Success Stories

Client Success Stories

Elder Law Offices – Lewiston

Mia Poliquin Pross began her career in the non-profit sector, developing a skill set (and a heart) for supporting more vulnerable populations. As she shifted to private law practice at the Elder Law Offices of Kathleen Kienitz, she continued to focus on those in need, helping families plan for long-term care needs, transitions, and other matters important to an aging population. In January 2022, she acquired the law firm, and it became the Elder Law Office of Kienitz and Pross, P.A. She worked closely with Maine SBDC at CEI Business Advisor Raynor Large to finalize her business plan and projections, they considered multiple financing options, and smoothly transitioned into the new ownership, all while keeping the office disruption to a minimum and maintaining the high-quality service and care the firm’s clients deserve and expect. Read More

Midcoast Comics – Brunswick

When Steven Thanos first began working with Maine SBDC at CEI Business Advisor Bradshaw Swanson, he had a vision of building a successful comic book store in downtown Brunswick. With a wide collection of current issues, historic collector’s editions, and graphic novels there would be something to attract both long-time fans and new hobbyists. Brad & Steven worked together to fine-tune his business plan and understand the financial viability of the vision.  Read More

Pumpkin Patch Preschool & Child Care – Baldwin

Monique Beaulieu had successfully managed and run daycare centers for others for years and was ready to take the leap and do so for herself. The process of determining value, negotiating and purchasing an existing business and real estate, however, was daunting. She worked closely with Maine SBDC at CEI Business Advisor Raynor Large to explore a myriad of options – starting from scratch, buying existing centers of various sizes, to leasing. The tight real estate market proved to be another hurdle, with multiple opportunities falling through in the negotiating process. Throughout it all, Monique kept her eyes on her goal – being the Director of her own Center, so that she was truly the beneficiary of her hard work and care. Read More

Portland Yoga Collective – Portland

Jess Fadale dreamed of owning her own Yoga studio! The vision was to open a collective of yoga instructors with a variety of specialties, giving their clients a holistic, well-rounded experience. After a decade-long career in sports business, she pivoted her strong marketing and business backgrounds to her passion for yoga. 

Jess is a certified yoga instructor and has been teaching classes for the last couple of years in the Providence and Boston area. She completed her 200-hour yoga teacher certification to share her love of movement with others. “My classes involve building strength, trying new things, laughing, falling down and getting back up.” All things we, small business owners included, need to learn to do more flexibly. Read More

Fryeburg Kitchen and Market – Fryeburg

This pandemic has had us all reassessing our future plans; personally, professionally, and in some cases geographically! Tom Sturdevant and his family decided that relocating from New Jersey to Maine was the right next step for them. Having summered here over the years they were ready to make it home full time and were looking to open a dual restaurant and market. He explored several options before settling on a property in Fryeburg, and when he approached Franklin Savings Bank for financing he was referred to the Maine SBDC for help with his application. Read More

TuneTown Music Gear – Wells

John and Pam Edwards have owned TuneTown Music Gear in Wells for 18 years. They brought decades of musical industry experience to a vision of providing positive and nurturing experiences within music instruction, service, and sales. Their business features nine large state of the art lesson studios, a recording studio and a live performance stage. In the showroom, they offer a selection of instruments, keyboards, amplification, PA and recording gear, print music and accessories at competitive prices. Audio visual installations have been designed and completed in schools, churches, restaurants and Pease AFB. TuneTown also provides repairs and maintenance on most instruments and some electronics. Read More

Bad Little Brewing – Machias

Kathryn Toppan and husband Sean Lent, of Bad Little Brewing Company, are an excellent example of how important persistence is when it comes to starting a small business. They have been working with Maine SBDC advisors throughout our network to get their brewery and restaurant open since 2019! Moreover, throughout the process there has been an incredible amount of teamwork between our business advisors. As new roadblocks popped up, different business advisors stepped in to help navigate the next stage. Read More

Something to Wag About – Ellsworth

Elissa Nally began working with Shannon Byers, Maine SBDC at CEI Center Director and Business Advisor, in 2019 as she started her dog grooming business. Byers was able to help her lay the groundwork for a solid business plan and financial projections, as well as offer a unique perspective as the previous owner of a similar dog grooming business! Byers advised Nally through the CEI Wicked Fast Microloan application process which led to the funding needed to open their doors! Read More

Frenchman Bay Oyster Company – Sullivan

Graham Platner was born and raised in Maine before he went on to serve 8 years in the military, with 4 infantry tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Returning to Afghanistan to work for the Department of State, while on leave he was able to return to his roots and got a peek into the world of oyster farming, working beside Jock Crothers of Waukeag Neck Oyster farm in his hometown of Sullivan. Crothers was looking to the future and suggested Platner take on the farm to see where he could go in the world of aquaculture, but it took some time for Platner to take the idea seriously and make his way back to Maine. Read More

Lucinda’s Day Spa & Hair Studio – Cumberland

Marissa Elliott has worked at Lucinda’s Day Spa & Hair Studio for nine years, both in management and as an aesthetician, and recently had the unique opportunity to step into the owner’s shoes, as the owner looked to retire. However, the transition itself – putting together financial projections, negotiating the lease, purchase price, and gift card liability holdover, and obtaining the commercial loan – was complicated, with many factors to consider.  She worked closely with Maine SBDC at CEI Business Advisor Raynor Large to carefully think through her options and make sure the business was able to both handle its seasonal fluctuations and service the debt. Read More