Grab Fresh Bread, Seasonal Treats and More at Mapleville Farm
The sibling-run farm in Burrillville serves up fresh-baked pastries, a veggie CSA and even a breadbox subscription featuring seasonal loaves like the Earl Grey and lavender.
If you’re looking for fresh-baked bread, mouthwatering treats and grown-on-site veggies all in one scenic spot, you’ve got to head to the woods.
Mapleville Farm is a sibling-run farm and bakery in Burrillville that encompasses all the best things about a neighborhood farmstand: fresh, seasonal produce grown on the property, mouthwatering breads and pastries, cute critters (think: chickens, goats and a rescue teacup pig) and friendly owners committed to serving the local community.
The Ryan siblings — Mike, Casey and Ben Ryan and Emma Echt — opened Mapleville Farm as a family business in 2011. The farm offers fresh-baked breads and treats every Saturday and Sunday, as well as a CSA for veggies during the summer months. They also offer eight-week breadbox subscriptions, where participants can pick up a new specialty loaf every week. The next one starts on March 11 and features seasonal flavors, including a potato loaf, Guinness sourdough and Earl Grey and lavender loaf.
“It is one of our most popular seasonal breads. We do it only in the spring. We get the lavender in Connecticut from Fort Hill Farms, and people go crazy for it,” Emma says.
The business grew out of the siblings’ individual passions. Growing up homeschooled in Burrillville, they had plenty of time to pursue their interests, from farming to cooking. For Ben, that meant learning to bake. Their parents briefly owned a bakery in Pascoag where Ben and Mike worked as teenagers, and the siblings grew up learning to bake Italian holiday cookies from their mother and grandmother.
“I just spent a lot of time in the kitchen. I worked at a couple different bakeries that did bread,” Ben says. “Whenever we would go on a trip somewhere, I’d just find the nearest bakery and go work for a day. I got a lot of varied experience doing that.”
They started off small, with two acres their parents owned on Victory Highway. They later expanded, purchasing another twenty acres adjacent to the property. In the early years, they focused on farmers markets, sometimes hitting as many as twelve farmers markets in a week. They grew a loyal following around the state, but the work was grueling. Every day began with an early wakeup call to bake the bread before packaging it, driving to the market, setting up, selling and breaking down, just to do it all over again in the afternoon.
“By the time we were done, it was one o’clock in the morning until probably eight o’clock [at night], a lot of times six days a week,” Ben recalls.
These days, they sell out of an open-air farmstand at their Mapleville location. The stand boasts an impressive lineup of breads and pastries made with seasonal produce, plus jams, syrup and other extras made at the farm or by friends within the industry. Last week’s menu featured the braided Italian bread, farmhouse sandwich loaf, garlic and herb focaccia and stout sourdough, along with cookies, cinnamon rolls, superfudge brownies and lemon sticks. All of the bakery items are made on the property, and items often sell out.
“Our customers know if they want something to call ahead, and we’ll put it aside,” Emma says.
Once a month, they offer “croissant Sundays,” and sell dozens of chocolate and regular croissants by pre-order. The process, Mike says, takes two days. Orders close on Friday, and they start making them on Friday night, preparing everything by hand.
“It’s a labor of love. It takes a long time,” he says.
The farm also offers floral arrangements prepared by Casey, who learned while working with her uncle at Atwood Florist. She also raises goats and makes goat’s milk soap to sell at the farmstand. Their Italian cookies draw a crowd around the holidays, and their bakery pizza was voted “best pizza in Burrillville” according to Restaurant Guru. With the upcoming Easter holiday, they plan to take special orders for pies and other seasonal desserts, and will accept pre-orders for zeppole for St. Joseph’s Day on March 19.
Though they still have customers who come from as far away as South County and even Vermont for their bakery fix, the siblings say they began to gain more of a local following during the pandemic, when customers started stopping by weekly to take advantage of curbside pickup. They’re currently in the process of building out a larger, indoor bake shop on the farm. In addition to more space for browsing, the siblings say they hope to transition to hosting more events such as weddings. They currently offer two special events every year, a Mother’s Day tea and a Father’s Day breakfast, both of which sell out.
Like other food businesses, they’ve been hit with the rapidly rising price of ingredients. Mike says they’ve tried to be sensitive to the local community and have only raised prices once on their products in recent months.
“One of the things we’ve had to navigate, too, is we’re in Burrillville, it’s not exactly a high income town,” he says. “In a big city you’re competing with other fancy bakeries. In a town like Burrillville, you’re competing with the convenience stores selling Wonder Bread. It’s been a lot to navigate through to figure out what we can charge. What we have to charge here, but also not be so ridiculous that people don’t come.”
Mike, who left a desk job during the pandemic to work full-time at the farm, says it took time for their friends to understand that just because they own their own business, they can’t take time off whenever they like. Farming is a difficult life, he says, and the siblings often contend with weather, broken equipment and other challenges to keep the property running from day to day. For the Ryan family, it’s an all-consuming passion, one that took years to arrive at where they are today.
“You can’t get away, so you have to really love what you do. And we do,” he says.
Mapleville Farm is open on Saturdays from 9 to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 9 to 3 p.m.
544 Victory Highway, Mapleville, 568-0544, maplevillefarm.com
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