Success Stories

Client Success Stories

Grasshopper Academy – Houlton, Maine

Business owner Lacey Clark, Grasshopper AcademyLacey Clark had been a co-owner of a successful daycare in Houlton, Maine for a number of years. From her experience, she understood that childcare in Aroostook County is extremely limited with most providers at 100% capacity. When she saw that another existing daycare across town was going to be closing its doors, she understood what this would mean for families and the community.

Happy baby, Grasshopper AcademyLacey made the decision to leave her business partnership and go out solely on her own. She wanted to purchase this existing daycare and keep the doors open. She turned to Josh Nadeau, Maine SBDC business advisor located at Northern Maine Development Commission. Josh helped her craft a business plan and accompanying financial projections. With seller financing and some owner investment, she was able to purchase the Grasshopper Academy. Located on Hillview Ave in Houlton, Grasshopper Academy provides childcare for children ages 6weeks to 12 years of age. Read More

Freckle Salvage Company – Winthrop, Maine

Nicole Stanford is the owner of Freckle Salvage Company, a business located in the Western Maine foothills that features unique vintage mixed with new home goods. Alongside her husband and son, she had been selling her products successfully online and at markets and decided it was time to expand her business. Her goal was to leave her full-time job and open a retail location in Winthrop, Maine.

Freckle Salvage Company, ExteriorNicole and Husband, Freckle Salvage CompanyTo understand her next steps, Nicole reached out to Raynor Large, business advisor at the Maine SBDC at AVCOG. Raynor helped Nicole understand the steps to starting this new venture. He provided information on the different business entities and insurance options. The pair also worked to get a better understanding of the business’ finances. They were able to build out a set of financial projections that helped her understand how much she would need to sell in order to stay profitable and continue moving forward.

Freckle Salvage Company, InteriorFreckle Salvage Company opened its doors in August 2019. Located at 129 Main Street in Winthrop, the business has received rave reviews. Reviewers comment on the amazing products (“treasures”), the affordable pricing and the friendliness of Nicole and her family with phrases like “Incredible shop & lovely owner”, “This is what the downtown needs!”, and “Awesome store with awesome finds!”

Nicole continues to work with Raynor to control costs, discuss new opportunities for growth and work on marketing strategy.

Business Advisor: Raynor Large 

For more information about this new Maine business, follow them on Instagram or Facebook.

 

Lorne Wine – Biddeford, Maine

Lorne- Wine Logo Erin Sheehan and her husband Carson James first approached the Maine Small Business Development Centers (Maine SBDC) with an idea and a draft business plan. They needed help refining their plan and creating financial projections in order to secure financing.

Erin and Carson started working with Business Advisor Susan Desgrosseilliers. Susan helped the pair to understand and create helpful and realistic financial projections. They also worked together to fine-tune their business plan and understand the lenders that could meet their needs. Susan introduced Erin and Carson to Chris O’Brien from Southern Maine Finance Authority (SMFA). They submitted their application and received the funding they needed to start their business.Read More

Experience Maine – Cumberland, Maine

Experience Maine - Logo Rachel Sagiroglu is passionate about all that Maine has to offer. That is why she decided to start Experience Maine, a new full-service travel concierge and event planning company. Rachel knew that tourism is Maine’s largest industry, but noticed that the corporate meetings and events segment of the industry has only grown by 50,000 business-related travelers in the last three years. With over 20 years of experience in event planning, she wanted to help expand Maine’s corporate meeting and events market.

For guidance on the steps to starting this exciting new business, Rachel contacted Business Advisor Susan Desgrosseilliers from the Maine Small Business Development Centers. Together they worked to price Rachel’s services, create financial projections and develop a business plan that would help understand her business and obtain a loan from Coastal Enterprises.Read More

Purple Shed Woodworks LLC – Portland, Maine

Purple Shed WoodworksAfter losing their father to cancer in 2016, Renée Ledoux began to question her career choice as an emergency room nurse. Jason Ledoux began to question his career path after spending time working a desk job, quickly realizing pushing papers was not for him. Neither felt passionate about their career paths and wanted more. One night over dinner with their mother, they were discussing how their father had worked for himself for many years and they got an idea. Why couldn’t they start their own business? The business could combine Jason’s talent and knowledge of woodworking with Renée’s outgoing personality and attention to detail, it would be the perfect partnership. They decided to give it a shot!Read More

Swanson Consulting & Associates – Trenton, ME

Swanson Consulting & Associates LogoTerri Swanson has successfully held several professional roles over her career. In March 2018, she decided it was time to fulfill her dream and utilize her experience in a new way. With a passion for helping people, she started her own Human Resources consulting business, Swanson Consulting & Associates.

Terri was in the beginning stages when she met Certified Business Advisor Shannon Byers.  In Shannon, Terri found someone who could give feedback, ask questions that would generate ideas, and be supportive of her new business.  Together, the pair worked through the Business Model Canvas and Value Proposition. This work together provided a visual guide to better understand the business and helped identify critical areas of focus in order to be successful.Read More

Transcapsule – Gorham, ME

Tobey Tozier recognized a need in the transgender community. Through personal experience, he has found that this market of 1.4 million transgender adults in the U.S. lacks easy ways to document their transitions and track the effects of Hormone Replace Therapy (HRT) over time. Changes are usually tracked through photos, video, audio clips, body measurements and journaling on various apps and devices.

As a graphic designer and social entrepreneur, he wanted to create an all-in-one app that allowed users to easily document transitions in a single place.  Once the app is launched, users will be able to upload photos and videos, record audio and record body measurements, track mood changes and write journal entries. Transcapsule provides a private and secure platform to document all aspects of the transition. Tobey sees Transcapsule as a way to help people in the trans community find peace and happiness in who they are, and a way to collect anonymous data that can be shared with medical providers to further research on trans health.Read More

Ammo Self Storage (E&S Properties) – Hampden, Maine

Eddie and Susan Rideout are experienced business owners. They own Hampden Redemption Center as well as a Rideout Enterprises, a commercial cleaning service in the Hampden area. They had the opportunity to purchase another business – a storage unit business in Ammo Industrial Park, a former military location in Hampden from the 1960’s. They already rented several spaces at this location for their current enterprises, and did some maintenance and snow plowing for the owners. They were present on the property and had skill-sets to make ideal owners.Read More

Wilcox Wellness & Fitness – Bangor & Brunswick, Maine

When Paige Wilcox and her husband Mike first opened Wilcox Wellness & Fitness six years ago, they worked extensively with Maine SBDC business advisor Tom Gallant. Tom helped the Wilcox’s to create a business plan in order to obtain the necessary financing which allowed them to open the doors of their 4,000 square foot facility in Bangor. Tom challenged them to think through the value proposition and the transition process.  With that, they were set up for success from the beginning. Paige remembers, “Tom was amazing for us – 1 part business advisor, 2 parts marriage counselor, and 100% amazing.”Read More