what guides us
Figg's is guided by a commitment to our local community. Whether that be downtown Chestertown, Kent County, the Eastern Shore, Maryland, or the greater Mid-Atlantic, we are committed to uplifting and serving our community. Ordinaries were originally created to serve as gathering places for community members of all walks of life, and at Figg’s we strive to embody that Ordinary spirit in all that we do. Through the foods we prepare to nourish our neighbors, the nearby farmers we go to for locally-grown, seasonal ingredients, and the sustainable business practices we employ, community is our first priority.
Figg's is working towards becoming a Zero-Waste business, and has already taken many steps to get there. We currently compost all food scraps, use compostable to-go containers and silverware, stock only paper straws, sell reusable thermoses and stainless steel straws in-store, and encourage all of our customers to bring their own containers when they are dining on the go. We source nearly all of our ingredients from local farmers and producers, and our dining-ware was made by local potter Marilee Schumann, with some recent additions by one of our multi-talented employees, Vanna.
- Ingrid Hansen
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.
Ingrid Hansen has been a part-time resident of Chestertown for some twenty years now, going back and forth between Eastern and Western shores with her wife Lynn and their two children. Ingrid first came to Chestertown on a vacation in her twenties, and immediately fell in love. She started Figg’s as a stand in the farmers’ market after playing around with gluten-free flours and sensing a need in the town’s culinary and social scene. Ingrid previously owned and operated her own art gallery in Washington, DC, and holds an MBA and MA in Art History from George Washington University.
manager & head baker
A Kent County native, Amy has worked in the baking business for many years, with a particular talent for exquisite cake decoration. You may have seen her at Sweet Melissa’s in Middletown, DE, where she also works as a baker.
tea program manager, assistant baker, and resident “Super taster”
Claire has always had a knack for all things baking. When not kneading dough at Figg’s, Claire works as the Pre-Law Advisor and Coordinator for the Center for Career Development at Washington College. As the eldest child of Figg’s founder Ingrid Hansen and her wife Lynn Bergeson, Claire has grown up with flour in the air, and has developed a flair all their own. Claire is also current President of Upper shore Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) and holds an MA in English Literature from McGill University and a BA from Washington College.
media & communications manager, photographer
Having developed a gluten sensitivity at age 20, Lorentz has been more than happy to taste-test Figg’s products since the beginning. Among other things, Lorentz works as a freelance photographer, supplying the images on this website, and works as Media and Communications Manager for Figg’s. Outside of Figg’s, Lorentz works part-time as a Paralegal/Legal Assistant, and is preparing to begin law school in the fall.