The Pink Moment: Mayflour Bakery Shines in Essex


I pray.

I pray for peace. I pray for those around me in need. I pray for our planet. But, if I am completely honest, for the past five years I have also been praying that a bakery would open in Essex.

Monday morning, I sat with my beautiful coffee and my cardamon morning bun and watched as couple after family after friends meeting for coffee after delighted local came through the door of Mayflour bakery in Essex. I marveled at how each person visibly took a moment to take in the ethereal glow of the light-filled space and the sweet and toasty scent greeting them.  (Maybe they had been praying too.) 

Behind the counter was Jocelyn Pierce, Baker/Owner/Force of Nature, hustling and smiling, making coffees, restocking pastries, and feeling the flow of her new world.

Jocelyn began simply baking at home for friends, but quickly realized she was capable of more and enrolled in the French Pastry School in Chicago, from which she graduated with honors, thus beginning her professional baking career. 

By 2013 she had grown a thriving wedding centric cake business which she ran out of a small space in Rockport for five years.  In 2017 the space next to her opened up and she saw an opportunity to expand into a business that allowed her to further connect with her community -- and serve a killer cup of coffee;  Mayflour, the teeny tiny brick and mortar bakery was born and quickly became a beloved spot for locals looking to have a delightful morning or mid-day treat.

Though Mayflour flourished, Jocelyn hoped to move to something bigger eventually.  She had worked out the kinks in the smaller space in Rockport and was ready to scale up.  She had looked in Essex, but nothing was available, then in 2022, the small building next to Richdale’s, formerly Essex River Dogs, opened up, and she took it.  The first time I visited was about six months ago.

I came through a newly mounted side door into a room with freshly plastered walls to find Jocelyn totally dialed in.  From the beginning I knew that there was zero chance Mayflour was not going to open perfectly.  She knows exactly what she wants and how it is going to go.  And while everything has been precisely organized ahead of time, there is a little play in her selection of the color of pink; the pink she will be painting the ceiling of her long-awaited bakery.  She has given this color much thought.  It will be calming, warm, and feminine. It’s her “pink moment.” 

My best friend lives in Ojai, California which is known for its “pink moment” when the sunset casts an impossibly beautiful pink glow over the Topa Topa mountains that form the valley in which Ojai rests.  It comes on slowly and has this ethereal peace about it.  This is the color Jocelyn is looking for, the color of Mayflour.; her color.  We chat as she begins rolling on the first coat.  She explains that, awesome cakes and pastries aside, she wants Mayflour to have a strong environmental ethic with a commitment to sustainability and minimal waste.  To this end, she will compost all food waste with Black Earth Compost (with whom she is full circle using their compost in her garden as well), use all compostable packaging and restore the yard behind the bakery from a burnt-out lawn into an edible pollinator garden with a meadow of chamomile surrounded by native plantings to use for the finishing touches on her cakes and pastries.  The bakery is also Surfrider Ocean certified and will be fully electric with a plan to go solar next spring.  The menu will be seasonal and local using nearly all organic ingredients, with her coffee coming from a fair-trade organic farm.  Every detail has been thoughtfully considered.

I visited Mayflour again the week before opening.  Everything had changed.  In place of the construction site had arrived — a bakery.  Appliances were in place, art had been hung, gorgeous handmade benches from Spire Woodshop in Gloucester were perfectly situated — but most importantly, bakers were in the kitchen.  With a shock of bright pink hair, flipping through the pages of the seminal Tartine dessert cookbook was one.  Another with a riot of colorful clothing, clogs, and just general grooviness swung by to ask if Jocelyn wanted to take a peek at the batter.  This could all be leading to only one thing. Pastries.

On a rough draft menu leaning against the wall, there were promises of breakfast bakes such as buttermilk scones, breakfast breads, cardamon buns (yes!), and coffee cakes.  Then glorious cookies, specialty pastries, chilled desserts, and cake by the slice.  Jocelyn is a fan of a custom I became familiar with while living in Germany -- coffee and cake.  Taking time in the late afternoon to sit down, preferably with a friend, to enjoy a good cup of coffee and a slice of cake.  There will be buttercream layer cakes, single-layer cakes, and just cake!  She will also offer full cakes in the cold cases and order entertaining cakes.  And, of course, the killer coffee.  Her coffee program features single origin hand poured coffee, along with batch-brewed, cold brew, tea and hot chocolate, and seasonal specialty drinks. Hallelujah!

Jocelyn finds herself in good company with the ever-growing cluster of vibrant women-owned businesses populating the corner of Southern and Main in Essex.

She explained, “I don't think we could have landed in better company than we are, surrounded by like-minded, female-owned businesses. Everyone on our little corner believes in conscious consumption and offers beautifully crafted, quality products. It also feels wonderful to be in the company of other business owners who believe in supporting their local community through business, as I do. In order for a business to be successful, it has to be sustainable both financially and personally, and it's so lovely to see my neighbors running their businesses while prioritizing time with their families, time outside, and time away from their shops investing in the community.” And a community they are.

And so here we are again.  Sitting under the perfectly pink ceiling.  My coffee is nearly finished, and the cardamon bun was gone long ago.  The happy visitors continue to come and delight in the long-awaited scent of goodness, the warmth of community, and the quiet joy of a great cup of coffee. I encourage you to stop by.  To taste all Mayflour has to offer and to delight in the glow of Jocelyn in her pink moment.


Open Thurs - Mon 7:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.

162 Main Street | Essex

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