“,” who sells to passersby from her stoop between Lincoln and St Johns places on Wednesday mornings, has moved her business to a commercial kitchen and is now selling her scones at a couple local cafes and Smorgasburg in Williamsburg.
Meghan Ritchie, a 30-year-old baker who has lived in her Seventh Avenue apartment for eight years, started baking (in her kitchen on the fourth floor of a brownstone) and selling donuts on her stoop in 2007 with her roommate. Last year, she expanded her menu and went solo—creating her own company called Magpies.
Ritchie’s dream is to open up her own bakery someday, and although she hasn't done so yet, she is making progress with her own kitchen and supplying local coffee shops with her sweet treats.
Monday was the first day you could find Magpies’ scones at on Seventh Avenue, instead of buying them from Ritchie, wearing her blue apron, sitting on her stoop. She has also started to supply Little Zelda on Franklin Avenue with scones daily.
"I haven’t had many mornings on the stoop because of my job, so I made a lot of scones and dropped them off at Noella and Little Zelda last week and they loved them so much that they decided to sell them daily," Ritchie said, explaining that Noella bought three different types of scones: cheddar, parmesan and dill; triple ginger (candied ginger, fresh ginger and powdered ginger) and lemon currant scones, which is Ritchie’s personal favorite.
Melissa Rapoport, the owner of Noella between Berkeley and Lincoln places, said she is happy to support a local baker.
"I truly connected with her story. She is a woman who is so passionate about her baking that she has been selling her baked goods on the stoop,” Rapoport said. "Now she has forayed into being a legitimate business with her own commercial kitchen and it is obvious that she is dedicated to her craft.”
But Ritchie’s passion is not the only reason Rapoport decided to sell her scones.
“I felt strongly about supporting a local business woman and felt, in someways, that I met a kindred spirit,” she said. “And it also helped that she makes the best scones I have ever had.”
Magpies’ scones are $3 each and soon Rapoport, inspired by Ritchie’s stoop-side bakery, will set up a “Commuter Express” coffee and scone counter outside Noella on the sidewalk. She will sell a large coffee and a scone for $6 from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. to catch the commuters on their way to the train.
This past weekend, for the first time, Ritchie sold her baked goods at Smorgasburg, the open-air food vendor market in Williamsburg on the East River between North Sixth and North Seventh streets, at Anarchy in a Jar’s tent.
One month ago, Ritchie started to work with Anarchy in a Jar, a homemade jam company that makes over fourteen varieties of shelf-stable jams, jellies, marmalades, chutneys and pickled fruits in Greenpoint.
The owner, Leana McCarthy, wanted some baked goods to feature her jams with, so she hired Ritchie as an assistant and the two women teamed up. Ritchie now sells her homemade pop tarts and scones at Anarchy’s tent at Smorgasburg every Saturday and will eventually sell jam-filled donuts.
Ritchie said that the journey from her stoop to selling her baked goods at Smorgasburg has been an amazing experience.
"I love making food, but I love making food for the local market even more," Ritchie said. "I really enjoy being part of the community, watching people eat my sweets and then tell me how much they like them."
But, Ritchie said, there are other benefits of baking scones in a bigger volume:
"The other perk of baking large quantities of delicious sweet treats is that I get to eat a lot of them," Ritchie admitted. "I have to try each recipe."
Although being part of a larger community is important to Ritchie, what she finds more rewarding is the fact that she is on her way to achieve her goal in getting her own shop.
Now that she is baking for local cafés out of her own commercial kitchen, she has officially made the leap from the stoop to being a legitimate baker.
“This is a small step towards my dream of owning my own bakery, it's on the right path," Ritchie said. "I am finding out what sells, what people like and don't like without taking a big risk of buying a space.”
However, she is a little nostalgic about leaving the stoop and her fellow Park Slopers.
“I dearly miss the stoop and seeing you all week in and week out,” Ritchie said. “I am hoping to have a morning free regularly starting in May. You all will be the first to know when I am back on the Stoop.”