Dancing Deer executive leaves post

She led local store to national renown

Trish Karter, 53, cofounder and chief executive for Dancing Deer Baking Co., resigned yesterday. Trish Karter, 53, cofounder and chief executive for Dancing Deer Baking Co., resigned yesterday. (Christina Caturano for The Globe)
By Megan Woolhouse
Globe Staff / June 26, 2010

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Trish Karter, the cofounder and chief executive of Dancing Deer Baking Co. for 15 years, resigned yesterday, saying she hopes to pursue passions outside baking.

“In my next chapter, I’d like to have a bigger impact working with a product or concept that’s more in the field of sustainability and social justice,’’ said Karter, 53. “I’m not ready to talk about it more firmly, but I’m a builder and I think I’ve got one more big build in me.’’

Frank Carpenito, whom Karter hired from Fairfield Farm Kitchens to become the company’s chief operating officer, will take over as chief executive. Company officials said in a statement that Carpenito “significantly improved profitability’’ in the past two years and “laid the groundwork for excellent growth going forward.’’

Karter helped the company grow from a storefront operation in West Roxbury to a nationally recognized brand with its preservative-free baked goods, like its signature gingerbread cake and molasses clove cookies. Business has slowed in recent years as the economy sputtered, and in January, the company laid off seven workers. The company expects $10 million in revenues by the end of the year.

The company currently employs 72 permanent and 150 seasonal or holiday workers, she said, and is currently rehiring.

“The recession certainly slowed us down,’’ Karter said. “It makes it harder to do all the great things I dream of when you’re struggling to make the numbers work.’’

A self-described social activist, Karter employed urban workers, allowing them to become stakeholders in the company. The company currently operates out of a Hyde Park industrial building that was retrofitted to be more energy efficient.

While no longer running Dancing Deer, Karter will continue to have a “very significant’’ equity interest in the business, according to a statement issued by the company.

Megan Woolhouse can be reached at