By Spencer Seymour
Five years ago, few could have predicted all the wonderful contributions to the St. Marys community that would be made by two people working out of a hole-in-the-wall bakery.
Now, the Kitchen Smidgen chapter in the stories of Cindy Taylor and Scott McLauchlan may be over, but the memories that the couple has been able to collect thanks to their widely-beloved bakery are still ripe and ready to be shared. After placing a thank-you letter in the Independent two weeks ago to their customers, Cindy and Scott spoke with the Independent to share some of the stories they remember most from their five years of running Kitchen Smidgen.
"It never ceased to amaze me how quick this community was and is to give," Scott said, reflecting on the support for charitable causes the customers of Kitchen Smidgen provided. "Whether it was a family going through a challenge, or we wanted to help the hospital or the library, whatever it was, people were incredibly generous with what they did for us and stuffing that donation box."
They also talked about how, for some people, their visit to the bakery on a Saturday or Sunday morning was a chance at a 15-minute getaway from an issue they were having. Scott mentioned a man who came in asking for a box of baked goods that appeared anxious.
"He was indifferent about the choices saying it didn't matter," Scott explained, "As I'm talking with him to make sure I'm getting it right for him, he mentions that he's taking the box to his mother who was in hospice care." Scott proceeded to hand the man his box and told him to take it without paying as he was going through a tough time. "There weren't any ulterior motives, it was just about offering a bit of comfort to someone in need."
Cindy then told two very heartfelt stories that are extra special to her. The first was about a man who was nearing the end of his life and eventually was having difficulty eating solid foods. "I had made a chocolate mousse for him," Cindy remembered, "and the family sent me a photo before he passed away and he was eating the chocolate mousse. They said it made them happy, and it really made him happy."
Then, Cindy talked about a time when a bad day was brightened by some lemon cake. "A daughter who takes care of her parents, one of whom has dementia, came in as her parent was having a birthday and her favourite flavour was lemon, so the daughter asked me if I could make a lemon cake and lemon cupcakes to take to the parent's social group. And she told me that the parent was having a really bad day and didn't want to go to the group, but when the daughter brought out the cake and the cupcakes, she said it made a massive difference and her parent was much happier and ended up going to be with their social group with the cupcakes."
Both Cindy and Scott feel incredibly grateful for the experiences that the Kitchen Smidgen bakery allowed them to gain, even through something that seems so small like baked treats. "It makes me smile," Cindy said gratefully, "that I was able to help make other people smile."