Kristie Freeman (left) poses with her fiancé Zeb Dodge and daughter Hannah in their kitchen on July 7, 2022. John Terhune / The Times Record

Four-layer lemon raspberry cake. Chocolate peanut butter pie. Tiramisu.

Not long ago, Midcoast residents in search of a late-night treat might have been stuck with a candy bar from a vending machine or maybe some gas station ice cream. But over the past two years, police officers, college students and other nocturnal sugar fiends have transformed Kristie’s Creations from a side hustle into a bustling 24/7 family bakery on the otherwise quiet Hennessey Avenue in Brunswick.

“We bake every day, two shifts a day,” said owner Kristie Freeman. “That’s all we do. We’ll go all night depending on what we have for orders. Friday nights we usually don’t go to bed.”

Pumpkin muffins. White chocolate blondies. Jumbo citrus twists.

Freeman always loved baking growing up. While other kids tuned in to Saturday morning cartoons, she preferred PBS cooking shows.

Orders for the rest of this week line a fridge in Kristie Freeman’s kitchen on July 7, 2022. John Terhune / The Times Record

After a heart attack killed Freeman’s husband Russell in 2017, baking became more than a hobby for the now single mother of a teenage daughter: it was an emotional release.


“I thought my life was over,” she remembered. “But I had to get a job, do something to support myself and my daughter. I started baking on the side. It became my therapy – just a reason to go on and keep moving.”

Freeman often shared her creations with her fellow nurses at Mid Coast Hospital. She waved off their suggestions that she start a business but began distracting herself during restless nights by researching and designing a commercial kitchen.

Then, the pandemic arrived, and Freeman found herself amid an ocean of laid-off Americans. Needing some way to make money, she decided to spend more time on Kristie’s Creations, which to that point had been a small side project.

“We started out with a bake sale, just to tell people, ‘We’re here,’” Freeman said. “The bake sale just never ended.”

A selection of treats and drinks wait to be purchased from the Kristie’s Creations bakery stand on July 7, 2022. John Terhune / The Times Record

Dark Chocolate Cherry Scones. Ham and Cheddar Quiche. Meatloaf.

Zeb Dodge wasn’t much of a baker, but he knew how to cook.


Dodge, once a childhood sweetheart of Freeman’s, reconnected with her in 2019. When he, too, lost his job to the pandemic, he joined his now-fiancé in the kitchen for marathon baking sessions that regularly stretch until 6 a.m.

“It’s our life now,” he said.

Besides taking the lead on the bakery’s rabidly popular comfort food dinners, which he aims to cook once-per-week, Dodge was responsible for the business’ most unique element: its unattended, 24-7 bakery stand, where customers can pay for an assortment of treats with Venmo, PayPal or, thanks to a locked drop box, cash or check.

“I called Kristie and said, ‘Why don’t we make a bakery stand instead of a farm stand?’” Dodge said. “It kind of just went from there.”

Twenty to 30 customers visit the bakery stand each week, which accounts for about half of Kristie’s Creation’s business, according to Freeman. Many late-night workers, including taxi drivers and police officers, stop buy for sweets, as do a growing number of college students.

“Word spreads fast through Bowdoin,” said Bowdoin College shuttle driver Angela Keating, who learned about the bakery from her colleague Jennifer Jacobs. “Before you know it, I’m taking kids there every night.”


It’s no mystery why the students flock to Kristie’s, Keating said.

“The cupcakes are just divine,” she said. “I wish I would have never found it because it’s really hard to drive by.”

Kristie Freeman (left) stands with her daughter Hannah and fiance Zeb Dodge next to their 24/7 bakery stand on July 7, 2022. John Terhune / The Times Record

Million dollar bars. Frozen bananas. Cannoli.

Hannah Freeman, a college student, cake decorator and occasional taste-tester, said she’s been happy to see her mother’s passion grow into a Brunswick staple.

“Our dream growing up was to have the bakery on the corner,” she said. “Instead, we kind of just made it here.”

Though the business has made some recent upgrades, including two cameras to prevent theft from the bakery stand’s coolers, Freeman said she’s content with Kristie’s Creations as it is. After experiencing personal tragedy and professional hardship, bringing some sweetness into the world is more than worth the late nights in the kitchen.

“I love seeing the kids come down on their bikes,” she said. “I love to be that neighborhood place grandmas walk their kids down to get a little treat. I spent four years just depressed and sad. I just want to make people happy.”

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