Jim Denz’s passion for brewing started in 1994, when he began making his own beer in the basement of his home. Before long, he was the go-to beer supplier for friends and family, producing three different beers. Jim began visiting local craft breweries, exploring the craft beer industry and imagining what it would be like to be part of it all. He knew his beer was good and he wanted to be able to share it with everyone, not just those closest to him.Read More
When Nina Murray decided she wanted to start her own bakery making homemade crackers, she gave herself plenty of time to do it right. She came in to the Maine SBDC at the University of Southern Maine in Portland and met with Business Advisor Peter Harriman who advised her on many steps of starting and running a successful business.Read More
Izzy Nelson and Joe Lane have owned Joe Lane Lobsterman since 2014, operating their business from various temporary Damariscotta locations such as the farmers market. Their business specializes in live and cooked whole lobsters, which Lane, who is a fourth-generation lobsterman, catches from his boat, the Spirit of ’76.
After taking the summer of 2016 off, the couple saw an opportunity to reopen their restaurant in a more permanent location – the former home of Skidompha Second Hand Book Shop, which had recently relocated. In order to do this, the couple needed to transform the space into a restaurant and purchase the necessary equipment for a commercial kitchen. They turned to Maine SBDC Business Advisor David Hill for assistance in obtaining financing with hopes of opening the restaurant in early summer 2017, which was a little over 2 months away.Read More
Bill Bouchard of Poland has 20 years experience in the HVAC industry. After years as a technician, supervisor and project manager with the largest HVAC service company in Southern Maine, Bouchard wanted to start his own business. While he had all the necessary licensing and experience, he needed assistance in getting his business started and turned to Larry Giroux, a certified business advisor with the Maine SBDC at AVCOG in Auburn.Read More
Since 2005, Custom Composite Technologies, Inc. (CCTI) has been developing lightweight, durable carbon fiber and fiberglass solutions for its customers around the world. A pioneer in advance composite technology and application, the company creates customized, high-performance solutions for industries and individuals with unique challenges. Their innovative techniques and advance composite materials are fabricated from their facility in Bath, Maine.
While CCTI’s specializes in making high-performance boats, they’ve seen significant diversification in their products in recent years, expanding into the transportation, art/architectural, renewable energy, robotics and defense industries. Their parts, tooling and molds have been used in a racing sailboat used by the America’s Cup champions, in art exhibits featured in prominent US cities, in a solar vehicle that is being developed by students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that will be raced at the 2017 Formula Sun Grand Prix, and in a robotic arm being designed as part of an exhibit by the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, just to name a few.
Since the beginning, business owners Steve and Maureen Hassett have sought the advice of Brad Swanson, Maine SBDC Business Advisor located at Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI). Swanson helped the pair create a vision for the company. This vision sustained them through extremely tough economic times and the diversification of their products and services. His encouragement helped them to believe in their success. Swanson has spent nearly 300 hours working to help the Hassett’s start and grow their business, working with them on a range of issues to ensure their business ran profitably and smoothly.
With a goal of reaching $1 million in sales in the coming year, Swanson helped develop strategies and goals to achieve this. The company recently received an award from the Institute for Family-Owned Business for excellence in family involvement, business success and commitment to employees, customers and community. They company also won an Innovation award in 2016 from the Manufacturers Association of Maine for their diversification of products. CCTI is in a prime position to achieve their goals, as many manufactures look to get away from heavier materials such as metal and invest in durable, lightweight and easily malleable composites.
Michael Brasslett, owner of Quality Saw & Supply in West Enfield, was sent to Business Advisor Tom Gallant by his banker in 2008. Specializing in the repair of saw blades and catering to Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, Quality Saw was struggling financially – sawmills were closings, sales were down, business was slow, debts were mounting up and there was no cash. Four employees relied on him, and his business.
Amy Rowbottom has had her share of ups and downs as a business owner. She first opened Crooked Face Creamery located in Norridgewock in 2012 making specialty whole milk cheese with milk from the farm that she grew up on. But even the best written business plan can prepare us for some of life’s challenges. After weathering these challenges, she turned to Business Advisor Janet Roderick for assistance in re-booting her business.Read More
Paul Okot’s International Resource Center (IRC) in Portland offers high quality, timely language services such as translation, interpretation and tutoring. The services help people with things like job applications, medical appointments, immigration documents and more. His business has provided interpretation in places such as courtrooms, in hospitals, home visits, and group sessions.
Okot came to the Maine SBDC for business advising on marketing and promoting his business, and was paired with Business Advisor Tom Leach. Together, they’ve worked for two years, meeting regularly to discuss marketing IRC and continually developing his business to increase his sales.Read More
Adam Copp had big plans to expand Howell’s Indoor Range & Gun Shop. He wanted to double the size of the local gun retail shop through the addition of a state of the art indoor shooting range and an expansion of its retail showroom. Copp approached a credit union for financing, who liked the opportunity to help the business, and referred him to Maine SBDC Certified Master Business Advisor Brad Swanson to help him solidify his business plan and assess the feasibility of the concept.Read More
If you call and schedule a hunting trip with Big Machias Lake Camps, LLC dba: Oxbow Outfitters, LLC (BMLC) you likely won’t notice a difference because Jeff Lavway, the new owner of BMLC, is the same person who has been managing the day to day operations of the business for the past two years. On May 30th, Lavway officially purchased the business from Jeff O’Connor of Pennsylvania. Lavway has worked as a licensed Maine Guide since 2005 operating his own company, Northern Experience Guide Service in Gardner Creek from 2005-2013. Upon selling his business Lavway went to work for BMLC, starting out as a guide and expanding his role each year until 2015 when he took over the operation of the business.Read More