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The Foodsmith Hangs Its Hat On Seasonal Foods

Laura Raposa, co-owner of The Foodsmith in South Duxbury, is a kind of media personality. Before opening her business, she worked at the Boston Herald for 30 years, appeared on television, and offered her catering and cooking services to friends, family, and customers.

Cooking and catering came naturally to Raposa since her family has been running a large, wholesale bakery supply business serving all of New England since before she was born. She enjoyed her time at the Herald contributing to "The Inside Track" news column, but eventually decided to retire in 2013. Her husband Steven Syre, a business columnist at the Boston Globe, retired in 2015 after the shop had opened.

All of The Foodsmith's baked goods, lunch fare, desserts, and pies are prepared personally by Raposa and her staff. Betsey Hunter is the cake and cookie decorator, and Michaela Lake completes the cooking and baking team. A devotee of farmers' markets, she shops for the freshest local ingredients and opts to buy organic whenever possible.

"Our menu is always a work in progress because it changes nearly every day," Raposa said. "However, one thing is constant: we make everything fresh?we roast turkeys, poach chicken, make our own hummus and salad dressings; our breakfast sandwiches are made to order, we also bake from scratch, [which means] no mixes [and] no buckets of frosting."

The Foodsmith menu combines a creativity and zest for the culinary arts with time-tested recipes and wholesome ingredients. Supporting local farmers during the peak of the growing season has become an indelible part of the bakery's operations. The decision to offer up seasonal foods is also intentional on Raposa's part. She thinks that through their connection with food, people grow closer to nature and the soil especially. The difference is stark: seasonal, crisp lettuce is bursting with zest and nutritional value, while the store-bought greens, often imported from thousands of miles away and grossly out of season, are lacking in flavor and freshness.

"If people appreciate good food, they are willing to wait," Raposa said. "My business isn't a job, it's a passion; who [wakes up willingly] at 3 a.m. to bake scones, muffins, and work up a lunch menu?"

People flock to The Foodsmith not only to savor the freshly baked scones or indulge in the skillfully prepared pastries. Raposa also fills dozens of catering orders each month. She can customize a menu to fit the budget and preferences of a customer while keeping true to the high level of quality and service her bakery is known for. Truth be told, Raposa is not afraid to get creative with her customers' orders while still respecting their vision for their events.

"I love being part of the Duxbury community, and enjoy our daily visits by our core group of customers [as well as new visitors]," Raposa said. "It's like a 'Cheers' kind of place: people seem to like that [but we] have more than one Cliff and Norm though."

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