Age 50: Maureen Kramer
Cooking Up a New Life
Published: March 20, 2013
For those who love to cook, here’s someone to envy: Maureen Kramer of Baltimore Biscuit Co., a personal-chef business in which she’s the only chef. She spends her weeks making meals in clients’ homes, preparing “really fabulous-tasting food that is minimally processed and light and fresh and very seasonal,” she says. Then, on the weekends, when she’s trying to put off paying bills or some such annoyance, she bakes; she calls it her “passion.”
Thus, the 50-year-old empty nester, who lives just over the county line from North Baltimore’s Cedarcroft neighborhood, makes a healthy living by helping others eat healthfully. In the process, she gets to indulge herself in what she loves to do most, while her clients become “other families that are now like my family too,” she explains.
Kramer started the business 12 years ago, after moving to Baltimore from her native California with her ex-husband so he could be closer to his family. Using skills honed in her culinary past, she built something new and well-suited to the lifestyle of a mother to a young son. While in Los Angeles, where she lived until she was 27, she’d had “a little business making desserts and supplying them to restaurants,” she recalls, and then, after starting a family and moving to Monterey for 10 years, she “worked at restaurant kitchens under some really, really fabulous chefs.”
Once here, she found that “thankfully, Baltimore is Smaltimore,” so even though “it was slowgoing at first,” after starting her business “all [by] word of mouth,” she recalls, “I now have a website [baltimorebiscuit.com] and a waiting list. I can’t ask anything more than that.”
“Most of the people that I cook for hired me because they want to eat less processed food and want to eat more healthfully,” Kramer explains. “I’ll cook for them either once a week, once every other week, or once a month, and together we plan the menu.” The price of the service “starts at $270 for three meals with side dishes,” Kramer continues. “It’s comparable to eating out at a restaurant, but you’re getting everything that you want, catered exactly to your wants and needs and desires, and much healthier than pretty much any restaurant you can go to.”
An avid outdoors enthusiast, Kramer likes to hike around Loch Raven, ride her bike (she’s into mountain biking too), and put in a lot of time jogging and at the gym. Her son’s a musician whose group, Brightside Drive, would play the Recher Theatre—she says she’s “sad to see that the Recher is going to be not doing” live music anymore—and she enjoys hitting local music venues like Rams Head Live and the 8x10 and Pier Six Pavilion. While she doesn’t make it to as many plays as she’d like to, “the Charles Theatre is one of my favorite places to go” watch movies. Plus, she adds, “I entertain a lot” at home.
Now that her son has gone off to college, Kramer, who’s divorced, says she’s “happy being an empty nester,” though she “thought I was going to have a hard time with it. But it was the right time, and 50 is great.” She had “a birthday season” leading up to the December event, she says, “and I usually just have a birthday week or a birthday month. It’s all about celebrating, and you can have more cake. It’s all about the cake.”
Age 10: Jaya Mandala | Age 20: Jaclyn Jones | Age 30: Andrew Syropoulos
Age 40: Samuel E. Lee Jr. | Age 50: Maureen Kramer | Age 60: Andrew Der
Age 70: James E. Locklear | Age 80: Mario Carrion | Age 90: Laura Johnson
Age 100: Lucille Brooks
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