The Plaid Zebra has already published a couple of well-received articles featuring business owners who, rather than selling their businesses through the more traditional route, have chosen to invite would-be new owners to pen an essay explaining why they might be well-suited and deserving of taking over and running the enterprises. The whole process takes the form of a contest, with applicants writing a relatively short essay—a few hundred words—and submitting it, along with a modest fee (usually not more than $150), within a stipulated period of time. And while the approach has drawn the attention of a few cynics and critics, based on those businesses that have been covered in the mainstream media, it seems that the cynicism and criticism are totally unfounded. In fact, not only does this novel way of passing on what in many cases represents a lifetime of dedication and pride, to someone who is sure to carry on in the tradition and image of the original owner, it gives tens of thousands of business hopefuls who would otherwise not be financially in a position to do so, the chance to see a dream come true. To make the whole proposition worthwhile, there is typically a minimum number of applicants required to submit the essay, and if this minimum is not reached within the allotted timeframe, all monies are refunded to the applicants. Once the closing date has been reached, the contest is ended and a winner is selected by what appears to be an open and fair judging process.
The stories of a 210-year-old bed and breakfast inn in picturesque Maine and a 20-acre goat farm in Alabama have both been covered by The Plaid Zebra. The Maine story has a happy ending with the name of the winning essay having been recently announced, and the application process for the Alabama farm has a closing date of October 1st of this year. But now there is another business that is going to be passed on to the best essay—a bakery/coffee shop combo in Kingston, Massachusetts.
Inspired by the successful sale of the Center Lovell Inn in Maine, the owner of Sweets: Coffee, Cakes & Treats bakery and coffee shop, 60-year-old Maria Enemark, has decided to retire and try her hand at the essay route to pass on her business. The old-fashioned, family-owned bakery/coffee shop combo is located in a refurbished two-story house in the heart of a busy tourist area near Plymouth, Massachusetts. It is mortgage-free and has a loyal customer base. The kitchen and dining room are fully equipped and have been kept in immaculate condition (with a little help from Maria’s husband, who is a carpenter), and in addition to serving beverages and snacks to the tourists and locals, it has a thriving trade making customized cakes and catering to private parties. Based on an appraised value of just under $600,000, Maria expects to get at least 4,000 applicants. This opportunity will obviously appeal to anyone who enjoys baking, cooking and working with the public. Each application costs $150. The essay contest has just recently begun and the closing date is October 10th of this year. In addition to obtaining a deed to the business and building, the winner will also receive $15,000 in start-up money. Details of the contest, along with the application form, can be found here.
Sweets: Coffee, Cakes & Treats is located in a busy tourist area near Plymouth, Massachusetts. The refurbished building comes with a fully-equipped kitchen, along with separate dining and take-out areas.
The dining area caters to small and large parties.
Customized baking is a specialty.