In November, former SHS substitute teacher Scott Lietz opened a new bakery on Front Street, Blackbird Baked Goods, where he is selling pies, cookies, bread, and coffee. During the 2019-2020 school year, Lietz was a long-term substitute for SHS math teachers Caitlyn McGlynn and Craig Parkins. While working at SHS, Lietz was also developing his online bakery business, which started two years ago.
Lietz is a long-time baker from a large Midwestern family. He recalls being drawn toward baking as a child, saying, “My brother hung out in the garage with my dad learning about car stuff, and I hung out in the kitchen with my mom and learned how to do that stuff [baking].” Growing up, Lietz started off by standing on a chair to reach the tabletop. He remembers how much he enjoyed bringing all types of food to family gatherings.
Though Blackbird Baked Goods has been running online for two years, the storefront is new to Scituate Harbor. Blackbird Baked Goods is taking the spot of the frozen yogurt store CreYo at 101 Front Street. Starting a business is not an easy task; however, Lietz thinks the hardest part so far is “knowing what questions to ask.” According to Lietz, every business is different and it takes different steps to welcome the public. He said learning the appropriate steps comes from asking other people questions. Lietz acknowledged, “There is no checklist” when it comes to opening a Scituate storefront, but through the help of others and his own research he was able to open the doors prior to the busy holiday season.
Opening a local business amidst the world of COVID-19 is no easy task. Lietz has made numerous precautions, such as installing six-foot spacing between tables and having workers clean the storefront frequently. Lietz is well aware of the challenges and uncertainty of starting a food-based business during a pandemic, and he is ready to make the store “take out only” as needed. If Governor Baker decides to roll back the COVID-19 restrictions and suspend in-house seating, he is ready to make the front door a quick takeout counter. Lietz has also been developing an efficient online ordering system, so if the COVID-19 restrictions come into play, people can quickly pick up their baked goods and coffees efficiently and safely.
Obviously, Lietz is very passionate about his recipes and his small business. When asked about his favorite menu item, he said he couldn’t pick one: “It’s like having the favorite child conversation–I can’t do it.” Eventually, however, he shared his favorite item from each category: His favorite pie is the “Pride of Iowa Apple Pie,” saying he “has to have a piece” whenever he works on the recipe. His favorite cookie is the cashew nugget, and his favorite bread is the cinnamon bread.
During his time teaching, Lietz would tell students about his pies, and SHS junior Daniel Luscombe knew he had to order one. Luscombe purchased the Dutch apple pie, and said it was a ten-out-of-ten experience, calling it “the best pie I have ever had.”
With Scituate Harbor being the hub of business and dining in town, Blackbird Baked Goods surely picked a good spot to open its doors. With the holiday season upon us, the demand for pies will be high, giving Lietz a good entry into the Scituate community.
For more information, or to order baked goods online, visit the Blackbird Baked Goods website: https://www.blackbirdbgoods.com