The East Church Kitchen Renovation Story

by Susan Harvey, October 2012

Some years ago, the council of the East Congregational Church of Milton began exploring ways to maximize space usage in the Church building. The kitchen immediately came to my mind and, with my love for baking, I thought of establishing a church bakery. I began searching the web for other churches with bakeries. I found quite a few, but mostly in the western United States.

Many of the bakeries were used to train and employ folks who were down on their luck, while others used their facilities for small outreach programs. My idea was to invite community members who had time and who enjoy baking as much as I do to bake at church and then travel to sports fields in town on weekends to sell cookies, equal-exchange coffee, and hot chocolate. Our Milk & Honey Baking Collaborative arose from this vision. Tony Andrade, a church member, designed a logo.

Milk and Honey Collaborative Logo

My vision didn’t make it past the Milton health inspector’s visit. We still had our original stove, ovens, and dishwasher. Our venting system was obsolete, and we would need to add a couple of sinks to bring the kitchen up to code. Here's what the kitchen looked like at this stage:

East Church kitchen before 2011 renovation

The next step was to get estimates on all the changes required to bring our kitchen up to code. Fortunately, we had the perfect mix of resources as part of the East Church community at that time. Suzanne Lombardi, a professional baker, knew how to pick out professional kitchen equipment. Aris Bakalos is an architect, and Bob Gallagher served as general contractor for the project. The project went forward thanks to those professionals and to the many angels who donated the money it took to fund the project. One angel in particular contributed 25% of the final cost.

East Church kitchen renovation team photoHere's the team, along with Rev. Sara, at the Kitchen Dedication, November 23, 2011

The project was discussed and approved at the annual congregational meeting in June 2011. The kitchen was remodeled during the summer of 2011. Most of the work was complete by the time school started in September.

What we have now is a beautiful, modern, professional kitchen that is ready to be used by the community. We’ve spent the last few months working on rental contracts and on details such as a structure of rental fees. We are now ready to open our doors! Here's how the kitchen looks now:

East Church kitchen after 2011 renovation

Information related to renting East Church’s renovated kitchen, either for a single special event or on an ongoing basis may be obtained by email at

or by calling the Church office at

Keep your eyes and ears open for more information on the Milk & Honey Baking Collaborative!

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