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.”
Egner and Carter worked together on her business plan, financials and marketing. Within two months’ time, Carter finished her business plan and received the loan she needed to purchase the business.
Just before reopening the store, Carter spent a week rapidly updating and renovating the space, making this the perfect breakfast or lunch destination, as well as making the top floor (with waterfront views) an ideal location for small events or meetings.
Opening June 1st, the location had booming summer sales and the local community has continued to support
Carter through the cooler months. “I had expected we would see a drop in sales once fall arrived, but the local folks have been absolutely amazing and we have continued to be very busy. Bucksport seems very happy that we’re here!” Carter notes. “We’ve created several jobs here at the store and I love supporting the local farmers and small businesses whose products we carry.”
The Local Variety offers fresh salads, sandwiches, baked goods and Maine roasted coffee. They work with local farms and crafters to sell local farm products, natural body care items and handmade gifts. You can find them, along with drool-worthy photographs of their daily specials, on Facebook.