, Newburyport, MA

January 18, 2013

Sundae shop to add soups, sandwiches

By Mac Cerullo
Staff Writer

---- — AMESBURY – In the coming months, Maggie Sundae will begin a slow transition from being an ice cream stop to becoming more of a soup and sandwich style café.

Shirley Theodore, who helps run Maggie Sundae, said the shift is being made to help bolster the restaurant’s year-round business and make it more appealing to everyone.

“Ice cream is good, but in the winter it’s not as good,” Theodore said. “Adele and I like soup so we kind of just said lets do this, there’s not really a soup place in the area, so lets add it to Maggie’s and see how it goes.”

By shifting the restaurant’s focus, the idea is that Maggie Sundae will become more competitive during the off-season, when demand for ice cream plummets, and will also benefit from no longer having to directly compete against other ice cream focused places in town like Hodgies.

Adele Faso, Maggie Sundae’s owner, said the shift would be gradual and done in steady increments. She said the first step in the process would be introducing the new selection of soups, and tonight they will be holding a Soup Night from 4 to 7 p.m. in order to showcase the flavors available.

“We’ll have butternut squash with cranberry, cheeseburger delight, minestrone, chicken vegetable, Tuscany soup and peas and lentil soup,” Faso said. “We’re going to cater to all different kinds of diets, vegetarian, vegan and meat lovers.”

Eventually Maggie Sundae hopes to introduce sandwiches, overhaul its line of pastries and begin offering homemade bread as well.

“That’s going to be one of our goals,” Theodore said. “We will have some homemade bread here tomorrow but we haven’t really kicked it off, one step at a time.”

Faso said they would not be eliminating their selection of ice cream, but might scale back the number of flavors a little bit. She also said the name of the business will remain Maggie Sundae for now, although the soup portion of the business will be referred to as The Soup Ladle Café.

Theodore said she is excited for the change, saying she thinks the new focus will be popular with Amesbury residents and likes the idea of a soup and sandwich café.

“Going from an ice cream and pastry place to a sandwich and soup place is really my thing,” she said, adding that she is especially looking forward to the homemade bread.