Business Conversations: Baking Year Round Gingerbread Houses with the Gingerbread Construction Company

Janet D’Orsi
Janet D’Orsi

What started as a husband and wife’s hobby meant for sales at local craft shows turned into a nationally renown, delicious business.

The Gingerbread Construction Company in Winchester has been making gourmet gingerbread houses since 1987, and has since evolved into a full-scale bakery in Winchester and Wakefield.

Owner and baker Janet D’Orsi took time out in a very busy day to talk to Winchester Patch about baking gingerbread houses, cookies, muffins and more.

First off, what do you consider yourself as the owner of this business?

I am in the back baking room, surrounded by trays of colorful, intricately designed, delicious looking houses, small, medium and large. Janet is roofing a house with vanilla frosting.

Are you a baker?

JD: I guess I’m an entrepreneur, I started this business with my husband in 1980 and we would sell our products at craft shows. We opened up our store in Winchester in 1987 and our Wakefield store in 1995.

WP: Do you have a background in baking?

JD: No, I started working the family business and my husband had a baking business. His father owned a bakery. We both met a corporate Dunkins (Dunkin Donuts). We started making gingerbread houses for our friends, and then craft shows. But my husband died four years ago and I could either curl up in a ball or I could keep on going. And because of the employees I have, we’re like one big, happy family here. We gave it a shot on our own and this is our fourth Christmas doing it.

WP: Do you guys make gingerbread house all year round?

JD: Yup. We originally did coffee and muffins to keep us going all year, but the gingerbread houses do sell all year, not just this season. So we had about six different varieties of muffins and expanded on that.

WP: How many gingerbread houses do you make in a day?

JD: Well, there’s never a set amount. It depends, really.

WP: Wow. And you guys ship on a national level?

JD: We ship all over the continental U.S.

WP: How long did it take to get a nation wide reputation?

JD: Not long. Once people heard that we could ship, we really did take off. We used to just ship the houses, but now we ship a lot of our products.

You have to see the pictures to believe how many houses were being prepared. 


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