Want to win a Massachusetts bakeshop? Get your typewriter out.
Maria Enemark, 60, owner of Sweets Coffee, Cakes and Treats in Kingston, Mass. is offering her five-year-old bakery to the winner of a 250-word essay contest after deciding to retire. She feared selling the business would leave a new owner saddled with too much debt.
“I have such good customers that I love and I’d hate to close,” Enemark said.
The bakery is located in a renovated two-story house on a busy commercial strip. The winner gets a the building, the appliances and $15,000 in startup costs, all free of debt.
Enemark expects at least 4,000 entries. With a $150 entry fee, she could clear more than $585,000 after paying the cash grant.
The business is valued at approximately $575,000.
Enemark was, she says “a housewife with a dream, some good recipes and a little bit of money” when she started the shop. She hopes to pass it on to someone with a good background in baking who maybe doesn’t have enough money to start their own shop.
“The next person has everything clean. No mortgage, no rent, no nothing,” Enemark said.
The shop makes cakes and cupcakes, but also does brisk trade selling egg sandwhiches.
Enemark’s daughter, Stephanie, wants the next owner to dream big.
“It’s a great opportunity. A lot of people have a dream of opening a bakery,” Stephanie said.
“All it takes is $150 and 250 words.”
Though rare, it’s not unprecedented for business owners to offer an essay contest as a means of transferring their wealth.
Janice Sage owner of the Center Lovell in in Lovell, Maine, won the business in an essay contest in 1993. In March, Sage announced an essay contest to turn it over to its next owner.
Sara Krafft, a 30-year-old single mom working two jobs in New Mexico is one of those people hoping to win the historic inn. She entered after a group of friends held a secret fundraiser to help her raise the $125 entrance fee for that contest.
“I took my favorite philosophy, 'love is deeds, not words,' and wrote about how I would care for the Center Lovell Inn and its patrons through responsible, loving actions,” Krafft said.