Friday, October 28, 2016

Business spotlight - Time4Printing - By Michelle Libby

Time4Printing has become a household name for printing of all types, from letterhead to stickers. Time 4Wrapz is known for dazzling graphics on vehicles, but now with new technology and training, they can also be known for dynamic signage that will grab the attention of clients and draw them in.
This summer, the Time4 staff traveled to Las Vegas for a conference and training expo where they found a new printer that will expand their offerings exponentially, according to owner and wrap master Niels Mank. 

“We went to get trained in the newest and most innovative technology and bring that knowledge back to our customers in Maine,” said Mank. 

“The new hybrid UV printer opens up a whole new world for our customers. They can print on canvases, mirrors, custom wooden pieces, metal and plastic. Basically, any material you can fit into the machine,” he said. The hybrid UV printer uses UV light to dry the ink put on top of the item. The special ink used is also UV rated for fading from sunlight. 

Items that can be printed on vary, and even the team at Time4Printing is still experimenting with new materials. 

“We can print on a mirror that comes out of your furniture to give it an etched look. We can do custom table top glass,” Mank said. “We can print with white ink on clear materials, gallery wraps, custom wallpaper, floor graphics and floor mats.”  

Time4Printing has done signs before, however now they print directly on the material instead of adhering the print to the material. Now the signs can be clear or highlight one aspect of the sign with embossing. The custom effects are limitless. 

The Las Vegas trip provided the team with more advanced training on vehicle wraps, exposed them to new technologies, tricks and products. The company was also chosen to be a test facility for 3M in product development. 

“Partnering with manufacturers helps the entire industry improve,” said Mank. 

“We’re quality driven. We’re not a wrap chop shop. If it’s not right, we’ll peel it off and do it again. It’s about the end product being the best it can be,” he said. 

The perfect wrap starts with the best design for the vehicle and the business. The design department is responsive to the needs and wants of the client and because of the equipment Time4Printing uses, the designs are limited only by the client’s imagination, and even then, they can help with marketing and branding. From basic one color lettering to a full color design with picture like quality, Time4Printing is ready to make a business stand out.

Recently, Time4Wrapz, a division of Time4Printing, held its first Wrap Care Day, where clients were invited back to the shop to have their wrap cleaned and protected for free. “You need to take special care of wraps to make them last. It’s hard for our commercial clients to find time to do the routine maintenance. 

As long as they are cared for, wraps should last two years on horizontal surfaces and five years on the sides, according to 3Ms warranty. 

The same technology applied to the vehicle wraps can be applied to signs. “We can produce amazing graphics on signage for a fraction of the cost of other companies,” Mank said. 

Time4Printing specializes in refacing and refurbishing existing signs. “We’re committed to helping local businesses save money by making the existing sign look new again.”

Small businesses, realtors and tradesmen can use signs like yard signs, realtor for sale signs or a large backlit sign. Need a temporary banner that can be used time and time again, check out the extreme weather banners produced at Time4Printing in full color. They also do roll up banners and tradeshow displays. 

If you’re starting a business, or want your business to move to the next level, see Time4Printing to help with all marketing needs from business cards to vehicle wraps and signage. 

For more information, visit or or call 207-894-5600. Visit Facebook for the latest specials and samples of our work.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Business spotlight - Lenny's at Hawkes Plaza - By Michelle Libby

When looking for a place for great food and local entertainment from unique artists check out Lenny’s, at 1274 Bridgton Road, Route 302, at Hawkes Plaza in Westbrook. Lenny’s, under the ownership of Bill Umbel was created to honor the music scene in the area and provide exceptional quality food to keep people returning time and time again.

Lenny’s opened in February and has earned a following that packs the parking lot most weekend nights. Starting a restaurant on a heavily traveled commuter road was a big question mark for Umbel. “In life there are no guarantees,” he said.  

The name came from famous guitar player Lenny Breau. Umbel got permission from Denny Breau to name the place as an Ode to Lenny. Denny will play at Lenny’s December 2. He’s a guitar player, too.

Umbel’s plan was to create an outstanding burger and build the business around it and that is exactly what he has done. Chef Kori Reece, a chef with a degree from Johnson & Wales University, helped create the menu to have a few dynamic items that could really wow the patrons. Try the Reuben, a blueberry BBQ chicken sandwich; pan seared salmon or a Lenny’s classic burger. She also prepares a nightly special, last week it was lamb shepard’s pie. Thursdays through Saturdays they serve prime rib.
“It’s really good pub fare. We have a reputation for good food and good entertainment. You can never go wrong with beer and a burger,” Umbel said. “Come here, meet people. Meet a smiling face.” They also have salad choices for those who are health conscious and a starter menu with favorites like house fried potato chips and wings in eight flavor choices. They have started doing take out as well. 

Umbel owned the Empire Dine and Dance in Portland for over five years before deciding to sell and do something with the historical building he owned on Route 302. “I’m a real estate guy who wound up in the night club industry,” Umbel said. 

The building was once home to Event Records producing greats like Lenny Breau and the first recording of an interracial duo, Allerton and Alton, from the 1050s. 

“There’s a lot of music history in this building,” Umbel said. Upstairs from the restaurant are the shells of the old recording and practice studios. The original offices used by Al Hawkes are now the offices used by Umbel and his team at Lenny’s. 

“I’m into music. I play. My mom played piano and my dad listened to everything and big bands,” he said. He is the president of the Bluegrass Music Association of Maine. 

The music produced above Lenny’s lives on at Harvard Radio, where they still play many of the recordings.  

At Lenny’s there is entertainment four or five nights a week. They will focus on local people this winter, hoping to provide a comfortable place for good music and warm company when staying at home gets old. There’s seating for 80 people and Lenny’s employs eight to ten people. They have a full bar that’s open to 10 p.m. each night. The friendly atmosphere keeps people returning. 

Entertainers interested in playing at Lenny’s can contact Umbel. They accept a lot of acoustic music, Americana, folk, jazz, blue grass, country and singer songwriters. “It’s all quality,” Umbel added.
“It’s a listening room, not a dance hall,” said Bucky Mitchell, the promotions director for Lenny’s, who also plays drums in a band. “It’s fun to play here. Fun and close up with the people.” 

Umbel is in talks to consider expanding and offering more music and possibly ticketed events.  

They are open for dinner and music Tuesday through Saturday 3:30-10:00p.m. and Sundays 3:00-8:00p.m. Take-out is available. To keep up with the entertainment schedule visit Lenny’s at Hawkes Plaza on Facebook or visit them at or

Friday, October 14, 2016

Business spotlight - Windham Automotive - By Michelle Libby

“Where quality and value still have a meaning.”

It’s written on the wall at Windham Automotive as a reminder to all who work there and to those who bring their cars to Ron Eby and his team at 385 Roosevelt Trail just east of the rotary. Windham Automotive is not your normal grease monkey shop with the one dirt caked chair and a hot rod magazine in the waiting area. 

At Windham Automotive motivational posters with “Dream”, “Ambition” and “Live your Dream” are framed on the walls. Pictures of Eby’s grandkids, recognition for service and plants make the waiting room unique and a place to relax in comfort while the professionals take care of your vehicle. 

For Eby taking care of people’s cars is more than just performing the service needed, but making sure that the customer is happy and that the work they do is the kind they can stand behind. They are A+ members of the Better Business Bureau. 

Eby and his wife Julie, opened Windham Automotive in 1991, when they moved back to Maine. Celebrating their 25th anniversary is something they are very proud of. Some of their customers have been with them since day one, Eby said. 

When asked how he has stayed in business so long, Eby replied, “Probably because we’ve always taken the time to stay up with the technology in the automobile industry.” He has seen a huge change in the industry over the years, but has kept up with ongoing education.  He also takes the time with each customer to explain and put what could be a confusing subject into layman’s terms. 

“With the changing industry, we have survived through that by great customer service. There are always people to do it cheaper,” Eby said. “We’re fair, honest and produce a good product.” 

Eby and his team pay attention to the details when working with customers. Windham Automotive is based on old fashioned values that seem to be lost in today’s society. 

The company has six employees all together who make up the tight knit team. “I have worked with some great people,” Eby said. The automotive technicians are smart, educated and skilled at communication and problem solving, he said.

Windham Automotive specializes in customer service while they do general repairs, alignments, maintenance services, timing belts and electronic diagnosis to name a few. Today’s cars are much more complicated than older cars that when they broke, they knew just what to do to fix them. Today, there is seldom any problem that is the same. Although they can diagnose a car and get a code, the code is a brief definition of a problem, Eby said. There could be underlying reasons for that code. “Maintenance is so important. It’s hard to convince someone to pay money for something that’s not broken right now,” he added.  

“We are committed to our community and our customers,” he added. He prides himself, but is very humble about his contributions to the community and to organizations close to his heart, like Camp Sunshine in Casco for children suffering from life threatening illnesses. He brought back Summerfest, earned a service award twice from the Sebago Lakes Chamber of Commerce, was given a Six Who Cares Award from Channel 6, and was one of four who earned an award from the NASCAR Foundation. 

“These are things we never searched out, but they are ways to open doors to get people to talk about causes,” he said. He is thankful to have had the opportunity to help and meet a lot of great people.

“When you get where you’re going, don’t forget to turn around,” Eby said, quoting Tim McGraw. “I’ve never lost sight of how I got where I am. I’m grateful for the support I’ve had from the community.”
Windham Automotive has a Facebook page, but Eby prefers the old fashioned approach. “Pick up the phone and call us,” he said. The number is 892-1212.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Business spotlight - Charlie's Diner - By Michelle Libby

Charlie’s Diner sits just over the Windham/Westbrook border, a tiny haven for foodies looking for a bite of breakfast or lunch. With a menu full of breakfast favorites like Charlie’s Benedicts, omelettes, creative pancakes and other breakfast specials, patrons will never go hungry.

Charlie’s Diner just changed owners a few months ago. Deanna Kennedy took over the management of the diner just after construction began on an expansion project that will add at least 10 additional seats, provide more dry storage and expand the kitchen. An additional bathroom is planned as well.
Angela Libby, the previous owner, wanted to spend more time with her family, so she sold it to Kennedy who had been waitressing at the diner for years. 

“I’ve always dreamed about having my own place. Everybody has their own twist to it. I can’t get away from it, it’s in my blood,” Kennedy said. 

Not too much will change. The look will change, but most of the popular homemade foods will remain, along with the staff which will still be the same fun and friendly people customers have grown to love. There are seven employees in addition to Kennedy. 

“We’ve outgrown the space and need to accommodate more customers,” she said. Their customers range in age from six months to 92. Some of the patrons come in every day. 

“We’re a little diner place people love. Everybody has different tastes and every restaurant has a different experience and atmosphere,” Kennedy said. The atmosphere at Charlie’s Diner is described as fun. 

“My customers are the reason I took over, no other reason than that,” Kennedy said. She has degrees in nursing and accounting, but restauranting pulls her back. 

One of the most unique dishes is the breakfast bowl, which contains homefries topped with eggs, choice of meat and three vegetables, and then mixed with a cream and parmesan cheese based sauce. Kennedy described it as a type of soup, but people rave about it. They are also known for their eggs benedict, homemade muffins and cinnamon rolls which are baked daily, among many other things.
“We’re not a fast food restaurant. Every plate is made to your preference. Everything is fresh. Eggs don’t sit in a warming tray, ever,” she said. “That makes a big difference in the taste of food.” 

“None of the food structure will change,” Kennedy said. Some of the dinner items are going away, but will be added in as specials for lunch. They will continue to have burgers, fresh haddock and steak and cheese sandwiches, which they are known for. 

“Oh, they make the best eggs. I can’t wait to come here,” said Harriet Woodman of Westbrook who comes daily with her husband Woody. 

“I want people to leave here full and happy.”

Kennedy has plans for when the expansion and remodel is completed. She hopes to have a drive in and out entrance so people who want to pick up a breakfast sandwich and coffee to go can have easy access. “I’m looking to increase my morning customer base,” Kennedy said. An under $5 deal for a breakfast sandwich and a coffee on the way into Portland can’t be beat. 

Charlie’s Diner will be closed from Sunday, November 13 after 1 p.m. until Saturday, November 19 at 6 a.m. to complete the renovations. At the time of reopening, the entrance to the diner will be on the side by the parking lot, instead of near Route 302.  The restaurant is handicapped accessible. 

The hours are currently 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday and 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sundays. On Sundays the diner will only serve breakfast. Starting November 19, they will be open at 6 a.m. daily.

Watch their sign for updates about their Facebook page and the addition of a website.

Deanna Kennedy stands with weekday waitress Rita Pomarico, who has been working at Charlie’s Diner for two and a half years.  She makes jewelry, which she sells at the counter in addition to giving great service.