The Osprey – Georgetown

Group Photo of The Osprey Resturant, two white men and two white women with their arms around each other inside a restaurant doorway.The pandemic created an opportunity for Sarah (Armstrong) Kecskemethy, Zoli Kecskemethy, Tessa Boepple, and Dylan Boepple to come together to form the Four Cuckoo Birds, Inc. These two couples, who share vast experience in the food industry and a passion for food & community, were eager to get their dream business going and use their combined culinary skills to bring the Osprey back to Derecktor Robinhood Marina in Riggs Cove. With a strong belief in connectivity, they are fully committed to “fostering relationships within the community.” Read More

How To Prepare Your Business for Wholesale

Women of Asian decent sits crisscrossapplesauce on the floor in a loose teal long sleeve shirt and blue jeans. She is surrounded by boxes, a computer and a calculator. She is holding a pad of paper and seems to be adding on the calculator. It is a white room with natural light on a dark grey couch and a few plants. If you’re planning to start a business or already have an existing one, you may have considered whether wholesale is the right approach for your business. There are various factors to consider, so we’ve highlighted some major points to ensure you have the right tools to get started!  Read More

2022 – Leaning into Change

Maine SBDC Center Director & Business Advisor Raynor Large provides an overview of 2022, a year where we began to catch glimpses of “normal” and began to lean into the changes the pandemic has brought into our everyday lives. He also outlines the essential areas of business ownership that remain unchanged

A look back at 2022

Read More

Seacoast Senior Advisors – Scarborough

Many seniors face large transitions and changes later in life and Dani Rockey loves getting to help families unravel and understand their options. So she started Seacoast Senior Advisors, a community-based organization focused on helping families navigate Senior Living options, understanding that transitions are hard enough and wanted to help make them easier. But to get started she needed some guidance herself. Read More

AWEN – Portland

Brinn Flagg, a white women with blonde hair leans on a wooden wall.  Wearing a tan wide brimmed hat, denim overalls, and a dark patterned long sleeve shirt. AWEN; Family Recovery and Relationship Coaching, is an educational and counseling service for friends, partners, and parents of people with substance use disorder. It is different from most programs, as it uses a holistic experience-led approach. The coaching program offers support, education, resources, and community.

Founded by Brinn Flagg, AWEN is unique in that Brinn is an impacted loved one herself. Feeling the effects of her sister’s substance use disorder with nowhere to turn at the time, she sought support, strength, and knowledge by becoming a certified coach and counselor in order to share her experiences. Read More

The Nexus Arcade and Gaming Lounge – Winslow

The Nexus Arcade and Gaming Lounge logo, on black background. Cobalt blue graphic lines outline "The Nexus" in white, the X is larger and insects the whole logo.Mark Blaschke and Nicholas Murray, the partners behind The Nexus Arcade and Gaming Lounge, wanted to create a place that brought the local gaming community together around their shared passions. They brought a lot of enthusiasm to the project but not much knowledge about the business side of things, Mark knew he needed help making sure he was doing things correctly and legally. He was seeking expertise from someone who already had experience running a small business when he connected with Maine SBCD at CEI Business Advisor Peter Piconi. Read More

Are You Ready for Business Ownership? Part 2

The second of a two-part series on how to start a successful business (or not)…

In our first article in this series, we asked you questions to determine if you’re ready to be a business owner.  If you think it’s a good fit, then it’s time to think through your idea to make sure it will succeed.

Research & Planning

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” – Benjamin Franklin

This quote sums up why SBDC advisors, lenders and investors talk ALOT about planning.  The idea is that if you’re about to embark on a journey, then it’s a good idea to have a map.  Business research and planning is the process of creating the map. While it may feel tedious when you’re eager to get going, it’s better to find out if your plan will work before you change your life and invest your money. Read More

CIA Cafe – Saco

In early 2022, Jamie Bissonnette and his business partner Duncan Taylor were presented with the opportunity to purchase CIA Cafe (pronounced see-ya), a successful coffee, sandwich and art shop located in Saco. With tons of food and beverage business management experience, Jamie decided it was time to take a chance and step out on his own, but he needed financing. His lender recommended that he reach out to Anne Lancaster, Maine SBDC business advisor at the University of Southern Maine. 

As first-time business owners, Jamie and Duncan wanted to be as thorough as possible in making sure this new-to-them venture would be successful. They worked with Anne to perfect their business plan. They went through each section of the narrative and focused heavily on the accompanying financials. In just a couple of weeks, they were ready to submit their plan to Bangor Savings Bank. Read More

Are You Ready for Business Ownership? Part 1

The first of a two-part series on how to start a business (or maybe not?)

Many people are excited by the idea of owning their own business and come to the Maine SBDC wanting to dive right in.  We typically hear questions like, “how do I register my business, get the needed licenses, set up an LLC, find insurance, or pay taxes?”  

While these are important questions, they should come after some thoughtful analysis. Read More

Aegir’s Den Meadery – Palermo

Mark and Carrie Mancini both come from families familiar with fermentation and preserving, but a friendly competition leading to the accidental brewing of a honey mead made Aegir’s Den Meadery possible!

After nearly a decade of experimenting and testing different meads with friends and family encouraging them, they opened their Pittsfield storefront in 2019 and gained some good traction prior to the COVID shutdowns. They had a strong brand and partnerships with a local winery for bottling space and were being distributed throughout the Bangor and Portland area.

They connected with the Maine SBDC as they were getting ready to expand last year. They needed to grow in order to keep up with production and that meant they were also going to need capital to hire more employees and purchase additional equipment. Maine SBDC at CEI Business Advisor Peter Piconi was able to work with Mark and Carrie to understand their capital needs and provided resources that helped identify the best avenue to pursue. Together they developed financial forecast worksheets and reviewed the business plan so they could understand how grants or traditional lending would fit into their plan. Read More