The entrance to The Butchers & Bakers, which is now open in the Tontine Mall in Brunswick. Photo by Eric Russell

BRUNSWICK – The town’s newest butcher shop and gluten-free bakery is also a burgeoning local lunch spot, although I’d need another visit before offering a full-throated endorsement.

The Butchers & Bakers is located inside the Tontine Mall on Maine Street, an ideal spot for pedestrian traffic, including students who might wander down from Bowdoin College.

The same space used to be occupied by the popular Wild Oats bakery and café, which has since moved to the former U.S. Navy base near Cook’s Corner, but it looks nothing like it did before. The building has been entirely renovated and now includes two floors of apartments above the retail space. The eatery, a collaboration between baker Marissa Stahl-Hodgkins and butcher Steven Campbell, opened in February.

The interior is clean, modern and expansive. Classy wooden tables and chairs fill half the space. In the other half are two massive display cases – one for bakery items and another with a variety of meats. In the middle of the two cases is where patrons order and pay.

The lunch menu is not extensive and a little on the pricey side (although maybe everything is just pricey nowadays). A handful of made-to-order offerings include burgers made with locally sourced beef, a Reuben sandwich and pulled pork. They range from $12 to $14. There’s also a variety of soups available daily.

The chicken salad sandwich at The Butchers & Bakers in Brunswick Photo by Eric Russell

On this day, I wasn’t in the mood for a hot sandwich, so I stopped at a display case that had pre-made sandwiches and salads. I settled on chicken salad ($11), but the house roast beef almost swayed me.


The sandwich came in a handsome paper box with cellophane window. A generous amount of smoked chicken and greens were tucked between thick slices of rosemary focaccia. The chicken salad was savory, enhanced by sweet blueberries (which was a pleasant surprise) and crunchy walnuts. There was just enough mayonnaise to hold it all together.

But while I normally enjoy focaccia bread, I’m not certain it worked for this sandwich. It was too dry.

On the plus side, the sandwich was massive. Far more than I could eat in one sitting.

Another plus at Butchers & Bakers are the sweets, either as an after-lunch treat or to take home to the family (if they last that long). There were a variety of cookies ($5 each), mini cheesecakes ($8) and eclairs ($6), all made fresh and all gluten-free (which might be part of why the prices are steep). There is even a sign on the front door letting patrons know that the entire facility is free from gluten.

In addition to the abundant indoor seating, there are about a dozen small tables outside, underneath an awning that shields the noontime sun. It’s a great spot to meet a friend or co-worker.

If I go again, which is likely since I live in Brunswick, I’ll probably try something made-to-order. And bring some baked goods home as well.

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