Friday, October 22, 2021

Business Spotlight: Sky's Aesthetics

Aesthetic procedures have been gaining popularity for years and now Windham has a facility that puts people first and genuinely cares about outcomes and achieving results.

Sky's Aesthetics at 4 Whites Bridge Road, Suite 225, in Windham is a Medspa and works with a medical director to provide anti-aging and aesthetic treatments along with botox, dermal fillers, microneedling, PRP, Cryoskin, anti-aging facials, body treatments and lashes.Owned and operated by Erin Thompson, both an RN and licensed aesthetician. “I’ve named Sky’s Aesthetics after my only son, Skyler,” Thompson said, “calling him ‘Sky’ for short.” Sky’s Aesthetics is truly a dream come true for Thompson.

“I have the knowledge of skincare in addition to my nursing degree which I’ve been told is rare to be both a nurse and an aesthetician,” Thompson said. “I’ve been in the aesthetic industry for five years and a nurse since 2012. I worked in medical spas in Texas and Tennessee and worked with master injectors before deciding to open my own business. The unique feature Sky’s Aesthetics offers is pairing aesthetic procedures with customizable home-skincare regimens through facials. We can assess and analyze skin types, plus offer aesthetic procedures that make a significant difference in enhancing someone’s natural beauty, without surgery.”

 “We have purchased some incredible equipment for aesthetic procedures. We offer monthly promotions to keep giving customers discounts,” she said. “We also have a membership program for a skin wellness approach which locks in discounts on all our services. We believe in introductory pricing and giving when we can.”

Thompson said she loves helping people feel good and confident about themselves, but also wants everyone to know that these services are part of self- care. Skin is the largest organ, yet it is often neglected.

“I’m not sure why we have created a society of feeling guilty for taking care of ourselves. Truly if you’re good to yourself, you will be even better to others,” she said.

By focusing on quality services and paying personal attention to patrons, Sky’s Aesthetics has developed an exceptional reputation, a fact not lost on Thompson and her team.   

“I’ve always felt that if I didn’t offer quality, it would be cheating someone. If I couldn’t offer something great then I just wasn’t going to do it,” she said. “I believe in my services as I personally have tried them out. I’m also a nurse, so I’m going to give you my best even on my worst day.”

She said the feedback that Sky’s Aesthetics has received has been outstanding, and people single out her facials as being the most relaxing and best that they’ve ever received.

“I customize each person’s facial to their skin needs, as well as botox and lip augmentation with fillers. Everyone’s face is different so there’s really an art to it all,” Thompson said. “I take a natural approach of less is more, and I ask everyone to do a two-week follow-up after injections, so we can assess the progress and get it down to an exact science going forward. Right now, the trend is lip augmentation. We offer mini lip plumps that can give them such a great “lip show” while still saving them money.

Feedback about the facility has also been tremendous, she said.

“Everyone comments positively about our spa space,” Thompson said. “My husband renovated it completely by himself, and I love how the spa environment has a masculine appearance. Its entrance is a hallway to the upstairs and then a private spa room that I’ve been told is clean, relaxing, and cozy. No one has to walk through an intimidating big spa where everyone is staring at them. It’s very intimate.”

She said a major misconception about aesthetics is it’s about vanity or that it is not for men. Women tell me they love when a man has great skin and takes care of himself.

“There’s not a lot of information about Aesthetics in Maine,” Thompson said. “Aesthetics help people build confidence and take care of themselves. This is not a typical Medspa. We will be bringing on more as we grow. Our goal is to help people, our near future involves bringing on a doctor to offer PRP joint injections and hormone replacement therapy. Our team is one of integrity and compassion. We will be a team or force to be reckoned with.” 

For more information, visit www.skysaesthetics.com, call them at 207-413-6209 or find them on Facebook and Instagram at Sky’s Aesthetics. <

 

Friday, October 15, 2021

‘Customized, Attentive Care’ a hallmark of Maine Optometry’s growing practice

Maine Optometry opened its Windham location in 2016. Just five years later, the practice has grown so much that they needed to add a new doctor. In October 2021, they moved into a larger location on Roosevelt Trail, which now includes three doctors. 

“We’re so pleased the community trusts us to take care of their eye health,” says Dr. Achenbach. “My family and I live here in Windham.  We love this community and enjoy giving back both through our work and in other ways. As Windham grows, we’re excited to grow along with it.”

Dr. Rachel Achenbach, Dr. Abigail Delahanty, and Dr. Jacquelyn Wills all welcome new patients at the Windham location of Maine Optometry. Dr. Wills, a recent graduate of NOVA Southeastern University College of Optometry, had previously completed her primary eye care rotation at Maine Optometry.

Though the practice is located in Windham, the doctors serve patients from a much wider geographical area. Some people even come from New Hampshire to see Dr. Achenbach, Dr. Delahanty, and Dr. Wills.

In addition to the new Windham location, Maine Optometry has six other doctor-owned locations throughout southern and central Maine.

With the move into the larger office in Windham, Maine Optometry is also adding the most up-to-date technology and new equipment. The retail area for selecting glasses will be updated, giving clients even more opportunity to find just the right frame for their style. They carry all the latest lens options—including blue light blocking lenses, no-line bifocals, sunglasses with options including polarized, mirror, and transition lenses, scratch coating and non-glare lens treatments, specialty lenses for digital screen and occupational use, and sports and safety eyewear.

While the move means a new space and updates to the equipment, one major thing won’t be changing—existing and new patients will still be able to count on the unparalleled service and care they have always received from the doctors and staff.

“I hear all the time from patients how happy they are with our staff’s positive attitude and willingness to go above and beyond,” said Dr. Achenbach. “It’s always wonderful to get that feedback, and we love being able to provide such a positive environment where people feel comfortable as they are taking care of an important aspect of their health.”

As a doctor-owned practice, Maine Optometry is able to offer a broad spectrum of eye health services while also providing customized, attentive care to the patients they see.

In addition to annual eye exams and vision correction, the doctors at the practice can diagnose and treat glaucoma, cataracts, eye health conditions related to diabetes and high blood pressure, dry eye, and other visual problems in children and adults.

Handling emergencies is also a specialty of Maine Optometry. They have a doctor on-call every night until 10 P.M. who is available to handle situations such as flashes, floaters, and irritated or swollen eyes.

Maine Optometry is committed to making eye health as easy and as accessible as possible for their patients. Insurance is a major piece of accessibility - Maine Optometry accepts most major insurances to help make their practice a viable option for more people in the community.

“Convenient access to high quality care—that’s what we want to provide our community,” said Dr. Achenbach. “Eye health is so important to overall health and quality of life, and we want to help make sure people are able to get the care they need. We’re a private practice and doctor-owned, so we have the knowledge and flexibility to provide our patients with personalized, expert care.”

Maine Optometry is also increasing accessibility and convenience by offering online options. Recently, they’ve made it possible to order contacts online through their website with a feature that also allows people to see their order’s progress.

Maine Optometry’s website - www.maineoptometry.com - lists out the insurances they accept, and also allows patients to download forms and pay their bill right on the site. Current and prospective patients can also keep up with the practice on Facebook. For more information or to make an appointment, please call 207-729-8474. <

Friday, October 8, 2021

Business Spotlight: Sebago Dock & Lift, Inc.

Living in the Sebago Lakes Region is a lifestyle second to none and for many that means boating and access to lake recreation is forefront to them. Fitting comfortably into that equation is Sebago Dock & Lift, Inc, a company with a sterling reputation for quality, craftsmanship, value, and customer service.

Headquartered at 96 Roosevelt Trail in Naples, Sebago Dock & Lift, Inc. has been a trusted partner of lake residents for years and offers expertise in the installation and management of docks and other waterfront requirements. 

“We’re a one-stop for all your waterfront needs,” said Sebago Dock & Lift owner and founder Jim Wynn.

As waterfront experts, Sebago Dock & Lift provides exceptional customer service along with the ability to resolve any dock issues that may arise.

“People may not realize that we are also the manufacturer for many of the products that we offer,” Wynn said. “We work year-round and when not out on the water in the winter, we’re manufacturing items and doing custom work.”

Wynn has been working in the dock service field since 1986 and founded Sebago Dock & Lift, Inc. in 1994.  

The company offers Alummikon dock systems, which are known for durability and versatility during even the harshest of Maine winter seasons. Their cedar, aluminum, and vinyl decking panels are removable and Wynn said the Alummikon design features corner pockets built into the frame, so that the dock’s leg pipe isn't held off to the side with external dock brackets. This allows for easy assembly, and the flexibility to reconfigure the dock as desired and to help make adjustments as needed.

Sebago Dock & Lift also features Alummilite products, a lightweight low-cost option for those living on small to mid-sized lakes and ponds which are a highly affordable addition to existing dock systems.

Wynn said that these dock sections are not only the most affordable in all of New England, but they are one of the lightest dock systems around.

“Their price, weight and simplicity make them a perfect alternative for the do-it-yourselfer with both the economy and functionality in mind,” he said. “The Alummilite Dock System dock was built to be not only tough, but to beat out our competition while maintaining the lowest price points on the market as well as making it one of the lightest docks on the market weighing in at only 65 pounds for the frame. They’re way easier than the heavy wooden docks we’re all used too.”

Wynn said Sebago Dock & Lift products can also be used for oceanfront gangways, stairs, ramps, and all types of decks and platforms. 

“We provide products for everyone from lakefront owners to land-locked customers as well as oceanfront property owners,” he said. “The ease of accessibility and durability help us to offer a great alternative to permanent wooden structures.”

Above all else, Wynn said Sebago Dock & Lift is known for its attention to detail and the outstanding way the company treats its customers.

“We strive to ensure our customers satisfaction is met every time. We’ve been working hard for over 20 years to have a well-rounded, hardworking, and dependable service team available to help you with all your waterfront needs,” Wynn said. “There is no other dock company fit to take care of your dock installation or removal needs like Sebago Dock & Lift. With our years of experience and expertise in taking care of our customers, Sebago Dock & Lift takes great pride in being the best that we can be.”

He said the company’s core philosophy is that it takes a strong team, a commitment to detail and a focus on customer service to run a successful dock sales and service business.

“We offer free consultations, free estimates and free dock designs,” Wynn said. “It’s never too late to start thinking about your dock configuration and asking yourself if you are happy with the current design and the company that installs and removes your docks.”

For more information about Sebago Dock & Lift, Inc. and products and services they offer, visit sebagodock.com or call 207-693-1307. < 

Friday, October 1, 2021

Business Spotlight: Sebago Stoneworks & Stone Engraving

Among the oldest forms of art known to man is stone carving or turning a rock or something natural into a thing of beauty or to convey a message. And now thanks to the marvels of modern technology and the talented artistic designers at Sebago Stoneworks & Stone Engraving, all kinds of this form of unique artwork is obtainable right here in Maine.

Owned and operated by Devin Fahie, Sebago Stoneworks & Stone Engraving at 206 Ossippee Trail (Route 25) in Limington, the business produces some of the most captivating engraving to meet individualized specifications of property owners and the public.

Their attention-grabbing products can engrave an address or large house numbers on boulders or create an everlasting pet memorial or art for the garden. They can carve a company name onto a granite sign for a business entrance or transform a stone’s surface into carrying personal messages or images.

Whether it be a personalized wedding memento and keepsake, remembering a remarkable athletic achievement, putting names on brick pavers or a genuine and simple expression of love for a departed family member, Sebago Stoneworks & Stone Engraving can masterfully craft a treasured work of art to fit the individual situation.

Devin Fahie, the owner of Sebago Signworks
and Sebago Stoneworks & Stone Engraving,
joins his wife and children. He is a second-
generation signmaker and operates the 
family business in Limington.
COURTESY PHOTO
“We are local, we serve New England,” Fahie said. “When you engrave, it’s a forever impression. Our mission is to provide long lasting relationships with our customers and serve the community the best we can.”

According to Fahie, Sebago Stoneworks & Stone Engraving is completely mobile, and their designs can be carved at the shop in Limington on smaller rocks, or they can come out and engrave larger projects at a customer’s location.

“We are happy to come to wherever you are located to meet all of your stone engraving needs,” he said. “We engrave stones, both onsite and at the shop. We can do memorials, pet memorials, veteran’s tributes, names and addresses, Mancave style.”

The graphic artists at Sebago Stoneworks & Stone Engraving can take a customer’s basic idea and develop it into an everlasting tribute or a work of art or to simply add letters, a date or a message to an existing stone memorial. Their customed-designed, sandblasted, and etched products are stunningly detailed and are made to stand the test of time, no matter what the season or the type of weather.  

The advantages of working with Sebago Stoneworks & Stone Engraving are multifold, including knowing that you are supporting a local, Maine-owned family business and giving an affordable and a one-of-a-kind unique gift typically not found at a big box store that will last forever.

“These make great gifts to complement a hobby, house, garden, car or motorcycle,” Fahie said. “They’re customer-designed just for you and no two are exactly alike.”

Fahie said because of recent advances in engraving technology available from Sebago Stoneworks & Stone Engraving, rocks selected for projects do not necessarily require a perfectly flat surface.

“We will work with the surface of the stone you have,” he said. “And if you don’t have a suitable rock, we can provide rocks for you of all different sizes to suit the project.”

In business for more than 15 years, Sebago Stoneworks & Stone Engraving is a division of Sebago Signworks of Limington, which has grown through the years to now employ a staff of seven workers.

We are strong at design with our signage background,” Fahie said. “Starting in November, our Sebago Stoneworks & Stone Engraving website will give you an option to design your own rock. If you envision it, we can carve it!”

For more detailed information about Sebago Stoneworks & Stone Engraving, call 207-793-4440 or visit their website at sebagostoneworks.com or find them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/sebagostoneworks  <

Friday, September 24, 2021

Business Spotlight: Sticky Bud Farms

The reward of helping people feel better from many different conditions through cannabis is what drives Sticky Bud Farms to treat each customer with integrity and compassion and share their expertise and knowledge with those in pain and suffering.

Located at 815 Roosevelt Trail Unit 4 in North Windham, Sticky Bud Farms and Sticky Bud Farms Glass and Wellness provide many valuable services to promote wellness.


Offering the utmost in courteous customer service, competitive pricing and a large selection of medical cannabis products, Sticky Bud Farms serves individuals locally and from throughout New England with a valid medical card and identification. And in treating people so well, they were voted as the Best Medical Dispensary in New England for 2021.

 

“We listen to the individual patient, and we offer guidance in the use of cannabis products,” said Dave Whitten, Sticky Bud Farms owner. “For example, we offer flower, oils, salves, and edibles as well as custom tinctures for each individual’s need and we offer consultations. Our biggest reward is someone coming in for a few months on a walker in severe pain and you get to see a transformation and the relief they’ve experienced. That’s what it’s truly all about for me.”

 

Now in a newly remodeled and beautiful facility, Sticky Bud Farms features a full line of glass and electronics with an exclusive oxygen bar with aroma therapy to help individuals feel better. Their new shop includes three full stations to assist patients, a video menu system and an ATM.

 

Dave Whitten, owner of sticky Bud Farms, 
received the honor of being awarded 'Best
Medical Dispensary' for all of New England in
2021 by NECANN. Visit their new shop for
top shelf cannabis products and unmatched
customer service and knowledge in the
industry. SUBMITTED PHOTO 

“What separates us from the others is our amazing customer service,” Whitten said. “There is a true difference as we take an interest in each and every patient individually. We are here to help and educate people on the use of cannabis.”

 

Medical cards are available at Sticky Bud Farms for as little as $29 and valuable discounts are offered for veterans and first-time customers, along with an array of daily discounts and specials.

 

Whitten knows first-hand how debilitating pain and suffering can be and he was able to overcome that through cannabis. It changed his life, and he firmly believes that cannabis can alleviate the pain of others too and that’s why he established Sticky Bud Farms in the area in 2013.

 

“I gave my life to being a medical cannabis caregiver and it gave me a life back,” Whitten said. “I was in pain for years but once I started using cannabis my life turned around.”

 

Sticky Bud Farms became the first cannabis shop in North Windham in 2017 and currently has eight employees, including Whitten’s wife, Judy, whom he credits for her steadfast support of his desire to help others overcome their pain.

 

“We truly value our patients over profits and that is why we take the time to sit down with every patient to learn about their specific needs and make sure that they find the right product to suit their unique needs,” Whitten said. “We believe that our compassion and medical cannabis can help heal many ailments in our world today.”

 

The business continues to explore new and unique ways to provide healing and relief to its customers and is currently building a new kitchen to produce a full line of fresh-baked edibles for customers. The new Sticky Bud Farms facility also plans to offer reiki, acupuncture, and massages once completed.

 

“Our goal is to offer a whole holistic approach to feeling better,” Whitten said. “We travel to many conventions learning and seeing all of the new and innovated products. We go to symposiums and seminars to keep up on the new breakthroughs in this business.” 

 

For Whitten, his approach to operating a successful business is basic.

 

“We offer superb products at a reasonable price and treat everyone as we would want to be treated,” he said. We do it with education, integrity, honesty, compassion, faith, charity, and love. We feel our medical approach is much different from anything else out there. We provide sound and honest advice, and we want our customers to leave here happy.”

 

For more information about Sticky Bud Farms, call 207-893-8200 or visit them online at www.stickybudfarms.com. They are also on Facebook, Instagram and Leafly. < 

Friday, September 17, 2021

Business Spotlight: Sebago Primary Eye Care Services (SPECS)

Sebago Primary Eye Care Services (SPECS), located in the heart of Maine’s beautiful Sebago Lakes Region, has been making your vision and eye care health their passion since 1975. Their dedicated team of professionals offer complete optical services in two locations, one in Casco at 195 Roosevelt Trail and the other in Bridgton at 5 Lumberyard Drive in the plaza next to McDonalds. 

SPECS has become a leading choice for superior vision care for patients all over the region, not only for their personal service, but because their optometric experts stay up to date with the latest advances in medicine and technology to ensure precise diagnoses and optimal treatments for patients of all ages.

“The best thing about what we do is working with people,” said Dr. Thomas Gordon, owner of SPECS. “Everyone is different, and everyone has a different story. Even if their eyes are exactly the same, finding out what exactly works best for them is what we do the best here.”

In August, SPECS welcomed Brenna Gerchman, O.D. to the practice. "She provides a great blend of top-notch clinical education and knowledge with a strong passion for providing community-based care. I also expect that she will be an active member of the community and that will be evident over the course of the months and years to come," said Dr. Gordon.

The doctors at SPECS specialize in examining, diagnosing, treating, and managing eye-related disorders, diseases, complications and injuries. Patients from ages 3 months to 100 can count on SPECS, PA to be their primary care doctors for their eyes.

They offer early detection of vision problems and can determine the best course of action for eye concerns, such as whether an individual needs to wear eyeglasses, or update an existing eye prescription. Preventing blindness and counteracting eye diseases and disorders is a significant responsibility, but it’s a mission that Dr. Gordon, Dr. Gerchman, and the staff at SPECS are passionate about.

“We work very hard to maintain the best possible care for our patients, working with our patients to maintain a high level of satisfaction,” Gordon said. “We can’t fix everything, but we work very hard at it. Primary eye care is like being a gatekeeper for an individual’s health and if we can’t resolve an issue, we can get them the resources for those who can help them.”

SPECS offers annual eye examinations for those with diabetes to prevent destructive eye damage and can refer patients to an ophthalmologist for more significant cases and treatment requirements such as surgery.  They can also help with issues such as dry eye, red, pink or sore eyes and specialize in pediatric eye exams. Early identification of vision problems and overall eye health is crucial. It is recommended that you have your kids’ eyes checked before entering first grade, unless you have a suspicion of issues before that.

“An exciting part of our profession is the continually evolving technology used in eye care,” Gordon said. “There are always new things to learn in order to stay current. Eye strain from computer use, and associated symptoms from overuse has been increasing.”

The team of 12 at SPECS strives to make everyone feel welcome at their practice. “Our key principle for a successful business is to treat everyone who walks in through our doors the way I myself would want to be treated,” Dr. Gordon said. “We try hard to do that with each and every patient and it’s an essential element for all of us in this business.”

SPECS is devoted to quality care, attentive service and the latest in products at highly competitive prices. The optical department rotates a variety of deals and packages, and with over 800-plus frames between both offices along with a wide range of contact lenses, you are sure to find the perfect fit for your your needs. Anyone can visit SPECS optical department with a current prescription without an appointment or to take advantage of their onsite optical repairs.

Even if you don’t think you have vision problems, it is still a good idea to have frequent eye exams. The eye provides a clear view of blood vessels which can tell a lot about your general health. New patients are welcome and they accept most insurances, so call today for an appointment to ensure your eye health. Call 207-655-2020 for Casco or 207-647-5936 for Bridgton. Also visit www.specs4me.com for more information. <

Friday, September 10, 2021

Business spotlight: CeCe’s Diner and Bar LLC

In a way, visiting the new CeCe’s Diner on the town line between Windham and Westbrook on Route 302 is sort of like a homecoming of sorts. The family restaurant has officially opened on the site of the old Charlie’s Diner and is owned by longtime Charlie’s waitress Deanna Gaudreau.   

CeCe’s is open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday thru Sunday and serves breakfast and lunch Wednesday thru Saturday with breakfast only on Sunday. 

Gaudreau says some of the top menu items are their tasty breakfast bowls, sausage gravy and biscuits, and Eggs Benedicts. 

“In my opinion the specialty items are our breakfast bowls, our fresh no antibiotic-ever chicken sandwiches that can be grilled or fried, our hand-cut red skinned potatoes, our fresh USDA certified burgers and homemade corned beef hash,” she said. 

According to Gaudreau, the new CeCe’s Diner has a wonderful staff and offers a family friendly environment where smiles, our customers and fun are of utmost importance in everything that they do.

“We promise to provide the freshest, best quality food that we possibly can with the best service we can provide,” she said.

Opening the restaurant is the culmination of a dream for Gaudreau and her family.

“I have worked in restaurants since I was 14 and there is nothing that I would rather be doing. Waitressing and bartending runs through my veins and I have a major passion for it,” she said. “We have a large family, and our customers may see a few too many of them at any given time. We want our diner/bar to be the local Cheers that everyone wants to come to and when they do, they feel like family and friends. We have an amazing staff on hand and each one of us are thrilled to be working together to see this dream come true.”

Deanna Gaudreau and her family own and operate
the new CeCe's Diner and Bar LLC at the site of 
the old Charlie's Diner on the Westbrook and
Windham town line. SUBMITTED PHOTO 

Offering competitive pricing, Gaudreau said she rates the quality of the food at CeCe’s as excellent.

“The standards we set for ourselves are above and beyond what even our customers expect from us I believe. We have a certain presentation that we even expect our plates to come out looking like,” she said. “So far, the feedback that we have received has been awesome and we are very grateful. Even though we strive not to, I’m sure we’ll run into some snags along the way, but that’s how we learn to better ourselves.”

But above all else, Gaudreau and the CeCe’s staff consider courteous and friendly service to be paramount.

“The best thing about operating a restaurant is certainly our customers,” Gaudreau said. “They are everything and if they are happy, enjoy some good quality food we serve, and they feel like they are family, they’ll want to come back.”

The CeCe’s staff numbers about 10 including Gaudreau’s children and many of them are family members, which enhances the family aspect of the business.

Gaudreau said plans for the restaurant include offering liquor as soon as they get cleared for their license, which is in the works.

“Customers can come in and enjoy a Mimosa, Bloody Mary, or beer with their breakfast or a beer or other adult beverages with their lunch. We have discussed opening Mondays and possibly adding in some dinner hours on Fridays and Saturdays or Saturdays and Sundays, all of which are still in discussion at this point and not set in stone,” she said. “We have to work out staffing and some rearranging of our space to make it all work. When we set some new times and changes, we will be sure to let our customers know. We are also planning on not stopping with just one location, we would like to see at least a second location happen, maybe more of a bar style with lunch and dinner and breakfast offered only on the weekends. The future is wide open with endless possibilities.”

For convenience, CeCe’s Diner and Bar does offer takeout meals or individuals may even enjoy coming in and grabbing takeout and sitting outside at the couple of picnic tables they’ve provided while the weather is nice for the fall months. The phone number for takeout is 207-887-9656.     

Located at 1557 Bridgton Road in Westbrook, find CeCe’s Diner and Bar LLC on Facebook page or call them at 207-887-9656. < 

Friday, September 3, 2021

Business Spotlight: The Bibliophile Bookshop & Coffeehouse, LLC

British author David Almond has said that a great bookstore is about more than selling books, rather it’s a community gathering spot that makes a difference in people’s lives. The Bibliophile Bookshop & Coffeehouse, LLC in Raymond is certainly striving to reach that lofty ambition. 

Located at 1233 Roosevelt Trail #14 next to Beacon Pizza in the Raymond Shopping Plaza, The Bibliophile Bookshop & Coffeehouse, LLC is an independent bookstore committed to offering a unique literary experience with new and used books, a full coffeehouse, literary-themed dinners, writing workshops, children’s events and more.

Owner Jessica Thompson-McCombs says that what separates The Bibliophile Bookshop & Coffeehouse, LLC from other Maine bookstores is its unique mixture of culture and cuisine. 

“We offer the only literary-themed dinners anywhere and a truly unique community-oriented literary experience through our events, staff involvement, storytime, etc.,” Thompson-McCombs said. “At the core of our business is building relationships within the community and encouraging literacy.”

From the moment customers enter the store, they are greeted with the aroma of freshly brewed coffee from a locally based roaster, along with an array of books carefully selected by The Bibliophile’s knowledgeable staff, and the ambiance of a warm and welcoming gathering place.

“The best thing about what we do is we bring the community together and offer a place to get together, have a coffee, and dig through books,” Thompson-McCombs said. “It’s a unique literary experience for the senses. We buy and sell used books. We want to make it affordable for our customers to keep reading.”

She said that the biggest challenge the store has faced in a little more than a month in operation is simply letting people know they are there and open for everyone.

We are focused on creating, building, and maintaining relationships with each and every customer. We are passionate about the written word and seek to encourage and sustain a community of lifelong readers,” Thompson-McCombs said. “We support other local businesses and love to partner with them. Our baked goods are from The Village Donut Shop & Bakery and our coffee is from Coffee by Design. We source as many local ingredients as possible for our literary dinners.” 

Prices are competitive and they offer an array of discounts ranging from educators, military, senior citizens and more.

“We want everyone to know that we’re a local, family-owned bookstore,” Thompson-McCombs said. “We do so many unique things here. We’re also event-driven with writing groups, book discussions and so much more for everyone, no matter the age. I like to think of it as culture, cuisine and community.”

Although they do not have every book that’s ever been printed, The Bibilophile Bookstore & Coffeehouse, LLC specializes in finding special orders for customers online and can typically have it in store within five days at the most.         

According to Thompson-McCombs, the business sources and seeks out only the highest quality of products to offer to their customers.

“From the coffee they sip, to the books they read, we handpick each and every product,” she said. “We thoughtfully chose Coffee By Design because of who they are, what they represent, their involvement with the community and how absolutely delicious every drop of their coffee tastes.” 

And making a difference through knowing customers is at the heart of everything that employees of The Bibliophile Bookstore & Coffeehouse, LLC is all about.

“We are here to create and build relationships with the community,” Thompson-McCombs said. “We really want this to be a place where we know you and we really want to have a relationship with you. We carry a large selection of Maine authors. On our shelves you will find the latest New York Times best sellers and the finest children’s books. There’s truly something for everyone here.”

Customers who have visited the store have become devoted fans.

“I love this bookstore! It is adorable and the owner was very friendly! Definitely recommend to everyone looking to pick up a book,” Emma Ward posted on Facebook.

“Best coffee in the whole area, hands down and the owners and staff are super welcoming and friendly,” Adam Davis posted on Facebook. “I’ve been waiting for a place like this for a long time.” 

For more information about The Bibliophile Bookstore & Coffeehouse, LLC, visit their website at www.bibliophilemaine.com or find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bibliophilebookshopmaine. <

Friday, August 27, 2021

Business Spotlight: Campbell and DiCenso Team at William Raveis Real Estate

In today’s red-hot real estate market, finding real estate experts who will fight for your best interest and have the experience and a proven track record of success can be daunting, but the team of associate brokers Nancy Campbell and Michelle DiCenso at William Raveis Real Estate stand ready to exceed expectations and assist with the sale or purchase of a home. 

The team provides real estate services and they also work with sellers in staging their home to prepare for professional photography and the ultimate sale of their home. They provide invaluable connections to contractors, mortgage lenders, and title services and sometimes navigate through some very sticky situations, such as failed septic systems, water treatment, and significant title or land disputes.

But through it all, Campbell and DiCenso’s clients benefit from their tenacity on every level of the real estate experience, and they work it through to a successful conclusion.

They equally serve sellers and buyers and both Campbell and DiCenso have diverse knowledge of many communities with their reach extending well beyond Windham. They specialize in real estate from Sebago Lake to Long Lake and everything in between, and they also have intimate knowledge of Greater Portland, including the very hot downtown Portland condo market.

“We truly care about our client’s needs and evaluate all aspects of their lives and determine what works best,” DiCenso said. “In some cases, we help folks develop a long-term plan, using an honest down-to-earth approach and ensuring each individual client’s unique needs is always in the forefront.”

According to DiCenso, the greatest misconception the public may have about her work is that real estate is an easy profession. “You have to know a lot about various aspects of home buying; from financing, the actual construction and systems of a home, environmental issues, the legal aspects of title and land ownership,” she said. “There are ever-changing federal, state and local regulations.  There are so many moving parts to every transaction. It is critical to have a team that is well rounded and informed on all levels and who are extremely resourceful.”

Campbell says they believe they are in the “people business” and always strive to be respectful to those who turn to them for guidance and help.

“In this challenging market right now, it’s our job to keep our buyers from getting discouraged and giving up on their dreams,” Campbell said. “For our buyers, this can be the great challenge right now. I believe my background lends itself to helping clients through this process.”

She said what distinguishes their team at William Raveis Real Estate from other companies is their approach.

“Yes, there are other teams out there, but we have been told our approach is a seamless process. Michelle and I communicate and coordinate every day,” Campbell said. “We recognize each other’s strengths, and we use this knowledge to our benefit. I’m not going to get in the way of Michelle being the one to attend an inspection, for example. She has extensive knowledge of the building process.”

DiCenso said she believes in Campbell’s ability to work through complicated transactions seamlessly and bring them to a close, helping people realize their dreams.

“We both strive to manage the stressful process in the background for our clients,” Campbell said. “That’s what our team is all about.”

In her life before real estate, Campbell managed and operated a successful psychotherapy practice before moving on as the co-owner of another successful clinical practice, Maine Neurotherapy Center. Her strong people skills and extensive business experiences provide tremendous value to her clients when navigating a complex transaction.

“Real estate is not about houses, but rather about people and their dreams,” Campbell said.

DiCenso has lived in Raymond for more than 30 years and has an in-depth knowledge of the southern Maine market. Prior to starting her storied career in real estate, her equally storied professional career stretched from Maine to Alaska and covered many aspects of business, management, and finance.

As a 25-year veteran of the oil industry, DiCenso brings incredible time management, client relations, and negotiation skills to the table. Past clients have praised DiCenso for her loyalty and her undying tenacity both during a transaction and outside of work.

Besides her business acumen, DiCenso shares with her clients her extensive knowledge of construction management and renovation. Having overseen these types of projects for many years, she often finds her free time filled with designing, orchestrating, and managing her latest project.

All of these skills prove to be invaluable for clients of the Campbell and DiCenso team as they look at different properties and evaluate each to find the perfect fit for them. They are based out of the William Raveis Real Estate office at 840 Roosevelt Trail in Windham. Call 207-892-3377 or visit campbellanddicenso.raveis.com. <

Friday, August 20, 2021

Business Spotlight: Fabulous! Cleaning Services

When you get right down to it, the purpose of cleaning is not just to make a room spotless, but also to experience the happiness that comes from being in that environment. Fabulous! Cleaning Services knows how much that feeling means with every job they take on and delivers exceptional results that exceed expectations.

Based in Casco, Fabulous! Cleaning Services provides commercial, rental/Airbnb and residential cleaning for its customers and offers customizable services to best match the client’s needs.

“Our company works with local businesses and homeowners to provide customized solutions to their cleaning requirements, and it all starts with relationships,” said Melissa Teer, Fabulous! Cleaning Services owner. “We look forward to meeting with our clients in person, to walk through their properties, ask questions and provide consultation on how we can best meet their cleaning needs. The time we spend meeting one on one with our clients demonstrates we’re more than just a contractor, we’re a trusted partner.”

Teer said that two of their most popular services for rental clients are their Linen Service and Stock & Shop Service.

“Having our in-house Laundromat allows us to offer our rental and Airbnb clients fast and affordable turnover of their unit’s linens,” she said. “This is a huge convenience and cost savings for our clients. Additionally, our Stock & Shop service goes one step further and eliminates rental clients from having to keep their units stocked with basic goods. We provide everything from toilet paper, trash bags to dish soap.” 

According to Teer, the core of business for Fabulous! Cleaning Services lies in the Lakes Region, but their actual service area covers a lot of ground, extending from Augusta to Old Orchard Beach.

“We understand clients have a choice when it comes to hiring a cleaning contractor – and it’s about more than just professional cleaning. Trusting the individuals to deliver on their promises and having comfort with them in your home or business is critical,” Teer said. “We know it’s important for clients to know who we are, so our company is founded on the following core values: Passion, Integrity, Accountability and Responsibility.”

Fabulous! Cleaning Services defines those values as follows:

Passion – we are passionate about our work. Cleaning just isn’t our job; it’s our passion and exceeding expectations is our goal. We created this business not just to bust dirt but to create smiles.

Integrity – We understand our clients’ homes are their sanctuary. We treat our clients’ homes and businesses with dignity and respect. Our employees are professional, friendly, and of course we think they’re fabulous.

Accountability – Our business has high standards, but we know our clients’ standards are higher. We employ customized checklists for each client to ensure those standards are realized prior to leaving each appointment.

Responsibility – Cleaning is a tough business but that doesn’t mean it has to be hard on your health or the environment. We only use 100 percent safe and eco-friendly cleaning solutions for our residential clients.

The company offers highly competitive rates and regularly canvasses their competition to ensure their pricing remains between 5 to 10 percent below competitors.


Family owned and operated and fully insured, Fabulous! Cleaning Services uses state-of-the-art technology and best practices to deliver on their promises and never loses sight that business done the “old fashioned way” of being genuine, honest, and reliable are the keys to success.

“We believe our clients are the best voice to speak about our services. Almost every day, we receive a note, a text or a voicemail thanking us for making their space feel Fabulous! Just this weekend we received a thank you note from a client who was in town for the week,” Teer said. “We had cleaned her property prior to her arrival, and she was thrilled to arrive to a sparkling home. We dedicate an enormous amount of time to the detail work of a clean home. We thoroughly wash down appliances and give them a full-face lift, often making them look brand new. Although most clients immediately notice the shiny countertops, polished sinks and faucets, it’s the work we do in nooks and crannies and hard to reach areas that sets us apart. We ensure the whole home receives the same attention as the kitchens and bathrooms.”

For more information about Fabulous Cleaning Services, visit them online at www.fabulouscleaningme.com, find them on Facebook @FabulousCleaningMe or call them at 207-240-7451. <

Friday, August 13, 2021

Business spotlight: Shamos Paving and Sealcoating

This marks the 21st year that Shamos Paving & Sealcoating has been in business.  Established by Andy Shamos when he was 18 years old, the company’s growth and stability are not only a sign of success but is indicative of delivering quality work and earning the trust of the community at large.   

As a result, you will see an addition to their all too familiar logo as you travel through the southern Maine area, the tag line -  Delivering Quality. Earning Trust.

Their mission is simple on the surface, to be the most trusted pavement maintenance company in the industry but achieving this means delivery quality at a superior level.  “The success has always been in the details,” says the company’s head of operations, Levi Robbins.  “We’re never satisfied and as a result, we’ve continued to build training programs and processes for improvement and quality checks to ensure we are delivering what our customers want.”

Delivering quality and earning trust is not just a mantra for their customer base, it’s also one Shamos applies internally as well.  “Our employees are the key to our success, they are the tip of the spear, and it’s important to us that we deliver a quality work environment and earn their trust just as we would our customer base,” says founder/owner Andy Shamos.  As a result of this philosophy, Shamos Paving & Sealcoating now operates with 15 employees across its paving and pavement maintenance divisions and is aggressively looking to expand further. Shamos sums it up by adding “simply put, we hire great people to do great work and we are always looking to add to our team.”

The community has continued to respond well to the company’s growth in both it’s paving and pavement maintenance divisions through 5-Star reviews and a multitude of public endorsements with one customer eloquently describing their paving division as “a ballet of badasses with the efficiency of a well-oiled machine.”  And other customers cite the company’s communication, professionalism and responsiveness as reasons for their decision in choosing Shamos for their sealcoating or paving needs.

As the company continues to expand its footprint in Southern Maine, it finds itself increasing the services offered to residential homeowners, commercial property owners and anybody in facilities or property management.  “The goal is for our customers to trust us to take care of the pavement,” says Robbins, “whether you are managing properties or spending time with family, if we can take the responsibility on for getting a project completed for you, we are very happy to do so.”

For more information or to receive a free estimate, call 1-800-DRIVEWAY, visit www.shamossealcoating.com or call 207-749-7058.<

Friday, August 6, 2021

Business Spotlight: Luchador Tacos

Connoisseurs of genuine Mexican food know that authenticity plays a major role in distinguishing
between mass-produced fast food and a savory dining experience that emphasizes quality, taste, and ingredients above all else. At Luchador Tacos in Windham, that authenticity is evident in every meal served.
 

Featuring a menu reminiscent of the street scene in Los Angeles, with tacos, burritos and quesadillas made locally and prepared daily with carne asada, fresh onions, cilantro, corn tortillas, lime, green salsa, hot chile sauce, nacho cheese, guacamole and pico de gallo, Luchador Tacos delivers flavor and authenticity with every delicious bite.

According to Nick Moody, Luchador Tacos general manager, the restaurant doesn’t use ground beef in meals, preferring carne asada, a type of grilled beef which is marinated in orange juice, garlic, and lime juice. Luchador’s green salsa blend is comprised of six secret spices and its red salsa has a blend of dried Japones chiles for robust flavor and Arbol chiles to give it a bit of authentic heat.

“The secret to making an authentic taco is to start with perfectly prepared meat and then adding just the right toppings,” Moody said. “It’s what we do every day at Luchador Tacos.”

Street tacos served at Luchador Tacos are carne asada placed in a corn tortilla, topped with your choice of red or green salsa, garnished with onions and cilantro and served with a side of beans and rice. The Cali burrito is a 12-inch burrito filled with fries, steak, cheese, cilantro, onions, a mild tomato salsa, sour cream and guacamole.

Located at 781 Roosevelt Trail in Windham, Luchador Tacos opened June 25 and joined other Luchador restaurants in South Paris and in Conway, New Hampshire. With a staff of 14 friendly employees, the Windham restaurant has quickly become a local favorite serving the best tacos and burritos in the area.

“Our freshly prepared Mexican food tastes like it came right from Los Angeles. We make street style tacos, burritos, burrito bowls, and salads,” Moody said. “We also carry specialty items like carne asada fries; the Cali burrito, the quesarito, and churros. We also carry Jarritos, a Mexican soda, and you can find every flavor carried here.”

With competitive pricing and some of the most generous portions available in the area, Luchador Tacos takes great pride in that the Windham restaurant is not a franchise, rather it is a locally owned and operated small business with a devoted following.

“The best thing about what we do is being able to make authentic Mexican food for our customers,” Moody said. “To experience authentic Mexican food in New England is rare.”

The original Luchador Tacos launched in South Paris in May 2017 as a way for its founder, Katherine Mitchell, to bring West Coast flavors to the East Coast. Mitchell grew up in Los Angeles and wanted to have diners experience authentic Mexican food. The concept took off and what started as a small take-out taco shack has led to four years of successfully introducing the taste of genuine and authentic Mexican food to a wider audience, including now right here in Windham.

“We try to accommodate everyone without sacrificing the integrity of our featured items and to stay true to our authentic recipes,” Moody said. “We’re not Taco Bell though and we do not sell hard shell tacos with hamburger in it.”

Along with an array of burritos, burrito bowls and tacos, Luchador Tacos also offers a vast vegan friendly menu, fresh salads, nachos, chips and salsa, and churros, a tasty cinnamon sugar pastry.
Dining is available in a casual setting or orders can be called in ahead and then picked up when ready.

“We’re all about fast, fresh and friendly,” Moody said. “While some restaurants struggled in the last year, we’ve streamlined the ordering and pick-up process and are continuing to grow.”

Luchador Tacos is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and closed on Sundays and Mondays. More information and a detailed menu can be found on Facebook and Instagram at luchadortacosme with phone orders taken at 207-893-8916. <



Friday, July 30, 2021

Business Spotlight: Survive Maine

Being prepared in the event of an emergency makes sense and in the aftermath of the global pandemic, has prompted many to think about what would be needed to survive should another crisis arise. 

Now a new local store makes it easy to do just that with an assortment of goods and products made right here in America for nearly every survival situation. Survive Maine at 608 Roosevelt Trail in Windham is ready to assist everyone to be prepared should an emergency occur.

“We’re trying to sell strictly American-made goods for every survival situation,” said Aaron Karp, Survive Maine owner.

Survive Maine offers an assortment of freeze-dried foods and dehydrated foods. They also sell medical equipment, first-aid kits, tourniquets, fire-starters, equipment required for camping and hiking, tactical gear, knives and products from Black Rifle Coffee Company. They can help everyone equip for any type of situation and storage use.

“A lot of people are under the assumption that if food is freeze-dried or dehydrated it doesn’t taste good and that’s not the case,” Karp said. “We sell dehydrated food made by the Good to Go Company in Kittery and it’s really delicious, comes in many different sizes and has a 2- to 5-year shelf life.”

According to Karp, freeze-dried and dehydrated foods weigh very little and as a result are preferred by camping enthusiasts and hikers because they can be stashed away in a backpack and are easy to transport because they are so lightweight.

Blue Force Gear is sold at Survive Maine including plate carriers, tactical belts and slings. They can assist in creating 72-hour emergency preparedness bags featuring blankets, knives and tools, water filters, pre-made hiking bags, and an array of other survival gear.

Karp said he’s wanted to open a store offering survival supplies for some time, but he could never find the right location for it until he decided upon Windham.

“This is a great community and we’re in a great spot here,” he said. “Since I’m a camper and a hiker myself, I’ve been very interested in survival equipment and gear for a while.”

Survive Maine’s prices are highly competitive and may in fact be substantially lower than what’s typically available at big box stores with more product diversity and availability.

“The most challenging aspect of setting up this store has been getting the supplies we need as everything’s been shut down for a while,” Karp said. “But we’re working with wholesalers and that helps save our customers money as the prices are set by the dealers.”

Preparations to open Survive Maine have been about eight months in the making and Karp said they are ready to be a resource for the community for everyone’s survival needs.

“What we offer is reliability and we stand behind every product that we sell,” Karp said. “Our staff is familiar with every product in the store and has the product knowledge to make recommendations for nearly any kind of situation whether you are going camping deep into the woods, stuck in your car during a snowstorm, or for any situation at home.”

The store also has a classroom and is used to teach CPR, first aid, and basic life support, with each course certified by the American Red Cross.

Survive Maine is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“Communications is essential in any business and having used all of our products, we have the expertise and the knowledge to advise you what you will need for any survival situation,” Karp said. “And, best of all, you can feel good that many of these products are made right here in Maine or elsewhere in the United States.” 

For more information, call 207-572-1008 or visit https://survive-maine.com/ <

Friday, July 23, 2021

Business Spotlight: Pure Clean Company

For those seeking value, quality, and attention to detail, look no further than Pure Clean Co. of Windham for your residential and commercial cleaning services.

Founded in September 2020 and serving all of Southern Maine, Pure Clean Co. is owned by Kayla and Cory Beaulieu, whose decades of experience in the cleaning industry have given them unique insight into how valuable a trustworthy and thorough deep-cleaning service can be for families and businesses.

Pure Clean offers residential and commercial cleaning, moving in or moving out cleanings, one-time cleanings, monthly, weekly, or biweekly cleanings and they specialize in deep cleanings that focus on removing dust, germs and bacteria from the hardest locations to reach. Coming soon, Pure Clean will also offer professional residential and commercial carpet cleaning.

“Since COVID, many people have not been able to deep clean their homes, and that’s where we come in,” said Lauren Austin, Pure Clean Co. manager. “We’re all about giving people a fresh start and we pay attention to detail.”

With highly competitive pricing and an experienced cleaning team of experts in the field, Pure Clean Co. takes pride in their work and goes above and beyond to do what needs to be done to thoroughly clean a home or business.

“Life is difficult, and we know that maintaining your home is difficult,” Austin said. “We’re here to provide the expertise to make everyone’s lives less stressful.”

She said many individuals looking to hire a cleaning service usually have a preconceived notion of what to expect and are thrilled to learn otherwise from Pure Clean Co.

“From a quality standpoint, everyone thinks they’re getting a wipe-down, but when they find out what products we use and how much emphasis we place on deep cleaning and that what we do kills the COVID virus on home and business surfaces, they come away very happy.”

Pure Clean also places a strong focus on deep cleaning the rooms used the most in a home, specifically the kitchen and the bathroom.

“Most everyone we work for mentions those two rooms are always the hardest to clean and are the most frustrating for them to keep clean because they are used so much,” Austin said. “Before we leave each job, those are the two rooms where we make people feel the happiest.”

Shown is a before and after example of the work
performed by Pure Clean Co. staff members.
COURTESY PHOTO

Austin said the key to Pure Clean Company’s success is their teamwork and experience.

“With just eight employees, we’re small and highly professional,” she said. “Our camaraderie is excellent and leads to us getting along great with our customers and working well together as a team that personalizes what we do.”

According to Austin, each home or business setting provides different challenges, so Pure Clean specialists meet with each customer to perform a walk-through of the premises and find out exactly what are the most important things a customer is looking to accomplish with each cleaning.

“Communication is highly important and the number one aspect of what we do,” Austin said. “Our customers know exactly what we are going to do and how we are going to do it.”

She said that often customers have the misconception that they need to clean up some before the cleaning service arrives.

“People usually feel like they need to clean before we get there and that’s not the case,” Austin said. “This is our job and we’re here for you. We’re fully insured and trustworthy and have many five-star reviews. Paying attention to the little things and going above and beyond expectations has given us a stellar reputation among our customers.”

Through careful attention to detail, they delve into the nooks and crannies of homes, including the baseboards, ceiling fan blades, light fixtures, surfaces and even the insides of ovens, microwaves and dishwashers in kitchens and make bathrooms a priority, including the removal of troublesome water stains and leaving tubs, tile and grout behind that shine and sparkle like they are brand new. Estimates are free and convenient bookings are available.

“If you are looking to have your home or office space cleaned by our professional cleaners, we would be happy to add you to our schedule,” Austin said. “We always provide quick and free estimates so give us a call or send us a message today.”

For more about Pure Clean Co. services or to schedule a walk-through and free estimate, call 207-408-1909 or visit them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/purecleancoME <