LEWISTON — After years of dreaming and four months of prep, 21-year-old Emily Fournier is opening a bakery and lunch spot at the former DaVinci’s Eatery in Bates Mill No. 2 next week.

E. Claire and Pastries, a play off her first and middle name, will have salmon and meat pies, quiche, cakes by the slice, French and American pastries and a decadent bakery counter.

It’s ambitious, and it’s also bittersweet for who won’t be there: Fournier’s father, Moe, her biggest supporter, died unexpectedly in his sleep two weeks ago at age 67 while on vacation.

“He did everything with me; he was involved in every step of the way,” said Fournier, from balancing books to getting his hands doughy. “He took culinary classes with me, together to prepare, to see if we really liked baking.”

Last year, Fournier and her parents, Moe and Denise, were the third tenants to step forward and commit to space in a future, redeveloped Bates Mill No. 5. While the timing for that spot is looking further out than hoped — Fournier said she’s been told 2019 — Platz Associates offered to lease the Bates Mill No. 2 space.

Fournier said if her new spot is successful, she’ll consider opening a second location in Mill No. 5.

Starting Aug. 4, the new E. Claire and Pastries will be open seven days a week, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. serving breakfast and lunch. In addition to sandwiches and meat pies, it will also serve Hurricane’s Cafe & Deli soups at lunch.

Diners will order and pay at the counter and seat themselves.

Fournier said she’s going for a family-friendly feel. At lunchtime, it will be hot and fast.

“As long as people give us a shot, I know that they’ll be back,” she said.

To take work off her plate while she runs the business, she’s hired one part-time and two full-time bakers.

“They’re so talented, I’m real excited to work with them,” Fournier said. “My mom makes the best candies, so she’s going to be helping out there and really doing a little bit of everything with me. It’s great to have her as a support.”

Fournier, who started at Bates College out of high school, transferred to Central Maine Community College 18 months ago. She’s a year away from two associate degrees, one in culinary arts, one in business administration.

She may take a little time off from college as she launches the business.

Fournier described her father as the “heart of the bakery.” Moe had retired from a career as a collections coordinator for the state. He was also well-known locally as chief operating officer of Loaves and Fishes in Sabattus.

“He encouraged me to sign up with the Chamber of Commerce, to really get out there and step out of my comfort zone, just to be more outgoing and to make connections,” she said. “He did everything. It’s such a void.”

She and her mom want to open E. Claire and Pastries for themselves and for him, she said.

“We feel like he’s with us in our hearts, but every day we go to the bakery, we’ll feel him present with us as well because he was involved in every decision,” she said.

[email protected] 

“He is the heart of the bakery,” Denise Fournier, right, said about her late husband, Moe Fournier. Moe, Denise and their daughter, Emily, left, worked hard to get E. Claire and Pastries ready to open on Aug. 4. Moe died unexpectedly on July 7. “This is for him. He did everything to make sure the bakery is a success,” said Denise. 

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: