Success Stories

Client Success Stories

Mackenzie’s Mannered Mutts – Kenduskeag

When Mackenzie MacDougal came to Maine SBDC at CEI Business Advisor Alison Lane, she had a big dream! She knew she loved working with dogs from her experience at a local kennel and felt like she was ready to branch out on her own to offer in-home dog training. She was inspired by a mentor who started their own animal-based business with little to no actual business knowledge and felt like she was ready to take the same plunge. The fact that she had no idea how to start but was ready to hit the ground running only highlighted her true entrepreneurial spirit! Read More

Taco Trio – South Portland

Karen Rasmussen and her husband, Manny Peña, have been long-term owners of Taco Trio, a Mexican Restaurant in South Portland. The quality of their food and service have become a benchmark in the community and an ongoing reason for their continued growth. When they outgrew their first location, a perfect opportunity presented itself – as a much larger space just down the street, that would fit both their needs and the needs of their customers, plus some. Read More

Gathered Minds Media – Rockland

The most successful businesses are based on a problem that needs solving, oftentimes coming directly from the lived experience of the owner. For Branden Densmore, his journey through recovery and a near-death experience gave him the push to fully develop Gathering Minds Media, a coaching and consulting business for others in recovery who want to start and grow businesses. He also provides spiritual counseling to help people in recovery find and better follow their purpose in life. Read More

Rising Sun Adventure Tours – Bass Harbor

When we think about what it takes to run a small business, things like bravery, strategy and forward-thinking come to mind; many qualities found in our veterans and active military members. Kareem Dieng, an active Soldier in the United States Army Reserve, is an inspirational example of all three. Kareem wanted to combine his love for adventure, nature, and connection with his nearly decade of experience leading groups in the outdoors – from there came Rising Sun Adventure Tours. Read More

Bath Ale Works – Wiscasset

Pepper Powers and his wife Jean have been vacationing in Phippsburg, Maine for years. Originally from Maine, Powers moved to the Washington D.C. area where he worked at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Like many who vacation here, the couple had dreamed of making Maine their home again.

In late 2016, they decided it was time to create a plan to make it happen. Powers, a longtime homebrewer, wanted to start a brewery in Midcoast Maine. For guidance on the process to make this happen, Powers turned to Brad Swanson, recently retired business advisor at the Maine SBDC at CEI in Brunswick. Read More

Alchemy Chiropractic – Falmouth

Making adjustments can seem scary, but they’re an important step toward finding relief in the future. This can be said about life, chiropractics, and business planning alike! Dr. Sergey Terrio, DC of Alchemy Chiropractic knows all too well how making small adjustments can lead to healing and growth. Read More

Peace House Studio – Bath

Peace House Studio, the name conjures up a quiet space… someplace restful, to reflect, and be creative. But Peace House Studio in Bath Maine is anything but a quiet place for reflection as sewing machines hum and vibrant children’s clothing is manufactured, and an active family lives a life aligned with their values! Read More

Just-In-Time Recreation – Lewiston

When Justin & Samantha learned that the old Sparetime Recreation location in Lewiston was for sale, they had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to turn a longtime hobby into a career. They were familiar with the business and with the intricacies of business ownership, but faced an uphill battle in funding the work necessary to revitalize the bowling alley. To develop a reasonable debt structure and financial projections for their “new” business, they turned to the Maine SBDC at Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments. Working alongside Business Advisor Raynor Large, they tweaked their business plan, developed a set of financial projections, and re-launched!  Read More

Game Fish Guide Service – Cumberland Center

When Hallye Anderson contacted the SBDC in February, she and her partner Glenn Richardson were working on a plan to launch their new business, Game Fish Guide Service. They were looking for an outside review of their plan and needed help obtaining a loan to fund their startup costs.  Glenn is an avid fisherman and licensed Maine Guide and Hallye has the skills to manage the operations side of the business. Their plan was to start offering trips on the inland lakes and coast of Maine with an eye toward expanding to other New England states over time.  Like many people just starting out, the two will continue working other jobs until their business is fully established. Read More

Washburn Trailside – Washburn

Prior to former Washburn police officer Jarad Carney purchasing the Washburn Trailside in 2020, it was just another struggling small town gas station. But thanks to Jarad’s strong ties to Washburn, his values around community, and his understanding of the local seasonal industries the Washburn Trailside has become a true “one-stop” experience for locals and tourists alike. Improvements included successfully merging the local redemption center into the gas station and breathing new life into the associated restaurant, offering new and changing menus at the only restaurant in Washburn while staying true to the hometown-style Maine charm that has come to be expected. Read More