Friday, September 17, 2021

Business Spotlight: Sebago Primary Eye Care Services (SPECS)

Sebago Primary Eye Care Services (SPECS), located in the heart of Maine’s beautiful Sebago Lakes Region, has been making your vision and eye care health their passion since 1975. Their dedicated team of professionals offer complete optical services in two locations, one in Casco at 195 Roosevelt Trail and the other in Bridgton at 5 Lumberyard Drive in the plaza next to McDonalds. 

SPECS has become a leading choice for superior vision care for patients all over the region, not only for their personal service, but because their optometric experts stay up to date with the latest advances in medicine and technology to ensure precise diagnoses and optimal treatments for patients of all ages.

“The best thing about what we do is working with people,” said Dr. Thomas Gordon, owner of SPECS. “Everyone is different, and everyone has a different story. Even if their eyes are exactly the same, finding out what exactly works best for them is what we do the best here.”

In August, SPECS welcomed Brenna Gerchman, O.D. to the practice. "She provides a great blend of top-notch clinical education and knowledge with a strong passion for providing community-based care. I also expect that she will be an active member of the community and that will be evident over the course of the months and years to come," said Dr. Gordon.

The doctors at SPECS specialize in examining, diagnosing, treating, and managing eye-related disorders, diseases, complications and injuries. Patients from ages 3 months to 100 can count on SPECS, PA to be their primary care doctors for their eyes.

They offer early detection of vision problems and can determine the best course of action for eye concerns, such as whether an individual needs to wear eyeglasses, or update an existing eye prescription. Preventing blindness and counteracting eye diseases and disorders is a significant responsibility, but it’s a mission that Dr. Gordon, Dr. Gerchman, and the staff at SPECS are passionate about.

“We work very hard to maintain the best possible care for our patients, working with our patients to maintain a high level of satisfaction,” Gordon said. “We can’t fix everything, but we work very hard at it. Primary eye care is like being a gatekeeper for an individual’s health and if we can’t resolve an issue, we can get them the resources for those who can help them.”

SPECS offers annual eye examinations for those with diabetes to prevent destructive eye damage and can refer patients to an ophthalmologist for more significant cases and treatment requirements such as surgery.  They can also help with issues such as dry eye, red, pink or sore eyes and specialize in pediatric eye exams. Early identification of vision problems and overall eye health is crucial. It is recommended that you have your kids’ eyes checked before entering first grade, unless you have a suspicion of issues before that.

“An exciting part of our profession is the continually evolving technology used in eye care,” Gordon said. “There are always new things to learn in order to stay current. Eye strain from computer use, and associated symptoms from overuse has been increasing.”

The team of 12 at SPECS strives to make everyone feel welcome at their practice. “Our key principle for a successful business is to treat everyone who walks in through our doors the way I myself would want to be treated,” Dr. Gordon said. “We try hard to do that with each and every patient and it’s an essential element for all of us in this business.”

SPECS is devoted to quality care, attentive service and the latest in products at highly competitive prices. The optical department rotates a variety of deals and packages, and with over 800-plus frames between both offices along with a wide range of contact lenses, you are sure to find the perfect fit for your your needs. Anyone can visit SPECS optical department with a current prescription without an appointment or to take advantage of their onsite optical repairs.

Even if you don’t think you have vision problems, it is still a good idea to have frequent eye exams. The eye provides a clear view of blood vessels which can tell a lot about your general health. New patients are welcome and they accept most insurances, so call today for an appointment to ensure your eye health. Call 207-655-2020 for Casco or 207-647-5936 for Bridgton. Also visit www.specs4me.com for more information. <

Friday, September 10, 2021

Business spotlight: CeCe’s Diner and Bar LLC

In a way, visiting the new CeCe’s Diner on the town line between Windham and Westbrook on Route 302 is sort of like a homecoming of sorts. The family restaurant has officially opened on the site of the old Charlie’s Diner and is owned by longtime Charlie’s waitress Deanna Gaudreau.   

CeCe’s is open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday thru Sunday and serves breakfast and lunch Wednesday thru Saturday with breakfast only on Sunday. 

Gaudreau says some of the top menu items are their tasty breakfast bowls, sausage gravy and biscuits, and Eggs Benedicts. 

“In my opinion the specialty items are our breakfast bowls, our fresh no antibiotic-ever chicken sandwiches that can be grilled or fried, our hand-cut red skinned potatoes, our fresh USDA certified burgers and homemade corned beef hash,” she said. 

According to Gaudreau, the new CeCe’s Diner has a wonderful staff and offers a family friendly environment where smiles, our customers and fun are of utmost importance in everything that they do.

“We promise to provide the freshest, best quality food that we possibly can with the best service we can provide,” she said.

Opening the restaurant is the culmination of a dream for Gaudreau and her family.

“I have worked in restaurants since I was 14 and there is nothing that I would rather be doing. Waitressing and bartending runs through my veins and I have a major passion for it,” she said. “We have a large family, and our customers may see a few too many of them at any given time. We want our diner/bar to be the local Cheers that everyone wants to come to and when they do, they feel like family and friends. We have an amazing staff on hand and each one of us are thrilled to be working together to see this dream come true.”

Deanna Gaudreau and her family own and operate
the new CeCe's Diner and Bar LLC at the site of 
the old Charlie's Diner on the Westbrook and
Windham town line. SUBMITTED PHOTO 

Offering competitive pricing, Gaudreau said she rates the quality of the food at CeCe’s as excellent.

“The standards we set for ourselves are above and beyond what even our customers expect from us I believe. We have a certain presentation that we even expect our plates to come out looking like,” she said. “So far, the feedback that we have received has been awesome and we are very grateful. Even though we strive not to, I’m sure we’ll run into some snags along the way, but that’s how we learn to better ourselves.”

But above all else, Gaudreau and the CeCe’s staff consider courteous and friendly service to be paramount.

“The best thing about operating a restaurant is certainly our customers,” Gaudreau said. “They are everything and if they are happy, enjoy some good quality food we serve, and they feel like they are family, they’ll want to come back.”

The CeCe’s staff numbers about 10 including Gaudreau’s children and many of them are family members, which enhances the family aspect of the business.

Gaudreau said plans for the restaurant include offering liquor as soon as they get cleared for their license, which is in the works.

“Customers can come in and enjoy a Mimosa, Bloody Mary, or beer with their breakfast or a beer or other adult beverages with their lunch. We have discussed opening Mondays and possibly adding in some dinner hours on Fridays and Saturdays or Saturdays and Sundays, all of which are still in discussion at this point and not set in stone,” she said. “We have to work out staffing and some rearranging of our space to make it all work. When we set some new times and changes, we will be sure to let our customers know. We are also planning on not stopping with just one location, we would like to see at least a second location happen, maybe more of a bar style with lunch and dinner and breakfast offered only on the weekends. The future is wide open with endless possibilities.”

For convenience, CeCe’s Diner and Bar does offer takeout meals or individuals may even enjoy coming in and grabbing takeout and sitting outside at the couple of picnic tables they’ve provided while the weather is nice for the fall months. The phone number for takeout is 207-887-9656.     

Located at 1557 Bridgton Road in Westbrook, find CeCe’s Diner and Bar LLC on Facebook page or call them at 207-887-9656. < 

Friday, September 3, 2021

Business Spotlight: The Bibliophile Bookshop & Coffeehouse, LLC

British author David Almond has said that a great bookstore is about more than selling books, rather it’s a community gathering spot that makes a difference in people’s lives. The Bibliophile Bookshop & Coffeehouse, LLC in Raymond is certainly striving to reach that lofty ambition. 

Located at 1233 Roosevelt Trail #14 next to Beacon Pizza in the Raymond Shopping Plaza, The Bibliophile Bookshop & Coffeehouse, LLC is an independent bookstore committed to offering a unique literary experience with new and used books, a full coffeehouse, literary-themed dinners, writing workshops, children’s events and more.

Owner Jessica Thompson-McCombs says that what separates The Bibliophile Bookshop & Coffeehouse, LLC from other Maine bookstores is its unique mixture of culture and cuisine. 

“We offer the only literary-themed dinners anywhere and a truly unique community-oriented literary experience through our events, staff involvement, storytime, etc.,” Thompson-McCombs said. “At the core of our business is building relationships within the community and encouraging literacy.”

From the moment customers enter the store, they are greeted with the aroma of freshly brewed coffee from a locally based roaster, along with an array of books carefully selected by The Bibliophile’s knowledgeable staff, and the ambiance of a warm and welcoming gathering place.

“The best thing about what we do is we bring the community together and offer a place to get together, have a coffee, and dig through books,” Thompson-McCombs said. “It’s a unique literary experience for the senses. We buy and sell used books. We want to make it affordable for our customers to keep reading.”

She said that the biggest challenge the store has faced in a little more than a month in operation is simply letting people know they are there and open for everyone.

We are focused on creating, building, and maintaining relationships with each and every customer. We are passionate about the written word and seek to encourage and sustain a community of lifelong readers,” Thompson-McCombs said. “We support other local businesses and love to partner with them. Our baked goods are from The Village Donut Shop & Bakery and our coffee is from Coffee by Design. We source as many local ingredients as possible for our literary dinners.” 

Prices are competitive and they offer an array of discounts ranging from educators, military, senior citizens and more.

“We want everyone to know that we’re a local, family-owned bookstore,” Thompson-McCombs said. “We do so many unique things here. We’re also event-driven with writing groups, book discussions and so much more for everyone, no matter the age. I like to think of it as culture, cuisine and community.”

Although they do not have every book that’s ever been printed, The Bibilophile Bookstore & Coffeehouse, LLC specializes in finding special orders for customers online and can typically have it in store within five days at the most.         

According to Thompson-McCombs, the business sources and seeks out only the highest quality of products to offer to their customers.

“From the coffee they sip, to the books they read, we handpick each and every product,” she said. “We thoughtfully chose Coffee By Design because of who they are, what they represent, their involvement with the community and how absolutely delicious every drop of their coffee tastes.” 

And making a difference through knowing customers is at the heart of everything that employees of The Bibliophile Bookstore & Coffeehouse, LLC is all about.

“We are here to create and build relationships with the community,” Thompson-McCombs said. “We really want this to be a place where we know you and we really want to have a relationship with you. We carry a large selection of Maine authors. On our shelves you will find the latest New York Times best sellers and the finest children’s books. There’s truly something for everyone here.”

Customers who have visited the store have become devoted fans.

“I love this bookstore! It is adorable and the owner was very friendly! Definitely recommend to everyone looking to pick up a book,” Emma Ward posted on Facebook.

“Best coffee in the whole area, hands down and the owners and staff are super welcoming and friendly,” Adam Davis posted on Facebook. “I’ve been waiting for a place like this for a long time.” 

For more information about The Bibliophile Bookstore & Coffeehouse, LLC, visit their website at www.bibliophilemaine.com or find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bibliophilebookshopmaine. <

Friday, August 27, 2021

Business Spotlight: Campbell and DiCenso Team at William Raveis Real Estate

In today’s red-hot real estate market, finding real estate experts who will fight for your best interest and have the experience and a proven track record of success can be daunting, but the team of associate brokers Nancy Campbell and Michelle DiCenso at William Raveis Real Estate stand ready to exceed expectations and assist with the sale or purchase of a home. 

The team provides real estate services and they also work with sellers in staging their home to prepare for professional photography and the ultimate sale of their home. They provide invaluable connections to contractors, mortgage lenders, and title services and sometimes navigate through some very sticky situations, such as failed septic systems, water treatment, and significant title or land disputes.

But through it all, Campbell and DiCenso’s clients benefit from their tenacity on every level of the real estate experience, and they work it through to a successful conclusion.

They equally serve sellers and buyers and both Campbell and DiCenso have diverse knowledge of many communities with their reach extending well beyond Windham. They specialize in real estate from Sebago Lake to Long Lake and everything in between, and they also have intimate knowledge of Greater Portland, including the very hot downtown Portland condo market.

“We truly care about our client’s needs and evaluate all aspects of their lives and determine what works best,” DiCenso said. “In some cases, we help folks develop a long-term plan, using an honest down-to-earth approach and ensuring each individual client’s unique needs is always in the forefront.”

According to DiCenso, the greatest misconception the public may have about her work is that real estate is an easy profession. “You have to know a lot about various aspects of home buying; from financing, the actual construction and systems of a home, environmental issues, the legal aspects of title and land ownership,” she said. “There are ever-changing federal, state and local regulations.  There are so many moving parts to every transaction. It is critical to have a team that is well rounded and informed on all levels and who are extremely resourceful.”

Campbell says they believe they are in the “people business” and always strive to be respectful to those who turn to them for guidance and help.

“In this challenging market right now, it’s our job to keep our buyers from getting discouraged and giving up on their dreams,” Campbell said. “For our buyers, this can be the great challenge right now. I believe my background lends itself to helping clients through this process.”

She said what distinguishes their team at William Raveis Real Estate from other companies is their approach.

“Yes, there are other teams out there, but we have been told our approach is a seamless process. Michelle and I communicate and coordinate every day,” Campbell said. “We recognize each other’s strengths, and we use this knowledge to our benefit. I’m not going to get in the way of Michelle being the one to attend an inspection, for example. She has extensive knowledge of the building process.”

DiCenso said she believes in Campbell’s ability to work through complicated transactions seamlessly and bring them to a close, helping people realize their dreams.

“We both strive to manage the stressful process in the background for our clients,” Campbell said. “That’s what our team is all about.”

In her life before real estate, Campbell managed and operated a successful psychotherapy practice before moving on as the co-owner of another successful clinical practice, Maine Neurotherapy Center. Her strong people skills and extensive business experiences provide tremendous value to her clients when navigating a complex transaction.

“Real estate is not about houses, but rather about people and their dreams,” Campbell said.

DiCenso has lived in Raymond for more than 30 years and has an in-depth knowledge of the southern Maine market. Prior to starting her storied career in real estate, her equally storied professional career stretched from Maine to Alaska and covered many aspects of business, management, and finance.

As a 25-year veteran of the oil industry, DiCenso brings incredible time management, client relations, and negotiation skills to the table. Past clients have praised DiCenso for her loyalty and her undying tenacity both during a transaction and outside of work.

Besides her business acumen, DiCenso shares with her clients her extensive knowledge of construction management and renovation. Having overseen these types of projects for many years, she often finds her free time filled with designing, orchestrating, and managing her latest project.

All of these skills prove to be invaluable for clients of the Campbell and DiCenso team as they look at different properties and evaluate each to find the perfect fit for them. They are based out of the William Raveis Real Estate office at 840 Roosevelt Trail in Windham. Call 207-892-3377 or visit campbellanddicenso.raveis.com. <

Friday, August 20, 2021

Business Spotlight: Fabulous! Cleaning Services

When you get right down to it, the purpose of cleaning is not just to make a room spotless, but also to experience the happiness that comes from being in that environment. Fabulous! Cleaning Services knows how much that feeling means with every job they take on and delivers exceptional results that exceed expectations.

Based in Casco, Fabulous! Cleaning Services provides commercial, rental/Airbnb and residential cleaning for its customers and offers customizable services to best match the client’s needs.

“Our company works with local businesses and homeowners to provide customized solutions to their cleaning requirements, and it all starts with relationships,” said Melissa Teer, Fabulous! Cleaning Services owner. “We look forward to meeting with our clients in person, to walk through their properties, ask questions and provide consultation on how we can best meet their cleaning needs. The time we spend meeting one on one with our clients demonstrates we’re more than just a contractor, we’re a trusted partner.”

Teer said that two of their most popular services for rental clients are their Linen Service and Stock & Shop Service.

“Having our in-house Laundromat allows us to offer our rental and Airbnb clients fast and affordable turnover of their unit’s linens,” she said. “This is a huge convenience and cost savings for our clients. Additionally, our Stock & Shop service goes one step further and eliminates rental clients from having to keep their units stocked with basic goods. We provide everything from toilet paper, trash bags to dish soap.” 

According to Teer, the core of business for Fabulous! Cleaning Services lies in the Lakes Region, but their actual service area covers a lot of ground, extending from Augusta to Old Orchard Beach.

“We understand clients have a choice when it comes to hiring a cleaning contractor – and it’s about more than just professional cleaning. Trusting the individuals to deliver on their promises and having comfort with them in your home or business is critical,” Teer said. “We know it’s important for clients to know who we are, so our company is founded on the following core values: Passion, Integrity, Accountability and Responsibility.”

Fabulous! Cleaning Services defines those values as follows:

Passion – we are passionate about our work. Cleaning just isn’t our job; it’s our passion and exceeding expectations is our goal. We created this business not just to bust dirt but to create smiles.

Integrity – We understand our clients’ homes are their sanctuary. We treat our clients’ homes and businesses with dignity and respect. Our employees are professional, friendly, and of course we think they’re fabulous.

Accountability – Our business has high standards, but we know our clients’ standards are higher. We employ customized checklists for each client to ensure those standards are realized prior to leaving each appointment.

Responsibility – Cleaning is a tough business but that doesn’t mean it has to be hard on your health or the environment. We only use 100 percent safe and eco-friendly cleaning solutions for our residential clients.

The company offers highly competitive rates and regularly canvasses their competition to ensure their pricing remains between 5 to 10 percent below competitors.


Family owned and operated and fully insured, Fabulous! Cleaning Services uses state-of-the-art technology and best practices to deliver on their promises and never loses sight that business done the “old fashioned way” of being genuine, honest, and reliable are the keys to success.

“We believe our clients are the best voice to speak about our services. Almost every day, we receive a note, a text or a voicemail thanking us for making their space feel Fabulous! Just this weekend we received a thank you note from a client who was in town for the week,” Teer said. “We had cleaned her property prior to her arrival, and she was thrilled to arrive to a sparkling home. We dedicate an enormous amount of time to the detail work of a clean home. We thoroughly wash down appliances and give them a full-face lift, often making them look brand new. Although most clients immediately notice the shiny countertops, polished sinks and faucets, it’s the work we do in nooks and crannies and hard to reach areas that sets us apart. We ensure the whole home receives the same attention as the kitchens and bathrooms.”

For more information about Fabulous Cleaning Services, visit them online at www.fabulouscleaningme.com, find them on Facebook @FabulousCleaningMe or call them at 207-240-7451. <

Friday, August 13, 2021

Business spotlight: Shamos Paving and Sealcoating

This marks the 21st year that Shamos Paving & Sealcoating has been in business.  Established by Andy Shamos when he was 18 years old, the company’s growth and stability are not only a sign of success but is indicative of delivering quality work and earning the trust of the community at large.   

As a result, you will see an addition to their all too familiar logo as you travel through the southern Maine area, the tag line -  Delivering Quality. Earning Trust.

Their mission is simple on the surface, to be the most trusted pavement maintenance company in the industry but achieving this means delivery quality at a superior level.  “The success has always been in the details,” says the company’s head of operations, Levi Robbins.  “We’re never satisfied and as a result, we’ve continued to build training programs and processes for improvement and quality checks to ensure we are delivering what our customers want.”

Delivering quality and earning trust is not just a mantra for their customer base, it’s also one Shamos applies internally as well.  “Our employees are the key to our success, they are the tip of the spear, and it’s important to us that we deliver a quality work environment and earn their trust just as we would our customer base,” says founder/owner Andy Shamos.  As a result of this philosophy, Shamos Paving & Sealcoating now operates with 15 employees across its paving and pavement maintenance divisions and is aggressively looking to expand further. Shamos sums it up by adding “simply put, we hire great people to do great work and we are always looking to add to our team.”

The community has continued to respond well to the company’s growth in both it’s paving and pavement maintenance divisions through 5-Star reviews and a multitude of public endorsements with one customer eloquently describing their paving division as “a ballet of badasses with the efficiency of a well-oiled machine.”  And other customers cite the company’s communication, professionalism and responsiveness as reasons for their decision in choosing Shamos for their sealcoating or paving needs.

As the company continues to expand its footprint in Southern Maine, it finds itself increasing the services offered to residential homeowners, commercial property owners and anybody in facilities or property management.  “The goal is for our customers to trust us to take care of the pavement,” says Robbins, “whether you are managing properties or spending time with family, if we can take the responsibility on for getting a project completed for you, we are very happy to do so.”

For more information or to receive a free estimate, call 1-800-DRIVEWAY, visit www.shamossealcoating.com or call 207-749-7058.<

Friday, August 6, 2021

Business Spotlight: Luchador Tacos

Connoisseurs of genuine Mexican food know that authenticity plays a major role in distinguishing
between mass-produced fast food and a savory dining experience that emphasizes quality, taste, and ingredients above all else. At Luchador Tacos in Windham, that authenticity is evident in every meal served.
 

Featuring a menu reminiscent of the street scene in Los Angeles, with tacos, burritos and quesadillas made locally and prepared daily with carne asada, fresh onions, cilantro, corn tortillas, lime, green salsa, hot chile sauce, nacho cheese, guacamole and pico de gallo, Luchador Tacos delivers flavor and authenticity with every delicious bite.

According to Nick Moody, Luchador Tacos general manager, the restaurant doesn’t use ground beef in meals, preferring carne asada, a type of grilled beef which is marinated in orange juice, garlic, and lime juice. Luchador’s green salsa blend is comprised of six secret spices and its red salsa has a blend of dried Japones chiles for robust flavor and Arbol chiles to give it a bit of authentic heat.

“The secret to making an authentic taco is to start with perfectly prepared meat and then adding just the right toppings,” Moody said. “It’s what we do every day at Luchador Tacos.”

Street tacos served at Luchador Tacos are carne asada placed in a corn tortilla, topped with your choice of red or green salsa, garnished with onions and cilantro and served with a side of beans and rice. The Cali burrito is a 12-inch burrito filled with fries, steak, cheese, cilantro, onions, a mild tomato salsa, sour cream and guacamole.

Located at 781 Roosevelt Trail in Windham, Luchador Tacos opened June 25 and joined other Luchador restaurants in South Paris and in Conway, New Hampshire. With a staff of 14 friendly employees, the Windham restaurant has quickly become a local favorite serving the best tacos and burritos in the area.

“Our freshly prepared Mexican food tastes like it came right from Los Angeles. We make street style tacos, burritos, burrito bowls, and salads,” Moody said. “We also carry specialty items like carne asada fries; the Cali burrito, the quesarito, and churros. We also carry Jarritos, a Mexican soda, and you can find every flavor carried here.”

With competitive pricing and some of the most generous portions available in the area, Luchador Tacos takes great pride in that the Windham restaurant is not a franchise, rather it is a locally owned and operated small business with a devoted following.

“The best thing about what we do is being able to make authentic Mexican food for our customers,” Moody said. “To experience authentic Mexican food in New England is rare.”

The original Luchador Tacos launched in South Paris in May 2017 as a way for its founder, Katherine Mitchell, to bring West Coast flavors to the East Coast. Mitchell grew up in Los Angeles and wanted to have diners experience authentic Mexican food. The concept took off and what started as a small take-out taco shack has led to four years of successfully introducing the taste of genuine and authentic Mexican food to a wider audience, including now right here in Windham.

“We try to accommodate everyone without sacrificing the integrity of our featured items and to stay true to our authentic recipes,” Moody said. “We’re not Taco Bell though and we do not sell hard shell tacos with hamburger in it.”

Along with an array of burritos, burrito bowls and tacos, Luchador Tacos also offers a vast vegan friendly menu, fresh salads, nachos, chips and salsa, and churros, a tasty cinnamon sugar pastry.
Dining is available in a casual setting or orders can be called in ahead and then picked up when ready.

“We’re all about fast, fresh and friendly,” Moody said. “While some restaurants struggled in the last year, we’ve streamlined the ordering and pick-up process and are continuing to grow.”

Luchador Tacos is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and closed on Sundays and Mondays. More information and a detailed menu can be found on Facebook and Instagram at luchadortacosme with phone orders taken at 207-893-8916. <