Success Stories

Client Success Stories

Wine House on Main – Kennebunk

Betsy Ross owns the Wine House on Main, a small wine shop and bar located in downtown Kennebunk. Since 2021, Wine House on Main has offered wine selections from small families around the world. With decades of experience in hospitality and the wine industry, Betsy shares the stories of winemakers, vineyards and regions with her customers to deepen their connections to the wines they purchase. Wine House on Main also hosts educational wine classes, paint and sip events, and wine tastings. 

Betsy heard about the Maine SBDC through another business owner. Dedicated to making her business a warm and welcoming space for the community to come together, Betsy reached out for general business guidance and was connected with Anne Lancaster, Maine SBDC business advisor at the University of Southern Maine. 

Betsy comments, “I can’t say enough positive things about how it [the business advising] has helped me and my business. It is scary to look in the mirror and see your imperfections, but Anne has such a kind and comfortable approach.”

Together the pair dove into various aspects of the business. They analyzed her operations and her historical financials to ensure that Betsy knew exactly how her business was doing. They worked on inventory management, cost of goods, and pricing strategy. They also worked on marketing strategy and event offerings, which have helped increase her customer base and stay connected with the community.

External photo of Wine House on Main's red building and large sign with logo and open flag.

The first year of business is always a challenging one for any business owner. Wine House on Main continues to evolve in a positive direction and Betsy is excited for the future. She comments, “This first year of business has been endless adjustments as I navigate through the seasons and just when I feel like I have it figured out, a new season emerges with new clientele needs. I love that I can execute my vision and watch how it positively impacts customers. ” 

She continues, “The advice and guidance provided to me in just a few months has helped me to shift gears and has given me tools for success. I do believe it saved my business in this first year and I strongly encouraged any small business owner to contact the SBDC.”

The Wine House on Main is located at 17 Main Street in Kennebunck. Open five days a week, they feature a carefully curated selection of wines from across the world. Visit their website at www.winehousemaine.com, on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/winehousemaine), or on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/winehousemaine/). 

Photo of the inside of Wine House on Main shop showing wine display, widows and small wall art.

Odyssey Event Designs – Portland

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Custom Fit Physical Therapy & Wellness – Auburn

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To Purchase or Not to Purchase? – Penobscot County, Maine

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Snow Dogs – Camden

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Black Bear Mobile Maintenance – Harrison

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Campfire Booking – Windham

 Campfire Booking Photo of Owners, Mandy Caruso and Ashley Hanson standing in front of Sebago LakeWhile the Covid-19 pandemic caused a large-scale economic disruption for most small businesses, it also fueled a historic surge in entrepreneurship. According to the US Census Bureau, new business starts in 2021 were the highest on record, surpassing the previous record set in 2020. 

For good friends Mandy Caruso and Ashley Hanson, the pandemic provided the impetus they needed to leave their careers in teaching and disability insurance. Combined with a background in hotel revenue management they knew they could follow their dream of opening a vacation rental business in the Lakes region of Maine.  As homeowners and real estate investors on Sebago Lake themselves, Mandy and Ashley each bring a deep knowledge of the area and an understanding of the level of service that homeowners are looking for from a rental management company. Their value proposition is to offer a more modern and tech-focused marketing and management program, along with a higher level of hands-on service than is currently being offered by competitors in the area. Read More

Breggia Sanitation – Portland

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Maine Adventure Co. – Brunswick

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