Success Stories

Client Success Stories

Business Highlight: The Local Variety – Bucksport


The Local Variety
The Local VAriety is located in the heart of downtown Bucksport, a former mill town with new energy and life. When the current owners decided to put the business up for sale, Jessica Carter jumped at the opportunity to own this downtown café in the town that she loves. Although she had little experience in the restaurant industry, she had a vision for the store and sought out Maine SBDC Business Advisor Betty Egner for help turning that dream into reality.

“Betty helped me so much in areas where I really had no idea where to start,” Carter states. “She walked me through the bigger picture as well as many of the fine details, helped me with a business plan and assisted me in finding the financing to make this happen.”Read More

MaineBiz: Buyer of Portage Lakeside Cabins converting seasonal business into four-season resort

PORTAGE LAKE — An Aroostook County native and former marine said her purchase of Portage Lakeside Cabins, not far from her childhood stomping grounds, fulfills her longtime dream for a business while allowing her to raise her children in a region she loves.

In a transaction finalized Sept. 13, Shannon Currier purchased the business for $250,000. It’s located at 4 Almond Drive with easy access from Route 11 and includes a single-family cottage, four small cabins, bathhouse and garage sitting on 2.7 acres with 420 feet of lake frontage. The seller was Laura Bouchard, according to the Caribou-based Northern Maine Development Commission’s business finance division, which helped Currier finance the purchase.

Currier credited Joshua Nadeau, director of NMDC’s small business development center, and the center’s loan officer David Spooner with providing helpful business counseling as she considered the acquisition.

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Business Highlight: EterNav – Verona Island

eternav-logo-and-backgroundKasey Smith, founder of EterNav, wants to change the funeral and death care industry.

With a background in technology startups and personal experience dealing with loss, she saw an opportunity to help those experiencing one of life’s toughest challenges, navigating the unexpected loss of a loved one.

She has created 21st century technical tools and a step by step process that helps guide families through the practical tasks and action steps that follow the loss of a loved one. Her solution, called EterNav (short for eternal navigation), offers affordable, personalized and convenient bereavement solutions — working either with and without a funeral home.Read More

Business Highlight: Aroostook Driving School – Caribou

When Ryan Deprey and Todd Albert, well known teachers and coaches in the local school system, heard that one of the longstanding driving schools in Caribou was closing due to retirement, they saw an opportunity. The pair approached Josh Nadeau, Maine SBDC business advisor at Northern Maine Development Commission (NMDC), to take advantage of that opportunity – to start a driving school business.Read More

Business Highlight: Autotronics – Frenchville & Bangor

logoAutotronics, a family-owned business that specializes in the building and restoration of emergency vehicles, has been in business since 1958 and serves customers within Maine, New England and even internationally. Business Owner Lita Daigle approached Maine SBDC Business Advisor Josh Nadeau looking for help in restructuring some current loans as well as obtaining funds to help build a new state of the art paint facility at their headquarters in Frenchville, Maine.

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Business Highlight: Lost Valley – Auburn

12247088_10150572329809950_1312391115200000601_nLost Valley, a small ski area located in Auburn, Maine, has been a staple of the area since 1961. The first ski area in Maine to make artificial snow, the business features 15 trails and a terrain park, offering something for skiers of all abilities. It also boasts one of the largest ski schools in Maine.

When the potential for purchasing the business arose, Scott Shanaman and his wife April jumped at the opportunity.  Familiar with the ski industry (they also own and run a ski lift maintenance business) but seeking guidance on obtaining financing and executing the purchase, they reached out to Jane Mickeriz, Maine SBDC business advisor at the Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments (AVCOG). Together they spent many hours working on a business plan, financial projections and loan packaging which Shanaman presented to several banks. 

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Client News: Vintage Maine Kitchen in Freeport cooks up old-fashion potato chips

Maine SBDC client in the news…

“Hang on, I’ve got to pull a rack of chips from the fryer,” says Kelly Brodeur — co-owner with her husband Scott of the startup Vintage Maine Kitchen — before settling into a recent phone interview.

Celebrating their first year in business on Aug. 1, it seems the Brodeurs are pulling countless racks as their small-batch, hand-made potato chips soar in popularity. From a first run of 12 cases produced from 100 pounds of potatoes for a local store, they are today producing chips for about 100 locations in Maine and beyond, and enjoy robust online sales.

They decline to cite revenue, but say their sales figures are twice the start-up loan amount they received from Coastal Enterprises Inc., the Brunswick-based nonprofit that assists with rural business development.”

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