Bakery challenging mask mandate fine

MONT VERNON – The Liberty Defense Fund of New Hampshire, based in Mont Vernon, will support a Bedford bakery in its legal challenge to a fine for violating the Governor’s emergency order requiring face masks.

Simply Delicious Baking Co. owner Alexa Firman received a $500 fine by mail last week from the N.H. Attorney General’s office for “operating in violation of the Governor’s Emergency Order 52.” The letter stated, “violations of any Emergency Order are subject to civil penalties of up to $1,000 per violation or up to $2,000 per day under Emergency Order 65.”

“Simply Delicious,” as the locals call the Bedford bakery, has been open since December 2019 and specializes in rustic baked goods made with organic ingredients. Firman, a Bedford native and a trained chef, returned home to pursue her love of baking and give back to the community.

“I opened my bakery coffee shop late last year to bring our community together and provide a comfortable space for people to gather,” Firman said. “We have taken a number of precautions to keep our space safe, including the recommended social distancing. We have also provided curbside takeout for those who may not feel comfortable entering the building with other people.”

“I have many loyal customers who greatly value the freedom they have to gather here who are supporting me,” Firman added. “The mask mandate goes against my inspiration for starting this business: to build a face-to-face community space, and I believe people who make the choice to come in and enjoy that environment should have the right to do so.”

Simply Delicious’ attorney will proceed with financial support from the Liberty Defense Fund of New Hampshire, which is based in Mont Vernon, N.H. “Especially in times like these, we need judicial oversight to uphold the rule of law and administer justice fairly,” said Thomas McLeod, chairman of the Liberty Defense Fund of New Hampshire. As the legal challenge gets underway, Simply Delicious will contest the fine through a hearing within the Attorney General’s office. If the issue is not resolved there, it will advance to the courts.