Friday, March 22, 2019

Business Spotlight: House to Home by Chick Lumber Lorraine Glowczak

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, March 15, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, March 8, 2019

Business Spotlight: SilverSneakers at Saint Joseph’s College Lorraine Glowczak

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, March 1, 2019

Business Spotlight on Maine Insurance Benefits Group
By Gayle Plummer

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there were someone locally to help you with your insurance? To answer your questions? To help you get the right plan? To help you save money? And wouldn’t it be wonderful if that help was free? Well, it turns out there is a place to go for all that free help with the varied insurance products available - and it is Maine Insurance Benefits Group located right in Windham. Rand Clark, President of Maine Insurance Benefits Group (MIBG) is genuinely committed to helping people navigate and enjoy the world of insurance, as are all MIBG brokers. They simplify the how-to-process and navigate people through it all…showing folks how to choose the perfect insurance, custom-fit for their personal lifestyle in a manner they can afford.

Brokers are different from typical insurance agents in this way: MIBG Brokers can offer insurance plans from all available sources. They can select from Harvard Pilgrim, Anthem, Martins Point, WellCare, Mutual of Omaha, United Healthcare or Delta Dental and many others. While agents typically have one product to offer from the company they represent, MIBG Brokers can custom-fit your insurances to your needs and your wallet. They do not sell a one-size-fits-all type of product.
Clark shared, “It does not cost the client anything to use a broker because the insurance company pays the brokers, not you. Our clients get a tailor-made match rather than a random choice, which is much more of a perfect fit than they might end up with if they used an agent offering only one product. People will often sign up online, which is not a good plan because most folks don’t have enough information to make an informed choice. For example: if you were to choose a company online for your insurance needs and you are a person/family that travels, but the company you selected doesn’t cover certain travel situations or criteria – you could pay for coverage with a gap. 

Typically the public is just not aware of the different options and offers that are available and plans change each year. Often folks end up with and pay for the wrong coverage for their needs. They are missing out on the perfect fit that makes the insurance process not be a painful one, but in fact, become a peaceful one. MIBG Brokers are helpful in considering who your doctor is, which medications you use, and your travel/lifestyle to fit the policy best suited to your needs. Our advice: Don’t fly solo, let us help you. We stay updated on the changes in the market in Maine.”

Clark goes on to say, “Our brokers offer much more than insurance options and education. We want to be there in a real personal aspect: answering your questions, listening to your needs, helping you choose products that work for your situations; and offer free yearly reviews of your changing lifestyles and modify your insurance coverage. We want to be your Broker! We want to be your Broker for life. We are there through all your life phases and stages. We are there before claims, during claims and after claims are settled. We guide the young couple just starting out, on how to gently begin the process by selecting products they can afford at the beginning of their lives – perhaps renters insurance. We are there to modify the plan as they grow into a family, to adjust to their needs as the children arrive and houses are purchased; coverage then will be needed for family, home and all vehicles – even snowmobiles and ATV’s.  We are also there to help plan for Medicare choices, retirement, college funds, annuities and supplemental incomes to fit all life situations: medical, loss of life, accidents. Life changes for us all and so do the insurance needs.”

Clark and all the Brokers at MIBG take personal pleasure in helping folks who are on fixed incomes. Often they can save these people money on their coverages. Many clients have called to thank the Brokers and tell them that they can now afford their prescriptions, or maybe the extra savings allows them to go out to lunch and enjoy life a little more. They are also affiliated with the Senior Planning Center and enjoy helping folks with more than insurance. They are pro-active in: getting people fuel assistance, welfare, MaineCare or anything to help people live a little better lifestyle. “Helping people makes us happy,” Clark said. “We care about more than the insurance coverage aspect - we care about the whole person.”

One of the many goals at MIBG is to recruit more brokers. They will provide one-on-one training for people in all age groups, no experience required. Clark stated, “We are here to help support a broker who wants to build his own, independent business. We hire brokers throughout the state of Maine.”
Stop by for a visit at 677 Roosevelt Trail, or call the office at 207-894-7710. You can also reach Rand Clark on his cellphone at 207-632-2756 or email him at Be sure to visit their website at

Friday, February 22, 2019

Business Spotlight on JAR Cannabis Co. Gayle Plummer

When you walk into the new shop of JAR Cannabis Co. you immediately notice the cozy, cabin-at-the-lake atmosphere. New wide boards on the walls, soft decorative touches and comfy chairs for meeting with the knowledgeable staff, all warmly greet you when you enter.  Erika Morrotta, a business partner of JAR Cannabis Co. has been serving certified patients under Maine’s Medical Marijuana Program since 2011. This medical marijuana retail store opened on January 22, 2019 in Windham at 11 Storm Drive and is JAR’s first retail medical store.

“Our mission is to provide our clients with an experience that is both comfortable and personable. Our goal is to assist and serve certified medical marijuana clients in the Greater Windham Area with top quality, lab tested, medicinal products and professional service in a space that is clean, welcoming and quintessentially Maine,” said Morrotta. 

The staff members at JAR Cannabis Co. are licensed caregivers who take a holistic approach to wellness - and the caregiving begins with taking a lot of pride in their approach to growing cannabis in their clean, top of the line facility. To ensure accurate dosing standards, they test and verify their products, giving their patients ease of mind and confidence. They offer pure and effective medicine in the form of flower, concentrates, edibles and CBD products; including tinctures, capsules, lotions, salves and lip balms. JAR offers a one-stop-shop where there is something for everyone. All of their products make a great addition to the healthy, outdoor-lifestyle that the JAR Co. brand embodies.

Morrotta says, “Having other business interests in Standish and Gorham, we are confident that Windham will be a great location for this new venture. Recent changes to the state medical marijuana law, which now allow medical marijuana caregivers a retail storefront, was also a driving force behind opening the store. Prior to our final decision, the JAR team approached all business neighbors in the area to get feedback about our specific use. With the support from our neighbors, we had a positive experience working with the Town of Windham through the permit stage and ultimately into the occupancy stage. This location and this community is a great fit for our team.”

JAR’s founders were born and raised in Maine and obtained Bachelor of Science degrees from the University of Maine. They felt fortunate to be in Maine at a time when the state was formalizing its medical marijuana industry. Because they were early participants in the marijuana program, it allowed them time to try and to perfect a method of producing medicine that they are extremely proud of and confident in. “We’ve had a firm belief in using industry-leading equipment and engineered cultivation rooms to produce our medicine. Most importantly, it is the daily discipline and the work that makes our product what it is. It’s common for people to cut corners in this industry and we’ve always prided ourselves in taking the extra time and doing it right the first time – and every time,” Morrotta states.

Through their caregiving experience, they have been able to get to know their patients personally, and assist them with their medical marijuana needs. JAR Co. has witnessed the positive effects of this medicinal therapy, and truly believes in the benefits it provides. This is why the JAR Co. team is extremely passionate about continually improving and perfecting various cultivation methods, strains, and the end forms of the medical products they offer.Morrotta goes on to say, “We have a vision for the way a medical marijuana business should look, feel and operate. We’ve built this vision into an operational reality – that is now open! The industry has been competitive and will continue to be. So we really spent a lot of time researching, traveling and working with professional designers who had decades of retail experience in order to launch this store. Our vision is that clients will notice and feel the JAR Co. difference when they visit for the first time. You only get one chance at making a first impression!”

They are located in the plaza with Ice Cream Dugout at 11 Storm Drive in Windham. For a personal consultation to find out which products are a good fit for you, they invite you to stop in Tuesday - Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. They are closed Sunday and Monday. The hours will be changing sometime in March or early spring to Tuesday - Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. They will remain closed on Mondays.
For information about their products visit You can also call 207-893-8607 or email at   <

Friday, February 15, 2019

Business Spotlight on Sarah Nielsen of the Bean Group Gayle Plummer

You’ve just purchased your dream home and you delight in the comfort of walking into your front door, after a long day at work or a weekend getaway. However, the first few months after the purchase of your new home, there may be many questions and concerns that you have, but feel you are all alone. There is no need to worry with Sarah Nielsen of the Bean Group. In fact, if you are looking for someone who will be there post-sale to help with all of your questions and concerns that may come after the transaction, Nielsen is the Realtor® you can trust.

Nielsen opened her business in April of 2018 and works out of the Standish office at 47 Ossipee Trail East; and has a strong background in her field. She grew up in Gorham and now resides in Windham and fully understands the local market conditions. With her love of Maine and her dedication to her clients she says, “I want my clients to know that I go above and beyond the call of duty for each of them. It’s very important to me that all of my clients feel they are my top priority at all times throughout our entire relationship. I grade my success based upon my clients’ satisfaction.”

Anyone who works with Nielsen will not be disappointed. In fact, a former client and first-time homebuyer, Karla Briggs stated that Nielsen was amazing throughout and after the entire purchasing process. “Sarah has always been available to answer my ridiculous, first home buyer questions, Briggs said. “She has been here for the last 8 to 9 months in search of my dream home. The time, effort and care she has put into this is nothing short of astonishing. I really can’t say enough good things about her! She’s there day and night and has helped me through this process more than I ever could have imagined. I am beyond impressed with her customer service skills. Thank you so much Sarah for helping me and my dogs find a place to call home. We are so grateful to you and your guidance through this entire thing. I would highly recommend Sarah to anyone and everyone looking for a Realtor®.”

Nielsen is a Sales Agent and is currently working towards earning her Associate Broker license. Before completing her State Exams for her license she earned her bachelor’s degree in English at USM and graduated with honors. She has a strong background in customer service jobs where she learned the value of always putting the customer first. She has real, hands-on experience representing clients ranging from investors to first time home buyers; as well as assisting buyers with the purchase of homes that were for sale by their owners.

Nielsen strives to continue growing her business and making connections. It is her dream to someday run her own brokerage where she can help other agents launch successful careers in real estate. Although she has only been a Realtor® since last year, she has achieved her goal of representing numerous clients with a variety of different needs. She looks forward to continued success in the years to come.

Sarah Nielsen
Nielsen goes on to say, “I work for a great agency whose tagline is ‘Bringing People Home.’ Bean Group is one of the largest real estate firms in New England with offices in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Vermont. Bean Group agents sell more than $2 billion worth of real estate annually and I’m proud to work for a company with a proven track record of success.”

She tells us that, “As a Realtor®, my goal is to provide superior customer service to all Maine buyers and sellers, I represent. My clients’ satisfaction is of the upmost importance to me. From the beginning of each transaction to the end, I strive to offer support ranging from property research, negotiation, deadline management and beyond. As my clients can attest to, my support does not end at the closing table.”

Let Nielsen bring you home, today. She is available at your convenience, seven days a week. You can her contact by phone at 207-749-3577 or email at You can also contact her on her website at Nielsen is on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Youtube.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Business Spotlight on William Raveis Real Estate Gayle Plummer

If you are in need of a real estate company, there is an effective one nearby that can help. It is local and has earned the title of #1 Family Owned Real Estate Company in the Northeast. William Raveis Real Estate’s newest office is located in Windham but began in Connecticut in 1974; thus demonstrating that it has a long track record of success. If that’s not impressive enough there is more: William Raveis has been named the Top Luxury Brokerage in the USA by Leading Real Estate Companies of the World. It is also the Official Real Estate Company for the Boston Red Sox.

Windham resident Ben Schulz, the Managing Broker, topped 10+ million in gross sales in 2018; making him one of the top producing local agents. This company, while successful in the big scene, is very much about community. Along with its local resident and Managing Broker, Ben Schulz, the Administration Manager for all of the Maine Raveis offices is Kelly Keenan, who is also a Windham resident.

Schulz states that, “William Raveis offers clients a combination of traditional and digital marketing platforms, so they can be assured their homes are being seen by the right people at the right time. Our many connections throughout the northeast create a natural awareness among folks from out of state who are looking for waterfront and high-end properties. All of our agents are empowered by a brokerage that is focused on their success and provides support every step of the way – so they can focus on selling homes and working closely with buyers. This is what creates and fosters a culture of excellence at every level for the client; no matter the price point of the property.”

William Raveis strives to be a real estate resource for folks throughout the Lakes Region area who are looking to buy or sell properties. They utilize their significant, regional network of offices to make sure their listings are seen and marketed, in a personal way, to buyers throughout the Northeast and beyond. “At William Raveis, we believe in doing the right thing by our clients, and we are proud of our agents who conduct themselves with courtesy at all times, as this is the company’s mantra,” said Schulz.

The office is now open and ready to start working with people interested in selling their homes this year, as well as buyers who are ready to begin the journey of a home purchase. Call the office today at 892-3377 or email Ben at:

Additionally the Windham office is currently looking to hire/partner with entrepreneurial agents that are looking to be a part of something bigger. Anyone interested in pursuing this type of approach can reach out to Ben Schulz (confidentially at 207-253-9372).

William Raveis is located at 840 Roosevelt Trail. To learn more about how they can help you reach your real estate goals, you can reach them by calling 207-892-3377 or emailing Ben at

Friday, February 1, 2019

Business Spotlight on Orange Circuit Fitness Gayle Plummer

A grand opening is planned just in time for spring for the Windham location at this fitness center - but it is up and running now. Don’t wait until the grand opening to take advantage of the fitness discount offers that expire soon!

Orange Circuit Fitness (OFC) is known as The Body Positive Gym: For Everybody and Every Body Type. The gym is located at 9 Amato Drive, right behind Applebees and the goal for Orange Circuit Fitness is to provide the Windham area with a state-of-the art full fitness facility that offers a level of value and amenities that competitors can’t offer. OCF prides itself on protecting the atmosphere for all members; which means the environment at the facility is designed to provide a comfortable surrounding for all with the best value available.  

Along with other discount offers (listed below) OCF is offering their February Family Month! It is their $1 for 1 Month Sale. Join in February and pay only $1 for the whole month for any of the memberships they offer. There are a variety of amenities and membership programs available and go as low as $19 per month. The Blu Pass is the featured membership for February and offers: Family membership – four memberships for the price of one: Use of all OCF locations, bring a guest anytime, tanning, hydro massage, fit body scanning, Kids Club (child watch), and fitness-on-demand/100s of virtual group exercise classes. The current offer of $149 for one year expires on 1/31/19 so be sure to take advantage soon! Other offers that will expire on 1/31/19 are: White Pass - $1 Down and $19 Per Month and the Blu Pass -$1 Down and $39 Per Month.

OCF is fully staffed and provides the following health/training equipment: cardio machines, strength machines, free weights, stretching rooms, aerobic rooms, Olympic benches, squat racks, turf training and hi tech body fat scanners and lots more. Also available are full lockers, shower rooms along with personal trainers.

Hours: Monday – Thursday 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
            Friday – 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
            Sat. & Sun. – 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Phone: 207/892-2196

Other locations:
* 550 Center Street, Auburn, ME #207/330-3000
* 31 Gurnet Road, Brunswick, ME #207/725-2944

Friday, January 25, 2019

Business Spotlight on Windham Work Lounge Gayle Plummer

Windham Work Lounge, Windham’s first co-working facility will be opening soon! A growing Windham will soon have space to offer people, with creative business ideas; a place to go to develop their businesses without necessarily taking the large financial risks of renting individual office spaces. 

 “We want people envisioning a comfortable, stylish business community atmosphere with amenities rather than thinking about office cubicles. Co-working spaces are the next logical progression in evolving an ideal work environment and we are pumped to be creating one for Windham” stated Kate Hebold, start-up manager for Windham Work Lounge. She continued, “The hours will vary depending on the membership type that one purchases. Our Basic Members will have key fobs (small security key device) that grant access from 6 am to 6 pm. However, we have great private offices available as well, and those tenants will have increased accessibility to their suites. Along with more accessibility, they will also be entitled to the same basic member benefits such as booking conference rooms, a kitchen, the co-working area and the outside patio. The private office suites upstairs are ideal for people who are more established in their business fields but still would like to walk out of their offices and feel the energy of being amongst their creative peers, all pursuing their own unique goals.”

Dennis Strout, (Contact/Team Member) has a recently vacated building that wasn’t being utilized.  After some discussions with locals and friends, such as Thomas Bartell, Director of Economic Development in Windham, Dennis realized how much enthusiastic support and input was forthcoming and it didn’t take long to start working on this concept, due to this motivating idea that Windham could definitely benefit from such a place.

Kate Hebold
The team that has been putting all the pieces in place consists of Strout, Hebold and Andreas Aronsson, who is the web site creator.

And now, this team is setting up for their open house scheduled for Wednesday, February 27 from 1 pm to 5 pm and they are located at 102 Tandberg Trail, Windham.

Strout and Hebold agreed that the agenda of a co-working venue is not really to be standing around talking; yet there is always going to be a natural type of networking that will be taking place that can help, inspire or connect some of the folks within the co-working facility.

As an example Hebold shared that she and her brother did exactly that in another co-working facility. “My brother and I are business partners in an asset management company and we frequently book times to catch up, at a private conference room in the Portland co-working facility, Cloud Port; I highly recommend folks check it out. A conference room there can easily be booked remotely; and this is a service that we will also have available at Windham Work Lounge. It feels great to just roll in, grab a free coffee and have a private room all reserved for your business needs. While we were there, my brother met an individual who was a great web designer and a creative thinker. We liked connecting with him immediately, both in passing and during lunch. My brother really appreciated his ideas and his vibe, so it was effortless to ask if he could assist us with a website and ad campaign.

Andreas Aronsson
Knowing this person up front took the sting or risk out of commissioning a site blindly or via the arduous process of: finding someone online, setting up a meeting, then hoping it was a fit; if it wasn’t a good match, then one would have to find a diplomatic way of saying ‘we are not interested or this is not a good fit.’ A co-working atmosphere can lend itself to some simple networking that will take some of this kind of stress off.”

Strout and Hebold feel that the Windham Work Lounge will play to its strengths of being located in a rural town. For instance, there is the large, backyard patio area where folks can work, meet or run workshops. The more secluded area will lend itself to a membership application process where the team will accept a limited number of folks and create a more robust intake process that will provide harmony and safety. The team is also looking to acquire some local artisan furniture and artwork that will harmonize with their theme. They would like to offer the furniture for sale by consignment as well. They are motivated by the area’s talent and feel they want to promote local folks to get their crafts out into the world.

Strout and Hebold agreed that, “Mainly, we just want Windham to have what most cities have access to: an affordable space for a diverse group of people who are just looking to foster their ideas in a professional, comfortable, sustainable atmosphere.”

To learn more about this new work space, contact Dennis Strout, Windham Work Lounge, 102 Tandberg Trail, Windham by calling 207-712-7889 or email at or visit their website, which will soon be found at

Friday, January 18, 2019

Business Spotlight on Maine Dance Center Gayle Plummer

The new year is here and many of us have some fresh new goals or visions for ourselves, or maybe we just want to perfect something we love doing - maybe dance. There is a new business in the area that can help. If you have or someone you know has a love for dance, then the new Maine Dance Center (MDC) is very close by and would love to help. Center Stage Performing Arts, ran for 15 years and is now under new management and has a new name. It is now the Maine Dance Center and it is in the same location in the Raymond Shopping Plaza, and now entering its 16th year.

Rhiannon Pelletier, Artistic Director of the Maine Dance Center has been completely dedicated to dance for as long as she can remember. Rhiannon has been classically trained in ballet by Linda MacArthur Miele (a former pupil of George Balanchine and Artistic Director of the Maine State Ballet). She has also been formally trained in tap, jazz and musical theater.

“Our focus at MDC is for all of our students to develop a lifelong love of dance. Anyone, at any age, can enjoy dancing and our goal is to nourish that joy in a wholesome family environment; while encouraging our more serious students to become the best dancers they can be. We offer an educational, challenging and fun classroom environment, conducted by an outstanding teaching faculty,” Rhiannon said.

About the faculty, Rhiannon reports that, “Maine Dance Center has added some of the greatest talents in the state to our team. In our first year we have quickly established a diverse, yet cohesive team of professionals that are passionate about their work and want nothing more than to see their students thrive. The emphasis here is that this dance center is fresh, redesigned and revamped; it is not the same dance studio it was before. However, at the same time, there are many of the same, familiar faces that the community knows and loves. We all have a clear vision for what we want to do at MDC.”

Rhiannon’s background is extensive with experiences that demonstrate her love of dance. She was born, raised and trained in Maine; and reached the pinnacle of her ballet career in her home state by achieving the title of Principal Ballerina with the Maine State Ballet at the age of 19. She was one of the youngest dancers to join the Maine State Ballet Company at age 14.

By age 21 she expanded her repertoire to include roles such as: Aurora in “Sleeping Beauty,” Swanhilda in “Coppelia,” Sugar Plum and Dew Drop in “The Nutcracker,” Kitri in “Don Quixote. She was also soloist in Balanchine’s “Serenade,” Princess Odette and Odile in “Swan Lake.”
This spring she will add the title role of “Cinderella” to her repertoire. She has been in programs with the American Academy of Ballet, Boston Ballet and continues to expand her training by attending workshops in Portland, Boston and New York. She has taught classes with local studios for over eight years and loves working with children of all ages.

Rhiannon Pelletier
Rhiannon also has a passion for entrepreneurship. She obtained her bachelor’s degree from St. Joseph’s College in writing/publishing and a minor in business administration. She runs her own online business as well as balancing Maine Dance Center and her involvement with Maine State Ballet. However, Rhiannon says, “Maine Dance Center is the first priority for me because I’m thrilled to be able to give back to the Southern Maine community through an art form that has given me so much.”

There is excitement in the air as Maine Dance Center will be releasing the summer schedule very soon. They will be hosting a Leap! Camp and a Princess Camp for little ones. There are many guest teachers planned as well as a lot of fun projects coming this summer!

To learn more or to register for classes call 207-655-1600, email or visit The studio is open weekdays from 3 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to noon.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Business Spotlight on White Rock Outboard Auto and Marine Gayle Plummer

What do little girls and auto, marine and recreational products have in common? Well, the answer is plenty! At least that’s how it is when it comes to owner, Sally Gherardi and her successful, family-owned business that is located at 351 Sebago Lake Road in Gorham on Route 237. “I basically grew up at the shop with my Dad, so I’ve been around the business all my life.  I have had the opportunity over the years to learn about the business and take that knowledge and apply it today,” Sally tells us.

Sally’s parents, George and Brenda Gherardi started the business in 1969 by selling Snow Prince and Moto Ski snowmobiles. Later they took on Glassmaster boats and Chrysler outboards and boats. In 1989 George and Brenda added the Manitou pontoon boat line, since they were starting to be a popular choice for boaters. It was in 1993 they began selling Stingray power boats and in 1997 added the Arctic Cat line of snowmobiles and ATVs to the inventory; along with all the parts and accessories to go with each line they carried. The business still sells Manitou pontoon boats, Arctic Cat snowmobiles and ATVs, Stingray power boats and Mercury outboards today.

White Rock Outboard Auto and Marine is a full service repair shop for all of the products they sell, including Ariens snow blowers along with other small engines.

Sally Gherardi
“All of our current employees have considerable work experience in their fields and are the “best of the best”. Customers come back to us repeatedly due to the exceptional service they receive. We are very well known for our service,” Sally shared.

Sally said, “When my folks owned the business my Dad would always go that extra mile to make a customer happy; whether it meant staying open later or delivering a boat after hours. I want to make sure customers have that same experience in the years to come.”  Surpassing customers’ expectations is what White Rock Outboard staff strives for; and they want the experience to be fun for the customer as well.

Just some of the services offered are: Winterization and storage, de-winterization, boat detailing, fiberglass/gelcoat repair, emergency pick-up, tire repair/installation, shrink wrapping, summarization, full engine repair, pre-season inspections and boat launch/haul out service; just to name a few. The sales department for all units offers both new and used units to sell and White Rock offers the latest innovations in boating technology.

Sally says, “I plan to continue running the business as it currently is, with the hopes of expanding the used car sales portion. We have been a used car dealer for over 30 years and I would like to see that continue into the future. One thing that makes us stand out above other similar businesses is our Service Department. Not only do we service snowmobiles, ATVs and boats but we also have a complete Automotive Service Bay. We do anything from alignments and brakes, to engine and drive train repair. We have a highly qualified mechanic, Brian Bragg who has been with us since 1995. All of our technicians take pride in the work they do and strive to complete jobs in a timely manner. All of my employees are always willing to help out when needed. We continue to earn new customers through word of mouth from people not only in the area, but also out of state.”

This year will mark 50 years of business for White Rock Outboard. Come join in the big celebration planned for the end of the summer or early fall! The 40 year celebration was a huge success and White Rock is inviting all of their customers, and potential customers, to come have lunch with them and help them celebrate 50 years of being a family owned/operated business. Sally says she is very much looking forward to this year’s big event!

Please feel free to visit their website at: for more information.
Their hours are: Monday through Friday 8:00 to 5:00 p.m. and Saturday from 8:00 until 2:00 p.m.  Email address:, or call them at: 207/892-9606.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Business Spotlight on Mattress By Appointment Gayle Plummer

There are always the typical large purchases we all must make in life: cars, appliances, furniture and mattresses. Usually those buying experiences are not fun experiences for us. After all, they require research, dealing with aggressive sales people (most times) and of course, parting with a large amount of our hard-earned cash.

One new business in the area is helping the community alleviate all the above problems when it’s time to buy a mattress. Dewey and Denise Kopenga are a husband/wife team who has opened Mattress By Appointment in the Windham Mall (near Smitty’s) at 795 Roosevelt Trail.
Dewey and Denise have another store in Biddeford that has been open for a year and they offer all the major brands at far below traditional retail costs. They can offer 50 to 80 percent off retail prices every day.

Dewey states that they maintain extremely low overhead by reducing high overhead costs. They have no employees, large fancy storefronts and they don’t run expensive TV ads or do any major advertising. Dewey says, “Our store is no frills. You won’t see balloons, free coffee and cookies or sales people in suits here; we keep our prices low by cutting costs and keeping overhead as low as possible. Also, we have huge buying power with the manufacturers, every mattress is made in the United States and they all come with warranties.”

Mattress By Appointment offers a wide variety of mattresses. Styles include pillow tops to gels and everything in between and in twin, full, queen and king sizes. They can also offer special sizes for campers, camps and summer homes.

Box springs or foundations are always included in the price and they also offer delivery, in most cases, the same day.

“We want folks to have a smooth, easy, stress-free transaction,” shared Denise. “Let’s face it, buying a new mattress is not fun for anybody. If you let us help you, we can save you money, time and stress by using our formula which is:  Step 1-Call or Text 207-423-8434. Step 2-Come in and choose your mattress. Step 3-Take it home or have it delivered. We do offer financing with a $40 down /100 days, same as cash financing. That’s all there is to it.”

Owners, Denise and Dewey Kopenga
Because their storefront is pretty much non-existent, Dewey reported that, “. . . at first some people were skeptical of the business model but once inside they quickly change their minds and they came out with extra money in their pocket and a new, quality mattress to sleep on in approximately 10 -15 minutes, which is typically all the time it takes.”

Dewey and Denise had both come from the corporate world, for over 20 years, when they became interested in the mattress business. Dewey says, “We wanted to be involved in a business that would allow us to spend more time with the family while offering a product that everybody needs at a fair price. With Mattress By Appointment, I feel that it is a win/win situation for us and the customer.”

Dewey and Denise are excited to serve this community as they have been doing in Biddeford for the past year; and they are hoping to grow their business to other southern Maine locations over time.

You can find lots of great reviews on Facebook and you are invited to visit the website at: or call for an appointment at: (207)423-8434. Visit both locations: 1) Windham @795 Roosevelt Trail, Windham Mall; 2) 40 Main St. Biddeford – Inside the Pepperell Mill.