Category Archives: Totally random

Mike And Kathy McGovern Are Totally Baked And Sauced

It may be the best business name in town.

It may also be the best business idea ever.

“Baked and Sauced” is a converted Airstream trailer. It comes to your home or business, parks, serving scrumptious desserts and fantastic craft cocktails for your wedding, neighborhood party or corporate event.

“Baked and Sauced” — get it?!

Baked and Sauced - logoThe clever concept — rolling bakery and bar — and ingenious execution come courtesy of Mike and Kathy McGovern.

He’s a Westport native (Kings Highway, Bedford Middle School, Fairfield Prep ’89) who started out as a newspaper reporter, spent 8 years with Priceline.com, and now works in online marketing for a New York travel company. (He’s also been a bartender, which is kind of key to this whole story.)

She’s from New Hampshire, but spent the past 25 years in Connecticut. Kathy owned a Fairfield bakery called “Muffin But the Best” — memorable business names are a McGovern family trait — and now works for a small family newspaper chain in Wilton.

They got married 3 years ago. Kathy wanted to take her baking talents to the next level. But it’s a competitive field, and she needed a hook.

Pina colada cupcakes: Pineapple rum cake with coconut buttercream frosting. Yummmmm!

Pina colada cupcakes: Pineapple rum cake with coconut buttercream frosting. Yummmmm!

One of her specialties is alcohol-fused desserts. Most bakers put liquor in the cake itself; you get the flavor, but not the “pop.” Kathy put it in the filling and frosting, so it didn’t bake off.

Her desserts — including cupcakes and brownies — tasted like cocktails.

Kathy’s sister lives in Austin, Texas. While visiting, the McGoverns saw the legendary Gourdough’s food truck. The owners specialize in doughnuts. (Mike calls the “Fat Elvis” — grilled bananas and bacon with peanut butter icing and honey — “unbelievable”).

But it’s not your ordinary, street-style food truck. Gourdough’s’ is an Airstream trailer — an attraction almost as big as the “Fat Elvis.”

A light bulb went on in the McGoverns’ heads.

Vintage Airstreams are as rare as trucks selling “Heavenly Hash” doughnuts, though (marshmallow with chocolate fudge icing, topped with brownie bites).

Finally, a year ago, the couple found a 1968 model in Indiana. It was in rough shape, so they got a good deal.

The dealer spent 15 minutes showing them what they needed to know. Then — though neither had ever towed anything before — they headed back to Westport.

The trailer sat in Mike’s mother’s driveway on Jennie Lane for several months. Whenever they could, the McGoverns worked on it. Guided by YouTube convert-your-Airstream videos, they put in a new floor, built shelves, and gave it a clean, sleek, modern interior, while keeping the rustic exterior.

Mike and Kathy McGovern, with their converted Airstream trailer.

Mike and Kathy McGovern, with their converted Airstream trailer.

The neutral tones inside can match up with any wedding color scheme. The McGoverns know which side their bread is buttered on.

Mike and Kathy trademarked the “Baked and Sauced” name, designed a logo and put up a Facebook page. Then they — and their business — took off.

Last summer, they did weddings (one in a backyard, one at the beach, one rehearsal dinner) and several parties.

The Airstream boasts 3 refrigerators, and a full bar. Kathy makes the cupcakes (like Raspberry Bubbly: Champagne cake with Chambord buttercream frosting), push pops (Irish Car Bomb: Guinness cake, Jameson chocolate ganache and Baileys buttercream frosting) and brownies (with Thimble Island porter beer and pretzels). They’re served at tables with retro cake stands and cupcake towers. (They offer non-alcoholic desserts too.)

Mike tends bar.

The interior of the trailer. Come on in and party!

The interior of the trailer. Come on in and party!

The McGoverns have a catering/liquor license. “Baked and Sauced” is not a food truck — otherwise they’d be called “Baked, Sauced and Toasted” — so they cannot ride around like the Good Humor Man, searching for business.

That’s fine. When it comes to food and drink, there’s plenty of room for everyone here.

Unless the Good Humor Man starts offering pumpkin-spiced vodka Creamsicles.

(To learn more — or get the party “rolling” — click here.)

Serving hungry, thirsty guests. (Photos/Erik Trautmann)

Serving hungry, thirsty guests. (Photos/Erik Trautmann)

 

Boom!

Several Westporters felt the ground shake earlier today.

No, it was not an earthquake. Nor was it Chris Christie working out on a treadmill.

Although it does involve New Jersey.

According to NBC New York, residents from the Jersey Shore to the Connecticut coast reported rattles and rumbles.

The shaking moved from southern New Jersey up the coastline, shortly before 2 p.m. It spread to Staten Island, Long Island, then all the way to southeastern Connecticut.

The shaking is probably the result of a sonic boom, said Julie Dutton of the United State Geological Survey’s National Earthquake Information Center. The boom could come from a military aircraft breaking the sound barrier. McGuire Air Force Base is located in southern Jersey.

“We don’t believe it’s an earthquake, based upon what we see in the wave forms,” she explained. “It’s probably sonic boom, but we can’t prove that.”

The most calls to authorities came from Hamilton Township, Toms River and Ocean County, New Jersey.

EarthquakeTrack.com says there have been no earthquakes in Connecticut in the past month.

Meanwhile, in other what-the-hell-is-going-on-here news, that black helicopter you’ve been seeing hovering over transmission lines is legit.

According to Eversource, the copter uses high-res cameras to check out problems like lightning strikes or corrosion.

At least, that’s what we’re told.

(Hat tip: Bart Shuldman)

 

Holy Rod Gilbert!

Yesterday, in a post about 2 New York Rangers’ visit to Chase Bank in Westport, I casually mentioned that it was too bad Rod Gilbert didn’t come.

I could have picked maybe 500 famous players from the team’s past. I chose him.

Voila! 

Turns out Rod was here too.

Rod Gilbert

Yes, it’s really him.

And I’m told he thought my mention of him was pretty funny.

Now, let’s see if my magic touch works for someone else.

Too bad President Obama wasn’t here yesterday…

Happy New Year!

earth

Here’s wishing all of us — the world, Westport, and (especially) the “06880” community — a happy, healthy and inspiring 2016.

Dissenting opinions are, of course, welcome.

Worst. Thief. Ever.

Yeterday’s post about slimeballs stealing holiday packages delivered to Westport homes was pretty bad.

But this story is about a new low.

An alert “06880” reader writes: “Someone stole Mary from our manger on Christmas Eve.”

Westport manger without Mary -- 2015

She called the police — not that there’s much they can do.

But if you hear something, say something.

Save Those 1st Selectman Proclamations. They’ll Be Worth Something Someday.

Everybody has his price.

Gordon Joseloff’s is $9.50.

That’s what the winning bidder (out of 3) paid for a recent authentic autograph recently, on eBay. (Plus $4.30 shipping.)

This was not on an official document, signed when he was 1st Selectman (or, before that, RTM moderator). It had nothing to do with WestportNow, his popular town news site, which is online (so there’s of course nothing to sign).

No — Joseloff’s auctioned signature was on a 1979 letter he sent, on official CBS News letterhead, while serving as Moscow bureau chief. Mr. Henry J. Lohrengel of Kansas City apparently mailed Joseloff some photos; this letter was a polite thank-you in reply.

Gordon Joseloff letter

There’s no word on why the letter was saved, or how it ended up in Worcester, Massachusetts, with the current owner. Or, for that matter, why he (or she) decided to put it up for bid now.

That $9.50 bid may sound low. (Another political leader, George Washington, fetched $9.8 million, at Sotheby’s.)

On the other hand, a postcard signed by H. V. Kaltenborn — a very famous radio commentator (like the Chicago Tribune, he called Dewey the presidential winner in 1948 over Truman) — is currently being auctioned on eBay.

It’s drawn just 1 bid.

For 99 cents.

Someone Forgot Her Christmas Stockings…

Very alert “06880” reader Jaime Bairaktaris spotted this interesting sight the other day, on South Compo Road:

Mannequin - Jaime Bairaktaris

There must be a “back” story (ho ho ho) to this.

But we sure as hell don’t know what it is.

New Benchmarks For Compo Beach

An alert “06880” reader spotted this interesting new arrangement of benches yesterday, at Compo’s South Beach:

Benches - Compo South Beach

He wonders about the possibilities:

  • A new open air church or synagogue?
  • VIP viewing for sunsets?
  • A crazy workout regimen? (Those benches are heavy.)
  • Teenagers with way too much time on their hands?

I have no idea. If you do, click “Comments” below.

 

Rock On, Burying Hill!

For years, Westporters have marveled at the pop-up rock sculptures that appear randomly on the now-you-see-it, now-you-don’t marshland between Schlaet’s Point (the north end of Compo Beach) and the Hillspoint Road curve toward Elvira’s.

Eventually they collapse, from the effects of wind and tides. Nice while they last, they’re mostly the work of Jerry Kuyper.

The other day, alert “06880” reader John Karrel noticed a different type of stone structure at Burying Hill Beach. It’s sturdier — more wall-like — but equally mysterious.

Rock sculpture at Burying Hill Beach

Preparations for a winter solstice festival? An homage to the original Bankside Farmers? Nature working in wondrous ways?

If you have any ideas — or know the back story — click “Comments” below.

Badges Of Honor

An alert “06880” reader named Laura writes:

I want to thank a member of our Westport community for an act of kindness that made a big difference in my life, and made me feel part of a wonderful town.

employee badgeI work at a local hospital emergency room as a nurse. Going into work last week, I could not find my badges. They enable me to get into the building, through doors, get paid, have codes for work, etc.

At the hospital, I began the long process of replacing my badges. Partway through, I got a call from security. My badges had been sent in from an anonymous Westporter.

Someone in my town had taken the trouble and expense to mail in my badges. It completely made my day. and made me realize what a great town I live in.

Thank you, whoever you are!