Cumberland Food Co. opens in former Doc's Cafe space

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CUMBERLAND — Longtime chef Bryan Dame has opened Cumberland Food Co. at Tuttle and Main streets, the former home of Doc’s Cafe & Marketplace.

Dame said he hopes to continue to maintain the community hub established by Doc’s, while adding a few new elements.

Rebecca Williams, who opened Doc’s in 2012, continues to own the building and is leasing space to Dame.

Doc’s closed Dec. 23, 2016, with a “Community Day” that raised almost $2,000 for the Cumberland Food Pantry.

That gave Dame, who lives in Saco, about a week to ready the 19th century building, formerly Dr. Louis Hanson’s office, for its next incarnation. A fresh coat of paint, refurbished furniture, and a table Dame made from a door are among elements new to the space.

“I’m sourcing very, very locally,” Dame said in an interview Jan. 12. “I can tell you pretty much where every piece of meat come from, and a lot of our veggies are grown locally. … I’m taking on farmers that I’ve dealt with, and continuing to add to that list.”

The food offerings – sandwiches, soups and salads for example – are similar, but with more pickled items, and Dame is taking “more of a chef-y twist to a lot of it,” he said.

Dame started in the restaurant business washing dishes when he was 12, “and never looked back,” having spent the past 28 years “in the kitchen” at places such as Gather in Yarmouth and the Inn at Ocean’s Edge in Lincolnville.

He spent about a year with Rosemont Productions before setting his sights on Doc’s.

“Rebecca wanted to get out and be a mom and be a landlord,” and approached Rosemont about putting a bakery there,” Dame said.

Rosemont, with a bakery in Yarmouth, steered Dame that way instead.

Cumberland Food Co.’s 371 Tuttle Road location isn’t far down Main Street from the Cumberland Food Stop. And the phone numbers for the two businesses differ by only one digit.

But the two operations have hit it off well, Dame said.

“I’ve met Mark (Fortin, the Food Stop’s owner) a bunch, we’re going to start doing some wine dinners together,” he said. “He and I have … a very good relationship.”

The first will be between Superbowl and Valentine’s Day, with supper club events to follow, Dame said.

He’d planned to call the restaurant Cumberland Feed & Supply, Dame added, but was persuaded not to by his girlfriend.

As the opening approached, he went instead with Cumberland Food Company.

Williams said Monday that “it was great to be able to work in such a wonderful community and (I’m) proud that we were able to help create a town center where the community can come together. Cumberland Food Company will continue to offer this for Cumberland and I’m excited to see what they have in store for us.”

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

Chef Bryan Dame is owner and operator of the new Cumberland Food Co.

Cumberland Food Co. opened at the former location of Doc’s Cafe & Marketplace at the beginning of January.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.