Friday, April 19, 2019

Business Spotlight: Kind & Co.


By Craig Bailey

Ben Ferri, Kind & Co’s founder, defines his company as “A lifestyle brand for the cannabis enthusiast.”

To achieve this mission, Kind & Co. offers cannabis products, cultivated locally in their state-of-the-art facility. They also provide some of the best concentrates in the greater-Portland area, related merchandise such as Maine-blown glass, clothing hand printed in Portland and edibles prepared by chef, Meghan Newport who earned a degree in baking from The Culinary Institute of America.
Upon entering Kind & Co., you’ll feel the homey, down-to-earth and welcoming environment.

Owner, Ben Ferri
When asked, what made him interested in launching the business, Ferri responded “the love of the plant. My passion for horticulture started when I began growing cannabis, at nineteen, for personal use. The passion grew on when I started working in a greenhouse, growing produce hydroponically. It was furthered more while working at Oxbow Brewing Company, managing their fruit orchard of sour cherries, raspberries and strawberries.” He continued, “I’ve been a caregiver for over 7 years, just after the medical cannabis laws changed in Maine. During this timeframe, I also achieved a degree in finance at USM.  Starting the business just made sense.”

Opening in November of 2018, Ferri acknowledged the local market is becoming saturated with medical cannabis providers. Ferri mentioned, “There are several factors about Kind & Co that contributes to our providing the highest quality cannabis products in the community. This includes using beneficial insects to control pests, instead of spraying harmful chemicals. We are big on quality and have complete oversight of the entire process from start to finish. Further, consistency is huge, as we want our customers to be happy with everything from a gram to an ounce of product.”

Ferri stated, “My background in horticulture has helped implement a highly efficient cultivation operation, allowing the flexibility to then do things which, while less efficient (such as hand trimming our flowers), result in a much higher quality product.”

Ferri reinforced, “We don’t rush the process. Once product is harvested, we don’t put it on the shelf for another 4-6 weeks after the appropriate drying and curing time. Doing so ensures the moisture content of the flower evens out, resulting in a better, more consistent burn.”

A factor contributing to Ferri’s complete control of the enterprise is that he is self-funded and has no outside investors pushing for ever higher efficiencies which can result in lower product quality.

When asked, why the hype around the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes, Ferri began, “I’ve seen it work on multiple levels, with folks of all ages. Even my mother and grandmother, both non-consumers, are using a topical for muscle soreness with great success.” Ferri continues, “Cannabis-based products are known to minimize epileptic seizures and relieve migraine headaches, among many other things. The alternative includes prescription drugs, many of which have harmful side effects. Just listen to the TV ads for such products. They speak more of the harmful aspects than the benefits provided. Cannabis just doesn’t have the same negative side effects of many of the traditional western medicines.”

One of Ferri’s customers, who has rheumatoid arthritis, stated their cannabis-based topical cream was, hands down, the most effective topical she had ever tried.

Ferri stressed, “We are not just trying to get everyone that walks through the door high, or to push the highest possible dosages. We listen to what our customers are saying and looking for. Then, based on their needs and experience, we start them on the appropriate dosage and work from there to find what is most effective for them.”

To reinforce the above, Ferri stated, “We don’t pressure people into buying anything. As a matter of fact, if a consumer wants to come in just to get educated on the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes, we’d be happy to spend the time necessary to do so. Our goal is to ensure the consumer is comfortable and well educated.”

Ferri continued, “We see all walks of life coming into our store. And, we welcome those who are presently opposed to the use of cannabis, so we might have the conversation on how it may benefit them, or someone they love.  We want to break the stigma and stereotypes in our industry.”

Kind & Co. is located in Windham, on the corner of 302 and Heathwood Drive. You can learn more by visiting their website at www.kindand.co, or calling (207) 572-1086.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Business Spotlight: Property Management Inc. of Maine

https://www.pmimainepropertymanagement.com/By Lorraine Glowczak

In recent years, there has been a growth in vacation rental housing due to the popularity of rental listing sites. “It’s like money falling from autumn trees” it has been said about property income and the trendy websites many use to advertise their rentals. However, there are many downsides to doing it all on your own.  

There are the weekly duties of laundry, cleaning, stocking, key handoffs, pre-stay communication, in-stay responses, calendar management, and the occasional repairs. And that’s just the beginning of managing one’s own rental and/or vacation property. What if you live out of state? Vacation for the self-managed property owner? What vacation?

This is where Property Management Inc. of Maine, a newly established franchise property management company located at 5 Whites Bridge Road in Windham, comes to the rescue. Locally and veteran owned by Kurt Griffeth and wife Jackie, the company offers professionally managed rental properties as a smart and worry-free alternative in the greater Sebago Lakes region.

What makes PMI Maine special? “We are 100% locally owned and operated with housekeeping, maintenance, and concierge service to protect your asset and ensure extraordinary guest experiences,” Jackie explained. “Our worldwide distribution package will place your property in front of over 10 million travelers every month. That means you'll have no shortage of bookings, revenue and repeat customers. With accounting and reservations centralized, our managers are free to learn, help, and maintain properties to keep them in tip-top shape.”

The owners of PMI Maine come with significant experiences that will make a property owner feel confident – trusting the care of their rental homes in the hands of Jackie and Kurt.  Jackie is currently a real estate agent and has been working in the field for seven years. She also has 20 plus years of experience in management and customer service. Her friendly “hello” as soon as you walk in the door of PMI Maine will instantly put you at ease.

Kurt is a veteran who served in Desert Storm and Iraq and has over 20 years of experience working in utility services, management and customer service. He currently works for On Target Utility Services.

Unlike many property management companies where the only service offered is advertisement and reservations while the owner must do the rest - finding their own cleaning company, property repair person and landscaping company, PMI Maine provides it all, including a concierge service.

“We can have their groceries delivered and put away as well as accommodating any special events. We can help arrange those special occasions such as birthdays, retirements, etc. We will even order the cake,” Jackie said.

And while most management companies will only allow the owner limited use of their own property, PMI Maine will accommodate the owner’s preferences. “There is no limit,” Jackie said. “If a property owner only wants to rent their house out for two weeks each year, that is okay.”

PMI Maine also offers marketing that includes worldwide exposure and reliable branding, maintaining an active presence on a wide range of channels, including industry publications and websites, Facebook, Twitter, Google +, as well as hundreds of online travel agencies that broadcast your properties for bookings.  

Accounting is another service. “No other property management network offers the level of centralized services that PMI provides,” Jackie explained. “We offer 24/7 access to accounts for property managers and monthly reporting for owners ensures everyone knows what is happening with a property.”

PMI Maine also provides a phenomenal guest experience for each guest on every visit. “At PMI Maine we look at vacation rentals, short term rentals, and even our corporate housing as an opportunity to WOW a guest and help make memories that will last a lifetime,” Jackie said. “Our goal is to have guests stay with us again and again. With over 250 offices across North America, South America, and Europe we are confident PMI will be your travel host of choice.”

In her role in real estate, Jackie has received many accolades on Zillow.com. “Jackie was our Real Estate Agent when we were looking for a house in Maine…she took her personal time to go see houses on our behalf since we lived in North Carolina. We bought our house without having ever walked in. We are forever grateful for Jackie and her patience and diligence.” This individual happily lives in Raymond, Maine.

If you currently have a rental vacation property or are considering purchasing income property and would like to know what PMI Maine has to offer, contact Jackie and Kurt at 207-558-5655 or email Jackie@pmiMaine.com.

With PMI Maine, you can rake in the money falling off the autumn trees and have freedom, too.




Friday, April 5, 2019

Business Spotlight: Siochanta Farm, LLC


By Lorraine Glowczak

Essential oils have become recognized by professionals, as well as the thoughtful consumer, to aid and support healing on physical, emotional and spiritual levels. Specializing in USDA approved organic, pure and fair-trade ingredients, Siochanta (pronounced she-HON-ta) Farm, LLC located in Windham has the mission of creating products that are pure and natural – from the moment the product is planted in the ground to the moment it arrives in your hands.

Co-owners David and Suzy Palmer
“We provide – to the best of our ability – products that are made locally or in the United States and are USDA approved to be organic, pure and sustainably sourced,” explained Suzy Palmer, co-owner. For many years, Suzy has believed in the “power of nature” and the need for chemical-free, essential oil-based fragrances and skin care products.

Suzy, who retired in June 2018 after teaching third and fourth grades for 27 years, could not retire from learning, growing and living life fully. As a result, she and her husband David, a middle-school science teacher and co-owner, established Siochanta Farm in January 2019. Suzy decided to live her life passion surrounding the beneficial properties of essential oils.

We want to support the overall wellbeing of adults,” Suzy began and then added, “Now, I have the time to pursue my passion by studying essential oils and creating unique products too. As educators, David and I always seek to learn, to care, and to nurture. Creating this business has given us an avenue by which to pursue this vision.”

Essential oils are known to relieve stress, exfoliate impurities, assist in the healing of the muscular, circulatory, endocrine, respiratory and immune systems. According to an online article from Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center, “Essential oils are a fantastic way to help with myriad issues such as sleeplessness, nausea, anxiety, allergies and pain,” stated Michele Mack, LMT, CPMT.

Suzy explained that it is through education they learned about the importance of using oils that are certified pure, therapeutic grade and the truth about the marketing strategies. “There is no governing body in the U.S. that regulates the effectiveness, quality or purity of the oils,” she explained. 

“Because of this, essential oils can be marketed as pure when they contain only 5% of the oil.” “However, we purchase our essential oils from companies that have put effort into carefully planning each step of the production process. And, as we use these oils in our creations, we use them with knowledge and awareness of their strength.”

The Palmers are so thoughtful in their business, that they carefully source everything from the ingredients  to the paper bags and twine.

 “When I am asked to make a product sample basket for an individual or create a product, it is important that I think about the individual or the use of the product as I am working. I want to make sure that all products are created with a personal touch. That’s how much I believe in the healing powers of essential oils.” Suzy explained.

The word, “Siochanta, means “peaceful” in  Gaelic. There is no denying that the scent and/or use of essential oils can offer emotional and healing support. “It can relieve the intense stress we all experience in our everyday lives,” Suzy said. “It is my hope that my products can be used during the day – taking a 30 second breather, reminding us to stop and “smell the roses” for just a short while – enough to move on throughout our demanding day, creating - if only for a moment - a sense of peace,” Suzy said.

To purchase everything from the variety of gift baskets, to sugar scrubs, roll-on blends, hand sanitizers, lip balm, body wash, lotion bars to gift certificates and more visit their website at www.siochantafarm.com. You will also find Suzy and David at the Windham Farmers Market this summer, located at Turning Leaf Drive beginning May 25th – every Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. until October 14.


Friday, March 29, 2019

Business Spotlight: Willow Tree Primitive Shop

https://www.facebook.com/WillowTreePrimitiveShop/By Lorraine Glowczak

The door was slightly ajar as if to welcome my presence. As I entered Willow Tree Primitive Shop, a new home décor gift shop that provides multiple selections of early period decorating furnishings, keepsakes and relics at 6 Sabbady Point Road in Windham, I was greeted with a kind smile by co-owner, Carrie Perry.

Perry introduced me to all four rooms that make up the cozy store of collections, each decorated with primitive objects. “This is my mom’s favorite room,” Carrie said about her mother and business partner, Debbe Webb. “She calls it the old room.”

As you enter her “mom’s room”, which is filled with items such as pewter and early period kitchen and serving utensils, old world prints and primitive upholstered furniture, one is taken back in time with a sense they have finally arrived home. “We are often told by our customers that our shop feels warm and inviting.”

Perry and Webb, purchased Willow Tree Primitives in November of 2018, which was a gift shop originally established in Lewiston. After the purchase, the new owners moved the business to Windham, where Perry resides. They officially opened their doors on December 6, 2018. Webb and Perry are in the process of changing the name slightly to Willow Tree Primitive Shop.

The road to primitive home décor collections comes from a passion to discover personal home adornment preferences. “For the longest time, I was trying to find my own way in personal home decoration,” explained Webb. “I decorated in French Country, but decided that did not suit me. I enjoyed Home Interior for a while until I came across the Country Peddler in the mid-1990s and I discovered I enjoyed decorating my home in the rustic style, it was more of a fit for me” she laughed.

Country Peddler is a popular online presence that offers primitive home accessories from candles and clocks to furniture and linens. For more clarification, the website, thespruce.com, describes primitive décor as:

Owners, Carrie Perry and Debbe Webb
*Being the first or earliest of its kind
*Crude, simple, or unrefined (or as Webb and Perry prefer to describe as “functional and homey”)
*From an early period of history
*Made by a primitive artist

“A primitive piece of furniture or décor is handmade. Secondly, a person without formal training or craftsmanship made it. Third, most often, a primitive item is utilitarian: furniture, dishware, tools, and cooking items are all considered primitive. And lastly, a primitive item is old—generally, old enough to qualify as an antique. It’s the combination of age, lack of pretense, and practical purpose that gives a primitive item, whether furniture or some other household good, its well-worn, simple appearance, NOT intentional design.”

You will find many locally Maine made and handmade items at Willow Tree Primitive Shop. “We have local artists from Maine who supply our shop with many gifts and decorations such as signage, candles, artwork/prints, and dolls,” stated Perry. Also available, are Willow Tree figurines and locally produced raw honey, soaps and lip balm.

Although only open for the past three months, they are honored by the many customers who enjoy having this primitive gift shop in the area. “We felt so welcomed from the minute we entered. They have a great variety of things. Great to have a nice shop in the area if you need a nice gift,” stated a recent customer, Donna Harrington.

“The only one thing that might be a challenge for us, is the confusion of our location,” Perry said. “People see our sign on Tandberg Trail, next to the Little Log Cabin Montessori School, located at 120 Tandberg Trail. People drive into the parking lot of the Montessori school, and soon realize they need to drive down Sabbady Point Road to our parking lot. It’s a bit confusing and we understand that. I’d like to make it clear that we are behind the school, but one must enter on to Sabbady Point Road.”

Webb added, “We are on the country road off Tandberg Trail….the road to a primitive experience.”

Be sure to visit Willow Tree Primitive Shop at their three-day open house on Thursday through Saturday, April 4, 5, and 6 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Be sure to follow their Facebook page for the latest announcements. For more information, contact Perry or Webb at (207) 572-4100.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Business Spotlight: House to Home by Chick Lumber

https://housetohomebychicklumber.com/By Lorraine Glowczak

Renovating your home is an exciting adventure. But without expert guidance, it can also be an
overwhelming project that comes with many sleepless nights and a lot of anxiety. Whether you are updating your kitchen, bathroom, roof or simply repainting the exterior of your house, there are so many options available. It’s difficult to know where to begin to make the perfect choice for what you envision. That’s where the friendly experts of House to Home by Chick Lumber at 625 Roosevelt Trail in Windham come in and save the day.

“A lot of places, such as the big box stores, do not offer the personalized services we provide,” stated professional designer, Marion Shea. “But, here at House to Home, we help people every step of the way – from start to finish. We make it our goal that when you walk into our showroom, we greet you immediately and provide the warmth and attention you deserve – it’s like walking into your own home.”

Chick Lumber was originally established in New Hampshire in 1870 with the present outdoor lumber yard located at 209 Hobs Street in Conway. Moving forward 143 years, the present Chick Lumber company was purchased by Sal and Jackie Massa in 2013, creating the House to Home showroom as an addition to their list of services. The North Conway showroom location is at 1618 White Mountain Highway.

“Our highly qualified team of experts specializes in providing focused attention to our customers,” stated Jackie. “Our business has grown a lot in the past six years and, as a result, we saw the need to expand into Maine.”

Mike Harmon, the local Sales Manager who had a big hand in opening the Windham location, explained further. “We have been growing and expanding into Maine for the last couple of years,” he began. “We have had so many requests from and work with contractors from Bethel to York that we determined it would be good to accommodate the needs of the area and it’s for this reason we have opened the additional location right here in Windham.”

Their fast-growing success not only stems from the friendly hands-on service they provide but everyone who is part of the Chick Lumber team are experts in home renovation, including the owners. “Sal grew up in the field,” explained Jackie. “His family owned a flooring company in Massachusetts, and he worked at the family store at a very young age. Sal was hired by Chick Lumber in 1998. He started working in the flooring department and worked his way up to contractor sales, becoming the Vice President of the company in 2009.”


As for the rest of her staff, Jackie stated she has a lot of confidence and trusts their expert abilities.


In addition to the Massa’s, Shea and Harmon, the other team members and specialists you will find in the Windham House to Home Showroom includes: Kat Milvo, professional designer; Stephen Roberge; paint specialists, and Ryan Gleason, millwork and outside sales.

At House to Home by Chick Lumber, the one stop shopping services provided include the following: Kitchens/bath, flooring, window treatments, lighting/fans, windows, doors, siding, roofing, Benjamin Moore Paints and decorative hardware and more.

As their website states, “Our House to Home showroom offers you a look at the latest in kitchen cabinets, vanities, countertops, decking, railing, roofing, hardwood, tile and carpeting options… among everything else that goes into making your house a home.”

Be sure to attend their open house on May 17 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for a BBQ, prizes and giveaways. And, perhaps more importantly, to meet the expert House to Home team that will be happy to serve you. For more information, contact the team at 207-464-6988 or at their website: www.housetohomebychicklumber.com/





Friday, March 15, 2019

Business Spotlight: Dr. John Herzog of Orthopedic Specialists, LLC

https://www.orthocareme.com/By Lorraine Glowczak

Many people who experience pain in their hips, knees, shoulders, elbows, and feet will frequently end up with surgery. Most people do not realize; however, they have alternative treatment available to them now in the exciting world of stem cell regeneration. Dr John Herzog, a Raymond resident just may have the answer for you.

Dr. Herzog’ is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon with 40 years’ experience. He’s performed over 10,000 surgeries - everything from replacing knees hips and shoulders to reconstructing trauma victims. For the past 10 years he has focused exclusively on regenerating torn and degenerating tissues and joints with advanced stem cell procedures.

Herzog’ says the basic problem is that when joints start to degenerate, or rotator cuff begins to tear is that there is poor or no blood supply to the area that’s damaged. The beauty of using own body, is that it produces its own custom compounding pharmacy, otherwise known as your own stem cells. This process is much like robbing Peter to pay Paul by generating new blood supply.

For example, in plantar fasciitis or tennis elbow the blood supply is very poor in this region of your body and cannot get the nutrients, oxygen or stem cells that it takes to repair it. What the doctor does is essentially taking stem cells from your blood, your bone marrow, or your fat and - with a centrifuge process that purifies the blood supply, separately stem cells and platelets. Once it is purified and separated, it is injected into the area where the pain persists. This regrows the blood vessels and creates a new irrigation system to repair tissue naturally. Aging and disease are a result of poor blood supply. 

Dr. Herzog is a third-generation osteopathic physician which he states with great pride. “As an osteopath, you are a holistic doctor,” he stated. “We know how to use a knife, medicines, and our hands to improve their patients’ lives.” Utilizing osteopathic manipulation is also an important part of Dr. Herzog’s successful formula. 


The future of medicine is utilizing your own body’s custom compounding pharmacy that is your stem cells and Dr. Herzog promises to remain on the cutting edge of stem cell treatment and utilizes the technology of your own body. He claims he plans on being an active osteopath well into my 70s possibly my 80s Dr. Herzog states with the help from my stem cells. “Who knows,” he said with a smile, “There’s a guy in Tennessee that’s in his 90s and he still does brain surgery.”

If you are experiencing pain and want to learn more this cutting-edge medical alternative, contact Dr. Herzog at 207-781-9077 or peruse his website at/www.orthocareme.com. Most insurance policies are accepted.


Friday, March 8, 2019

Business Spotlight: SilverSneakers at Saint Joseph’s College

https://www.sjcme.edu/silversneakersBy Lorraine Glowczak

“This is a hidden gem,” I said to Jenna Chase, Associate Director of Health and Wellness Programming at Saint Joseph’s College as she gave me a tour of the state-of-the-art fitness facility in Alfond Center. Not able to resist playing off my slightly southern dialect, she responded, “Did you say this was a hidden gym?”

We both laughed but the truth is, there is a lot of unknown opportunities for fitness, growth, and lifelong learning at Saint Joseph’s College available to all residents of the Lakes Region communities, young and old alike. Many people in the area are unaware of the multifaceted options available at Saint Joseph’s that are accessible at a very low rate or at no cost at all.

Of the many programs offered, SilverSneakers, a nationwide exercise program for older adults, has recently been added into the fitness selections at Saint Joseph’s. “Silver Sneakers is a fitness program for seniors that’s included with many Medicare Advantage plans,” said Chase who is a certified SilverSneakers instructor. “Membership incorporates access to every participating gym and fitness center in the network. To check eligibility, an individual can simply go to the website at www.tools.silversneakers.com/Eligibility/HealthPlans or by contacting their plan directly.”

SilverSneakers is now available at Saint Joseph's College
photo by Evan Loignon
If eligible, SilverSneakers classes are free. If not, the cost per class is only $7. Chase explained that if you go online and discover your insurance plan denies eligibility, to not stop there. “We recently had a participant who called her insurance company after being denied online. And although her plan was not a participating member of SilverSneakers, they gave her a $100 voucher to join the classes as part of their own health and wellness initiative.”

The purpose of featuring SilverSneakers is multifold. “We empower older adults to live their best lives with vitality, dignity and purpose,” said Chase. “Our goal is to enable healthy aging – both in place and within the community.”

Additionally, SilverSneakers is part of a new initiative at the college. Peter Nielsen, Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Saint Joseph’s, explained that the college is developing several programs designed to support older adults as the college establishes the Institute for Integrative Aging, a center for research, education, and community-centered care for older adults. Integrative aging—a term coined by Saint Joseph’s College President Jim Dlugos—seeks to advance the concepts of integrative medicine and healthcare to develop an understanding and approach to aging which recognizes the multi-dimensional aspects of aging.

Chase stated that SilverSneakers has a variety of classes to meet the needs of all participating members. “We are currently offering three signature class formats that include strength and cardio classes to improve overall fitness,” Chase began. “We accommodate and make modifications to assure that everyone is comfortable.”'

SilverSneakers participant, Kimberly Cross concurred with Chase. "I have arthritis in my shoulder, and finally I have exercises I can do,” she said.

But just as important as the physical aspect of health and wellness, social connections and having fun, play a large role in SilverSneakers as well. “If you don’t like walking on a treadmill for 30 minutes, don’t do it,” Chase said. “Find something that makes you forget that you are working out.”

That’s what makes SilverSneakers so unique. Participants forget they are working out because they are having so much fun. "It is so much better than just using equipment in a gym full of strangers. An engaged group following an enthusiastic leader is so much more encouraging," stated another SilverSneakers participant, Kathie Bickford.

Another reason why SilverSneakers is so much fun is the music that is chosen by the participants. “After feedback, I’ve included music that the participants have requested and enjoy working out to,” said Chase, who is a 2011 Saint Joseph graduate with a degree in Exercise Science. “We dance and do exercises to music selections from Jimmy Buffet, Frank Sinatra and Beatles to name just a few. We even have had a request for music by Dianna Ross and I have included her music in the exercise program, too.”

When asked if Chase knew Diana Ross, she responded, “I think I may have heard of her” and thus, multigenerational and integrative learning at its best.

If you are interested in learning more about SilverSneakers, join in on the Launch Week for free to experience the classes for yourself. Join in all or one of the following sessions: Tuesday, March 12, Thursday, March 14 and Friday, March 15. All classes begin at 11 a.m. and will include a tour of the fitness facility, healthy snacks and beverages, as well as a tour of the café on campus.

Whether it’s exercise, fun, food or social activities you are looking for, you will find it at Saint Joseph’s College of Maine, 278 Whites Bridge Road in Standish. You will definitely find the hidden indoor “gym” (aka, indoor track) located on the second floor that is available for all Lakes Region residents for free. And perhaps you’ll discover a hidden gem that will meet all your needs, right here in your own backyard.

For more information about SilverSneakers or to schedule a tour of the fitness facility, call Chase at (207) 893-6627 or go online at www.silversneakers.com