Success Stories

Client Success Stories

COVID Stories: Farmington Underground Escape Room | Events & Entertainment

COVID has caused massive disruptions in the way we all do business. Businesses throughout Maine are finding unique and interesting ways to connect with their customers, find new revenue streams, and keep their businesses afloat. Want to share how your business is pivoting? Contact us here.


Farmington Underground - LogoJoseph Musumeci and Mary Ellms own Farmington Underground Escape Room Center, which offers residents and visitors to the area a chance to fully immerse themselves in one of two (soon to be three!) themed rooms.  Guests have one hour to use puzzles, clues, hints, teamwork, and intuition to figure everything out and achieve victory.  The business brings much-needed recreation to Western Maine and has established a loyal following.  

Farmington Underground Treasure Hunt

In early March, the pair recognized the evolving situation of COVID-19 and temporarily closed their doors. They worked with Maine SBDC Advisor, Alison Lane, to analyze their financial situation and develop viable solutions to maintain a pulse while closed.  With a bit of financial relief and understanding the importance of staying connected to customers, they set to thinking about how to pivot operations.  

Treasure Hunt

Today, Farmington Underground offers Choose-Your-Own-Adventure outdoor walking excursions around the Downtown Farmington area.  Small teams traverse the streets and parks in search of clues and puzzles to solve a mission just as they would inside an escape room.  Every team has a different experience depending on their choices.  Locations were selected with social distancing in mind, bookings are limited, and nothing needs to be touched, so participants can be safely entertained.  Breathing fresh air and getting a bit of light exercise is the icing on the cake to this experience.

Joe and Mary are eager to reopen the escape rooms when safe and allowed.  They will continue to work with the Maine SBDC to establish safety protocols and ensure their next indoor visitors are comfortable and well-entertained!

More info: www.farmingtonunderground.com/

Maine SBDC Business Advisor:  Alison Lane 

COVID Stories: TuneTown Music Gear | Retail & Service

COVID has caused massive disruptions in the way we all do business. Businesses throughout Maine are finding unique and interesting ways to connect with their customers, find new revenue streams, and keep their businesses afloat. Want to share how your business is pivoting? Contact us here.


John and Pam Edwards - TuneTownJohn and Pam Edwards have owned TuneTown Music Gear for 16 years in Wells. They bring generations of musical industry experience with the vision of providing a positive and nurturing experience in 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, audiovisual installations in schools, churches, and military bases, print music and accessories at competitive prices. TuneTown also provides repair and maintenance on instruments and electronics.Read More

COVID Stories: Wine Wise in Portland | Events & Experiences

COVID has caused massive disruptions in the way we all do business. Businesses throughout Maine are finding unique and interesting ways to connect with their customers, find new revenue streams, and keep their businesses afloat. Want to share how your business is pivoting? Contact us here.


Erica Archer - Wine Wise Owner Erica Archer owns Wine Wise. In normal times, Wine Wise provides wine, food, and spirit-based experiences. She and her team host group events that help connect customers to Maine’s vibrant food and beverage scene. Wine Wise hosts these wine and food events on sailboats and on walks through Portland’s bustling downtown. She also hosts trips to wine regions around the World.

Wine Wise - Sailboat Trips

How Wine Wise Pivoted:

Erica worked closely with her Maine SBDC business advisor to brainstorm ideas on how her business could maneuver the COVID-19 crisis. Using her extensive connections with local restaurant chefs/owners and wine distributors, Wine Wise began offering virtual wine brunches and dinners with incredible local chefs. These packages include carefully curated local food, wine pairings, delivered locally, and virtual event experience with the Chef and other community members. Erica has seen a tremendous response to her events, with most selling out. She is helping her customer relax and enjoy a nice night out, all from the safety of their own home.

Wine Wise - Virtual Events

Key to Success: Partnerships with other local businesses

More information: www.winewiseevents.com

Maine SBDC Business Advisor: Susan Desgrosseilliers

COVID Stories: My-FIT-24 in Gorham | Heath & Fitness

COVID has caused massive disruptions in the way we all do business. Businesses throughout Maine are finding unique and interesting ways to connect with their customers, find new revenue streams, and keep their businesses afloat. Want to share how your business is pivoting? Contact us here.


My-Fit-24 Logo Stacey and Jesse Coleman own My-FIT-24, a 24-hour fitness facility located in Gorham.  Started in 2007, My-FIT-24 provides access to fitness equipment, personal training, and group classes. The couple and their team are passionate about creating sustainable fitness solutions for their clients and community. Their programs are based on science to provide safe and effective workouts.Read More

COVID Stories: Acacia House Inn in Bar Harbor | Lodging & Hospitality

COVID has caused massive disruptions in the way we all do business. Businesses throughout Maine are finding unique and interesting ways to connect with their customers, find new revenue streams, and keep their businesses afloat. Want to share how your business is pivoting? Contact us here.


Acacia House InnAnna Durand and her husband own Acacia House Inn located in downtown Bar Harbor. Housed in a 10th-century building, this classic B&B features 9 rooms with soft linens, private baths, hardwood floors, and some with balconies. Full breakfast is served every morning with local ingredients.Read More

Sealander Architects – Ellsworth, Maine

Sealander Architects Mike Sealander and his wife Robyn have been running their business, Sealander Architects, since 2007. Sealander Architects is an architecture and interior design firm specializing in well-designed environments that allow people to do their best work.  They design buildings to reflect an organization’s mission and culture, and strive to design places where people can thrive.Read More

Spa Voyage – Biddeford, ME

Spa voyage logoEliza Conley-Lepene had a dream. She wanted to start a spa in Southern Maine. Not just any spa, she wanted to create a high-end, Hawaiian-themed experience that helped her customers escape and relax.

Eliza - Spa VoyageEliza was experienced in her practice but had never started her own business. For assistance in these uncharted waters, she worked with Raynor Large, business advisor at the Maine SBDC at Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments. Raynor helped Eliza as she pitched her idea as part of the Maine Center for Entrepreneur’s Top Gun program. He helped her with her business plan and financial projections.Read More

The Mustard Seed Bookstore – Bath, Maine

The Mustard Seed - Bookstore

Six years ago, Julie and Mike Shea approached Maine SBDC with a dream. They wanted to purchase a small bookstore in downtown Bath. They reached out to Brad Swanson, a business advisor at the Maine SBDC at CEI, for assistance in developing a business plan and financing proposal.

Julie and Mike worked diligently with Brad to make sure each aspect of the plan was carefully thought through and that the financial projections were realistic and obtainable. Securing the financing they needed, the couple opened their dream business, The Mustard Seed Bookstore, in February 2015.Read More