Main Street Baker Needs a Miracle

Eric Tedder looks out onto Main Street from inside his bakery at 182 Main Street.
Eric Tedder looks out onto Main Street from inside his bakery at 182 Main Street.
Eric Tedder needs a miracle right about now. Between the extremes of rain and heat this summer, the foot traffic into his Main Street bakery is dismal.

Short of a miracle, he's at a tipping point, and may not make it another week.

"If someone walked through that door right now with $4,000 and a fresh idea for how to get customers in the door, I'd be OK," said Tedder. "This was my dream."

He opened Eric's Main Street Bakery in November of 2012, excited for a shot at being part of the downtown business community. He says the city has been more than helpful in trying to boost his bottom line with ideas, like making his sign more visible in both directions.

He doesn't fault the limited parking, and feels that even if the sidewalk project has disrupted foot traffic, it's going to boost the downtown in the long run.

He just doesn't have the daily numbers to sustain things, after putting in 80 hours a week, he's depleted, physically and financially.

"I can't afford to take on anyone on payroll, but a partner, maybe someone who bakes, who decorates, if they would come on as a partner, and I kept all the liabilities, maybe we can turn it around," Tedder said.

Everyone, from the city to his landlord, have been "phenomenal." Cake orders keep coming because people love his goods, he says.

He would happily reconsider his daily menu of baked goods, and is willing to produce whatever the people will buy. So far, he's not hearing the kind of feedback that leads to bustling sales.

"Maybe it will work out; maybe it was just the wrong place, and the wrong time for me," Tedder says, looking out his front window. "I don't know what more I can do."

Eric's Main Street Bakery: 182 Main St, Nashua, NH 03060

(603) 882-2253

Nicole Fante July 16, 2013 at 10:21 AM
To Eric: I may have some ideas for you and wouldn't mind volunteering some time if you need extra help. I am not a professional baker, but I am a proficient home baker willing to learn. Hoping for the best for your business!
Sid Ceaser July 16, 2013 at 10:26 AM
I've read this article a few times over, and for the life of me, I can't figure out what the name of this business is. Confusing!
Pam Bernier July 16, 2013 at 10:28 AM
Is it me or does this article not mention the NAME of this bakery, nor the location other than Main Street??? Seems both would be quite helpful! Best of Luck!
Diane B July 16, 2013 at 10:30 AM
The quality of your baked goods is outstanding and reasonably priced for the fine ingredients. I truly hope you can turn this around.
audrey rose July 16, 2013 at 10:30 AM
It's a sad, sad day when downtown Nashua can sustain 5 banks yet only one bakery. I've had many wonderful experiences with Eric's, from ordering delicious custom-made cakes to having him open early for me on a Saturday morning so I could pick up a pie and get to my destination on time. I truly hope the community helps keep him in business!
Carol Robidoux (Editor) July 16, 2013 at 10:57 AM
Nicole, that's a sweet offer. Anyone who has a creative idea should stop by, or call. I have added Eric's contact info to the story.
Carol Robidoux (Editor) July 16, 2013 at 11:21 AM
Fellas, you are right - the sign says Eric's Main Street Bakery, so by calling it Eric Tedder's Main Street bakery, I inadvertently felt I was calling it by name. I've added the proper name, address and phone number at the end of the story. Apologies. My goal is not to confuse anyone. My goal is also to be responsive when readers do have a question. Thanks for asking. I'm giving myself a time out as we speak.
Chris Shelsky July 16, 2013 at 12:49 PM
I know absolutely nothing about this industry so take my suggestions accordingly... but this is what I thought after reading this article. Target a number of local restaurants who don't have pastry chefs or otherwise don't do in-house deserts (or don't want to) and put together a sample plate customized for each restaurant for the manager/owner/chef to sample. Set prices that are competitive but have a reduced price, 6-12 month trial period that you can pull out of your pocket to hook unsure customers. Try the smaller restaurants first to build a clientele and to cut your teeth on what approach and products sell best. Then go to the larger restaurants to get the big accounts.
Carol Robidoux (Editor) July 16, 2013 at 02:37 PM
Sounds like a pretty good out of the box idea, Chris.
Betsy Houde July 16, 2013 at 07:45 PM
Do you do anything gluten free? I work downtown but have never been in because I am wheat-sensitive and haven't heard that you offer anything for GF folks... Would love to know more, as I love baked goods.
patt July 16, 2013 at 09:55 PM
2 Words....GLUTEN FREE. Us GF'ers have very few (read practically none) options for fresh GF baked goods. Anyone who can do GF these days will make a good living. Especially since there was just a big article that pointed to a study that projected due to hybridized wheat, 80% of Americans will eventually be forced to be GF in the next 20 years. You don't need to wait 20 years to find huge GF demographic already.....and you can typically charge more. GOOD LUCK with whatever you do.
Karen Menard July 16, 2013 at 10:43 PM
I don't travel downtown Nashua often, but just went to Eric's Facebook page and the desserts look amazing. I also saw that they have iced coffee! Eric, I couldn't tell, but do you have seating inside/outside the store. Might be too hot to be outside at the moment, but would help make the store inviting. I'll make time to visit this week.
mjocarta July 17, 2013 at 12:43 PM
To add to what Betsy mentioned having tasty Diary Free offerings would get my business
Gary Martins July 17, 2013 at 01:52 PM
agree with the other gluten free suggestions, there is a severe shortage in Nashua and people will pay the premium for GF products.
R. Scott White July 17, 2013 at 03:51 PM
I wish you the very best. The Christian Science Reading Room used to be in the area and lasted several decades and they didn't exactly have a huge demand for products... so it can be done. Have hope. And I ought to visit!! Looks good.
Kate Forrister July 17, 2013 at 11:04 PM
I'll bake cupckaes for you. Gluten free, too!!
Eric Tedder July 18, 2013 at 09:54 AM
THANK YOU EVERYONE!!!! I very much appreciate all the responses and advice. I have already received orders for today, Friday and Saturday. I love being in downtown and seeing all the people. Yes, the crazy heat we are having is slowing down foot traffic but we are determend to get through it. Thank you Rich and Harry, I will see you soon. Eric
Kevin O'Meara July 18, 2013 at 01:30 PM
Eric, I also have some ideas that may help. I will see you soon.
bob July 20, 2013 at 04:50 PM
my idea would be for you to move out of downtown Nashua, where there is more foot traffic, with reasonably priced or free parking. I think the city sells prospective or current business owners that downtown is a viable opportunity for a new business venture. Unless someone has PLENTY of capital behind them to weather the growing pains of starting up in a new location, it looks like to me it would be a losing game. Ive been into the bakery mentioned and the products are good but its inconvenient for me to pay for over priced parking to walk several blocks to pick up a couple of pastries. I certainly HOPE Eric's bakery lasts and is successful in the future, but I wouldn't go any where downtown Nashua with a new business....
Andrew M. Zuba July 22, 2013 at 11:35 AM
The most expensive parking downtown is $1/hour. How is that ovepriced? Free parking @ the mall? Great. Although the mall has been spruced up it's still bland, boring and blah. Main Street Nashua, in spite of the current city sponsored defacing, is a fun and vibrant location! I would much prefer to wander up and down Main Streetn than the DW or the Amherst. People come downtown for the Holiday Stroll so why not come downtown at other times of the year?


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