Success Stories

Client Success Stories

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

KV Tooling Systems – Augusta

Specialty products are produced using special tools, but when each of those tools is made up of extremely specialized parts, you’ll need the help of someone like Brian Beland from KV Tooling Systems in Augusta to make them for you! Beland started working with Maine SBDC at CEI Business Advisor Brad Swanson in 2001 when KV Tooling Systems was just him in a basement.

Over the past twenty years, they have developed a supportive working relationship and during that time Brian has created a thriving business producing tooling to meet a wide variety of industrial needs including those used in the production of COVID rapid tests! Swanson was working with Beland on the process of navigating his financing sources and uses for a business expansion when the pandemic hit, and everything was put on hold. Read More

Rick Osann Art – Bar Harbor

When Rick Osann retired as an art/theater/film schoolteacher in Southern Maine, he knew he wanted to continue creating art.  He began painting watercolor landscapes in the 1970s and painted professionally in the stage, film and TV industry.  Today, he focuses his work on Bar Harbor, Maine and Acadia National Park which provides endless inspiration. When he realized he had more paintings than wall space, he decided to start a business selling his work. Read More

Maine Tasting Center – Wiscasset

Andrew Gross and his family have one goal in mind: to bring together individuals and groups active in Maine’s food ecosystem. This is the inspiration for the Maine Tasting Center, a destination attraction featuring Maine-made foods and drinks through a tasting room, learning center, discovery center, and events. The Maine Tasting Center will allow tourists and residents to enjoy Maine’s unique food and drink offerings while expanding the educational awareness of Maine’s food associations. Read More

Temple Cinema – Houlton

 An Aroostook county classic for over 100 years, the Temple Cinema in Houlton is one of the oldest continuously operated movie theatres in the state of Maine. Multiple renovations kept the original charm and stayed true to the historic value even after the switch to modern digital projection.

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New Frontiers Chiropractic – New Gloucester

Will Barlett, a Mainer who attended chiropractic College in California, had one goal in mind: Return to Maine to set up a practice in one of the towns surrounding the metro Portland area.

Bartlett, interned for a variety of chiropractors both on the west and east coasts, developed a deep passion for working with families, athletes, and clients of all ages. Because of that desire to care for and heal his patients complete self; He chose to study the Gonstead chiropractic technique, which looks at the whole person and searches for the source of a patient’s pain or discomfort by examining spinal misalignments, nerve dysfunction, foundational imbalance, and motion disturbances. Adjustments are then made to help restore natural spinal alignment and optimal movement. Read More

Infinite Wellness & Aesthetics – Yarmouth

Brandi Barden and her husband have both worked in the medical field for many years, which is how they came across a very specific niche in the market; Medispa, also known as aesthetics. They found that this could be a unique opportunity to shift to a different area within the medical field. They envisioned this business would be named Infinite Wellness & Aesthetics, offering various aesthetic services: Non-Surgical Body Contouring, Cellulite Reduction, Skin Resurfacing, Skin Tightening, Microneedling, Laser Hair Removal, and Botox to the Greater Portland Area. Brandi and her husband however needed assistance in the business planning process, so they reached out to the Maine Small Business Development Centers for help. Read More

Wild Cow Creamery – Belfast & Bangor

Wild Cow Creamery makes all-natural ice cream from scratch. Each small batch is made with simple, high-quality ingredients and add-ins are mixed in by hand. Their shop in Belfast and stand on the Bangor waterfront are local summer staples. The pandemic hit just as business owners Sarah Wilder and Ryan Cowan were getting ready for the upcoming season.Read More

Kiss Creations – Raymond

It’s always a fascinating occurrence when someone experiments with a new hobby and finds that not only do they enjoy it but they have the capability to turn it into a profitable business! Crystal Tidwell did just that, amidst the pandemic she started playing around with laser cutting; creating topo maps and other designs made out of wood using the laser cutting device. Crystal found herself genuinely enjoying the work in addition to receiving positive feedback and decided to turn this hobby/side hustle into a small business, naming her business Kiss Creations. To officially start her new business, she had to find ways to access some additional capital for start-up costs such as acquiring a larger laser device. She began the process of applying for the CEI Wicked Fast Loan, and that’s how Crystal found herself being directed to the Maine Small Business Development Centers. Read More

Northern Lights Hearth & Sports – Farmington

Josh and Alicia in front of their Northern Lights StoreJosh & Alicia had worked for the previous owner of Northern Lights Hearth & Sports for more than a decade before they were approached about the possibility of stepping into an ownership position. Josh & Alicia were familiar with the business and were strongly positioned to take over the responsibilities of ownership but had never thought about the logistics of an acquisition. To understand the different stages of the transfer and develop a reasonable debt structure 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, understood and negotiated their purchase structure, and closed on the deal. Read More