Cadillac Mtn. Summit Shuttle – Bar Harbor

The best business ideas solve a problem for their customers and Ellen Finn of Cadillac Mtn. Summit Shuttle definitely does that! She has lived and worked as a local tour guide on Mount Desert Island for many years, just outside Acadia National Park. A few years ago, the National Park System instituted a reservation system for driving up the Cadillac Mountain Summit Road, limiting access to this popular spot in the peak tourist season. Those who did not know about this new system, or those who made a last-minute plan to visit the park, were often disappointed to find out that they would be unable to drive to the top of Cadillac Mountain. Ellen saw the need for a no-reservation, hourly, shuttle service to the top of Cadillac Mountain so their adventures could continue! Read More

The Frappe Shoppe – Brunswick

Frappe Shoppe Employees insideJamie Alexander fondly remembers working at the Brunswick drive-in restaurant, which her grandparents started in the 1950s. The restaurant was a staple in the community and Jamie began working there as a young teen, making milkshakes, frappes, and other drive-in favorites.  It has been her dream for a decade to bring that experience to downtown Brunswick and to contribute to the revitalization of Main Street. Focusing specifically on creating delicious frappes, a uniquely New England term that refers to a milkshake with ice cream, Jamie finally found the ideal location at 147 ½ Main Street. The small corner space had been vacant for a while and was perfect for her startup. She began renovating the space in the spring and summer of 2022, using her connections as a local realtor to find the contractors she needed. Read More

Maine SBDC Names 2023 State Star

The Maine Small Business Development Centers (Maine SBDC) has selected Anne Lancaster as the 2023 State Star. The award, given annually, recognizes a member of the Maine SBDC staff who has shown exemplary performance and a strong commitment to small business success.

Anne Lancaster is a business advisor at the Maine SBDC at University of Southern Maine. She works with entrepreneurs and small businesses in York county to start, sustain and grow their businesses. In the four years she has been with the Maine SBDC, she has spent approximately 3,500 hours advising over 900 clients. She’s helped to start 13 businesses, create and save 48 jobs, and generate almost $3.3 million in capital. Anne’s clients rave about her ability to listen, her patience, and her supportive and knowledgeable approach to business advising.  Read More

1 Earth Composting – Hampden

Katie and Matt Saunders stand with their young on in front of compost pileKatie Saunders, NP-C, is a primary care provider (or family nurse practitioner) and an environmental activist. Her husband, Matt Saunders, was a professional chef for over 20 years and is now a stay-at-home dad to their 3 children.  Their backgrounds in farming, food, and environmental activism led them to start 1 Earth Composting, a residential and commercial composting business offering subscriptions for curbside pickups of compostable materials.  They found that sweet spot within their vocations and passions! Read More

Sculpture Hospitality of Maine – Portland

Sculpture Hospitality of Maine logo, grey alcohol bottle silhouettes With teal and orange font reading 'Every Ounce' under a orange silhouette of the state of MainePhillip Badger has 17 years of experience in the bar/restaurant industry, working his way through each front-of-house position. And though he loves the bar/restaurant world, he’s not a big fan of the late hours so he’s spent the last few years consulting. Having set down roots in Southern Maine he’s ready to share his expertise with fellow Maine restaurant owners. But setting out on his own as a first-time business owner meant he had a lot of questions! Read More

Wears & Wares – Farmington

Head shot of Lisa Park LaflinLisa Park Laflin grew up in the Farmington area, left for a number of years but returned to raise a family and enjoy the mountains of western Maine. After a long career in non-profit management, she was looking for a way to combine her love for community, art and upcycling. Ultimately, this led her to purchase Wears & Wares, a boutique consignment shop that sells clothing, upcycled and vintage items, and offers workshops ranging from repurposing furniture to making jewelry out of computer parts! Read More

NKENNE – Portland

Head shot of Michael OdokaraMichael Odokara has one of the most important elements needed to succeed in entrepreneurship, a growth mindset! Having founded ESM Global Consulting, an IT consulting firm, he’s familiar with the need to embrace that sweet spot between curiosity and taking action. So when he decided to learn his native language of Igbo during the pandemic but was unable to find a suitable African language learning platform, he built one! That platform is called, NKENNE. Read More

Sixberry Solutions – Skowhegan

Noah and Ashley Sixberry, a young couple stand close to each other outside in front of a Maine background.Making the transition to digital marketing has not been easy, especially for rural Maine. With a lack of internet infrastructure and old-school mentalities, small businesses need to be inventive with their marketing strategies. Noah and Ashley Sixberry know this all too well, both having grown up in Maine. So they started Sixberry Solutions in 2020 to bring quality website design and effective organic marketing strategies to the Maine market, as well as across the US. Read More

MotoResto – Portland

Krystal Stone and Andrew Furbush came to the Maine SBDC in June of 2021. Andrew, a knowledgeable mechanic with a passion for antique and classic car restoration and Krystal who is great with managing all of the aspects of the auto business wanted to start their own company, MotoResto, LLC. At that time, they were looking to purchase the business where they were employed. Maine SBDC at USM Certified Business Advisor, Chris Cole worked with them on financial projections, terms of the sale, and the feasibility of purchasing the business. By doing this process, it helped Krystal and Andrew to realize purchasing that business was not the right option for them. Read More

Dobson Family Funeral & Cremation Services – Arundel

Jeffrey Dobson has a passion for helping people through hard times. Born and raised in Maine, he knows how difficult dealing with the death of a loved one can be. Facing the complex and expensive funeral system after his mother passed in 2005 taught him some valuable lessons. He is now using that experience to guide his new business Dobson Family Funeral & Cremation Services, providing compassionate and affordable funeral & cremation services in Arundel. Read More