Friday, September 30, 2016

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Business spotlight - Ridgeline Exteriors - By Michelle Libby
Ridgeline Exteriors owner Wayne Perry has been putting roofs on homes since he was 15 years old. As a second generation contractor his company can help keep water and ice from ruining a home. Their focus is on roofing, but they are also versed in siding, windows and gutters. 

Ridgeline Exteriors provides a lifetime warranty backed by Owens Corning for the shingles known for “their beauty, performance and variety.” 

“Because of the warranty, Owens Corning is our favorite to use,” Perry said. The company works with mostly homeowners and some small commercial companies in York and Cumberland counties in Maine and Rockingham and Strafford counties in New Hampshire. The businesses is headquartered in Sanford and is considering expanding into Windham next year. 

“I’ve been doing it since I was 16. It’s the only thing I really know. Roofing is my specialty,” said Perry. “There’s not a roof I can’t not make leak.”

Perry got his start in roofing because it paid better than the other summer jobs his friends were doing. “It was more hard work,” he said, but it was good for his body and he was bringing home double what his friends were. 

“All of our work and our workmanship is all backed by Owens Corning. They back us and check everything to make sure it’s done to their satisfaction.” Even if Ridgeline Exteriors was no longer doing roofs, the warranty would still be in effect. 

Each of the 10 employees of Ridgeline Exteriors has been in-house trained by Perry. Jason Gilpatrick is the foreman. Perry trusts him and knows that when he leaves Gilpatrick in charge the job is being done to Perry’s satisfaction. 

Roofing is a dangerous, physically demanding job. Having a professional do the work keeps the homeowner safe. 

“To some people it’s just a roof. If you don’t have a roof, everything inside is junk,” Perry said.
Roofs should be inspected every five years for damage or issues with the shingles. They are intended to last for 50 years, but in Maine the weather changes all the time. Weather extremes from hot summers to very cold winters, wind and everything else Mother Nature throws at Maine can hurt a roof. The work has to be done according to code. You can’t cut corner on it, Perry said.
Ridgeline Exteriors is fully insured, holds general liability insurance and has a A+ rating through the Better Business Bureau. They have seven trucks and any tools they might need for a job. Most jobs are complete in a day or a day in a half. 

“We have a decent crew and all the tools known to man,” Perry said with a laugh. “I’m pretty honest. I sell my own jobs. What I sell – I deliver. I take pride in what I do.” 

Perry is a certified recycling contractor, meaning that the shingles he removes get ground up and turned into roads. 

Ridgeline Exteriors has been in business for 12 years. “Eat, sleep, roof, that’s what it really is,” Perry said. “Once you’re a roofer, you’re always a roofer.” The business is exciting because every day the job is some place different and there are different challenges to work on. One day the company could be on Long Island or Peaks Island then the next day the workers have a view of Mount Washington. He’s had to have his trucks and equipment ferried out to Frye Island and is very accommodating in all situations. 

Ridgeline Exteriors offers free estimates and inspections. They also do metal roofing in addition to the shingles. The work can be done year round. A new roof on an everyday cape, colonial or ranch will run approximately $5,000 to $7,000. Any customer who books a roof project this fall will be charged only $3.25 per square foot. Get in on the deal now. 

For more information or to book an inspection, call Wayne at 207-432-0810, email him at and visit them online at

Friday, September 23, 2016

Business spotlight - Flynn & company Real Estate - By Michelle Libby

Flynn & Company Real Estate is celebrating its 26th year with a grand opening of their newest and third location at 5 Main Street in Gray. Flynn & Company’s straight forward approach to selling homes and representing buyers has made them a top real estate company in Southern Maine.
New Gray office of Flynn & Company Real Estate
Under the direction of president Joe Flynn, the company has sold close to 2,000 homes in the region over its many years in business. With a total of six agents, Flynn & Company is ready to place you with the agent that is the right fit for what you are looking for be it residential, light mixed use or commercial property.

“We offer the power of a greater Portland agency with a physical presence in the lakes region,” said Flynn. A few of the agents have rated in the top five for sales volume in the State of Maine in past years. They are moving inventory at a fast rate. 

When selling a house choosing the correct agent is important. Flynn & Company’s average number of days on the market over the last six to eight months is four, many homes sell in one day. “We try to price them right and get a bidding war going. Everything has been going quickly because of the low inventory,” Flynn said. 

Flynn & Company has a proven track record when it comes to working with elderly clients who might be ready to move out of their homes or their children are asking them to move into assisted living. Often times it is a family or the grown children who are selling the house in these instances. 

“We work with elder attorneys and helping a client who wants to sell the house with his five brothers and sisters,” Flynn said. They are sympathetic and ready to help ease the transition for all involved.
There are two other offices in addition to the one in Gray, which has been open for just over two weeks, the main office at 918 Broadway in South Portland and the second office at 918 Forest Ave. in Portland. 

Each office has its own niche in the community. In Portland, they specialize in condominiums on the east end and west end, and development work. In South Portland, they do a lot of regular residential business. In the lakes region office, they expect to work with clients who are looking for lake properties and camps in the area.
Flynn and other agents are familiar with the Sebago region because they own property in the area and are ready to sell others a lakefront dream.  

Advertising has always been a priority for the company. “We know that in today’s ever changing   
market you can not just put up a for sale sign on a home and hope that it sells. Our aggressive marketing plan for our listings includes professional pictures taken by our photographer, Internet advertising, print advertising and the electronic sign,” said Flynn. The electronic sign sits at the Portland office and is seen by 30,000 cars each day.

“The key thing is that we are a family-owned company that has been successful in both up and down markets. We’ve invested in our company for people who want to buy and sell their property,” Flynn added. “We’ve invested in the tools to give the best to our clients.” 

In addition to promoting the lakes region listings to the Portland market, they also offer a client moving van. Starting this week, they are offering use of a brand new 2016 Ford Cargo van to anyone who buys or sells property with them. 

Flynn & Company primarily works with clients in York and Cumberland counties from the Lewiston area down to York. On their website, they have listings from all over the state.
For more information or to see listings, visit

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Business spotlight - Lakeside Taxi and Courier Service - By Michelle Libby

For Ed Morrison owning a taxi is more than convenience, it’s a mission to keep people safe in the
Sebago region. “The area needs a reliable taxi. I serve all of Cumberland County and Maine. I’ll take anyone wherever they need to go,” Morrison said. 

Lakeside Taxi just opened last month and already Morrison has helped people get home safe. A wife called Lakeside Taxi at 1 a.m. to have Morrison go pick up her husband and his friends who were stranded in Naples. “I was open and able to go get her husband and his friends and bring them home safely,” he said. He also drove a bachelor party around so they didn’t have to worry about transportation. 

Morrison is a native of Vermont, but he moved to Raymond five years ago. He’s a cook by trade, but has done a lot of different jobs including driving a taxi for eight years and driving a truck cross country. He was also a background actor in California. After all of his experiences, he has decided to settle here to help people. 

“I’m 24/7, 365. My goal is to help do away with drunk driving offenses and get people home safe without criminal offenses,” Morrison said. 

The father of adult children, he has always been concerned about drunk drivers. Years ago one of his uncles when to a party with a friend and while riding on the back of a motorcycle he was knocked off and fell into a coma and later died. He doesn’t want that experience to happen to anyone else. The cost of an OUI charge can run into the $10,000 range. The money that could be saved by calling Lakeside Taxi is staggering. Plus there is no loss of license, no loss of job, no increased insurance rates and no being dropped from the insurance company, Morrison said. 
He’s more than just a taxi service however. He is willing to be a delivery service as well. “I can get people home safe after a night of drinking and can do delivery services from a restaurant for a fee,” he said. From McDonalds to Hannaford to Go, Morrison will pick up an order and deliver it to the customer. This would be convenient for the elderly or disabled, when weather is bad and they can’t get out. A mother who needs medication for her child and can’t leave the house, Lakeside Taxi to the rescue. 

The need for a taxi and delivery service is what motivates Morrison. “I’m 10 minutes away. People need to get from point A to point B. It cuts down on emissions and is safer,” he said. 

Morrison drives a 2004 Chevy Impala that seats four people plus the driver. Right now Lakeside Taxi only has one driver, but Morrison’s goal is to have five taxis be the end of the year with 10 drivers and two limousines. 

“The area needs it. If you want anything now you have to call Portland. I am the Raymond/Windham transportation resource,” he said. 

With Lakeside Taxi, people don’t have to be late to work anymore. Trouble getting your child to school, call Lakeside Taxi. The company is available for any type of events and courier services.
Starting in November the company will be offering package deals on casino trips to Oxford Casino, Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods with a per person price for round trip same day service. 

Lakeside Taxi is fully insured. The cost is $3 per mile cash or credit. They accept all major credit cards. Repeat customers qualify for a discount. 

Lakeside Taxi also offers flat rate fees to airports. It’s $125 to Manchester Airport, $35 for the Portland Jetport and $150 for Boston’s Logan Airport.

Would you rather ride in the back of a police car or in the back of a Lakeside Taxi…it’s your choice. 
For more information or for a taxi, call 207-655-6303 or email

Friday, September 9, 2016

Business spotlight - Healing Arts & Well-Being - By Michelle Libby a calm and restful place on the corner of Whites Bridge Road and Route 302, massage therapists Jacquelyn Winant and Deanna Raihl have settled into a new shared space that is designed to help nourish their clients’ bodies, minds and souls.

“The new location is much nicer and the location is premium and easier to find,” said Winant.
After being a massage therapist since 2003, Winant plans to take her business to the next level offering classes and coaching in addition to massage. 

“I always knew I wanted to do something to help people. Not to be a nurse, but by touching,” Winant said. After a while she knew she wanted to help more people than by just doing massage, so she started life coaching. She also is a Reiki Master, does polarity, aromatherapy and is a yoga instructor. 

As a life coach, Winant sees herself as “an unbiased ear for issues their trying to work out. I don’t lead you, but help you find the answer. I don’t give advice, but I get you to the ‘a ha moment’.” Life coaching can be used for business, relationships, jobs and physical needs. “I help you see the big picture,” she said. 
“It’s the accountability. It’s a gift,” added Raihl. 

“It’s somebody to listen to you,” Winant finished. 

Raihl specializes in massage for chronic pain and injury. She helps reset the body using deep tissue pressure when needed. She does some counseling and coaching especially around nutrition.  She hopes to start a yoga class for children and a sign language class for children starting in October. 

“I took the mental health approach,” Raihl said. She worked with at-risk youth for a while. She wanted to help them, but now helps others through massage, organic skin treatments and as a holistic health counselor. She also does organic spray tanning. “I try to stay organic throughout my business,” she said. 

On Saturday, September 10th, Healing Arts & Well-Being will host an open house for anyone interested in learning about holistic care or those who want to experience all Healing Arts & Well-Being has to offer, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. There will be a medium, henna tattoo artist, a representative from Isagenix, homemade soaps and a table to make roller ball applicators using DoTERRA oils. They will also have gift certificate specials and raffles. 

“We work well together and offer a lot of services. We’re a wellness center for mind, body and spirit,” Winant said. Their services are important for many reasons. “To learn how to deal with stress,” Winant said. 

“Because you’re important,” said Raihl.

“We get pushed aside and don’t take care of ourselves,” Winant said. “Stress manifests itself in funky ways. I’d like to offer energy based massage and counseling here to unload some of their issues or things that are happening in their life. We all carry the weight of the world on our shoulders.” 

Winant offers restorative and gentle flow yoga classes during the week in their new large, comfortable space. 

Winant and Raihl are both teaching classes through Windham Adult Education this fall. Raihl will be teaching “Healthy Halloween” offering suggestions and alternatives to candy and sugar. She will also have another class about holiday eating and stress. 

Winant will be doing a class on creating Christmas gifts with essential oils. Those classes can be found online or in the Windham Raymond Adult Education booklet. 

Winant also hosts the Think Local chapter on Mondays from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. for business owners to network.

For more information or to schedule appointments, visit or call 207-400-4796 for Winant or call 207-482-0615 or visit They both can be found on Facebook at HealingArts by Jacquelyn and Nourishing Self.  

Friday, September 2, 2016

Business spotlight - One Stitch at a Time - By Michelle Libby a room at One Stitch at a Time, the embroidery machine whirs and clicks as it creates the design
on a sweatshirt. Today it’s a logo for a boating company, tomorrow it could be working to stitch initials on a child’s school backpack. At One Stitch at a Time clients are given special attention so that whatever they want, be it a logo, design or name, they will be pleased with the results. 

Sue and Garnett Johnston opened One Stitch at a Time about a year ago in their home on Albion Road. They are still in the same location, but they have expanded their equipment and their product lines over that time. This family business helps to support their three children who are just out of college, one in college and one a senior at Windham High School. 

“We were looking for something we would be successful with on our own in the next chapter of our life,” Garnett said. 

Garnett works in retail as his day job and is the marketing vice president for the new company. “We wanted to have something for us to work together in.” 

With their new equipment, they are able to do a larger variety of types of objects to embroider on, including hats, bags and karate belts, for example. 

“We’re really excited about the hats,” Sue said. The company is working on hats this week to donate to a friend and her team, which will be participating in the Dempsey Challenge. 

One Stitch at a Time is a local business. “I find people would rather work with local people, not order on the Internet,” said Sue. Personal attention comes from working directly with a person, the same person who will be doing the work. 

Sue has been sewing and embroidering for a number of years. She tailors and alters clothes and has done that for many years. “I’ve been sewing and embroidering all my life. I got my first embroidering machine off a bulletin board at my work. I thought it would be fun.” The business is something she and Garnett plan to do on their own time so they can set their own schedule to meet their customer deadlines. Not sure what a logo might look best on? Sue can help with that as well. They work with a variety of distributors to get the best quality products at really good prices. They also have access to brand name Polo shirts, work shirts and more.

With a library of 10,000 or more designs and a variety of fonts, Sue and Garnett can help choose what would look good on a particular item. If a stock image is not what the customer wants, they can take a customer’s design or logo and have it digitized for embroidery. One color or six colors, each design will be worked on until it’s exactly what was ordered. There is a one-time fee for digitizing the artwork, but their prices are much lower than national and local competitors, going up to $35 on average depending on the design. 

The artwork and sewing is the fun, creative part of their lives. Sue works in a legal department in corporate America. She hopes that one day, One Stitch at a Time will be a “fulltime occupation for both of us.”

Also looking forward, Sue and Garnett are considering screenprinting, although they like that embroidery lasts longer and doesn’t fade. “It looks more professional,” Sue said.  

Embroidery can save families money when all jackets look alike, for example on a sports or dance team. Putting a child’s name on it means one less lost item. One Stitch at a Time can do designs up to 8 by 12 inches on the back of a shirt or jacket. 

Names can be done while a customer waits. Personalization is $7 per line on average depending on length. 

“We can ship anywhere,” Garnett said, noting they have worked with an irrigation company and a school out west. One Stitch at a Time will be at the Windham Boosters Craft Fair this fall, but there’s no need to wait. 

“Someone out there is looking for good quality,” Sue said. They found it at One Stitch at a Time at 126 Albion Road in Windham. They have a dedicated driveway near their sign. For more information, email, call 207-310-1756 or 207-310-1692 or visit them on Facebook. They take all major credit cards through PayPal.