SHERMAN, Maine — Two classically educated cooks with a will to beat seemingly insurmountable odds are creating a unusual new restaurant in a purple 130-year-old Victorian home in Sherman.
Jon and Jenny MacArthur, who deal with regionally sourced meals, are consultants at turning what some would possibly view as disasters into one thing higher.
When Jon injured his shoulder and couldn’t work, the 2 cooks began Salted Butter Farm, delivering full dinners to shoppers within the Newburgh space. Once they misplaced every thing in a home hearth in 2017, they rebuilt their house on the identical property, plus a industrial kitchen within the basement with eight standing freezers to accommodate their quickly increasing enterprise.
However final yr, even they had been briefly stymied.
The MacArthurs realized Salted Butter Farm couldn’t develop past their 40 shoppers, so the 2 cooks determined to open a restaurant within the Patten space as a result of Jenny’s dad and mom dwell in Shin Pond.
Salted Butter Farm has greater than 7,000 Fb followers and their authentic shoppers from the Newburgh Salted Butter Farm supply days have stayed with them, enthusiastic about making the journey to Sherman for the brand new restaurant, they stated.
“As soon as I prepare dinner for you, you’re my household,” stated Jenny, who graduated from the Culinary Institute of America. “Love is the No. 1 ingredient and I prepare dinner with my coronary heart.”
In Patten, the couple put a deposit on what they thought was the right house for his or her restaurant and residence. And with a signed contract in hand, Jon and Jenny and their three youngsters had been excited a few new journey.
Nonetheless, just like what has occurred to many house consumers for the reason that COVID-19 pandemic, on the eleventh hour after that they had already offered their Newburgh house, the proprietor backed out of the contract. The property was offered to a different purchaser who gave a better provide and paid with money.
With nowhere to go, the MacArthur household moved into Jenny’s generational house in Shin Pond. Her dad and mom moved into the in-law house. As a part of the deal, Jon and Jenny prepare dinner for her dad and mom, she stated.
The seek for a restaurant property continued and in February, they discovered the historic A.B. Leavitt house on Gardiner Avenue in Sherman. This practically 4,000-square-foot 1890 Victorian can have three eating rooms, a household with youngsters eating room and they’re simply ending a brand new industrial kitchen constructed off one facet of the house.
They made a proposal on the Sherman property throughout final yr’s 65-degree-below-zero chilly snap. However the proprietor on the time had a coronary heart assault and was unable to examine on the home. Regardless of having the warmth on at 55 levels Fahrenheit the pipes within the house froze and the radiators and plumbing exploded, they stated.
“A neighbor got here in and checked on it and shut off all of the water earlier than there was main injury,” Jon stated. “All this labored out to be a blessing.”
The brand new Salted Butter Farm restaurant is like an Alice in Wonderland mismatched story of classic china from grandmothers, aunts and long-forgotten attics. There’s a hidden Harry Potter cabinet for youths underneath the steps, authentic Tiffany chandeliers, refurbished and off-beat gentle switches, and a farm market retailer with Salted Butter Farms frozen meals to go.
The six-page menu contains elegant catch-of-the-day choices, every day specials from across the globe, a Carbie Doll breakfast plate, the Fan Freaking Tastic fries, a every day Hen Sammich Particular and dinners from household recipes — to not overlook the Shark Coochie Board particular as a result of no one can actually say charcuterie.
Maybe most uncommon is that the majority menu choices might be ready as vegetarian, vegan or gluten free, they stated, including that Jenny is a licensed vegan chef. Everybody deserves actual, good meals and they don’t seem to be ashamed that they use a lot of actual butter, they stated.
In between scraping layers and layers of wallpaper, changing all of the historic radiators, constructing the industrial kitchen, refinishing flooring, portray and creating the menu, the MacArthurs have been donating pies and even cooking breakfast for native occasions. Group is essential and so they donate merchandise, or time every time doable, they stated.
The ultimate particulars embrace ending the brand new plumbing to get the water working once more and putting in the brand new radiators earlier than closing inspections. As soon as they rise up and working, they stated they may rent between 5 and 10 individuals.
Jon and Jenny had hoped for a Labor Day opening however that’s not doable.
“We hope to be open earlier than Halloween, however positively earlier than the snow flies,” the 2 cooks stated.