Cinnamon sticks a hit with shoppers

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FARMINGTON — Some call them pinwheels, others call them piggley wiggleys, but Knowlton Corner Farm’s bakery calls them “Simply Scrumptious.”

Shoppers at Hannaford in Farmington on Friday agreed as they sampled the light, sweet pastry dough wrapped around sugar and cinnamon and handed out by Tammy Thibodeau, who’s in charge of sales for the bakery.

The sticks in cinnamon, maple and peanut butter flavors are the bakery’s specialty, but other special items, including bread and popovers, are made on order, she said.

Although the Simply Scrumptious Cinnamon Sticks are sold locally and in stores from Augusta to Lewiston, this is the first Hannaford to offer the local treat, she said.

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Knowlton Corner Farm in Farmington is described as a diversified 60-acre family-run farm featuring horse lessons and boarding, a horse camp, therapeutic riding for the disabled, gardens and the bakery.

The pastries reminded tasters of childhoods when Mom’s leftover pie dough was sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon, rolled and then baked. These go a little beyond those, Thibodeau said.

Owner Arleen Govoni bakes the sweet sticks in cinnamon, maple and peanut butter flavors as ordered. There are no preservatives used. Everything is fresh with local products used, she said.

About two years ago, Govoni began attending farmers markets with breads and pies. The leftover pie crust is used for the cinnamon stick, she said. Then she developed a new crust recipe that pushed the product beyond the typical crust. She would sell more sticks than anything. A customer told her she was “on to something,” giving her the idea to go to the next level with the sticks, she said.

The farm has a licensed home kitchen, and the sticks are made from scratch and by hand.

“It’s labor intensive, but you can’t beat the flavor. They are not like those from a machine,” Govoni said.

While the local Hannaford offers some vegetables from local farmers and local bread products, it took some legwork and nearly year to meet their requirements so the “sticks” could be sold in the local store, Thibodeau said.

There had to be insurances and purchase of a bar code for the product, she said. A nutritional listing was also needed. Without preservatives, the sticks are fresh for 10 days or longer. The product was submitted to a professional shelf-life study, Thibodeau said.

“It’s expensive for the little person, but I understand. I was shocked to get into a big chain store,” Govoni said.

 Management at the local store referred comments to the corporate office. Attempts to reach Hannaford corporate offices were unsuccessful Friday.

“These are good,” commented Bill Rosen of New Jersey, who had stopped into the store at the start of the long holiday weekend.

Thibodeau encouraged him to try one with coffee or to heat it in the microwave and add a little ice cream.

abryant@sunjournal.com

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