The former Abby’s Café at 17 Bridge St. opened under new ownership and a similar name: Abigail’s Bakery and Cafe.
The doors opened for business on April 8 after it was purchased by 23-year-old, Hannah Chartier, a recent graduate of Plymouth State University. Abigail’s Bakery has been in Chartier’s family for four generations now.
“In 1978, my grandmother actually started Abigail’s Bakery as a café in downtown New Boston,” Chartier said.
Chartier’s mother eventually bought the bakery and turned it into a wholesale bread bakery in Weare, NH.
After Chartier graduated, she was still deciding what she wanted to do. Her mother was ready to sell the bakery in Weare and Chartier felt she would regret it if she didn’t take over the family business.
“It was at my fingertips, and I really couldn’t say no,” Chartier said.
Chartier started working at the bakery in Weare, making occasional deliveries to Abby’s Café at the time. When she saw it was for sale, she used it was an opportunity to expand her business.
“I texted my mom right away because I love making food for people,” Chartier said.
Chartier also texted previous owner, Abby Reed, right away and made an offer. It eventually came to be, and Reed accepted. Chartier expressed her gratitude towards Reed.
“She’s an amazing person,” Chartier said.
The connection with people is what drew Chartier into starting the café. She explained that Abigail’s Bakery at the wholesale level is mostly communication through phone calls or emails. Chartier was determined to make connections with customers the way her grandmother did at the original café in 1978.
Abigail’s Bakery and Café’s menu is mostly the same as Abby’s Café, with a few additions. They now sell fresh bread, eggs, cheeses, quiches, sticky buns, and more. Some of the menu items come from Chartier’s mother and stepfathers farm, Lucky 7, in Washington, NH. Arguably the most popular new item at Abigail’s Bakery and Café is the Big Abby, a combination of eggs, bacon and cheese baked into their homemade bread.
“On the weekends we do the Big Abby’s, which actually started at the café in New Boston. Every weekend my grandmother would make them and completely sell out, they’re super popular and that has been the case here as well,” Chartier said.
The students at New England College are pleased to see familiar items on the menu as well as new additions.
“I’m glad I can still get my regular breakfast sandwich, but I think the Big Abby might be my new favorite,” Senior Hunter Bushnell said.
Chartier has a couple of goals that involve the students at NEC. She plans to do more social media to brand their items to involve students on campus.
“Another goal, I want to put a lunch sandwich on the board called The Pilgrim,” Chartier said.
As a young, new business owner, Chartier knew going in that it would be a learning curve and that every day she was going to make a mistake and learn from it.
“With the help of my mom, my stepdad, my friends and family, and my boyfriend being very supportive in everything I do and coming in and helping on the weekends it’s going really well, no complaints right now,” Chartier said.