For the past three years, headlines rued the decline in new housing construction and sales. Why didn't economists take into consideration the Gingerbread Construction Company, located on Main St., at the far end of the lake?
Begun in 1981 by John and Janet D’Orsi as a hobby--making and selling gingerbread houses and cookies at New England area craft shows--transformed into a full-fledged business in 1987 when the couple opened their first store in Winchester.
Word-of-mouth advertising - and appetites - for the ginger-spiced holiday classics all-year round lead to a larger menu of baked goods: gourmet cookies ($12.99/lb), brownies ($11.99/lb), and, the reason why the front door is constantly opening: signature, over-sized muffins ($1.85, 4/$7.39, or 6/$10.98), stuffed with flavored frostings, then topped with muffin top. Try one of their top three crowd-pleasers: the most requested Gingerbread muffin (naturally), or the Chocolate Dream, filled with chocolate buttercream filling, or oh so moist Carrot Cake muffin, filled with cream cheese frosting. In addition to coffee and tea, espresso, lattes, and cappuccinos are served.
Although begun in Winchester, the Wakefield location opened in 1995 is now the flagship store, four times the original store size. It's where all the company’s gingerbread houses and cookies are constructed, and orders now shipped across the country through its online store. There are two tables with chairs for those who desire to sit, but almost all customers order as take-out, as a morning treat, or gift. Fresh baked loaves ($7.49) are available in many flavors, like blueberry, gingerbread, carrot, pumpkin, coffee cake, and more. (Word is customers buy a few at a time, then freeze them to always have one ready.)
If you’re looking to buy a house—a gingerbread house, that is—run as fast as you can to the Gingerbread Construction Company where seasonal holiday houses ($36.99) are constructed year-round for Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Thanksgiving Day. Christmas is the only time when gingerbread houses are available in three sizes, from small ($36.99) to large ($94.99). Gift cards are available.
Next time you go, be sure to grab a really, really large gingerbread cookie man or woman ($8.49). Before one grabs you.
- Where: 2 locations: 52 Main St., Wakefield or 562 Washington St., Winchester
- Price range (entrees): 4 $2 - $100+
- Noise Level: Busy, constant and steady stream of customers, quiet and pleasant
- Kid-friendly rating, 1-5: 5
- Romance rating, 1-5: 5, if gingerbread spices up your love life.