Portland, has actually contributed a recipe, and Carmen Harris, co-owner of Magnus on Water in Biddeford wrote an essay. The book is a cooperation amongst Volk; bar owner and hospitality expert Alex Day, who has co-authored 2 other cocktail books; and Hayley Wilson, a Portland bartender.

“Collins Versus Collins” is offered for pre-sale for $35 at The book will come out Nov. 3, Election Day. A limited release of hard copies is also prepared, with the help of a group of designers and photographers who are volunteering their time. All proceeds from the book’s sales will be contributed to down-ballot Democratic races and Radicalxchange, a group that, according to its instagram account, is a “Consultancy serving hospitality & & social justice based cultural occasions & & resources.”

Briana Volk and her spouse and company partner Andrew Volk have been active in regional Democratic politics. Andrew Volk ran unsuccessfully for Portland City Council in 2015. Most recently, the couple appeared in an advertisement opposing the re-election of Maine Sen. Susan Collins.

Call modification

The owners of Black Dinah Chocolatiers have chosen a brand-new name: Ragged Coast Chocolates.

Kate Shaffer, who co-owns the Westbrook-based business with her husband, Steve Shaffer, altered the name in response to the Black Lives Matter movement. Black Dinah is the name of a mountain on Island au Haut, where the company was founded. However the name was also once utilized as a generic term for Black female slaves.

The company’s brand-new logo design features a puffin, a seabird that nests off the coast of Maine and is listed as “vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. As part of its rebranding, Ragged Coast Chocolates has actually partnered with Buddies of Maine Coastal Island National Wildlife Haven to raise money to benefit the group’s work conserving seabird nesting websites in Maine. The chocolatier will produce a limited-edition gift set including chocolates, a Tee shirts and a map of Maine’s seabird nesting islands.

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