Friday, November 8, 2019

Business Spotlight: Sportsman’s Kitchen and Keg in the heart of Sebago among eight quaint cottages you will find the community’s newest  
food and drink hot spot, Sportsman’s Kitchen and Keg restaurant. Although the restaurant is new this year, Paul and Rocco Severino, the father and son owners, are no newbies to the industry. Longtime area residents may remember Paul, who owned the well-known Sportsman’s Grill in Portland for many years with his father and uncles, closing the doors in late 1999.

The Severino’s have taken the same passion, dedication, creativity and family recipes that made them successful then, to the new Sportsman’s Kitchen and Keg. Their menu boasts eclectic dishes you won’t find elsewhere in the Lakes Region. Their “upscale pub fare with Italian roots” includes mouthwatering appetizers such as crispy pork rinds, mini Maine lobster rolls in three varieties, scrumptious crispy brussel sprouts and wild west egg rolls with siracha ranch.

Choose from dishes like handcrafted burgers and pulled pork sandwiches to perfectly cooked steaks, lamb or seafood. If Italian dishes is what you crave you won’t be disappointed. They bring their family’s made from scratch Sicilian red sauce recipe to top entrees such as their chicken, eggplant or veal parmigiana, which has become a local favorite.

“We serve a fresh variety of creative dishes,” began Paul. “In fact, we offer just as many home-grown and locally produced, high-quality food options that one might find in Portland – but without the drive and crowds.”

Rocco added that the crave-worthy variety of foods and drinks served at Sportsman’s Kitchen and Keg meet the everyday budget - without breaking the bank. “We offer an opportunity for those in the area to eat at our kitchen every day or several times a week while eating good, locally produced and healthy foods at reasonable prices.”

As they enter the fall, the restaurant provides a “wild game” menu. The wild game fare selections include the following until January: Duck, bison, deer, elk and Atlantic salmon. If you are a vegetarian, vegan or gluten free - there are local and wild selections for you too. “Our vegetarian option for last week was wild mushroom risotto,” explained Rocco. “It was a popular item and we almost couldn’t keep up with the demand, but we did succeed in order to satisfy our frequent vegetarian customers.” The fresh and wild menu options change during the spring and summer months to keep foods fresh and in-season.

There are many customers who love the authentic food options and personal service Sportsman’s Kitchen and Keg provide - and they just can’t get enough. Local resident, Scott Bartlett is one of those individuals. “I have known the Severino’s for the past three years or so,” Bartlett said. “Not only do I love the food they offer but I love the family atmosphere. They truly make you feel like you are at home. Both Paul and Rocco will come out to talk to you to see if you are enjoying your meal. The food is the truly the best Italian food options north of Boston’s north shore.”

In addition to the food - there are the amazing drinks, too. Sportsman’s Kitchen and Keg serves a variety of unique mixed drinks, wine, and beer “We have 12 rotating tap lines as well that consist of local and seasonal varieties,” Rocco said. “The most recent specialty drink options include a fall sangria, a cranberry vodka infusion and a meatball bloody mary.” Their fall and winter happy hour every Wednesday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. will make this your new favorite meeting place with friends. They are offering $1.00 off all craft draft beers, $5 Jim beam and $7 Tito’s cocktails as well as long neck bottles for a mere $2.75 all day.

In the summer you can pull up from the lake at their 100’ dock and dine on their outdoor patio. But for now, come warm up in their cozy atmosphere and enjoy a fresh, satisfying meal at 46 Sebago Road, Route 114 in Sebago. Currently, they are open Wednesday through Sunday and closed on Monday and Tuesdays from Labor Day to Memorial Day. During the summer months, from Memorial Day to Labor Day – they are open seven days a week. They welcome you to call now to schedule your holiday party or reserve a cabin for your out of town holiday guests at the abutting Sebago West Shore Cottages.  For more information, call Paul or Rocco at 207-787-5209 or check out their websites at and

Friday, November 1, 2019

Business Spotlight: Maine physician has started a new online medical service in Maine designed to help prevent new
cases of Lyme disease by increasing patient access to early evaluation and treatment of tick bites. Dr. Catherine Lockwood has founded, a first of its kind online service where anyone in Maine can use a secure online connection and have a video consult with a physician to have their tick bite assessed for the risk of Lyme disease and be treated with preventative antibiotics when needed.

Some cases of Lyme disease can be prevented when early medical care identifies which tick bites are worrisome so preventative treatment can be started as soon as possible - but timing is key. The goal of is to decrease the barriers between people getting bites and getting care. The site's online services are available seven days a week during tick season which typically is March through November. Appointment times vary each day but are offered as early as 6 a.m. and as late as 9 p.m.

Online medical services make getting care easier by avoiding waiting rooms, avoiding waiting for return calls or delays in appointments and avoiding costly emergency room visits when people have nowhere else to receive care.

Dr. Catherine Lockwood
After having been a primary care provider and an urgent care physician locally, Dr. Lockwood now works to help people identify whether they should be concerned or not from a tick bite.  Lockwood said the idea for her online business grew out of her experience as an urgent care doctor in the lakes region. “During peak tick season, sometimes 20% or more of our visits would be related to tick bites,” she said. “People would often wait several hours and they or their insurance companies would be charged hundreds of dollars for the visit.  I was most concerned by the many people I imagined who didn't have hours to wait or hundreds to spend who rolled the dice, didn't have their bites checked and instead waited to see if they became sick. I just thought there really should be another option to help manage this need. So, was born.”

Dr. Lockwood grew up in Connecticut and was trained in medical school at the University of Connecticut with a residency at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor. “I married a native Mainer and we have settled here in Freeport for the past 13 years,” she stated. “As a teenager, I was drawn to science, writing and caring for people without thinking about where that would lead. It was simply what I enjoyed. After high school and college, studying science and writing, being a hospital volunteer and nurse's aide, I reached a point where I needed to make a career choice. Stumped, my father trying to help asked if I wanted to be a doctor. I said, ‘Doesn't everyone?’. ‘No,’ he said. ‘So, if you want to be one, it means something.’  Now, nearly 30 years later I still agree with him.”

Lockwood hadn’t been on the road to becoming a doctor very long when she first encountered Lyme disease. “I have been seeing cases of Lyme from early in my medical training as a medical student in Connecticut where Lyme disease was first identified,” Dr. Lockwood began. “I can remember as a medical student working with the Pediatric Rheumatology department and seeing dozens of kids sent there with swollen, painful joints, their doctors concerned they had Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. 

Instead, they had Lyme disease and most parents would then ask what that was. This was 25 years ago. I don't think you could live in Connecticut or Maine now and not have some personal experience with Lyme disease. My mother and son and husband have all had early Lyme disease, were treated and fully recovered. Watching for ticks and signs of Lyme are a part of our daily lives at this point.”

Maine is the number one state in the country for Lyme disease with cases here being 10
times the national average for this potentially disabling illness including some of our more isolated island communities that experience cases at a rate 100 times greater than the national average.  Now, using this new service from home or work or even from a remote island accessible only by ferry, Maine residents and visitors can use a secure online connection to show a Maine physician the tick that bit them, the bite site, any rash that has developed and get direct medical advice and treatment tailored to their specific situation including medications if needed.

The site seeks to keep costs for patients affordable with a new patient video visit priced
at $29 and a returning patient visit priced at $15.

For further inquiries you can contact Catherine Lockwood MD at

Friday, October 25, 2019

Business Spotlight: Sebago Metal Fabrication Briana Bizier

Whether you’re looking for a unique gift, an upgrade for your truck, or a more convenient way to
reach the water, Sebago Metal Fabrication has the answer! The sister company to Sebago Docks, Sebago Metal Fab of Naples builds aluminum docks for use all over New England. But this company makes much more than just docks.

From custom metal signs to staircases to new truck beds, Sebago Metal Fab can make it all. “We do
pretty much anything,” James Sullivan, of Sebago Metal Fab explained. “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

Many of the outdoor structures they build are made of aluminum, which is lightweight, relatively easy to maneuver, and comes with a fifteen-year warranty. “If you have a staircase, once it’s there, it’s there forever,” James says. “If a wood staircase gets out of level, there’s not much you can do about it. But our stairs, you can take them apart and move them, or just take a few bolts out and re-level them.”

In addition, an aluminum structure doesn’t rust or rot. In James’s words, “it's never going to not look nice.” And, if the idea of a gleaming silver staircase leading down to the water doesn’t appeal to you, the metal can be powder-coated with one of 50,000 different colors.

Sebago Metal Fab, which has been doing metal work for over ten years, services a very broad area. The metalworkers travel as far as northern Maine, or south to Martha’s Vineyard, where they frequently work with the trustees of Martha’s Vineyard. Recently, Sebago Metal Fab even constructed an outdoor staircase for a famous movie star (although I’m not at liberty to disclose which famous movie star).

The same aluminum used in docks and outdoor staircases can also be used to make handicapped accessible ramps for homes or businesses. “The handicap ramps are modular,” James explained, “so they’re not a permanent structure. They can be moved around.” These can also be powder-coated in one of those 50,000 different shades to match the house or the trim.

Because aluminum is lightweight and rust-proof, it can be used to make a new bed for a pickup truck. Replacing a rusted truck bed through a dealer costs several thousand dollars and, with all the salt our roads use in a Maine winter, the new truck bed will be just as likely to rust. An aluminum truck bed, in contrast, will never rust, and it’s easy to customize. The bed can have flat sides for hauling equipment, or fold-down sides, or even collapsible ramps to help load snowmobiles and four-wheelers.

So, you can come here and buy a truck bed that’s going to outlive the truck,” James said, with a laugh. And, if the custom truck bed does outlast your vehicle, the bed can always be placed on the next truck. “If you work your trucks hard, and they’re always getting beat up, you can buy one truck bed and put it on every truck you own,” James says. “You’re protecting your investment."

If you’re looking for something a bit more artistic than a new truck bed, Sebago Metal Fab now owns a CNC Plasma Cutter for making customized metal signs for homes and businesses. “It does things we could never do by hand,” James explains.

These metal signs make a fantastic and unique gift for the holidays or other occasions and can be made from any material, from aluminum to stainless steel to copper, or even different layers of different metals. Signs with family names have been very popular, as have signs for camps, pictures of farm animals, and dogs. These creative signs can even include lighting. For the Fryeburg Fair, James tells me, Sebago Metal Fab made a backlit sign with color-changing lights.

“The signs are a treat to make for sure,” James declared. “We like to make sure everyone is 100 percent happy with what they’re getting, and we try to make it as personal as possible."

They also use the CNC Plasma Cutter to make decorative panels for staircases and fireplaces; their Facebook page,, showcases several beautiful scenes on these decorative panels, including a tree, a forest, and even a family of loons.

We’re a pretty small, tight-knit group here,” James told me. “We like what we do, and we like who we work for. We try to make as many people happy as we can.”

“Anything you can dream of,” he added, “we can make it here.”

It takes approximately two weeks to turn around custom signs so order early to have items in time for Christmas. To put in your order or learn more call 207-653-3766 or visit You can find them on Facebook.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Business Spotlight: Sebago Kyokushin Karate Lorraine Glowczak

The martial arts are a well-known exercise and art discipline for learning self-defense with a goal of
rank (belt) advancement to ultimately achieve black belt. But it offers additional benefits that can be used in everyday life - contributing to happiness and personal accomplishment. It is also something which one can participate in order to stay fit or incorporate as a new hobby.

“Perseverance, self-discipline, self-control, structure and confidence play a big role in one’s success and approach in Kyokushin Karate and, in turn, can also filter into one’s success in life,” explained Tom, who owns Sebago Kyokushin Karate with his wife, Casey.

Senpai Casey and Sensei Tom (Sensei means “teacher”) have recently opened Sebago Kyokushin Karate, holding classes at 756 Roosevelt Trail in Windham (also the home of Partners in Canine). They offer evening beginner classes for children, ages four and up as well as adult classes that include advanced lessons and seminars.

Casey and Tom have been teaching students of all ages for over 15 years. Tom has a 4th degree in Kyokushin Karate, a second degree in TaeKwonDo and Casey has a first degree in Kyokushin Karate, 3rd degree in TaeKwonDo and first degree in Hapkido. They find, however, that the traditional philosophies of Kyokushin are more in alignment with their personal growth and viewpoints.
Casey and Tom Bobb

Briefly, and according to Kyokushin Karate practitioner and writer, Scott Heaney, “Kyokushin is a style of stand-up, full contact karate, founded in 1964 by Korean-Japanese Masutatsu (Mas) Oyama. Kyokushin is Japanese for “the ultimate truth”, developed from the determination of the pursuit of ultimate truth of mind, technique, and body.

The foundation of Sebago Kyokushin Karate is rooted in the philosophy of discipline, training from the heart and the spiritual evolution of martial artists. Its general disciplines include kumite (sparring) and katas (forms) with a focus on preserving traditional karate principles while incorporating techniques from other disciplines.

Tom began his journey in the martial arts at the age of 17. He believes his participation at a young age helped him to choose a good life, one filled with personal fulfillment.  “I was at a point in my teenage years where I was at a crossroads,” began Tom. “I was a really angry person and I could have easily gone down a very dark and destructive path. But I was one of those lucky kids who had an observant mentor. She saw my anger and redirected it by introducing me to Karate.”

The perseverance, self-discipline and self-control that’s imbedded in the martial arts way, helped Tom through those early years, transforming him and improving the way he lived his everyday life, “Kyokushin Karate can help you control your mood, control your spirit and mold you into the person you want to become,” Tom said.

Casey stated she began participating in the martial arts at the age of 28 because she wanted to challenge herself and to be independent “I sought out the martial arts because I wanted to be a strong woman who could rely and take care of myself,” Casey stated. “I believed that if I could learn to be independent, then when I found my partner in life it would be because I loved him, not because I needed him to protect or take care of me.”

Both Casey and Tom point out that all one needs to participate in Kyokushin Karate is the desire and passion to learn. “You don’t need to look like you’ve walked out of a cover of a fitness magazine to participate in Karate,” Tom explained. “You don’t have to look or be a certain way and it matters not what age you are or if you have any previous experience. We are an island of misfits where there are no egos, no jealousies. In fact, Karate is the most accepting and sharing art there is.”

Casey, who is the board president of Riding To The Top Therapeutic Riding Center and the director of integrative marketing at IDEXX and Tom, who owns his own custom tile design company offer their classes at an affordable rate. While many martial art centers require contracts, memberships and enrollment fees, Sebago Kyokushin Karate does not. Instead, students simply pay $10 per class or punch cards that are available in $40 and $80 increments.

“We know how busy students and their families are,” Casey stated. “Life happens and we want to accommodate that. We are lucky to both have full-time jobs, so for us – this is about offering a discipline that is near and dear to our hearts. Making money is not our focus.”

It is so important for them to share the “ultimate truth” of Kyokushin Karate that they do not offer birthday parties or afterschool programs – but, instead, focus on the art itself, its transformational attributes and the way it can mold an individual for the better.

Whether you are an experienced martial artist or you simply want to explore something new and see what Sebago Kyokushin Karate can do for you, contact Senpai Casey and Sensei Tom at 207-272-2081 or to learn more visit

Friday, October 11, 2019

Business Spotlight: Wyman Electric Lorraine Glowczak

Sporting the words “Wyman Electric” with the logo of a plug and outlet on each side of their
vehicles, the work trucks are recognized by many. “We’ve been told our trucks are like moving billboards,” joked co-owner, Jeff Wyman. The trucks are often spotted at both commercial and residential properties as Jeff, and co-owner Jim Malia, travel from place to place, providing professional electric repair services in the Greater Lakes Region area.

Established in 2012 by Jeff Wyman, the company has become a fast, local favorite for all electrical
repair services. Winning the Eagle Choice Award for the past two years, Wyman Electric prides itself on custom electrical work. They have a passion for quality electrical installations, generator installations and repairs that is provided by safe, experienced and talented electricians.

Although they offer just about any service that is asked of them, Jeff and Jim specialize in home renovations and generator installations. The two home rewiring specialists can install recessed lighting, upgrade existing wiring to accommodate new fixtures, and more. Whether you want to improve your living room’s lighting aesthetic or add lighting fixtures to brighten that dimly lit area, Jeff and Jim can turn your home into a space of your dreams.

“Most electricians don’t enjoy the dirty and difficult work it takes to upgrade electricity in an older home,” explained Jeff. “But for both Jim and I, we enjoy improving an existing living space and seeing the transformation that can occur.”

As for generators, now is the time to install this electrical saving device as the winter months approach and power outages are almost a certainty. Whether it’s your home or business, the two professionals can install stand-by generators with safety in mind. Having approximately 40 years of experience between them, Jeff and Jim are your trusted specialists.

Jeff began his career as an electrician in 1999. “I was working for an office furniture moving company. One day, as I was delivering furniture to a new office space, a friend of mine from high school who had become an electrician was wiring the office. We talked for a while and with his encouragement, I joined my friend and the company he worked for, gaining experience along the way.”

Jeff Wyman and Jim Malia
After working for various electricians and companies, Jeff decided to strike out on his own and became a sole-proprietor and entrepreneur, opening the doors of Wyman Electric in 2012. As his business grew, he decided he needed to hire another individual to help him. It was at this point that he reached out to a trusted friend whom he worked with for many years.

“I kept asking Jim to join me because I knew his work and professionalism,” began Jeff. “I trusted him enough to offer him co-ownership of the business. And he took me up on it.”

Jim, a 1999 Windham High School graduate, has been working in the field since 1997 – working while in high school during the summer months and on vacations. He joined Jeff and Wyman Electric as co-owner in 2017.

The two continue to impress those they serve. In fact, they have received many kudos from local individuals.  According to their social media page, one individual had this to say; “Another great job! Thanks again! I wouldn't call anyone else.”

And another satisfied customer: “Professional, personable and extremely efficient. In three hours, they installed my new laundry room light bar, three outside motion sensors and the last two ceiling fans with light fixtures in my basement. I have much needed light now and I look forward to having my remaining projects done by these two guys! Thank you so very much!”

What makes Jeff and Jim standout is their ability to communicate with their customers. “We always try to make sure that our customers are always happy with the end result,” explained Jim. “We do this by communicating with our customers each step of the way. We find out what their goals are and achieve that.”

For your next home renovation, generator installations and more, contact Jeff Wyman at 207- 415-5802 and Jim Malia at 207-776-5370 or message them on their Wyman Electric Facebook page.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Business Spotlight: Stryve College Planning Families to Affordable Colleges Where Their Child Will Thrive

There’s nothing more heartbreaking for a parent, then for their child to fall in love with a college, and then figure out they can’t afford it, once he/she has been accepted. Bill and Stephanie have seen it happen and even worse, they’ve seen families try to make it work because they don’t want to disappoint their child. Neither option leads to a successful outcome.

Thoughtful planning is the only way to help families avoid making costly mistakes

As tuition costs began to rise over the last decade, more and more college graduates were coming to Bill with insurmountable amounts of loan debt, and asking for his advice on how to manage it. He was seeing firsthand the impact that the debt had on student’s lives and came to the sad but true realization, that once students’ accumulated the debt, he wasn’t able to offer them any real solutions. He decided that in order to truly help families, he needed to begin working with them at the beginning of the college process because thoughtful planning is the only way to help families avoid making costly mistakes.

At the same time, Bill and Stephanie were looking at staggering statistics… 1 in 3 students don’t return to the same college for sophomore year, and the average time it takes for a student to graduate is 5.5 years. They concluded that the typical approach of student’s beginning the college process with a list of colleges wasn’t working. More thought needed to be put into who the student is and identifying the colleges that will set them up for success.

Combining their skills and expertise along with the lessons they learned going through the college process with their own two sons, their mission became helping families find a college that they can afford and one where their child will thrive!

Stryve Founders Stephanie and Bill Whiting
When families work with Stryve, the very first step is for Bill to meet with them to devise a plan for paying for college. Using his expertise in taxes, financial planning and financial aid, Bill is able to determine a personalized strategy for the family to pay college costs for all four years, while minimizing loan debt and staying on track to meet their financial goals. This way a student begins the college process already knowing what their family’s budget is.

At the same time Bill is working with the family, Stephanie begins to work with the student. As opposed to the traditional approach of starting with a college list, Stephanie starts with helping students learn more about themselves, so they are able to identify the factors in college that are most important to them and will contribute to their long-term success. She then guides students through the college selection process to help them find an affordable college where they will thrive.

Few decisions that high school students have made in life so far, carry greater importance or cause greater anxiety than where to apply and attend college.

As a former teacher and parent of two adult sons and a teen-age daughter, Stephanie recognizes that few decisions that high school students have made in life so far, carry greater importance or cause greater anxiety than where to apply and attend college. When asked why she chose to become a College Planning Consultant, Stephanie’s response is always the same. “I get to combine my background in education and passion for supporting and guiding high school students during a very confusing and scary time in their lives. I watch them go from being unsure of themselves and their future to being empowered to take the lead and own the college process, all while learning how to make important decisions. It doesn’t get any better than that!”

If you are a parent of a high school student and would like to meet with Bill and Stephanie for a free 45 minute Introductory Meeting, they can be reached at 207-939-3979 or You can also visit their website, to learn more!

Friday, September 27, 2019

Business Spotlight: Raymond RediCare Lorraine Glowczak

Raymond RediCare is celebrating five years of providing premium healthcare with a personal touch.
Located at 1278 Roosevelt Trail in Raymond, the rural area model of medicine the doctors and medical staff employ have saved patients time and money. The successful combination of their small town and hands-on approach along with cost savings experienced by the patient, Raymond RediCare is growing leaps and bounds since it opened its doors in 2014.

“Raymond RediCare has provided services to over 8,000 people in the Lakes Region area,” stated
Raymond RediCare Founder and Doctor, Richard Wilkins. “Over the past five years, we have developed a loyal following of individuals and businesses and we want to continue to provide top-quality healthcare in an in depth and personal way.”

In order to obtain their premium care and personal approach, Raymond RediCare is shifting away from their urgent care services. “We want to enhance the capacity in the way we serve our patients,” began Dr. Wilkins. “As our primary patient numbers increase, we are moving away from urgent care, wishing to focus and give priority to our established patients and businesses, ensuring their needs are met in a timely manner.”

Although Raymond RediCare is no longer offering urgent care services, they still provide same-day services as their schedule permits. Open Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., they continue to provide minor urgent care needs such as small fractures, lacerations, x-ray services, etc.  “We do ask, however, that patients call in advance and make an appointment as their medical situations allow,” Dr. Wilkins said.

Another contributing factor to Raymond RediCare’s success and growth is the staff – which consists of not only Dr. Wilkins but Dr. Alan Bean, Family Nurse Practioner Brittany Ames, as well as highly qualified x-ray technicians, and front desk/medical assistants.

“Our medical staff and assistants are well-known for the compassion and concern they display to each of our patients,” Wilkins began. “People simply love our staff and I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of this highly motivated and caring team. Additionally, Alan, Brittany and I complement each other’s skills, so we are better able to meet the needs of everyone who walks through our doors.”
Patients who see Wilkins, Bean and Ames can expect to have the appropriate amount of time spent on their concerns and needs. “We will not compromise quality for cost,” Wilkins said.

In addition to the skilled and compassionate staff, Raymond Redicare offers preventative health care using state of the art digital systems and equipment which allows for efficiency for both medical staff and patient.

Their preventative healthcare services include yearly physical exams and health care assessments. In addition, they offer work injury, stitches, casts, sports exams, osteopathic manipulations and much more. Also included is a laser treatment machine to care for skin medical conditions such as acne, rosacea, pigment spots, hemangiomas, facial blood vessels, hair removal, etc.

Patients of Raymond Redicare appreciate the commitment to healthcare that the three clinicians and medical staff provide. If one peruses the Raymond RediCare Facebook page, the following testimonials can be found:

“Thank you, Dr. Wilkins and your wonderful staff, for helping me out today. So glad we decided to stop at your facility for help. You really do give premium service with a personal touch.  Would not hesitate to recommend you and your staff for anyone needing medical help in this area. Again, thank you so much!”

“The staff is helpful and courteous. They made me feel comfortable from the beginning and I'm not nervous or anxious to visit like I was at other doctors. Medical care is top-notch. I love this place!”
It is for these reasons that Wilkins is passionate about the services Raymond RediCare provides and its rural approach to healthcare that can not easily be found anywhere else. “I do this because I care and I love it,” Wilkins began. “People shouldn’t have to suffer needlessly or to take long trips to large cities to meet their daily medical needs.”

Raymond RediCare accepts most commercial insurances, although new Medicare and Medicaid patients are not being accepted at this time. To make an appointment or to talk to a medical healthcare professional at Raymond RediCare, call 207-655-6181 between the hours of 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Business Spotlight: Essential Massage Services Lorraine Glowczak

It is well-known that massage therapy relaxes your muscles, helps you to achieve full range of motion, encourages relaxation and improves your mood. It is also well known that one size does not fit all – including the multitude of benefits that massage therapy can provide.

That’s where Nationally Certified and State of Maine licensed massage therapist, Lawrence De Hof with Essential Massage Services, 2 Basin Road in Windham, ME comes in.  He combines the techniques of Swedish and Deep Tissue massage with Connective Tissue Release, warm stone therapy along with energy therapy. These techniques are combines to provide his clients with relaxation and healing treatments in an individually crafted session.

Known as Larry to both friends and clients, De Hof has combined his 500 hours of massage school training with over 600 hours of continuing education courses in various therapeutic healing modalities to offer tailored massage therapy options. “It’s the client’s massage, not mine,” began De Hof. “I craft a one hour, full-body message session to meet the individual’s needs based upon the intake interview prior to the very first session.”

He is proud to be among one of the few male massage therapists in the Greater Windham area.   De Hof is a sole proprietor. He answers his own phone, responds to his own emails, and acts as the receptionist – greeting each client personally, all the while having and responding to the personal needs of those he serves.

“I am the only employee. It is imperative to my business and personal mission to honor and respect my clients by operating my massage profession with integrity and detail. It is my mission and hope that my customers know they will receive the best professional and personal benefits possible from what I have to offer.”

Larry De Hof's office is locatedjust off of Tandberg Trail, behind Shaw’sShopping plaza at 2 Basin Road in Windham. 
De Hof also incorporates Reiki into the session, as a Reiki Master he makes sure his sessions provide a sense of calm and reverence. “I arrange and offer my appointments in such a way that my clients do not feel rushed during or after a massage therapy session,” he stated.

Although De Hof offers one-hour sessions, he books his schedule in two-hour increments. This allows extra time if undisclosed problems are found or the client wants extra time to relax on the table after the session. He wishes to allow his clients a true healing moment without feeling rushed to leave.

“Often, my clients will fall asleep during a session,’ stated De Hof. “I take this as a compliment because it indicates the client is relaxed and I have taken them to deep level of comfort. At the end of the session, I will waken my customer and let them know they can take their time to get up. Then I go off to do my required paperwork. Sometimes, they will wake up and just need to relax in the office as they prepare to return to normal everyday life. Either way, they have the time to adjust – hopefully feeling prepared to go about their life in a more calm and confident manner.

So how did De Hof make massage therapy his calling and career of choice? His wife jokes that he has been in the business of “helping people in need” for a long time.

De Hof served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War era. After serving 3 years overseas De Hof became a police officer in Maryland where he retired after 22 years of service. After his first retirement, De Hof moved into the security and private investigator position businesses. 

His role as the Security Director for a large bank eventually ended when they were purchased by another company. This left him without work but provided an opportunity to move in a different direction. With time on his hands, he decided to take a two-weekend basic massage class for fun.
“I took the massage therapy education class and was very impressed by their professional approach and the way they taught the therapy techniques and business of massage therapy,” stated De Hof. “I realized I wanted to be a part of this and help others who could benefit from the healing methods of massage. I decided I would give it a try.” I closed all my private investigators business and went to school full time. I have not wanted to do anything else since.”

He graduated from the 500 hour massage school in Washington DC. 2001 and began a private practice in Maryland. There he continued taking classes and received Board Certification with the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. In 2003, he and his wife (who’s family is from the Ellsworth, Maine area), made their home – and his office – in Windham in 2003 just off of Tandberg Trail, less than a mile down the road behind Shaw’s Shopping plaza.
De Hof’s one-hour massage is $60 per hour for appointments made in advance, and $65 per hour for appointments made on the same day. De Hof is a member of the American Massage Therapy Association, the Sebago Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce, and is a Veteran Owned Small Business. He is also a member of The American Legion Post 148 and The Fraternal Order of Police. 

To learn more about De Hof and/or make an appointment with Essential Massage Services, call 207-310-8952 or check out the website at

Friday, September 13, 2019

Business Spotlight: Partners in Canine in Canine, located at 765 Roosevelt Trail, is not your average cookie cutter dog training business. Meg Terrio and Merri Button are a dynamic team whose passion, philosophies, and techniques result in many happy customers (dogs and humans alike).  

Their success in dog training is not the only thing that make Button and Terrio stand out from the rest. From basics to reactivity, Partners in Canine go a step further with their in-depth programs which combine day training and group classes or private lessons. One such program is the popular Pup Camp Program. “We expose puppies to everyday circumstances, providing training at all levels,” Button said. 

Some examples of what can be covered in Programs include a variety of basic manners such as how to appropriately enter and exit buildings, how to be with and meet other dogs and humans, walking politely on a leash, as well as experiencing a variety of surfaces and different locations. All of this helps to create a socially responsible dog. "Dogs aren't born into this world knowing how to live with humans, our goal is to teach them how to live peaceably in our world," stated Button.

“Every dog has a very distinctive personality – as well as the humans who care for them,” began Terrio. “As a result, we provide individualized care and training plans to build strong and lasting relationships between dog and human using a motivational and balanced approach.”

Button further explained that relationship-based training provides mutually beneficial results between owner/trainer and dog, all the while enhancing and strengthening the relationships in a positive way.

Owners Merri Button and Meg Terrio
One dog who needed extra help was Nova, a rescue. Nova’s owner, Casey Etter, shared his story and how Button and Terrio saved his life. “From puppyhood he lacked confidence and had reactive behavior,” she began. “We already had five other rescues, all with baggage and they weren’t exactly the type of pack that would help Nova overcome his lack of confidence and reactionary behavior.  We knew if we didn’t get Nova on the right path with the right trainers he could easily be pegged as an aggressive “pit bull” living up to a negative stereotype. Thanks to Meg and Merri, Nova is an exceptionally well-behaved young man who has worked on his confidence and reactionary behavior. The bond he has with Meg, who has worked with him since he was six months is amazing and she has not only trained Nova but trained us to understand the reasons behind how he acts. I only wish I had Meg and Merri in my life with it other rescues so they too could have benefited from the exceptional training they offer.”

So, how did Button and Terrio become the talented dog-trainers they are today? They both had other career ambitions, Terrio, a horse caretaker and Button, a Marine Mammal Trainer. But life took them in different directions causing them to find an unexpected niche in dog-training – and each other. “We worked together at a training facility in Saco and realized we had like-minded philosophies, and both have a passion for continually learning and growing,” stated Button.

They eventually each started their own separate dog-training businesses but kept in touch. Realizing they wanted to become partners, they collaborated and officially opened their Partners in Canine’s doors, located directly behind the Windham Post Office, on June 2nd

Presently they offer a variety of training services and packages to include the Partners Programs. Also available are one on one services that include private lessons, consultations, or day trainings. “This fall and winter we will also be offering sports classes, obedience training, confirmation training, and a paw and order class,” Terrio said.

Furthermore, they open their doors to other trainers who need space for training purposes. “Merri and I are about unity. We want to create a unifying force among dog trainers,” explained Terrio. “It doesn’t matter what method or philosophy other dog-trainers use, we all are in it for the same purpose – to help owners and dogs.” stated Button.

For more information or to make an appointment, contact Button and Terrio at Partners in Canine by phone, 207- 956-0642, by email at or website,

Friday, September 6, 2019

Event Spotlight: Windham Neighbors Helping Neighbors Gala Lorraine Glowczak

It all began in the fall of 2007. An increase in the cost of fuel had reached $4 per gallon. Compared to the current average heating cost for propane during the 2018-19 season of $2.90 per gallon, the heating prices of twelve years ago were astronomical even by today’s standards.

“I started receiving phone calls about the price of heating fuel,” explained Senator Bill Diamond. “People were worried, fearing they would not be able to make it through the winter without heat. The more calls I received, I realized there was a real problem and a real need.”

It was at that point that Diamond called the State Representatives at that time, Gary Plummer and Mark Bryant, to see if there was a way they could work together to solve the serious issue that many faced. After much discussion, they all agreed to start a group to help raise money for those in need. Windham Neighbors Helping Neighbors (WNHN) began to form.

Although its current mission is “to provide one-time emergency assistance to Windham residents experiencing a critical need for heating fuel, to help direct individuals to appropriate long-term resources and to promote a culture of neighbors helping neighbors”, it was a few months before the specific objective was solidified.

“It took us awhile to realize that we wouldn’t be able to shovel snow off of every sidewalk and roof, so we narrowed the focus to fuel assistance,” explained Diamond. “But there were a few things we got right in the very beginning that I think adds to the success of Windham Neighbors Helping Neighbors.”

Officially a non-profit organization in 2008 and into its 11th year, Diamond said that the program specifically focuses on two things. “We made a pledge in the beginning that every dollar we raised would be used for heating assistance and that we would provide for the families that really were in need.”

In order to obtain their mission, fundraising efforts ensued. The organization began by hosting a 5K run. Between those who ran and the many individuals and businesses who sponsored the run, approximately $6,000 was raised the first year.

All the funds went directly to heating assistance and not one dime was spent on administrative costs. There were 17 families who received assistance that first year.

However, as with any non-profit organization - there are administrative costs that include, but are not limited to, the legal expenses of becoming a 501c3, advertisement of fundraising events and other incidental supplies. “Those of us on the board would all pitch in our own money for things that all non-profits need to be a successful organization,” explained Diamond.

It wasn’t until two years later, when the Windham High School graduating class of 2010 spoke with the board of directors. The class learned about the various fundamental financial needs of what it takes to manage a non-profit. Upon learning about all the details, the Class of 2010 donated $1,000 to be used solely for administrative costs. Others eventually followed suit, and it’s from that financial line item that basic administrative costs are used. No one is paid, Windham Neighbors Helping Neighbors is a completely volunteer inspired organization.

Currently, the organization now serves as many as 100 families per winter season. “The majority of needs for heating assistance comes from single mothers,” stated Diamond. “Once, I got to visit one of the single mothers who made a request and qualified. It had been awhile since fuel delivery was made to their home and they were completely out of heating supply. It was in the middle of winter and she had blankets on the walls in the living area with one electric heater to warm her three children and herself. They ate, lived and slept in that one room.”

Although that mother may not have been the one to add a testimonial on the Windham Neighbors Helping Neighbors pamphlet, certainly she would have concurred with this statement: “We had no other place to turn. I don’t know how my children and I would have been able to stay warm.”
Diamond stated that the elderly is also a demographic in which heating assistance is needed, but they tend to be the last to ask for help.

In order to keep the momentum of Windham Neighbors Helping Neighbors moving forward, a gala that includes dinner and auction is held every year. This year, the gala will be held on Friday, September 27 at the Stone Barn at Saint Joseph’s College in Standish to raise funds. “We have to be ready to help as many as 100 families this year from this fundraising event,” Diamond stated.

If you belong to an organization or business and wish to be a part of the Windham Neighbors Helping Neighbors gala, contact Diamond at 892-8941.

In order to qualify for heating assistant services, individuals must live in Windham and have exhausted all other state and local agencies that help. To determine if one qualifies, please contact the board of directors at:

Friday, August 30, 2019

Business Spotlight: Gem Lounge Jewelry, LLC

By Lorraine Glowczak

There are many things that make Gem Lounge Jewelry, located at 1263 Roosevelt Trail in Raymond a fashionable Maine jewelry and other locally made gifts such has handbags, t-shirts, and journals but its commitment to the burgeoning eco-friendly movement has made waves beyond the Lakes Region area.
unique retail jewelry shop that stands out among the rest. Not only is the store filled with

Upon entering the Raymond store, one will find beautifully hand-crafted vegan leather jewelry with designs that all feature genuine metals, gemstones, cork and more and are made with sustainable and recycled supplies and packaging. “The result is beautiful artisan designs that you can feel great about wearing,” stated Owner and Jewelry Maker Extraordinaire, Melissa Evans.

So, what is cork? Cork is generated from the bark of cork oak trees. The bark is stripped from the trees every nine to 12 years to make sure that the trees are not over stripped. The stripping does not damage the tree itself and allows the tree to grow to over 200 years old. 

Over 85% of the world's cork comes from Portugal, which is where Gem Lounge Jewelry source the materials for their designs. What is created is a great sustainable product which unlike traditional leather designs, uses no animal products to produce. 

Melissa Evans
Gem Lounge Jewelry prefers to use cork in their designs as the benefits include an eco-friendly alternative to leather, it is hypoallergenic, and best of all, water-resistant. The idea and concept came from her younger sister. “When my sister turned 15, she started a vegan diet,” began Melissa. “She challenged me to make her a vegan leather bracelet. I rose to her challenge and that is where our cork designs were born.”

Melissa went on to explain that one of her realizations regarding eco-conscious jewelry and handbags was that it would put her in the forefront of an important movement. “The plant-based direction we are embracing is more than fad-based, it’s a movement that is gaining momentum and will not be disappearing anytime soon,” she said.

That’s not the only movement Gem Lounge Jewelry supports. Over 90 percent of the products sold are Maine made. Buying and selling local products is Melissa’s mission. In fact, apart from going away to college in New Orleans at Loyola University where she lived for four years to obtain a degree in Political Science and Marketing, Melissa herself is local.

“I grew up here in the Lakes Region, first living in Gray and then moving to Casco until I was 17 when I moved to New Orleans,” she explained. “I now live right here in Raymond, just a few miles from the store. I’m an eighth generation Mainer. I am about as local as one can get.”

Prior to finding her role as entrepreneur and jewelry maker, Melissa worked in a variety of professional roles in highly regarded Southern Maine companies that put her in an office setting. “I eventually realized the cubicle life wasn’t for me,” she said.

First using jewelry and handbag making as a creative outlet from her “day job”, she realized she needed to make the shift in order to be fulfilled in life. She made the transition from her office work to crafting her business ten years ago and it has been growing ever since – supplying her fashionable Maine jewelry and other locally made gifts to over 90 store locations across the U.S.

Melissa and her business, Gem Lounge Jewelry, caught the eye of the Portland Press Herald where she was highlighted for her unique style. She was also interviewed by Channel Eight news. The exposure increased awareness about her unique vegan-based focus, creating an expansion of her business in Southern Maine and beyond. It was at that moment she realized she needed to go from a homebased business to a storefront.

“It wasn’t until a man who drove from Berwick to Windham at the address where I have my PO Box at the Windham UPS store that I realized I needed to take the next step and have a physical location to sell my jewelry and handbags,” Melissa said. “It was around Valentine’s Day and the man had driven a total 2 ½ hour round trip to purchase a piece of jewelry for his wife. He called to ask me where I was located. He and his wife had seen me on television and his wife was very interested in what I had to offer. When he called from the Windham UPS store, I asked him what he was looking for. I met him at the Hannaford parking lot with the piece of jewelry his wife wanted. He went home with the gift he had in mind.”

Other similar incidents continued to occur. As a result, on June 29, 2019 she purchased the former Essentials store location and now has a storefront to display her unique locally inspired and eco-conscious jewelry, handbags and other gifts at 1263 Roosevelt Trail in Raymond. Gem Lounge Jewelry is opened seven days a week. Hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, peruse the website at or call Melissa at 207-302-0009.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Business Spotlight: The Schoolhouse Learning Center, LLC Lorraine Glowczak

Preparing students for life in a flexible, yet ordered, environment where walls exist but do not confine the learner is one of the many approaches The Schoolhouse Learning Center, LLC takes to contribute to the growth and happiness of a child. Located at 421 Roosevelt Trail in Windham, the newly established preschool that was once the home of Seavey’s Appliance store, is under construction and will be open for business prior to the 2019-2020 school year.

“Our educational philosophy and program are designed to prepare students cognitively, socially and emotionally,” began Owner and Director, Kara Piattoni. “We do this by creating a sense of community where kindness and life skills, such as listening and following directions, are taught through an exploration method. Although we have rooms for each age group, we encourage the children to explore outside of the classroom walls in a variety of ways with the intent to engage with all children and teachers in a structured manner.”

Piattoni went on to explain that preschool education is so much more than learning your ABCs. It’s about adaptation to life’s situations - being emotionally, socially and cognitively ready for the next step in school, community and life. The Schoolhouse Learning Center’s approach to obtain this goal is through structured, hands-on experiences in a variety of specific skill related activities and classroom settings.

“We will have a movement room where students learn to connect concepts to action and learn through trial and error,” Piattoni said. “We also have a tinker room that will serve as a children’s workshop and will include a variety of arts and craft tools for skill building experiences.”

There will also be a learning library space that will include not only books for students, but the space will be used for quiet time and for teachers and students to work alongside each other on a one to one basis. 

“But what I’m most excited about, coming from a family of restaurant owners and chefs, is our kitchen. The kitchen will feature a teachable space, giving students the opportunity to make snacks for their friends here. They will learn simple math, how to measure, and how to work in cooperation with one another. We will also host guests who are experts in the culinary field for demonstrations.”

Perhaps more importantly, the students will learn the importance of food and its role in life. “In Sweden, all children learn how to cook at a young age and studies have indicated that they grow up to have a healthy relationship with food as a result,” explained Piattoni

Kara Piattoni
Piattoni’s experience and passion has gained a following of parents who have already enrolled their students in the school to be opened this fall. Jess and Todd, parents of children who were taught and lead by Piatonni state this on The Schoolhouse Learning Center Facebook page. “We were lucky enough to have had Kara teach our daughter and our son for a few years while they were daycare age through preschool. She is an amazing teacher who truly cares for all the kids and helps educate them by learning in fun, creative ways.  We are excited to know she will continue to help other children with their development and education through the School House Learning Center! You will be lucky to have your child enrolled here.”

Additionally, Piattoni has gained a following from former coworkers in the field as well. “People I’ve worked with in the past have called and are excited to work alongside with me again,” she said. “I have hired many of them because I know their work ethic and I can honestly say I work with people I know, trust and am confident to teach the children in this school, preparing them in a way they will succeed.”

The Schoolhouse Learning Center accepts infants and children, beginning at 6 weeks to 12 years old. Before and after school programs are available with transportation provided by the RSU14 bus system to and from the Windham schools. Hours are from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. For more information or to enroll your child, contact Kara Piattoni at 207-894-4152,  via the preschool’s Facebook page or the website at Mail completed application packets to: PO Box 788, Westbrook ME 04098.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Business Spotlight: Aging Excellence Abbey Davies, Owner

Aging Excellence is Maine's premier in home non-medical agency. The mission of our company is to
help our clients stay independent, active and in their own homes. Aging Excellence began in 1999 long before this was the popular industry to get into and our track record speaks for itself. We pride ourselves on hiring exceptional caregivers that are reliable, intelligent and passionate about their jobs.

Our caregivers range from retired businesspeople, nurses, moms and students. Our oldest employee is in their 80's and our youngest is 18. Aging Excellence remains unique in offering our clients a one hour minimum and our caregivers are well taken care of with highly competitive pay, paid time off, benefits, a SIMPLE plan and the most important benefit; a flexible schedule.

At Aging Excellence our services include Aging Life Care Professionals who assist with medications, doctor appointments, advocacy and evaluation of competency and/or Personal Support Specialists (PSS) who are able to assist our clients with hands on needs such as showering, toileting, dressing, transfers and respite time for loved ones. 

All of our PSS caregivers are certified, and Aging Excellence is registered with the State of Maine as a PSS company so we will only send in a caregiver trained to care for the client’s needs. The Social Companions can assist with transportation, meal preparation, light housekeeping, pet care and socialization. Our handyman is able to assist our clients with any home maintenance needs. All caregivers attend 10 hours of Habilitation Training as presented by the Alzheimer's Association and we have ongoing training to help caregivers meet the changing needs of clients. 

I personally got involved at Aging Excellence around 2001 when I was doing the monthly bookkeeping for Beth Lawrence, the founder of Aging Excellence and at the time, the owner of the Portland office. Beth and I hit it off and although I had no real experience in health care, I bought the Portland franchise of Aging Excellence in 2005. Later that year the Saco office became available and I purchased that office too. Some years later the opportunity to purchase Bangor came up and because of my love for what we do, I jumped on it! This is the most rewarding work you will ever do. Every day you make a significant difference in the life of another person - how can that not be rewarding?
Every day is a learning experience and I am continually amazed by the wonderful caregivers we have and the extent they will go to for the benefit of our clients.

As the older population continues to grow, we have more and more inquires for our services. Many older Mainers want to stay in their own home as long as possible and our company’s mission is to make that happen. It is not always necessary for an older person to go to a facility and with increasing demand there are not enough independent, assisted or skilled beds available in Maine. 

So that is where we step in - maybe your parent or loved one needs a little time in the morning to get dressed, in the afternoon for lunch or the evening for dinner; maybe they just need someone to help with grocery shopping and sweeping the floor; maybe they can't shower on their own....we can do all of that and more. Maybe you're being pulled by the need to help your parents but raise your children (this is now known as the Oreo Generation); maybe you're exhausted by the demands of a loved one with dementia; maybe you want to go away for the weekend but can't.....we can help with all of that and more.

Additionally, if you are looking for a rewarding job that meets your need to serve and help others or perhaps you are looking for a part time flexible job that will allow you the freedom to care for your family but also earn a living? At Aging Excellence we have employees that work 10 hours a week to individuals who work full time and more. As an employee, you can feel good about the paycheck you receive and there is no special training required just a compassionate heart.

I recently attended the funeral of a client we assisted 24/7 for a couple of years and the daughter said that without Aging Excellence she would not have been able to grant her mom’s wish of aging and dying at home. That's the difference we make!

To learn more about Aging Excellence, either as a client or as an employee, contact us at: 866-771-0991 or