Nancy Ames has plans for Sullivan House Bakery in Gorham’s Village Mall. Robert Lowell / American Journal

The aroma of fresh baked goods will soon be wafting around Gorham’s Village Mall.

Nancy Ames and her husband, Jim Svendsen who has construction experience, are busily working to create the Sullivan House Bakery at the former site of Grit and Grace Crossfit, which closed last year because of COVID-19. She hopes to open by Aug. 1.

One of Ames’ creations, a bananas foster biscuit. Contributed / Nancy Ames

A Gorham resident since 2005, Ames said a bakery is “the heart of the town,” a community gathering spot.

Her bakery’s name comes from a historic, private residence for the upper crust on Boston’s Beacon Hill, she said. The house had a reputation for its parties and fine dining. Ames said her great-grandfather, if he didn’t care for a meal served at home, would blurt out, “I’ll go to the Sullivan House.”

“It was a lighthearted threat,” Ames said, and it became a one-liner passed down through the family.

Sullivan House Bakery will have a variety of baked goods – tea cakes, brownies, sweet rolls, muffins, biscuits and more. For every loaf of bread she sells, Ames will donate a loaf to an elderly person in need or to an organization that helps those in need.

“I want to give back,” she said.

She’ll hire six to eight employees and do some of the baking herself, she said. The bakery, with indoor seating for 40 and another eight outside, will be open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., and eventually will stay open to 4 p.m. She hopes to have traditional breakfast and lunch items on the menu at a later date.

Nancy Ames will open a bakery in this space at the Village Mall in Gorham. Robert Lowell / American Journal

The interior will feature modern farmhouse and Victorian decorations, and local artist Sarah Coughlin will produce seven murals for the walls.

“They (customers) are going to like this space,” Ames said.

The bakery will be a welcome addition to the village, said Gorham Economic Development Director Kevin Jensen.

“We believe Nancy will develop a loyal following for her baked goods and further boost Gorham’s reputation as a destination for outstanding retail and dining,” Jensen said Wednesday.

The bakery represents a career change for Ames. She spent the majority of her 30-year working career in the insurance field until her most recent position at a large company was eliminated. But she loves baking, she says, and has experience in the hospitality industry, once owning an inn in Vermont.

Svendsen is the owner of the Gorham School of Music.

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