PORTLAND, Maine — At Botto's Bakery in Portland, family time and business time go hand in hand.
The business opened on Pearl Street in Portland in 1949. Joe Botto moved the bakery to Washington Avenue, where it still operates today. Stephen Matthews was 17-years-old when he got his first job there.
"Well working back then the hours were 1 a.m. to about 10 a.m., so it kept me out of trouble," said Mathews.
Mathew's dad bought the business from the Bottos in 1983 and it's been in their family ever since. His niece, Jessica Mathews, is the head of the pastry department. She never planned on joining the family business, but after working as a social worker in Boston for seven years she decided to enroll in culinary school. That is where she discovered her love of self expression through desserts.
"I'm not an artist by any stretch," said Jessica Mathews. "I can't draw, I can't paint, but creating with food is a good way to escape the kind of humdrum of everyday life."
Bakers felt the same way 70 years ago when Botto's Bakery opened. A new item will be prepared and placed in the store case each month to celebrate the seven decades of business. A little something offered by the Mathews family and family is what has kept the Portland bakery open for so long.
"Getting to work with my brother everyday and my son and my niece. I get a lot of joy out of that," said Stephen Mathews.
Botto's Bakery is open Monday through Friday from 6:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 6:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.