Friday, October 19, 2018

Business Spotlight on Windham Christian Academy

By Briana Bizier
As a parent, one of the hardest decisions you face is choosing the school your children will attend. Jaclyn Sands, Principal of Windham Christian Academy (WCA), would like parents to know that academics with a Christian-based curriculum is an option, and that there are many ways to make a private education affordable.

As we sat in her office and listened to the sounds of the WCA band practicing in the shared gymnasium and worship space for the Windham Assembly of God church, Sands explained that WCA teaches students to look at Christianity as their “blueprint of life.”

The Academy offers classes from pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade.

Our pre-k program is growing in leaps and bounds,” Sands said, adding that the school is considering opening a program for three-year olds.

Overall, Windham Christian Academy has 65 students, from towns as far away as North Baldwin and Bridgton, with seven full time teachers. Part time teachers also join WCA to lead courses in math, science, Spanish, and Latin.“The kids love Latin,” Sands added.

Despite the relatively small size of their school, students at WCA are exposed to a wide variety of activities, as evidenced by the tremendous number of trophies in their lobby.

We participate in the Maine Christian Schools Sports League,” Sands explained, which gives WCA students the chance to join soccer, basketball, and disc golf teams. They also partner with other Christian schools to offer academic activities like spelling bees.

I did finally have to put some of the trophies in storage,” Sands admitted as we began our tour of the school.

When WCA students reach their final two years of high school, a dual accreditation program with Saint Joseph’s College allows them to take college classes at a fraction of the regular cost. WCA’s graduates can leave high school with as many as twelve college credits, and two of last year’s four high school graduates are currently enrolled at Saint Joseph’s, with another at the University of Southern Maine and the fourth working for his family business.

We hear great things about our students from the professors at St. Josephs,” Sands stated.

In addition to their full-time students, Windham Christian Academy partners with local families who home school their children. Their Day at WCA Home School Program welcomes home schooled students from the community to join Windham Christian Academy classes on Wednesday morning for extracurriculars such as gym, music, art, band, and library.

I was treated to some of the robust music program at WCA as Sands led me through the building and the classrooms. The school offers two public concerts a year; if you are interested in seeing the students perform, their winter concert will be held on December 13.

WCA’s focus on Christianity as the “blueprint” for life emphasizes service and giving back to the community. In addition to their academics, each grade at WCA has a specific ministry. For the kindergarten through second grade, this involves visiting the Casco Nursing Home once a month to bring crafts and sing songs. When I visited the kindergarten through second grade classroom, where the students were practicing math facts with their foster grandparent, Grandma Nancy, teacher Mrs. Dodd showed me the paper scarecrows the class created to share with the nursing home.

My first graders are very excited to start spelling,” Mrs. Dodd said, with a smile.

Third and fourth graders join the Windham Matters ministry with the Windham Assembly of God, where they provide monthly snacks and encouragement to public servants such as police officers and fire fighters. The fifth and sixth grades help unload donations and stock shelves at the Casco Alliance Food Pantry, while the seventh and eighth grade classes have a ministry dubbed “LOL” where they learn to juggle and perform magic tricks, occasionally involving a real rabbit or dove, in order to spread a ministry of laughter and levity to the community. This month, “LOL” will be visiting Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta.

As a parent,” Sands adds, telling me her two children are also students at WCA, “I love knowing that my children are safe, and knowing they’re cared for.”

If you are interested in Windham Christian Academy, please contact Jaclyn Sands at (207) 892-2244 or visit

Friday, October 12, 2018

Business Spotlight: The Beauty Barr

By Lorraine Glowczak

Are you confused with today’s terminology surrounding hair color?  Balayage, Root Shadowing, Multi-Dimensional, and Session Work?  If so, then the newly established salon, The Beauty Barr, located at 57 Tandberg Trail, Suite 7 in Windham may be the solution and attention your once beautiful hair needs. Amy Barr, the owner and stylist with over 30 years of experience is just the person who can provide that professional touch that will turn the heads of your friends, family and coworkers.

“I love making people feel good and there is nothing like a great color and cut to do just that,” stated Barr. “Hair is an accessory that is meant to be changed and updated from time to time in order for an individual, and their hair, to remain fresh and alive.”

Barr officially opened her own salon on September 4th. “Although I enjoyed and had a great time renting my own booth and managing at other hair salons, I was ready for the next big step in my career.”

Barr’s career has expanded and grown in three decades. She is trained professionally with a concentration on hair coloring.  She is also an educator, teaching a four-day color certification program with Coastline Enterprises through KoLab Education.

When speaking with Barr, it is very evident that she is passionate about hair color and making sure her guests, as she refers to her business clients, get the best service possible. “I do a very thorough consultation with my guests,” she explained. “I determine the fabric of the individual’s hair and the lifestyle one prefers. I discover whether my guests want a ‘get up and go’ approach or if they enjoy taking an extra 10 minutes or so in the morning to add a little flair to their hair.”

During your consultation, Barr can determine her guests’ hair characteristics and preferences.  From there, she works closely with them to meet their ideal color and cut. “We [the guest and I] will work together to achieve their goals and ideals, usually based upon a picture that was discussed during the consultation,” she explained. Sometimes these goals require session work.

Barr extends her consulting services to include skin tone analysis that helps a guest to determine and choose the best hair color for their palette, enhancing the individual’s authentic beauty. “I discover which ‘season’ my guest’s skin undertone is and from there we determine the color and tone that appears best for that individual.”

As part of the hair coloring process, Barr uses a warm steamer. “It is much like a hair dryer, but uses moist heat, an effective tool, which is less time consuming.”

Barr also provides an “at home hair guide” with suggestions on Ph balanced products to maintain their color and cut to the utmost in between appointments.

Barr educates her guests about the science behind hair and hair color, thus recommending shampoos and conditioners which are best for the user. “There is a big difference between curly hair and straight hair,” Barr explained. “Straight hair lacks protein and thus a protein-based product is recommended. Curly hair is dry in nature and therefore, I recommend a moisture-based product.”  Barr also believes clarifying one’s hair is the most important thing one can do to maintain healthier hair.

One may wonder how Barr remembers all the details of her individual guests and their hair care needs. “I keep thorough records,” she stated. “That way, I know what I have discussed with my guests, what we have learned together, and what the next step may be.”

Whatever your hair care needs, book a consultation with Barr today.  If treating yourself to a clarifying and deep conditioning treatment with steam processing is what you are looking for, mention the ad below when booking the appointment to receive the discount. This discount is available until December 31st, 2018.

The Beauty Barr is open on Mondays by appointment, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from. 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Fridays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Make an appointment today and fall in love with your hair all over again. Call Amy Barr at 207-809-7009.


Friday, October 5, 2018

Business Spotlight: Clark Insurance Lorraine Glowczak

Clark Insurance is not your average, run of the mill insurance agency. Besides being able to meet important insurance needs for business, personal, life and health insurance, there are two things that give the company an edge above the rest - commitment to community involvement and the integrity among staff.

“One of the core values at Clark Insurance is giving back to our communities,” stated James Brissenden, Director of Business Development. “We participate and give back in areas that allow individuals to achieve independence through efforts and organizations that provide food, shelter, clothing, education and wellness.”

Community involvement is only one important contributing factor that makes Clark Insurance one of Maine’s largest, independently owned agencies a leader in the insurance business. Clark Insurance has been an employee owned company since 1992, a defining characteristic of Clark’s culture of teamwork. Then, in 2016, the officers of the company made the decision to transition into a 100% Employee Owned Company.

“Employee Stock Ownership provides a culture that attracts the right type of individual who is engaged in helping others,” explained Brissenden. “Clark Insurance’s employee/owners not only help through community efforts but have the ability and foresight to identify clients’ needs and find solutions that the customer can afford. They have these characteristics because they care and have integrity. That’s the type of individual Clark Insurance attracts.”

Presently, Clark Insurance has 110 employees from offices in Portland, Saco, Windham, Gorham as well as Manchester, NH and Lowell, MA. It started out as a small company by Richard Clark in Monument Square in Portland 87 years ago.

Darlene Lacadie (pictured here) and Dianne Baggs are available to meet all the insurance needs of Windham, Raymond and other Lakes Region residents.
“Clark began as a small business in an office at Monument Square,” began Brissenden. “We kept growing and were required to move a number of times to bigger spaces to accommodate our success and growth.” That continued success and growth is what led Clark to open its doors in Windham in 1972.

The latest move occurred in March of this year to a newly constructed building at 1945 Congress Street. “We now have a conference room available that has been designed for community use,” stated Brissenden. “The room is dedicated to our past President, Richard Clark, and has been used thus far by organizations such as The American Red Cross, Spurwink, Woodfords Family Services, the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce as well as the Maine Real Estate Development Association.”

Presently, the Windham branch is located at 766 Roosevelt Trail with its offices in the Gorham Savings Bank branch. Darlene Lacadie and Dianne Baggs, Sales and Service Account Managers, are available for the insurance needs of the Windham, Raymond and surrounding Lake Region residents. Both Lacadie and Baggs have been providing personal insurance services as well as coordinating business, life, health insurance as well as employee benefits for the past 20 years.

You may see them around town as they are actively involved in the Lakes Region community. Lacadie is the President of her BNI-Maine Windham Chapter, a local marketing and referral organization. She has also participated in the Sebago Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce’s Amazing Chase event that raises funds for the Feed the Need campaign and has also contributed $1,000 toward the Windham Food Pantry the past couple of years.

They both enjoy working and volunteering in the Lakes Region community. “My favorite thing is being local,” stated Lacadie. “Building relationships with local people, where they can stop in and have a conversation, without an appointment. You can also bump into them at the grocery store and because you’ve invested time into them, they know you and feel comfortable saying hello.”

Lacadie and Baggs are an example of the many employees/owners that make up the Clark Insurance team. They are committed to their customers and are dedicated to Clark Insurance’s guiding principles of ethical behavior, professionalism, respect, passion, knowledge, experience, and teamwork.

For those in the greater Windham, Raymond and other Lakes Region area who are interested in learning more about the many benefits Clark Insurance has to offer, can contact Lacadie and Baggs at 892-8541 or

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Business Spotlight on B&B Cultivation Cultivation, the leading provider of thoroughly tested, pure medicinal cannabis is excited to open its doors on 1259 Roosevelt Trail (route 302), in Raymond, Maine, and is having a Grand Opening Bash to meet our community.  Please join us October 12th and 13th for festivities, food, refreshments, art, neighbors, raffles and more.  Get your certification at B&B on the spot between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. on October 12th and between 2:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. on October 13th.  There will be a Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting October 12th at 4:00 p.m. and you are all invited!

The store provides flower, edibles and other fine products to ensure a healthier and symptom free life for those with MMJ certification and proper ID.  Also available are essential supplies, a full line of non-psychoactive CBD products such as lotions and salves, fine art, glassware, and more; even call ahead pick up is available for those who qualify.  

The active component of the cannabis plant, cannabinoids, have shown to inhibit tumor growth and kill cancer cells in lab testing. Medical cannabis contains antispasmodic qualities which relax muscles and has shown to be an effective treatment for seizures, and for these cannabis oils that are rich in cannabidiol (CBD), are the preferred method for treatment. Patients who suffer from chronic pain caused by diabetes, cancer, MS, HIV, and other diseases have been turning to medical cannabis as a way to treat their pain without the use of addictive pharmaceutical medications. Also available, Delta 8 is great relief without the anxiety. In recent years, opioid recovery has been blessed with cannabis, saving valuable lives.

Repeat customers rely on the purity, potency, consistent high quality, and value B&B offers its community.  In order to provide pure medical quality cannabis, free of metals and contaminants, molds and other harmful pests, growers need pristine environments.  Though thorough testing, technology and science have improved the process, many cannabis providers regularly opt out of testing their medicine; some even pass off simply unhealthy products and get fined hefty sums.  
B&B Cultivation is different, and we designed it that way.  Recirculating Deep Water Culture (RDWC) Hydroponics was developed by NASA and uses no soil to grow in outer space. Plants grow quicker and are more resistant to bacteria. Plants are not wasting valuable time trying to find a specific nutrient or avoid a stone. The custom system assures the ability for constant analysis, consistent exact nutrient dosages, and real time adjustment capabilities in case nature finds its rough spots.  There are no pests, no molds, and precise controls, yielding the most reliable, consistent and powerful product.

We use energy efficient full spectrum LED lighting. LED lighting insure the plants get the exact wavelengths they need at the right times. LEDs offer a broad and balanced light spectrum. Conventional grow lights generally peak in some color spectrums and are lacking in others, giving the plant an incomplete and/or irregular spectrum. LEDs produce vibrant plants that have more powerful hues and varieties of natural color. The LED systems save lots of energy as well, producing only the wavelengths of light beneficial to the plant, also making them the environmentally friendly choice for cultivation.

A state-of-the-art security system at the offsite grow facility and the retail shop, assure the safety of our community and the medicine.   

B&B is veteran owned and operated.  They graciously provide military veterans twenty percent off their purchases with proper identification, and proudly thank those who serve for their contribution to our nation. As believers in quality lives for everyone, no matter your station in life, a loyalty card provides those with fewer resources, a way to earn quality rewards.

We are so grateful to the many friends and neighbors who have visited as we built our gallery and want our space to be a center for both wellness and community. A nurse practitioner will be available every Thursday evening for certification, adding to the convenience for many locals seeking to get relief.

We want to meet our community, and celebrate a new neighbor, fine art, and the purest, most potent and most consistent medicine to exist in our state. A toast, refreshments, raffles, delicious food, an onsite nurse for certification, conversation with master cultivation experts, and a ribbon cutting will welcome Maine’s new neighbor to the Sebago region. Join us, October 12-13, 1259 Roosevelt Trail, Raymond, ME 04071, on 302. Can’t make it? Find us on Facebook, Instagram, or at!
                                                                                                     “Cultivate Good Vibes”

Friday, September 21, 2018

Business spotlight on Stillwater Spa by Michelle Libby

Stillwater SpaSusan Leo and Natalie Lytle, owners of Stillwater Spa, joined together to bring Windham new options for massage therapy and aesthetic work in a calm, serene space. They are conveniently located in the heart of Windham, at 690 Roosevelt Trail, next to Rose’s Italian Restaurant.   
“We’re small and customized,” said Lytle.

The two opened the spa in June and in July someone drove a car into their waiting area. It is now just about repaired, but it hasn’t stopped clients from taking advantage of the services offered. The space was specifically designed for their spa with large treatment rooms and a comforting place to relax and be pampered. The location particularly interested them because of its accessibility for handicapped clients as well as being all on one floor.

Susan, a licensed massage therapist, is a 2013 Spa Tech graduate and has years of experience with many different types of clients. She specializes in deep tissue massage, but also does neuromuscular, hot stone, silicone cupping, lymphatic, sports and prenatal massages.
Her massages are sometimes a combination of techniques. The cost is $90 for a 90-minute massage or $70 for an hour.

“Anybody with pain can benefit from massage,” said Lytle. Massages are recommended when needed or approximately every two weeks.

Susan had her first massage at age 16. “I wanted to do something that makes people feel good after. It’s so beneficial for the blood flow and to help them stay positive,” she said. “There’s nothing I like better than seeing someone I’ve never seen before,” she added.

The owners of Stillwater Spa
Lytle is a licensed esthetician who worked at a local Windham spa before going out on her own in Portland. She’s happy to return to Windham, where she resides with her family, to see clients.
She offers specialized facials, deep exfoliation, detoxifying foot soaks, body treatments, full body waxing using hard or soft wax, and offers top-of-the line skin care products by Hale & Hush, Circadia, Le Mieux and Color Up Therapeutics.

“One advantage in owning your own business is getting to choose the products that you believe in and have seen results with firsthand. Any skin care product I sell I try and use it on myself,” Lytle said. “Being able to advise on what a person needs for specific treatments and maintenance with no added pressure to buy things they don’t need is definitely an advantage.”

Lytle works with clients for many different needs including anti-aging, acne, rosacea, and those who have sensitive skin. Every facial is customized to the individual’s needs. She also uses LED light therapy that was developed by NASA. Each different color light helps to repair or kill bacteria. It’s a very rare treatment in the Sebago area.

Lytle is certified in dermaplaning, the removal of dead skin cells with a scalpel as a manual exfoliation technique. “Skin is our largest organ. I like the idea that there are products and techniques that can help the cellular make up of skin,” Lytle said.

Teen facials are also popular, and Lytle offers education and discussion about good skin care habits to help keep their complexion healthy. Additional services include eyelash and eyebrow tinting and lash lifting, which is like a perm for lashes.

The spa carries homemade rice bags and other fun retail items for beauty and relaxation and sells gift certificates which will be a great option for the holidays.

Our clients are mothers, daughters, friends and men. Some come to find out their skin type.
“Facials are a workout for your skin. Massage and skincare are not always a luxury,” Lytle said. Our services can prevent premature aging and benefit your overall well-being, she added.

Facials range in price from $75 to $90. All treatments are by appointment only, all of which can be booked online. Don’t miss out on the Stillwater Duo, a one-hour massage and one-hour facial for $130.

“I regret taking such good care of my skin.” said no one ever!

For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit or call 207-482-0655. Find Stillwater Spa on Facebook or Instagram.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Business Spotlight on Another Place to Grow Childcare and Learning Center by Michelle Libby

Another Place to GrowFinding a safe place for a child is a daunting task for any parent, but at Another Place to Grow Childcare and Learning Center, children are safe, happy and engaged. Owner Ashley Moulton takes pride in the care she and her staff of 25 provide, as well as the new space that was built especially for the center on Plaza Drive, the building in the back, off the road.

The center has 80 children daily, but room for more. There is a strong preschool program under director Dianne Walker, who has been in the child care business for 26 years.

Walker, a preschool teacher for 13 years, loves to see her former students and hear what they remember from their preschool days like worms or cutting open coconuts.
“That’s when you know you’ve made an impact on them. That’s when you know it was worth it. You make a difference,” said Walker.

For nine years, Another Place to Grow was on Danielle Drive in Windham. They recently relocated to a brand-new building to provide updated facilities in a more secure environment.

Ashley Moulton, owner
“It’s always been a passion for me,” said Moulton, a mother of one who followed in her own mother’s footsteps. “I love seeing them grow. Knowing kids can have a safe place and nurturing environment is what it’s all about in my eyes,” she said.

The preschool program works with Windham Primary School’s (WPS) administration to make sure what APTG is teaching corresponds with the learning the children will have once they enter kindergarten. Another Place to Grow just incorporated the Jolly Phonics Literacy Program this year, according to Walker. “It teaches letter sounds before letter names. When kids learn sounds, reading comes easier,” she said. Using hand motions, songs, and a story for each letter, it involves the children physically in the education.

The program at the 3-year-old level is very basic. The pre-k class with 4-year-olds uses the program to correspond with WPS. There are no current openings in the preschool programs.
A number of the employees have associate degrees in childhood development and one teacher is a former high school teacher with a master’s degree.

“This level of education is unique in a small classroom setting,” said Moulton. Each class has one teacher to five children. In the infant room, it’s one to four children ages six weeks and up. There are openings in the infant, 1-year-old and 2-year-old rooms.

The building is a protected 24/7 security-locked building. All parents have a key card and the only way to enter is through the front door. There is also a fenced in backyard. The property abuts Donna Beth Lippman Park, which can be accessed by a nature trail to the playground and story walk. Fridays are park fieldtrip days for the preschool.

Another Place to Grow has a private Facebook page for parents to get information and ask questions. It is a nice and secure way to follow student progress and stay up-to-date on what is happening at the center.

“We’re a family here,” said Walker. Even with the large numbers, each child is an individual and the teachers and administration take time to get to know the families. “It’s about forming relationships.”
“We’re a center-based child care with a home-like feel,” Moulton said. “We really care about them.” They are committed to your child’s future and help instill a sense of empathy in your child as they learn, play and grow.

Another Place to Grow Childcare and Learning Center accepts part time enrollment and is very flexible with hours and days. Hours are 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. They no longer offer a before and after school program.

For more information, to check on openings or for a tour of their brand-new center, visit, call 207-892-1110 or email Ashley at  <

Friday, September 7, 2018

Business spotlight on Meghan Cowens, L.Ac. Acupuncture & Musculoskeletal Therapies by Michelle Libby

For those who are stuck or searching for someone and something to help them with physical or emotional pain, Meghan Cowens, licensed acupuncturist and integrative body worker, has a tool bag of methods to assist clients with healing. 

“I like to be hands on. I have a lot of experience working with chronic pain,” Cowens said, citing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and trauma. “The mind, body and spirit happen together. I meet people where they are to uncover the issues.”

Cowens has been doing this work her whole life, but went into practice 14 years ago after attending the Atlantic Institute of Oriental Medicine in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. She is certified in acupuncture, manual therapy, integrative body work, Tuina, Chinese medical massage, posture correction, Guasha scraping for increased blood flow to certain areas, meditation and yoga, and has five National board certifications. She takes required continuing education units every two years. She also did a post-graduate course in sports medicine acupuncture. She is especially skilled in scar therapy and life coaching.

For three months she has been seeing clients in her space at The Man Cave in the Windham Mall. She works with men, women and children, and anyone who needs her or anyone who’s in pain.
“People who live here can have the resource without going into the city or to the coast,” she said. “I wanted to serve the people where I live.”

Cowens uses meditation with most of her clients to help with breathing and anxiety. “It helps with breathing to make them a bit more capable to handle the monkeys that roam wildly inside their minds.” She encourages them to “sit with yourself” for one minute. “It’s the most real thing you’ll ever do in your life for personal development,” she said. The mind is like a home, made up of many rooms. Cowens helps clients look in the different rooms and move to more productive rooms like gratitude rather than anger. She never expects perfection from her clients. “Practice makes permanent, not perfection,” she said. “Nothing I ask a patient to do, I haven’t done myself. You can only teach what you know.”

Cowens can’t make a client do what she recommends, but she will provide the accountability to help them love themselves through anything.

“You should feel delicious in your body. Be resilient to get back up after you’ve been knocked down,” Cowens said.

She states that she’s not going to tell clients what to do. “They tell me what they want and we can make a road map for health care,” she said. From weight loss, mental and emotional stability to self-care and health care, she will guide and provide homework which is a valuable tool on a client’s road to recovery. Having Cowens to bounce issues off makes everything “feel a little less dramatic or traumatic.”

“Big fear is big magic waiting for you on the other side. That’s what matters,” she said.
Cowens participated in a four years master’s degree program and spent five weeks in China where she learned Tuina in a hospital there. She also knows Thai massage, which is assisted stretching. She studied with Eric Dalton for myoskeletal therapy.

Meghan Cowens
She is a Yin yoga instructor and does therapeutic ball work and restorative therapy as well as pre- and post-natal work. She uses some or all of her knowledge when working with a client.

When she meets with clients she discusses what is happening with them and will always address what their chief complaint is. She does a free consultation to give the clients a chance to express how they’re feeling. She also evaluates how people walk and the way they breathe. Everyone is different. Some clients can’t be touched, while others want to discuss what’s going on in their lives.

Although she is an acupuncturist, Cowens also does non-needle therapy. “Acupuncture as a stand alone is really great,” she said, but it is only one modality that she uses.

“Healing is a gift you give yourself,” she said, remembering what she learned from her mother, Deby Cowens, who always offered this piece of advice to Cowens. “My offering is what I bring to the table. There’s no right or wrong way to empower people. Let’s go on this journey.”

For more information, to schedule an appointment or for a free 15-minute consultation, visit, call 954-551-9237 or call The Man Cave at 207-893-2283.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Business Spotlight on Auto Shine Car Wash & Detail Center by Michelle Libby

One of the most expensive purchases people make is their vehicles. Auto Shine Car Wash & Detail Center just opened at 660 Roosevelt Trail in Windham, to help keep cars clean, maintained and ready to take on Maine’s weather. With the salt and calcium on the roads, cars take quite a beating.

“The more you come in the better for your car,” said district manager Josh Chase.

With three self service bays, one touchless bay and one SpinLite tunnel, Auto Shine has the capabilities to clean sedans, SUVs, trucks, boats, RVs, campers and motorcycles.
“We want to build relationships and make customers feel like they want to come to a car wash, not that they have to,” said Josh.

It took almost a year to get everything in place to open the location. John Chase, owner of Chase Custom Homes & Finance and Auto Shine Car Wash, attended the August opening day. “Come out, you’ll see. We’re looking forward to a great winter season.” Chase opened his first business in Windham and stayed in town for 18 years. “It’s time to get back into Windham,” he said.

“There’s two times as much stuff below ground,” said Josh. The car wash is high tech using cell phones or computers to control the equipment to wash the cars.

The SpinLite tunnel has a clean, modern look with advanced technology that uses sonar to program the wash to each type of automobile. In the tunnel, it’s a cross between a casino and a disco. Spinning lights and a gentle wash experience make this the car wash to enjoy with the kids or by oneself. The driver provides his or her own music.

Auto Shine is the fourth car wash in New England to put in a SpinLite tunnel. It’s top of the line, according to Josh. “It’s like buying a Rolls Royce instead of a Chevy.”

The touchless wash has no tracks. This is perfect for cars with a low clearance. There are 12 different sonars measuring the shape of the cars.

“It took one month to program everything. There’s so much to a car wash,” said Josh.

All of the concrete is heated making it safe to wash the cars in the dead of winter.

“We’re all about quality. We make sure every customer is satisfied. We strive for quality,” Josh said.
Prices vary depending on the type of wash or the detail package a customer chooses. The tunnel prices vary from $13 for a basic wash to $25 for a full cleaning including the under carriage and the wheels. The touchless bay goes up to $18 per wash. All choices are explained to each customer when they pull up.

#AutoShineThe self-service bays have a 12- by 12-foot opening and are 40-feet long, suitable for boats or RVs. There are also hand dryers in the self-serve bays. Customers buy time at $4 for 5 ½ minutes.

Auto Shine also provides quality detailing for all vehicles. The detailing packages can go from a 30-minute express service to more detailed cleanings by appointment. There are ten to twelve options priced for every budget. Josh does consultations to explain what each package covers. RVs and boats are charged by hull length or square footage.

“Dollar for dollar, you’re not going to get a better deal than us,” Josh said. “Our equipment is different than all others out there. We treat everything like it’s our own product.”

They also perform paint corrections, restore headlights, shampoo seats and clean and condition leather.

Auto Shine uses Simonize chemicals. The Simonize company provides training for the Auto Shine team in Hartford, Connecticut.

There are discounts for AAA members and active military. “We want to develop a relationship and get to know the customers,” Josh said.

There are five employees on staff currently. Josh is hiring still for general laborers.
The car wash is currently open 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Josh also runs the Topsham location of Auto Shine.  

For more information, visit, call 207-572-1065, find them on Facebook or email

Friday, August 24, 2018

Business Spotlight on New England Fitness and Athletics by Michelle Libby"Fitness for everyone is one of the missions of the newest gym in Windham, New England Fitness and Athletics (NEFA) at 15 Commons Avenue. In a 6,000 square foot facility, they have divided the space into three sections: strength on one side, turf in the middle which is utilized for a multitude of classes, and the last third is used for functional training.

NEFA is owned by fitness instructors Travis Guerrette and Nicholas Peirce, who have worked together for years providing locals with fitness tools for healthy living. Guerrette has a bachelor’s degree in applied exercise science from the University of New England and recently graduated with his MBA from University of Southern Maine. “This has been a goal of mine all along: to have an independently owned gym,” he said. “Our mission is to create a fun, community based atmosphere.”

Peirce has a bachelor’s degree in exercise science with a concentration in health and fitness from the University of Southern Maine. Pierce expressed the organization's hope to do community-based and charity workouts. “It’s not just about working out for us, it’s bigger. It’s enriching the lives of our clients.”

NEFA moved into their space in mid-June and it has been fully renovated, including a new bathroom and changing rooms. There is a 14-foot garage door that can open for the trainers to use the back parking lot for flipping tires or other outdoor activities. “We touched every single thing in the room,” said Peirce.

NEFA offers personal one-on-one training, small group training and large group classes. They also work with every age - youth to seniors. “We’re already broad and we want to keep it that way, but we have a passion for athletic training,” said Guerrette. “Conditioning is beneficial for everybody,” Peirce said. “It’s good to get strong. Our goal is to be community oriented with programs for different age groups and fitness types, and our philosophy is consistent overall health and wellness.”

Travis Guerrette and Nicholas Peirce
There are youth strength and conditioning classes broken into age groups starting at fourth grade through high school. According to Guerrette, “Each one has a different focus all working on using the body to gain strength or to help with athletic endeavors.” NEFA also works with nutritionist Tara Whiton, a PhD sports nutrition and performance consultant.

The trainers bring up to date knowledge and experience, while offering a wide variety of training options. Classes include boot camps, HIIT training and Tabata and they are offered at many times throughout the day. Drop in on a class for $5 until the end of August.

“Movement is the best medicine,” said Peirce. “And, a good, safe workout,” Guerrette added. To set up a training, send an email to, call (207-893-8377), or visit  Finally, watch for information on their grand opening event on Facebook and Instagram.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Business spotlight on Seed Sound Herbal Apothecary by Michelle Libby the early 1900s homeowners and farmers would grow and harvest their own herbs for cooking, decoration and medicinal uses. Today, this is not something that most people have time for. Luckily, Lauren Beatrice at Seed Sound Herbal Apothecary, took her passion of making natural remedies and turned it into a new business in Windham.

Beatrice is a clinical herbalist and a medical marijuana caregiver. She runs the two businesses completely separate. She opened her apothecary five weeks ago in the building at 4 White’s Bridge Road. Beatrice has been a licensed cannabis caregiver for two years, but has been in the industry for eight years.

Last year she completed her two-year certification as an herbalist under the direction of Debbie Mercier from Greenwood Herbal in Limerick. She had been harvesting herbs on her own for 10 years before this class. She participates in herbal classes offered locally, many taught by well-renowned herbalists. One of the classes she took was herbal anatomy and physiology.
“I love it so much,” Beatrice said.

The shelves of the apothecary are lined with jars of herbs and bottles of plant extracts. The store is rounded out with unique crystals, gems and minerals, salves and jewelry made my local artisans.
“Cannabis is a medicinal herb that should be on the shelves, but the law forbids it,” Beatrice said. 

“Herbs can be used as medicine. I use it as medicine and teach people. They go hand and hand.”
Since the beginning of July business has been picking up with repeat customers and word of mouth referrals, Beatrice said.

The most popular items in the store are CBD oil and CBD salve. Her tea blends are also in demand. For those who are not local to the store, items can be mailed. Once the website is up and running, orders can be placed there.

“Her stuff is top of the line,” said customer Jo Moser.

Herbs should be recommended by someone who knows the reactions and interactions with prescription medications, pregnancy and certain medical conditions. Beatrice will be offering consultations to recommend which herbs and extracts could help certain people and how much of an herb to use.

Lauren Beatrice at her apothecary shop
“Consultations will be very thorough,” she said. She will focus on spirituality, health, social history and pharmaceuticals during the sessions.

Herbs can help with a multitude of ailments including Lyme Disease. Herbs like teasel, cat’s claw and japanese knotweed all can help in the treatment of Lyme. Many people come in for popular herbs such as, lavender and eucalyptus, Beatrice said.

She has an extract blend that she recommends for migraines and teas recommended for certain ailments or rejuvenation, she said.

“When herbs present themselves in your path, I believe it’s something you need or someone in your life needs,” she said.

Beatrice grows her own cannabis using organic methods. She also makes full spectrum CBD oil using the whole plant. The hemp in the shop comes from MOFGA certified Wild Folk Farm. Candies infused with hemp derived CBD in the apothecary are made by Beatrice’s friend, Jillian Pelletier of VirgoMoon Botanicals, LLC. Other friends make the salves, toothpowder, creams and deodorants. The apothecary sells essential oils made locally.

The extracts in the shop are made with organic grain alcohol and spring water. All of the dried herbs available are organic or wildcrafted.

Customers coming into the apothecary are split with half looking for herbs and the other half looking for cannabis. All dried medicinal herbs are priced individually by weight and the extracts are $13 for a 1-ounce bottle or $24 for a 2-ounce bottle. Custom blends are $15 per ounce.
“She really is a scholar of this,” said Moser.

Tim Hanrahan of Lovelight Medicinals also is a medical marijuana caregiver who rents space at the apothecary.

There will be a grand opening celebration on Saturday, August 18 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, call 207-595-2060, visit once it’s active, or find them on Facebook or Instagram.