Not so sweet: Medford-based bakery hit with sign violation

Owner reportedly needs zoning approval for mascot wall painting

MATTHEW SHINKLE/The Sun
The township’s Maggie Moose Bakery and Gourmet Gift Boutique was notified by the zoning board in early September that the painting of its mascot on an outside wall is a violation of Medford’s signage ordinance.

A Medford-based bakery owner was recently told by the township’s zoning board that she has to alter an outdoor wall painting on her building that is in violation of the township’s sign ordinance. 

Maggie Moose Bakery and Gourmet Gift Boutique on Route 70 first opened its doors earlier this year, and shortly after, its owner added the outdoor artwork to a west-facing wall. The painting is described as a simple and colorful image of the shop’s mascot, with a pink Maggie Moose  standing in front of a yellowish green circle, surrounded by a pink backdrop with raining, colored  sprinkles. 

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According to a notice received by bakery owner Candy Thibeau and dated Sept. 6, the mascot’s  inclusion in the artwork is what has prompted attention from the zoning board.

“Apparently, because the wall had a painting of our mascot, Maggie Moose, it is considered signage and will need to be painted over,” said Thibeau, a Tabernacle resident and Shawnee High School graduate, in a Facebook post on the shop’s page after the zoning board action.

“Needless to say, I am heartbroken,” she added. “We are in full support of local artists beautifying and bringing smiles to the community through their art! This bylaw seems to be the silliest, and it saddens me because … it’s also disheartening that a business has to go through such hurdles in this town each and every step of the way just to function.”

According to the zoning notice she received, Thibeau has two options: Either have the piece repainted to remove the moose logo, which could then be replaced with the existing pink background and mix of colored sprinkles, or apply for a bulk variance through the township  Zoning Board of Adjustment to keep the existing artwork. 

As Thibeau considers a solution, words of encouragement have been sent to her business email, maggiemoosebakery@gmail.com, with the heading “Keep Maggie Moose.” Interested residents can visit the bakery in person and sign a petition to show their support for Thibeau. 

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