Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Business Spotlight: Windham Automotive

Through decades of serving the Windham community, generations have come to rely on Windham Automotive for honest and outstanding automotive service and maintenance. 

Since 1991, the dedicated team of professionals at Windham Automotive has been the leading choice for exceptional customer service and value in resolving and repairing problems in a trustworthy manner and safeguarding a customer’s important investment in a vehicle.

Located at 385 Roosevelt Trail, Windham Automotive is a complete car care center that has built a solid reputation by treating its customers as if they are family and earning their respect through integrity and thorough automotive expertise.

Co-Owners Dave Poree and Brett Cartwright strive to provide each customer with auto service that is second to none and helping them to get back on the road as soon as possible.

“The best thing we do here is treat every customer the way we ourselves would want to be treated each time they walk through the door,” Poree said. “We always strive to be the very best at it and to offer every one of our customers a great experience and a high level of comfort.” 

Serving local customers in the Sebago Lakes region and throughout Southern Maine, Windham Automotive works on a wide variety of vehicles, both foreign and domestic, and has a staff of five employees.


“We truly enjoy the opportunity to work with our customers and to find a solution to their problems and concerns,” Poree said.

Windham Automotive is able to service all of your automotive repair and maintenance needs. They are a Maine State Inspection station. They have the latest in diagnostic equipment and the knowledge that goes along with it. They are also equipped with alignment equipment. Whether it's an oil change, scheduled maintenance, tires, brakes, steering and suspension, complex diagnostics or anything in between Windham Automotive can do it all.

Both Cartwright and Poree have been with Windham Automotive for just under 10 years and have the understanding and expertise to assist customers in understanding what services are needed to get their vehicle back on the road safely and quickly.

“Our goal and intention here is to make the process as seamless as possible for our customers,” Cartwright said. “We’re doing things the right way and intend to always do that. We offer quality and value and customer service is our utmost priority.”

Through investing in new tools and technology and constantly receiving training in new ways to efficiently repair vehicles, Windham Automotive stays up to date on current industry trends and new ways to effectively assist customers.

For years the motto of Windham Automotive is “Where quality and value still have a meaning” and those are more than merely words for Poree, Cartwright and their staff.

“We are here to help,” Poree said. “Your satisfaction is very important to us. We’ve been a pillar of this community for a long time now, and we intend to continue that.”

Reviews show that the focus on delivering exceptional service is paying dividends for the business.

“I highly recommend Windham Automotive. Fast Friendly and Fair service. Always ready to help you get back on the road,” Jan Strout posted on Facebook.

“I will never go anywhere else. As a single woman, sometimes it can be intimidating to take your vehicle in for service or repair but the whole crew make you feel like family! Everything they do is first rate. I highly recommend Windham Automotive,” Wendy Leighton posted on Facebook.

“First time using their services. They were so great! Fast, knowledgeable, and professional! I highly recommend them! Thanks,” Laura M. Stanley posted on Facebook.

“We have been very satisfied with their efforts, professionalism and friendliness. With clear explanations of the work involved, we are treated fairly and pay a fair price,” Doug Hamilton posted on Facebook.

For more information about Windham Automotive or to schedule an appointment for service, call 207-892-1212 or find them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/windhamauto/ <

Friday, November 19, 2021

Business Spotlight: OTELCO

OTELCO has completed its Fiber to the Premise (FTTP) network in Windham. The project is part of a larger expansion the company currently has under way in 18 Maine towns and cities. 

About 2,200 locations in Windham are eligible for fiber Internet service offering residential speeds up to 1 Gigabit per second and customizable speeds for businesses.  The OTELCO customer service team began processing the first orders on Oct. 28, and the first installations were completed on Monday, Nov. 1.

“We’re so pleased to begin serving customers in Windham,” said OTELCO VP of Marketing Trevor Jones. “I know that those who subscribe will be thrilled with the performance of our high-speed fiber Internet.  We’re already hearing from them on social media.”  

One new subscriber who wasn’t even connected yet was so excited about having a new choice in providers, he posted the following to the Windham Community Facebook page:

“Following up on an older post about Otelco fiber optic coming to North Windham.  I was notified this morning that the service went active yesterday.  I have Spectrum (about to be had Spectrum) at $74.99 a month for 100 down / 20 up.  Otelco is offering 150 down and up for $59.99 for the first year and then $69.99 on.  Their 500 down and 500 up is $69.99 starting and then $79.99.  1000 down and 1000 up is $$79.99 a month starting then $89.99.  Some crazy speed for decent prices.  Line drop to the house is tomorrow and install is Monday.  Just thought I would let people know.”

In addition to the product offerings that were shared in this Facebook post, OTELCO also offers service to businesses with a 100 Mbps basic package at $99.95, that allows for up to two added phone lines with unlimited long distance for $20 each.  For larger businesses or those with more complex needs, the OTELCO B-to-B sales team is happy to consult to develop customized solutions to meet the individual needs of any company. 

So, what is Fiber Optic Internet?

Fiber Optic Cable is made up of many hair-thin strands of glass that use light pulses to transmit data.  It’s important to understand that fiber was designed specifically to send and receive data while DSL and Cable (both made of copper wire) were initially designed to carry telephone and TV signals respectively.  Over the years, providers, OTELCO included, have modified phone and Cable TV networks to deliver data, but today, neither have the capabilities to meet our ever-growing demand for connectivity. 

Unlike copper wire, fiber transmission doesn’t deteriorate over long distances.  Fiber also offers symmetrical bandwidth which means that upload and download speeds are the same; neither DSL nor Cable have that capability so download speed is faster than upload.  Anyone who has been telecommuting for work or using videoconferencing for remote schooling knows that upload speeds have become extremely important.   

OTELCO has an interactive map to help Windham residents see if their location is part of the build and view updates about the project.  Visit www.otelco.com/WindhamGotFiber and register to be contacted by Customer Care to arrange for installation.  Businesses submitting the form will be forwarded to our B-to-B sales team.

OTELCO is also employing a crowdsourcing model to help determine areas suitable for future network expansion.  All Windham residents are encouraged to register even if their address is not part of the current project area.  If there is overwhelming interest in specific areas, the company may decide to expand its network at a future date.

ABOUT OTELCO

Otelco Inc. provides wireline telecommunications services in Alabama, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, Vermont, and West Virginia passing more than 67,000 locations.  The Company’s services include local and long-distance telephone, digital high-speed data lines, transport services, network access, cable television and other related services.  It also provides competitive retail and wholesale communications services and technology consulting, and managed services.  For more information, visit the Company’s website at www.otelco.com.  <

Friday, November 12, 2021

Business Spotlight: Maine Pawn & Jewelry

Ask Jonathan Burnham the secret to the success of Maine Pawn & Jewelry for the past three decades and he’ll give you a simple answer.

“Without a doubt, it’s our customers,” Burnham said. “We have very loyal customers that we’ve been able to build a trust with for more than 30 years.”

Located at 760 Roosevelt Trail in Windham, Maine Pawn & Jewelry offers a vast inventory worth exploring with everything from diamonds to firearms to guitars and rare coins with prices second to none.

We love being in Windham. It’s not the typical location for a pawnshop like being in a larger city area, but we like the people and the community here, and we do get quite a few customers from outside the area because of our positive ratings online and social media,” Burnham said.

Maine Pawn & Jewelry is a family-owned business that specializes in providing quick cash to customers in the form of short-term collateral loans or the immediate purchase of a variety of quality merchandise such as gold, diamonds, fine jewelry, watches, guitars, musical instruments, firearms, televisions, electronics, and many other items of value.

“We can help out those who need quick money if they need it for an emergency or if they need heating oil,” Burnham said. “We offer cash on the spot.”

Burnham’s son James has been helping at the pawn shop since he was 12 and decided to come on board full-time about a year ago after exploring other interests. 

“He’s really great with customers and likes to help people out as much as possible.” Burnham said. “He also adds an element of knowing the interests in merchandise of the younger generation.”

Featuring a showroom filled with clean quality merchandise for sale at very reasonable prices, Maine Pawn & Jewelry takes cash, credit cards, and trades as well. With outstanding value and unbeatable prices, shopping at Maine Pawn & Jewelry provides a genuine alternative to traditional retail stores, and best of all, can save customers money.

For those interested in jewelry, Maine Pawn & Jewelry has an expert jeweler available.

“We have an excellent reputation in the business and lots of experience with several well-known jewelry stores,” Burnham said. “We do ring sizing, repairs and custom designs as well. Fair prices, quality work and quick turn-around times are what it's all about.”

According to Burnham, customers have made the business popular because of the personalized attention they receive at Maine Pawn & Jewelry.

“We always try and make sure our customer service is exceptional,” he said. “Through the years we’ve been able to build a trust with customers and have been able to adapt to different economies and changing times.”    

That trust has grown through 30 years in town and cemented a loyal and devoted following within the community as an honest partner with whom to do business.

“Our reputation is extremely important to us and that's why you'll see lots of familiar faces returning to the store over and over again both buying and selling,” Burnham said. “We try to be fair and honest so people will feel comfortable doing business with us.”

The hours for Maine Pawn & Jewelry are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. The shop is closed on Sundays and is open Mondays by appointment only.

Whether you’re young or old, out doing some holiday shopping or searching for a way to generate some quick cash, Maine Pawn & Jewelry has something for everyone.

For more information about Maine Pawn & Jewelry, call them at 207-892-4131, visit them online at www.Mainepawn.com or find them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/mainepawnandjewelry/ <

Friday, November 5, 2021

Business Spotlight: Excel Nails

Excel Nails, a professional nail care salon for women, men and children, has been in business locally for more than 20 years, but since June has been owned and operated by longtime Windham favorite nail professional Dawn Ta.  

Featuring the finest manicure and pedicure services in the Sebago Lakes Region, Excel Nails also offers acrylics, dips, gel nail treatments, complete waxing services and more. Excel’s devoted staff of six professionals stand ready to show clients of all ages an exceptional level of customer service at the salon, located at 778 Roosevelt Trail in the Rich Plaza.

Ta is renowned in nail care in Windham and throughout the Sebago Lakes Region because of her level of experience, attention to hygiene and providing her customers with service second to none. She formerly owned another nail salon in Windham and sold that successful business but was eager to rejoin the industry earlier this year when she purchased Excel Nails.

“The key to operating a successful business to me is loving what we do and making the customers feel and look their best,” Ta said. “A customer is the most important person to come into our business, customers are not dependent on us, we are dependent on them and they are the purpose of it. We are not doing a favor for servicing the customer, it is the customer doing us a favor by letting us serve them. We are thankful for each one of our guests who walk through our door.”

According to Ta, Excel Nails takes great pride in providing each of their valued customers with top service and high-quality products and materials.

“We only use the most trusted brands in the beauty industry,” she said. “Our world-class products, services and technologies truly do distinguish Excel Nails from other similar businesses in this area.”

All services offered at Excel Nails are decently priced and customer safety and sanitation are a priority for the staff there.

“All of our implements are always thoroughly cleaned and subjected to an approved sanitizing and disinfecting process before being reused,” Ta said. “Buffers and files are used only once then are discarded. All of our pedicure procedures are performed with liner protection. Our staff is trained to follow a proper sanitation protocol that puts our customer’s cleanliness as our most important and number one priority.”

Loyal customers rave about Ta’s dedication to quality and since she purchased Excel Nails, the business has racked up many outstanding customer reviews, many citing Excel’s vast assortment of top brands and products and the salon’s superior level of personalized customer care.

One customer gave a review recently which said, “Dawn and Tom are very professional. I recommend Tom for pink and white sets. Everyone there does amazing nails though! Only place I will go to in the lake region area.”

Another customer raved saying, “New girl did a wonderful job. I have not ever experienced a bad job with them. Very polite and a very clean establishment. All vivid protocols are followed, and I feel safe.”

“I love what I’m doing to transform short problem nails to long beautiful nails, giving our customers good results and delivering exactly what they are looking for,” she said.

A complete facial waxing experience is available at Excel Nails including brow cleanup, eyebrow shaping, and lip and chin waxing, along with full-face waxing.

Dips include a full set with tips, full set with tips, full set ombre with tips, full set on your own nails, and fill set on your own nails. Excel Nails offers Pink and white powder and ombre treatments, and a full line of acrylic nail products featuring either nail polish, gel polish or shellac polish.

“At Excel Nails, a wide choice is provided to customers so you can be confident about using any services that you may prefer,” Ta said. “Excel Nails is a first-class relaxation and beauty nails spa that promotes comfort, beauty, well-being and health.”

The salon is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Walk-ins are always welcome and gift cards are available for purchase.

“We care for every customer that walks through the door,” Ta said. “We want everybody to be happy before they leave.”  

For more information about Excel Nails or to make an appointment, call 207-892-6752, visit them online at https://excelnailswindham.com or find them on Facebook at Excel Nails. Walk-ins are welcome and gift certificates are available which will make a great holiday gift. <

Friday, October 29, 2021

Business Spotlight: Sherman's Maine Coast Book Shop

A new chapter has opened for area residents who appreciate books and reading with the opening of Sherman’s Maine Coast Book Shop at the Windham Mall.

Open for less than two weeks, the new Sherman’s shop in Windham is one of three new locations for Sherman’s Maine Coast Book Shops, joining other new sites in Topsham and Rockland. Sherman’s is the oldest book store in Maine and was founded in Bar Harbor in 1886, making it one of the 10 oldest book stores in the United States.

Besides offering a wide assortment of general interest books, Sherman’s of Windham carries a wide selection of stationery, cards, puzzles, games, toys, and gifts, many produced right here in Maine

“The best thing about what we do is partnering people with books that make them light up, especially children,” said Jeff Curtis, CEO and co-owner of Sherman’s. “We’re not some big chain, we’re a Maine family-owned business with multiple locations.”

Continued customer support during the pandemic both online and at Sherman’s retail shops led to a search by the company for a new location to replace one in Camden that closed in 2020.

According to Curtis, the Sherman’s team did a great job of creating a healthy shopping environment for our customers and themselves during the pandemic, and its customers deeply appreciated being able to come in Sherman’s locations and browse. The resulting surge in business left the company looking for growth opportunities.

“We went looking for an opportunity to open a new store and found three opportunities instead. We couldn’t decide between them, so we decided to open all three,” Curtis said.

The greatest misconception the public may have about running a bookstore is that smaller shops can’t compete against Amazon and other online retailers, but Curtis says it’s not true. 

 “We have a very devoted following and its evident that our attention to detail and personalized service are something our customers want,” he said. “This is a satisfying business, and we are greatly appreciated for our work. Every Christmas there’s always a surprise new book or runaway best seller and we help connect and find our customers those books and they’re always grateful.”

The selection of books at Sherman’s Maine Coast Book Shop in Windham is exceptional and if a book can’t be found there, employees will locate a copy for those searching for it.

“We excel at customer service and our staff in each store will be more than happy to help you find the right book,” Curtis said. “In my opinion what really makes the bookstore special is the staff and we have great staff.”

The new Windham location has six employees and is managed by Windham resident Taylor Rice. The shop is open seven days a week all year round.

Curtis said that the Windham location is ideal and since its opening, business has been great.

“The abundance of available parking is an asset for the store,” he said. “Many of our other locations are located in downtown districts and customers have to search for parking spots to visit us there. The new Windham Sherman’s is fortunate to have such ample parking.”

Special events such as author visits and book signings have been shelved because of COVID-19 restrictions but will resume once the pandemic is over.

Sherman’s offers a wide assortment of popular books, Maine books, bargain books, young reader books, cookbooks, and travel guides.

Maria Boord Curtis, Director of Operations, and the co-owner of Sherman’s said that the company’s basic business philosophy is simple.

“We put people first,” she said. “Our customers are important to us. We strive to create a place for both our customers and employees to flourish and that’s what truly makes a business successful.”

She said personalized service is standard at Sherman’s Maine Coast Book Shops.

“We have grown over the years by listening and catering to our customers,” Boord Curtis said.

The Windham location of Sherman’s Maine Coast Book Shop is at 795 Roosevelt Trail in the Windham Mall next to Renys.

For more information about Sherman’s Maine Coast Book Shop in Windham, call 207-857-7111 or visit them online at www.Shermans.com or find them on Facebook at Sherman’s Book’s and Stationery. <

Friday, October 22, 2021

Business Spotlight: Sky's Aesthetics

Aesthetic procedures have been gaining popularity for years and now Windham has a facility that puts people first and genuinely cares about outcomes and achieving results.

Sky's Aesthetics at 4 Whites Bridge Road, Suite 225, in Windham is a Medspa and works with a medical director to provide anti-aging and aesthetic treatments along with botox, dermal fillers, microneedling, PRP, Cryoskin, anti-aging facials, body treatments and lashes.Owned and operated by Erin Thompson, both an RN and licensed aesthetician. “I’ve named Sky’s Aesthetics after my only son, Skyler,” Thompson said, “calling him ‘Sky’ for short.” Sky’s Aesthetics is truly a dream come true for Thompson.

“I have the knowledge of skincare in addition to my nursing degree which I’ve been told is rare to be both a nurse and an aesthetician,” Thompson said. “I’ve been in the aesthetic industry for five years and a nurse since 2012. I worked in medical spas in Texas and Tennessee and worked with master injectors before deciding to open my own business. The unique feature Sky’s Aesthetics offers is pairing aesthetic procedures with customizable home-skincare regimens through facials. We can assess and analyze skin types, plus offer aesthetic procedures that make a significant difference in enhancing someone’s natural beauty, without surgery.”

 “We have purchased some incredible equipment for aesthetic procedures. We offer monthly promotions to keep giving customers discounts,” she said. “We also have a membership program for a skin wellness approach which locks in discounts on all our services. We believe in introductory pricing and giving when we can.”

Thompson said she loves helping people feel good and confident about themselves, but also wants everyone to know that these services are part of self- care. Skin is the largest organ, yet it is often neglected.

“I’m not sure why we have created a society of feeling guilty for taking care of ourselves. Truly if you’re good to yourself, you will be even better to others,” she said.

By focusing on quality services and paying personal attention to patrons, Sky’s Aesthetics has developed an exceptional reputation, a fact not lost on Thompson and her team.   

“I’ve always felt that if I didn’t offer quality, it would be cheating someone. If I couldn’t offer something great then I just wasn’t going to do it,” she said. “I believe in my services as I personally have tried them out. I’m also a nurse, so I’m going to give you my best even on my worst day.”

She said the feedback that Sky’s Aesthetics has received has been outstanding, and people single out her facials as being the most relaxing and best that they’ve ever received.

“I customize each person’s facial to their skin needs, as well as botox and lip augmentation with fillers. Everyone’s face is different so there’s really an art to it all,” Thompson said. “I take a natural approach of less is more, and I ask everyone to do a two-week follow-up after injections, so we can assess the progress and get it down to an exact science going forward. Right now, the trend is lip augmentation. We offer mini lip plumps that can give them such a great “lip show” while still saving them money.

Feedback about the facility has also been tremendous, she said.

“Everyone comments positively about our spa space,” Thompson said. “My husband renovated it completely by himself, and I love how the spa environment has a masculine appearance. Its entrance is a hallway to the upstairs and then a private spa room that I’ve been told is clean, relaxing, and cozy. No one has to walk through an intimidating big spa where everyone is staring at them. It’s very intimate.”

She said a major misconception about aesthetics is it’s about vanity or that it is not for men. Women tell me they love when a man has great skin and takes care of himself.

“There’s not a lot of information about Aesthetics in Maine,” Thompson said. “Aesthetics help people build confidence and take care of themselves. This is not a typical Medspa. We will be bringing on more as we grow. Our goal is to help people, our near future involves bringing on a doctor to offer PRP joint injections and hormone replacement therapy. Our team is one of integrity and compassion. We will be a team or force to be reckoned with.” 

For more information, visit www.skysaesthetics.com, call them at 207-413-6209 or find them on Facebook and Instagram at Sky’s Aesthetics. <

 

Friday, October 15, 2021

‘Customized, Attentive Care’ a hallmark of Maine Optometry’s growing practice

Maine Optometry opened its Windham location in 2016. Just five years later, the practice has grown so much that they needed to add a new doctor. In October 2021, they moved into a larger location on Roosevelt Trail, which now includes three doctors. 

“We’re so pleased the community trusts us to take care of their eye health,” says Dr. Achenbach. “My family and I live here in Windham.  We love this community and enjoy giving back both through our work and in other ways. As Windham grows, we’re excited to grow along with it.”

Dr. Rachel Achenbach, Dr. Abigail Delahanty, and Dr. Jacquelyn Wills all welcome new patients at the Windham location of Maine Optometry. Dr. Wills, a recent graduate of NOVA Southeastern University College of Optometry, had previously completed her primary eye care rotation at Maine Optometry.

Though the practice is located in Windham, the doctors serve patients from a much wider geographical area. Some people even come from New Hampshire to see Dr. Achenbach, Dr. Delahanty, and Dr. Wills.

In addition to the new Windham location, Maine Optometry has six other doctor-owned locations throughout southern and central Maine.

With the move into the larger office in Windham, Maine Optometry is also adding the most up-to-date technology and new equipment. The retail area for selecting glasses will be updated, giving clients even more opportunity to find just the right frame for their style. They carry all the latest lens options—including blue light blocking lenses, no-line bifocals, sunglasses with options including polarized, mirror, and transition lenses, scratch coating and non-glare lens treatments, specialty lenses for digital screen and occupational use, and sports and safety eyewear.

While the move means a new space and updates to the equipment, one major thing won’t be changing—existing and new patients will still be able to count on the unparalleled service and care they have always received from the doctors and staff.

“I hear all the time from patients how happy they are with our staff’s positive attitude and willingness to go above and beyond,” said Dr. Achenbach. “It’s always wonderful to get that feedback, and we love being able to provide such a positive environment where people feel comfortable as they are taking care of an important aspect of their health.”

As a doctor-owned practice, Maine Optometry is able to offer a broad spectrum of eye health services while also providing customized, attentive care to the patients they see.

In addition to annual eye exams and vision correction, the doctors at the practice can diagnose and treat glaucoma, cataracts, eye health conditions related to diabetes and high blood pressure, dry eye, and other visual problems in children and adults.

Handling emergencies is also a specialty of Maine Optometry. They have a doctor on-call every night until 10 P.M. who is available to handle situations such as flashes, floaters, and irritated or swollen eyes.

Maine Optometry is committed to making eye health as easy and as accessible as possible for their patients. Insurance is a major piece of accessibility - Maine Optometry accepts most major insurances to help make their practice a viable option for more people in the community.

“Convenient access to high quality care—that’s what we want to provide our community,” said Dr. Achenbach. “Eye health is so important to overall health and quality of life, and we want to help make sure people are able to get the care they need. We’re a private practice and doctor-owned, so we have the knowledge and flexibility to provide our patients with personalized, expert care.”

Maine Optometry is also increasing accessibility and convenience by offering online options. Recently, they’ve made it possible to order contacts online through their website with a feature that also allows people to see their order’s progress.

Maine Optometry’s website - www.maineoptometry.com - lists out the insurances they accept, and also allows patients to download forms and pay their bill right on the site. Current and prospective patients can also keep up with the practice on Facebook. For more information or to make an appointment, please call 207-729-8474. <