Cornelia “Nellie” Smith ’15 celebrated the one-year anniversary of her business the Red Wagon Bakery on March 15. The Canaan, N.H.-company’s first anniversary was also the same day she closed her doors to protect the safety and health of others during the pandemic. To stay operational, Smith has pivoted her business model. Her success has been featured on The Skimm and Valley News. On April 23, Red Wagon Bakery was also named “Best of NH 2020” for Best Bakery, Best Coffee Shop and Favorite Restaurant by New Hampshire Magazine.
Thanks in part to the popularity of community-supported agriculture in her area, Smith had the idea to turn her brick-and-mortar business into a subscription-based service. Inspired by the CSA model, Smith launched her own community-supported bakery. Now, the bakery offers pre-ordered “wagons” for pickup, which include an assortment of freshly baked treats. Customers can also order a community box for unemployed and elderly people in the Canaan community. Smith is absorbing half of the cost of all community box donations.
Nearly 13,000 people voted in the New Hampshire Magazine poll for New Hampshire’s best restaurants, shops and services. Red Wagon Bakery and other winners will be revealed and recognized during the one-hour statewide Best of NH Party at “YOUR House” on Thursday, June 18, streaming live on Facebook from 7-8 p.m. The virtual event doubles as a benefit for the Best of NH Party’s nonprofit partner, CASA New Hampshire, as well as restaurant groups supporting food service hit hard by the COVID-19 virus.
Smith says that she is overwhelmed by the support she has received, which has enabled her to stay in business. “I’m trying to stay positive. It certainly doesn’t look like that every minute of every day, with lots of worrying about the future of my business. But the solidarity of it all is reassuring.”
At the Colleges, Smith graduated cum laude in English. She was a member of Hai Timiai and editor of the Martini. She also was a Writing Fellow, Writing Colleague and a member of the Colleges Chorale, William Smith Congress and Women’s Collective. She studied abroad in Romania.