what is an ordinary?
“Ordinaries” provided a communal table around which travelers, politicians, and townspeople could share a meal and pause for conversation in the days of Colonial America.
Chestertown, a colonial town founded in 1706, maintains its historic charm while also adapting to modern life. The name Ordinary is therefore particularly fitting, as it is a colonial term for a tavern or central place offering food, drinks, and a safe space. We thought we would recall this colonial use of the word as we welcome visitors and residents of modern times, and open our arms to our community both in our brick-and-mortar shop, in our weekly newsletters, and in our online shop.
We hope that Figg’s Ordinary's downtown Chestertown location, in the heart of the historic district, provides the space for the same type of gatherings created in colonial Ordinaries: a central location for friends, neighbors, and strangers to take a quiet moment out of their day for food, drink, and meaningful conversation.
who is Figg?
Figg was one of Ingrid’s beloved miniature dachshunds, and Figg’s happy and spunky spirit inspired the name of the bakery. Although Figg passed on to the great kennel in the sky too soon, her memory lives on and always makes Ingrid smile, just as she hopes her products make you smile.
Figg's Ordinary began in 2015 as a small stand in the Chestertown Farmers' Market. Figg’s founder Ingrid Hansen began experimenting with gluten-free baking after her youngest daughter developed a sensitivity to gluten and struggled to find gluten-free products that were at once fresh, delicious, and made with high-quality ingredients. After experimenting for a few years, Ingrid had developed delicious, healthy gluten-free recipes, and wondered whether Eastern Shore residents also had a hunger for these kinds of foods. Figg's success at the Farmers' Market gave proof of a local hunger for healthier food options on the Eastern Shore. Ingrid had always dreamed of creating a space in Chestertown for people to gather, and with Figg’s success at the Farmers’ Market, she soon began searching for a location to make Figg's into a brick-and-mortar café. In the first year of business, Figg’s was voted Best New Business of the Year by the Kent County Chamber of Commerce, and now two years into our business, we’re thrilled to be growing, learning, and serving our community, in Chestertown and beyond! To learn more about what Chestertown, MD has to offer for dining, shopping, and activities, check out Destination Mainstreet!
why gluten free?
Figg’s is a dedicated Gluten Free facility, making our products safe for those with serious food allergies or Celiac Disease. We use alternatives to wheat flour such as almond, buckwheat, coconut, millet, gluten free oat, sorghum flours.
A few years ago, one of Ingrid’s daughters developed a gluten intolerance. As someone who has enjoyed baking all her life, Ingrid enjoyed the opportunity to learn about and experiment with new kinds of flours. After some time experimenting on her own and trying pretty much all the gluten-free products out there, Ingrid noticed that none of the products she had found satisfied the standards for ingredients, freshness, and taste that she held, and she decided to do something about it.
Many people, particularly in recent years, have developed sensitivities to gluten and wheat products. Food is such an integral part of community, home, tradition, and happiness, and we want to make sure that everyone can have access to the foods they love without having to sacrifice their health in the process.
Additionally, we offer a variety of dairy free, egg free, nut free, and vegan products for our customers with other dietary restrictions whether medical or by choice. Many of our daily in-store offerings are dairy, nut, and/or egg-free in addition to being free of gluten, but our customers with special dietary restrictions are always encouraged to call, email, or stop in to order ahead if looking for a particular treat with particular restrictions. We have always found a way to accommodate the needs of our clients, and welcome every opportunity to be creative in the kitchen!
While a sweetener of any kind is still sweet, we use no refined sugar and instead use less refined alternative sweeteners such as coconut sugar, Maryland produced maple syrup, and local honey. These sweeteners are lower on the glycemic-index, cause less of a blood-sugar spike, and are therefore more kind to our bodies than highly processed sugars.