Monday, March 31, 2014

Spotlight on Frost and Flame - By Michelle Libby

Nothing says home like a warm crackling fire and cuddling with loved ones. Frost and Flame in Windham and Gorham can bring that dream to life from the fireplace to the masonry.
“We can build you a room for your stove if that’s what you want it to be,” said owner Steve Richard who purchased Frost and Flame in 1992.  

Frost and Flame opened its doors in 1978 during the energy crisis. They sold Jotul wood stoves and bikes as a counter-seasonal product. Woodstoves turned to gas stoves in the early 1990s. “People liked gas for the convenience,” said Richard. “It also ran with no power.” 

The fireplace designs run from simple to elaborate and come in different faces, interiors and sizes. Three-fourths of new homes in the US put in a gas fireplace, according to Richard. 

In 1989, Frost and Flame saw the infancy of the pellet stove that used small pellets made from sawdust. They were cleaner to burn than wood and there was no need for a chimney, it could be vented through the wall. On average one filling of a pellet stove would burn for 15 to 20 hours. 
Frost and Flame is unique because of how the company is run. It’s not run like a store, but more like a construction company. From electrical and masonry to carpentry, they can do a job safely from start to finish. With 14 full-time employees and Richard visiting 98 percent of the homes to do site inspections, the company is ready to handle any project. 

The company does work from Portsmouth to Boothbay Harbor, Augusta to Mount Washington Valley. 

“We are the largest stove shop in Maine as far as volume,” said Richard. “We carry every major brand available in North America. To have all of this in one store is pretty rare.” Frost and Flame installs between 1,200 and 1,500 stoves each year. 

When a customer walks into one of the showrooms, Richard’s goal is to educate them, deliver the correct product for the customer with 100 percent safety and fulfill the needs of what they’re expecting. 

In addition to selling the stoves, Frost and Flame does a lot of service after the sale. They are also fully licensed and insured. The employees have worked with Richard for 12 to 15 years each. There is very little to no turnover. Richard trains all of his personnel together so everyone knows everyone else’s job. 

The different stoves provide different opportunities for heating. A gas stove has no heat spike like a wood stove, said Richard. With a pellet stove, the heat can be controlled better. Frost and Flame also offers fireplace inserts to re-invent an old fireplace. 

Stoves range in price from $2,200 to $5,800. Frost and Flame offers financing through Casco Federal Credit Union. 

“We try to make the experience as smooth and effortless as possible,” Richard said.   

The stores are open six days a week and online at and

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