BAR HARBOR — Maria Candage, the former owner of a daycare center in Town Hill, opened a new eatery called Ria’s Second Act this summer. The business, located at 270 Main Street in Bar Harbor, offers to-go breakfast, lunch and prepared takeaway meals and is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
What has made her the most pleased since opening the doors to the to-go restaurant is the number of returning customers.
“The people who come in are very pleased, whether it be locals or people that are here for a week at a time, that come back meal after meal. It makes me happy,” she said.
Candage continues to find ways to get people to walk a little farther down Main Street through her marketing endeavors.
“I’m trying to focus more on marketing now that the dust has settled a little bit,” said Candage. “They [potential customers] seem to make it to a certain point on Main Street and then stop.” She added that there are a lot of really nice places, without the lines, down on lower Main Street.
“People that are in a hurry that don’t want to wait in line, or don’t want to take their little kids out can grab something to take with them on the fly, or if they are uncomfortable with the coronavirus,” she said.
Candage has also added a new website, which launched last week, that offers customers the ability to place their order ahead of time.
Because there is no seating in the takeout cafe due to property limitations, Candage added picnic tables, umbrellas and rocking benches out in front for guests.
Candage said she is feeding the public the food that she has fed her family for 25 years.
“I put a lot of years into thinking about menu items,” she said.
The takeout features grab-and-go breakfast items from burritos to danishes. Lunches can be ordered as early as 8 a.m. and include lobster rolls, sandwiches, salads, pies and cakes.
Food items are named after Candages’ family members and places around the island that her family is fond of. The restaurant has a peanut butter and jelly sandwich named after Candage’s first grandson, Calvin.
Just recently, Candage started to offer prepared to-go meals.
“I have begun making five different meals a week that rotate so that people can come and the meals are homemade and cooked and we usually portion them out for one or two people,” she said.
The rotating meals include comfort food items such as baked haddock and shepherd’s pie. “They [prepared meals] are getting quite popular for people that just want to go home and pop something in the microwave or take it back to their campsite,” said Candage.
“Going to town last year, I remember one day there wasn’t a place to get a muffin. It was just sad and dead. I would really like to make this a year-round thing to offer the people that live here a chance to get out – a place to go in the morning,” Candage continued.
Visit the business’s website at www.rias2ndact.com.