Friday, December 28, 2018

Business Spotlight on Hello, Doggie! Daycare Gayle Plummer

If the words “Hello Dolly!” bring fun, happy thoughts and feelings to mind, then all pet owners will be glad to know there is such an experience for their dogs right here in the community.  Hello, Doggie! Daycare is very much like a fun, safe and stimulating theater production or an upbeat summer camp experience for your dog. Located on 1311 Roosevelt Trail, Raymond, new owner Shannon Oliver guarantees that your pet will have a positive and healthy experience when away from home. Whether your pet is there for daycare or training – they will enjoy lots of love, lots of fun and some very serious care.

Shannon has worked professionally with dogs for the last five years in both daycare and boarding environments. She worked at Jordan Bay Dog Daycare, at the same location, when the opportunity came for her to take over the business. Shannon’s mission statement comes from her belief that dogs deserve a safe, healthy and stimulating social environment.

“My dogs are the largest inspiration for me – I wanted to create a safe, stimulating environment and offer a service where I would want my dogs to spend their time, if I were ever away. A place I would feel confident in. What would I want my dogs to do during the day or overnight? These questions are what really fueled our policies.”

Shannon’s goal is to set a higher standard for her pet daycare/boarding facility. She firmly believes that, “. . . your dog deserves 24/7 supervision when you are away” and maintains a dog-to-staff ratio of 10:1. Staff sleeping overnight in the same room as the clients’ un-kenneled dogs is a service unlike any other in the area. “We strive to provide an environment for dogs that is second only to their real home! We offer individualized care to meet your dogs’ needs and update owners as often as they like with photos and videos of their dogs’ stay. My business goals center around providing the community with a place they can trust their dogs to be loved and cared for in their absence or during their work day; all while doing our best to strengthen the owner-pet bond.”

Shannon Oliver and friend
As part of the team, Shannon has added Certified Trainer, Chris Ford (ABCDT and AKC CGC & S.T.A.R. Puppy Evaluator) to the team. “We are able to provide both private training and group lessons to dog owners in our community. We are offering the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Course as well as three classes that, when completed in succession, prepare owners and their dogs for the Canine Good Citizen Test. We simply want to offer better services to all dogs out there. I would like to see our training offerings continue to expand in the future,” Shannon says.

“I am a huge fan of the arts, having performed with local community theaters since high school.  A couple of my recent appearances were as Carrie White in Lyric Music Theater’s production of “Carrie” and as Jo March in their production of “Little Women”. “Hello, Dolly!” was the first community theater musical I was part of through Lake Region Community Theater and it changed my life for the better. My two largest loves are animals and theater. When I came up with our name, it was the best combination of the two things. I really wanted a unique name and setup to separate us from other dog centers. I do have dreams of Hello, Doggie! one day being able to contribute largely to the local arts community.”

Hello, Doggie! Daycare website demonstrates Shannon’s love of the arts, as she has incorporated many little theatrical features into her business. For example, Shannon has named her potential dog guests as “cast members”; her pricing is described as “Show” (full day of daycare), “Matinee” (half day of daycare) and “One Act” (up to 2.5 hours of daycare). She refers to her team as “Stage Hands” and she sincerely wants all of her “cast” to enjoy their experience.

Certainly that seems to be the case. Shannon requires an “audition” for all potential guests. This is a half-day visit to the daycare so all new dogs can become acclimated to the new environment, the staff and other dogs. Shannon offers flexible pricing and package deals along with combo-pricing for multiple dogs. All dogs must have up-to-date vaccinations and all pets are to have DHLPP (distemper combo), Rabies and Bordetella.

When one enters the building, it is immediately obvious that the sounds you hear are happy, positive, fun sounds coming from all the dogs. There was no whining, crying or aggressive barking to be heard; only lots of friendly barks and very good energy emanating through the building.

To contact Hello Doggie! Daycare please visit their website at:
Email: or call: 655-6521. Hours are: Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Business Spotlight on Compass Concierge and Companions, LLC Lorraine Glowczak

Whether you are an older working professional who has undergone extensive surgery and needs temporary assistance with meal preparation, getting to the symphony or your book club gathering or if your needs require more support in everyday living activities, Compass Concierge and Companions, LLC is there to provide dignified and respectful concierge and personal care services.

“Our goal is to reduce stress and increase joy, no matter the personal circumstance,” stated owner Paula Banks.

Although Compass Concierge and Companions, based out of Raymond and established in the fall of 2018, is a private, non-medical, home care business providing concierge, companion and personal care services, its business model is different from most others.

Banks, who has provided geriatric care management and healthcare consulting in Southern Maine for over 25 years and continues to do so, realized that she wanted to provide home care services as well, BUT she wanted to do it differently.

“There is a great need for these services and there are many excellent home care agencies out there that do a great job and which I continue to recommend. But I wanted to own a company where the employees were treated with the same dignity and respect as our clients. And I wanted our clients to benefit from the highest level of customer service and skill from our employees.

It was important to Banks to change the reality of home care services. How? “Our staff is hand selected and highly compensated. Our employees are paid 50% of what is charged to the client.” Banks said.

Compass charges more than most home care agencies. “I knew it mattered to me that our staff receive a livable wage, but I thought the higher rate would be a tough sell for my clients.” Instead Banks was astounded by her clients’ reaction. “I have received feedback from my clients that they are more than willing to pay a higher rate to know that their caregiver is well compensated.”

Other ways Compass is different? You will never see a Want Ad asking for applications. “I only hire people I have either worked with personally in the past and I know will do the job I expect or from recommendations from those workers I trust,” Banks began. “I want to go to sleep at night confident that my clients are provided the safest and best care available. And it is never lost on me and my staff what a privilege it is to be allowed into someone’s home.”

Banks, a licensed social worker who is a certified geriatric care manager and aging life care specialist, has over 30 years of clinical experience working with seniors, their families and caregivers. She was named a Fellow of the Maine Gerontological Society of Maine in 2011 and is the past chair of the Board of Trustees at 75 State Street, an independent and assisted living community in Portland.

A major proponent of inter-generational learning, Banks has worked in collaboration with high schools and the University of New England’s Occupational Therapy program to increase understanding among the generations and to turn young people on to the idea that working with elders can be life changing, inspirational and fun.
Owner, Paula Banks

The services Compass offers include, but are not limited to, the following:

Errands, gift buying, shopping,
Making reservations and appointments
Planning and accompanying to social outings
Pet Care
Supportive conversation
Encouraging, assisting and partaking in hobbies and activities
Memoir writing, reading, arts and crafts, game playing
Dressing and bathing
Daily life activities
Laundry and meal planning
2 to 24-hour supervision

“Our mission is to take the burden off our clients and their caregivers with love, passion, dignity, respect and fun so they can live their best life!”

For more information, contact Paula Banks at 415-8990 or peruse the website at

Friday, December 14, 2018

Business Spotlight: Pratt Abbott Garment Care Lorraine Glowczak

On-site wedding garment preparations, alterations and repairs, free American Flag cleaning, free pick-up and delivery, wash/dry/fold and, of course, dry cleaning services, are just a few of the multitude of amenities offered by Pratt Abbott Garment Care. With 12 locations in the greater Portland area including Windham at 835 Roosevelt Trail, the locally owned dry cleaning company has been providing garment care in Southern Maine since 1944.

This year, Pratt Abbott opened a brand-new Express Laundry Center in Windham. The upgraded facility has 76 new, state-of-the-art washers and dryers that make doing laundry a quick and pleasant task. Large-capacity machines are great for large families, or for oversized loads like comforters. The Windham store also offers free WiFi and free coffee. But the most exciting convenience for customers is the mobile payment system powered by Laundry Boss. This futuristic system lets you use a kiosk or download an app to operate your washers and dryers right on your phone or tablet. No more cards or coins! You can easily use it to add more time or change settings, and it will alert you when your laundry is done. Windham is one of two Pratt Abbott stores to debut Laundry Boss this year.

Innovation is important to Pratt Abbott, which has also invested in the most eco-friendly dry cleaning processes available to become the greenest cleaner in Maine. From using nontoxic cleaning agents to recycling to reducing its water and electricity footprint, Pratt Abbott uses cutting-edge technology to ensure sustainability. With this environmentally friendly amenity, one can expect their dresses, suits, sweaters and other clothing returned in a softer and cleaner condition than before without that "dry cleaning smell." It is important to note that Pratt Abbott does not outsource their cleaning and the clothing never leaves their care. All dry cleaning is done in-house.

Pratt Abbott is committed to quality at all levels of operation. Since the business’ inception 74 years ago, Pratt Abbott has been an independent and family owned business. It has only changed ownership three times, with the Machesney family as the current proprietors. “I purchased Pratt Abbott in 1991 from a family who bought the business in approximately 1956 from the original owners,” explained David Machesney, stating he enjoys continuing the tradition established by the original and local families of Pratt and Abbott.

David Machesney
This family dedication to service includes an unmatched level of pride in one’s work is catching and filters down to the Pratt Abbott staff. As a result, the garment cleaning company has recently received several honors, including the SBA’s Maine Family Owned Business Award and The Knot’s Hall of Fame for their wedding garment care services. “It’s a testament of how well our staff perform their responsibilities and take pride in the services we offer,” Machesney stated about the trained professionals. “There are very few of these awards given out each year.”

The wedding garment service not only includes wedding dress restoration and pre-ceremony cleaning but also includes steaming or pressing the wedding dress onsite at the wedding or other location. This service is not only offered for the bride to be, but for the entire wedding party as well.

Additional services at Pratt Abbott include:
·         Shirt services
·         Free seasonal storage
·         Household dry cleaning and washing for rugs, feather pillows, curtains, comforters, etc.
·         Alterations and repairs
·         Free delivery

Pratt Abbott’s free delivery service is of particular interest to busy professionals, senior citizens, new families, and others who are looking to save time and improve quality of life. Rather than dropping and picking up your clothes at the store, Pratt Abbott will come to your house or office for free. It’s a remarkable service reminiscent of “the milk man” and other old-fashioned, small town conveniences.
The company also gives back to the community in a variety of ways. One service Pratt Abbott provides is free dry-cleaning services for the American Flag. “Pratt Abbott has been offering free flag cleaning for 30 years,” Machesney stated. “The flags can be owned by military personnel, schools or by a private individual – if someone owns an American Flag, we clean it for free.”

Pratt Abbott is also known for its Coats for Kids program that was launched in coordination with the Salvation Army in 1983. This program provides gently used winter coats to low-income children in Maine. “If you can easily help a child keep warm in the winter, why wouldn’t you?” Machesney stated when asked about this program.

Machesney is not only proud of the services the company provides or the giving back to the community it offers, but he also speaks fondly of the staff.  “We recently had someone retire after 37 years of working for us,” Machesney began. “She was like family to me and, although I know it was time for her to retire, I was very sad to see her leave.”

He feels this way about all staff who work diligently, giving Pratt Abbott the highly recognized reputation, preferred by many for the company’s dry-cleaning services in Southern Maine. Pratt Abbott is always looking for dedicated, positive and talented employees. For those interested in applying and becoming a part of the Pratt Abbott family, can do so by learning more about the application process at There is a $100 sign-on bonus after 120 days.

To learn more about the services Pratt Abbott offers, peruse their website at or contact the Windham location, open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., at 892-5379.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Business Spotlight on Skin Medical Aesthetics and Wellness Lorraine Glowczak

Harvard-trained and board-certified Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Anthony Perrone, recently followed his love of the arts and combined it with his other passion of providing minimally invasive aesthetic procedures by opening his restorative medical practice - Skin Medical Aesthetics and Wellness.

Located at 472 Roosevelt Trail in Windham, Dr. Perrone offers a variety of safe and scientific based skin care services in a medical setting that is a first and only in the Lakes Region area.

“As a doctor who lives in Windham, I became aware that there are many individuals in the greater Lakes Region area who are looking for services such as Hydrafacials®, Botox®, as well as other medical skin care needs but have to travel to Portland in order to receive them,” explained Dr. Perrone. “I decided after years being a practicing plastic surgeon in Augusta that I could do more for my community by offering services in the greater Windham area.”

At Skin Medical Aesthetics and Wellness (SKIN), there are a variety of services from which to choose. Whether it is Botox® or fillers, high end multifunctional Hydrafacials®, Coolsculpting® (non-surgical treatment for tissue reduction), Kybella® (a targeted tissue reduction treatment) or Insta-lift® (facelift), SKIN offers amenities in a safe medical environment along with along with a complimentary educational consultation prior to the service of choice.

“Sometimes clients requests procedures that do not necessarily address their needs,” stated Dr. Perrone. “I educate my clients, so they make the best decision based upon their circumstances and preferences. I believe informing my clients is the best way that they fully enhance their lives so they feel comfortable and confident.”

To make important health care decisions, the client needs to be aware of the procedures they are electing to undergo. I’m here to support people in their journey to achieve their ultimate vision of themselves in their skin.

Dr. Perrone is happy to show you around his facility and highlight his various procedures rooms where a variety of skin enhancing techniques are performed. One room includes a Hydrafacial® machine which provides a comprehensive skin care experience. “It’s not only the facial skin that we consider,” began Perrone. “The applications of the machine can extend onto the entire body.”

Dr. Anthony Perrone
There is also a CoolSculpting® room “This form of therapy freezes stubborn tissue while protecting the skin. It’s perfect for the person who has tissue resistant to diet and exercise.” Perrone explained but reiterated that this therapy is not a substitution for nutritious eating and regular exercise.

Perrone also stated that they have provided facial services for brides and bridesmaids. “Recently, we had a bride and her bridesmaid’s come in for a before wedding experience. The bride and her bridesmaids each had a facial and then sat in our conference room to relax prior to the big event.”
But aesthetics are not the only focus at SKIN. Athletes can also benefit from a detoxifying lymphatic treatment to promote recovery. “This therapy will help to accelerate recovery between workouts or events.” stated Dr. Perrone.

Dr. Perrone will customize a step wise approach so clients will achieve their desired outcome. “I will encourage individuals to stand up and stand out. I will provide an individual with the education to make an informed and personalized decision that is best for them” he stated.

He is also committed to the needs of the community. “Although my office hours are from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., I do my best to accommodate those who cannot make those hours by accepting appointments outside of the normal business schedule,” said Perrone.”

For more information about SKIN services and to see many results from real people just like you, follow Dr. Perrone and Skin Medical Aesthetics and Wellness on Facebook and Instagram, call 207-572-1618 or email at

Friday, November 30, 2018

Business Spotlight on Lisa DeFosse Massage and Karen Tibbetts of Foot Path Reflexology

By Lorraine Glowczak

The use of integrative approaches to wellness has grown in the U.S. in recent years. It emphasizes a holistic method that includes mental, emotional, physical and spiritual aspects of an individual, treating the whole person rather than one specific area of concern. Many people turn to alternative therapies for pain relief when traditional treatments fail or as a complement to conventional medicine. Offering alternative and integrative healthcare as a way toward a complete healthy lifestyle is one of the main purposes’ local holistic practitioners, Lisa DeFosse of Lisa DeFosse Massage Therapy and Karen Tibbetts of Foot Path Reflexology, work together.

Besides massage, DeFosse is a Reiki Master who is in the process of becoming a Bowenwork Practitioner and Tibbetts is a Reflexologist as well as a Health Coach. They both discovered their line of work by first experiencing the positive effects their particular modalities had on their own lives. They share their stories as well as the reasons they offer their services to the greater Lakes Region community at their office, 57 Tandberg Trail in Windham.

“I was receiving a massage one day and thought to myself, ‘Wow this would be a really relaxing job and I could probably do this’.” DeFosse said. “Little did I realize how much I would love helping people in this way and how rewarding it would be for me.”

DeFosse graduated from Spa Tech Institute in 2005 and gained her Reiki Master Certification in 2007. She is currently studying Bowenwork in Arundel through Ainslee Farrington, an instructor for the American Bowen Academy and plans to be certified by spring 2019.

Massage therapy is manual manipulation of soft body tissues and Reiki is a Japanese technique where the therapist can channel energy into the patient by means of touch. Bowenwork is also a system of touch.

DeFosse explained that Bowenwork is comprised of gentle moves applied to specific points on the body with significant pauses or rests between the moves. The work takes the body out of fight/flight mode and puts it into rest/repair/relax mode. “It's like rebooting your computer but instead, you are rebooting your connections in your body,” DeFosse said.

Karen Tibbetts and Lisa DeFosse
Much like DeFosse, Tibbetts discovered her method of therapeutic healing by accident. She had been experiencing multiple sinus infections of which traditional medicine was not healing.  “I was being treated with antibiotics and nose sprays for quite some time and the infection wasn’t going away. A friend recommended that I try reflexology. After an eight-week session, which I combined with homeopathic medicine, my sinus infection went away. That was three years ago, and I haven’t had an infection since.” It was at the suggestion of her reflexologist that Tibbetts decided to enter the field herself, becoming a certified reflexologist in 2015 by Myra Achorn of “Treat your Feet School” in Augusta.

Reflexology is a specific touch technique that applies pressure to the reflex points of the feet, hand and ears which all correspond to the gland organ systems of the body. “The physical act of applying pressure with thumb and fingers to these reflex areas results in improving circulation and body stress,” explained Tibbetts. “It also promotes physiological changes, improves circulation and reduces body stress.”

Tibbetts is also a health coach. “I offer a health program that is much more than a diet,” she stated. “This nutrition-based program is easy to follow with very little food preparation involved. Clients have my support as well as that of an online community. Utilizing all components of the program will lead to lifelong transformation one healthy habit at a time.”

While DeFosse and Tibbetts offer different methods to holistic healing, the separate practices act in harmony with one another and increase an individual’s overall wellbeing. “Reflexology and Bowenwork both work with the nervous system and complement each other well,” stated DeFosse. “We have clients who alternate each week - Bowen one week and Reflexology the next and they like the way they work together. Massage and Reflexology also complement each other. Massage helps you relax every muscle in your body and reflexology can go even deeper to points in your organs and systems. Karen and I can work together to schedule someone if they want to receive reflexology and massage on the same day back to back.”

DeFosse and Tibbetts agree that caring for oneself is the greatest preventative measure and contributes to long lasting health. “Self-care is so important,” DeFosse said. “Just like a lantern needs fuel to provide light, so does your body need self-care so that you can shine your light more brightly. Women especially tend to put themselves last and not take time for self-care and we want to stress that it's not a luxury but a necessity. Once we learn to love ourselves and care for ourselves, then we are better able to care for others.”

To learn more about the above services or to make an appointment, contact DeFosse at 207-329-8826 or on her webpage at and contact Tibbetts at 207-890-1633 or on her Facebook page, Foot Path Reflexology. Tibbetts also offers her services in Oxford.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Business Spotlight: Carousel Horse Farm Briana Bizier

Are you looking for a unique holiday gift that could be enjoyed in any season? Perhaps you’d like to
treat yourself or your family to a fun Maine adventure that’s not far from home, or maybe you want to entice out-of-town friends and family members to come for a visit? Either way, Carousel Horse Farm in Casco has the answer!

Offering a wide range of rides, Carousel Horse Farm has something to tempt horse lovers of all ages and abilities. Many of the trail rides and sleigh rides depart from Carousel Horse Farm’s stables at 69 Leach Hill Road in Casco, which backs the 5,000-acre Jugtown Forest.

Access to Jugtown trails really makes us unique,” explains Tiffany Payton, who has a Bachelor’s degree in Equine Business Administration and has been in business for over twenty five years. Payton traveled all over the country and the world driving horses, and now she uses her experience to offer wagon, carriage, and sleigh rides in addition to horseback trail rides.

Unlike many other riding stables, most of the horses at Carousel have lived on Payton’s Casco farm for their entire lives. Each horse’s story is featured on Carousel’s website,, giving riders the chance to get to know the horses before booking their rides. However, Payton adds, the choice of which horse to ride is ultimately up to her guides and will depend on several factors, including properly fitting equipment. Also, the horses rotate their days off.

Beginner horseback riders are always welcome at Carousel Horse Farm. “We have a first-time rider almost every time we go out,” Payton explained. Children must be at least six years old for a horseback trail ride, and all potential riders must be able to use a two-step mounting block unassisted. If you’d like to enjoy the woods this winter with younger children, Carousel also offers a horse-drawn sleigh ride with hot cocoa and a homemade dessert for all ages.

During the warmer months, Carousel offers a wide variety of horseback trail rides, ranging from one-hour long beginner rides to a four-hour ride to the top of Quaker Ridge. One of the most popular summertime horseback rides is the Pear’s Ice Cream Run, which takes riders on a 1.5-hour ride to Pear’s Ice Cream stand, where the horses wait at an old-fashioned hitching post while their riders enjoy a well-earned ice cream cone.

Ice cream season may be over for this year, but there’s still fun to be had on horseback. “We’re the only horseback riding company in Maine to offer year-round trail rides,” Payton stated. Carousel’s Winter Wonderland ride is an hour-long horseback ride through the snowy woods behind the stables. “Lots of people will say, ‘I didn’t know you could ride horses in the winter,’” Payton said, with a smile. “It’s like any other winter activity. Dress appropriately, and you can have a lot of fun.”

All the rides at Carousel Horse Farm must be booked in advance online. For the Winter Wonderland ride, this gives Payton and her team a chance to email riders with suggestions about what to wear to stay warm in the Maine woods.

The Winter Wonderland ride isn’t Carousel Horse Farm’s only special offering for the season. If you’ve ever dreamed of riding a beautiful horse past crashing waves, their Beach Ride is your chance to live your dream! Riders meet at Popham Beach for an hour-long ride on the sand. Because the beach is closed to equestrians during the summer, this ride is only offered October through March.
Now is the perfect time to think about booking horseback rides, because Carousel Horse Farm only offers their Trail Pass during the months of November and December. The Trail Pass, which can be found on their website (, offers 50% off all beginner rides and can also be applied to other rides. Because there is no limit on how many Trail Passes you can buy, and no expiration date, these make excellent gifts for everyone on your list!

For more information call 207-627-4471 or find them on Facebook.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Business Spotlight on PNF - Personalized Nutrition and Fitness the first step towards changing your health is often the hardest. At Personalized Nutrition and
Fitness (PNF) the trainers know this, and they strive to make you comfortable once you are through the door. “When people first come in through the door they have done the hardest part”, states Mark York, co-owner of the Windham based fitness business. “Our goal is that once people are here, they will see that we have something for everyone and work to make them comfortable”, says Mark.

PNF has recently changed locations, according to Whitney Sullivan, co-owner, “The only change is our awesome new location”. The new location has similar amenities to the previous location, with a “slam wall”, indoor turf area, and floor area with mirrors, but this new space has more to offer including outdoor turf, TRX suspension, restroom with a shower, and more parking. Whitney explains that they are excited about their outdoor options as well, “It’s always nice to take training outside on a beautiful day”.

This space lends itself to a variety of classes and training options. PNF hosts six classes a day that offer a variety to our local population. These classes range from Youth Fitness, spinning, TRX classes, Silver and Fit and more. “We love being able to offer a variety of classes, because health and fitness isn’t just for one population, it’s for everyone”, shares Mark. 

This is evident in the Youth Fitness class offered at the facility on Mondays and Wednesdays. This class offers youth from 7 to 12 years of age a chance to be active year round, an often includes fun and motivating games that keep the youth interested and active.  On the other end of the spectrum, the Silver and Fit class is geared towards participants 55 years and over. “This class provides many modes of exercise using weights, rubber bands, and incorporates balance to help our seniors with their activities of daily living”, Whitney reveals, “all while listening to music and socializing”. Mark adds, “It’s a special group, they have been together exercising for years and have all grown to know and care about each other, we are proud to be part of it”.

Whitney Sullivan and Mark York
PNF also offers personalized training with one-on-one sessions and small group sessions. This allows for the trainer to focus the workout to meet the needs of the client. “It’s not uncommon for people to have a sore back, shoulders, knees, etc. So when we work one-on-one with clients we can focus on their needs to make sure everything is done safely”, Mark states, “People’s goals and reasons for working out can be different, we are able to personalize their workout to help meet these goals”. Whitney adds, “We also offer a wide range of nutrition programs that help our client’s meet their goals and special needs, we become invested in our client’s health and want to give them the tools to be successful”.

Whitney and Mark have been training in Windham for a combined total of over twenty years. It is clear that they have a passion for health and fitness. “We have seven trainers that work here with us, and it’s important for us not only do they know the science for this, but they are approachable and invested in our clients,” Whitney shares. “All of our trainers have a Bachelor’s degree in health-related fields; they are very knowledgeable and like to stay on the cutting edge of fitness”.

“We hope that when people come in, they are comfortable, that they can work towards their goals, and have fun doing this” the two owners agree.

Mark and Whitney invite you to come see their new location at 15 Storm Drive, Windham and experience PNF for yourself with the coupon for a free class in the ad below. For more information visit their website at or call 207-892-8333. You can also find them on Facebook.


Friday, November 9, 2018

Business Spotlight: Champion K9 Care Briana Bizier

Few things are as exciting as the moment you bring home a new member of the family. From
sleepless nights to lessons about potty training, welcoming a puppy into your home is a major commitment.

Tina Constantine and her daughter Abby of Champion K9 Care in Windham are here to help! A self-described “stay-at-home farm mom,” Tina has recently opened her home to puppies between the ages of eight weeks to twelve months. Pups who come to spend the day are treated to plenty of one-on-one attention, outdoor play time, walks through the forest, and basic training.

Sometimes, puppies can get into trouble if they’re left home alone,” Tina explains. “You hear people
say, ‘Oh, my puppy ripped up the couch.’ That can happen when they’re bored.”

When puppies come to Champion K9 Care, they have the chance to exercise, to socialize with other dogs and humans, and to become better canine citizens. Basic training is emphasized, so puppies learn to keep four paws on the floor, to sit when they’re receiving treats, to walk with a leash and to settle in their crates for nap time.

Located on a quiet road in Windham, Champion K9 Care is part of a working farm. Leaves fluttered through the air as Tina led me on a tour of their expansive outdoor play area for the pups, which features a “ball tree” full of tennis and soccer balls and a large fenced-in area where pups can play safely. We work on playing with balls, and we do a lot of work on potty training,” Tina explains.

Larger doggie daycare facilities, Tina tells me, will sometimes have concrete floors and no designed place for “potty time,” which can be very confusing to a young puppy. Champion K9 Care, on the other hand, is run out of Tina and Abby’s home. So, potty training is important here,” Tina adds, with a laugh.

During my visit, the pups were enjoying “nap time” in their crates. Several adorable puppies snuggled stuffed animals while soft music played in the background of the quiet, warm, and carpeted room. Tina explains the puppies get several playtimes and nap times during the day, as well as lunch. The room is cleaned only with natural products, because puppies have such a habit of exploring the world with their mouths!

The walls of the pup’s nap room are lined with ribbons Tina and Abby, who breed dogs of their own, have won in various dog shows. “I did have a dog who showed in Westminster,” Tina tells me, pointing to a picture of a gorgeous golden retriever. “That was pretty exciting.”

Despite her history with purebreds, Tina emphasizes that all puppies are welcome at Champion K9 Care, regardless of their pedigree. “Lots of bigger doggie daycares don’t accept puppies,” Tina explains. “We’re trying to fill that niche and provide home care for younger dogs.” Their goal is to have your puppy get the one-on-one care they need to blossom into an obedient and happy dog that you can be proud of.

In addition to their training program and regular day care, Champion K9 Care also offers baths and nail clippings, as well as the option to add additional training sessions for your puppy. Consistent, positive interaction and teaching will be the guide to their future behavior and they know the importance of providing a learning environment while allowing the dog to still be able to be a puppy.

Abby, a current student at York County Community College, is enrolled in their Animal Care and Management program, where she’s learning how to manage a pet care business. While Abby attends classes, Tina watches the puppies. The dogs are never alone,” Tina explains. “We’re here to provide a good, safe, fun place to come and enjoy the day. Dogs get so excited they jump right out of the car when they arrive,” Tina adds, with a laugh. “Because all of their friends are here!”

With the holidays approaching, keep in mind that Champion K9 Care also offers gift certificates. If you know someone who has just welcomed a new four-legged arrival, both the owner and the puppy will love the gift of fun-filled farm days at Champion K9 Care!

They are open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Puppies can be dropped off or picked up at Champion K9 Care at any time. For more information or for a tour of their daycare located at 8 Cartland Road in Windham please call 892-9363. You can also find them on Facebook. They are excited to welcome your puppy into their home.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Business Spotlight on University Credit Union Maine, we enjoy one of the highest homeownership rates in the country at over 71 percent as of
2017, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This isn’t surprising, considering Maine’s rental market is among the least affordable in the nation, according to a 2018 study from the National Low-Income Housing Coalition. Mainers understand that homeownership is not only an important step to achieving financial security, but is an opportunity to lay local roots that can last for generations.

The “buy local” movement has made shopping close to home second nature on things like groceries, but we don’t often think about “buying local” when it comes to the home buying process. And that, experts say, is one of the most important “buy local” decisions a person can make.

“We are one of the few credit unions in Maine to service our mortgages in-house, including Rural Housing loans, meaning your loan stays local,” said April Gleason, vice president of lending for University Credit Union. “I’ve heard stories from first-time buyers who didn’t think about what could happen to their loan after they closed, or why it mattered. Then, the servicing is sold and buyers must make payments to different lenders or servicers, which can be confusing and frustrating when payment and escrow questions occur. We strongly encourage prospective buyers to take a first-time homebuyer education course to get familiar with the entire mortgage process. Being a successful homeowner starts with education.

Gleason says, it’s not just buying a house that matters – it’s how you buy it. As member-owned financial institutions, credit unions operate on a different model than traditional banks, one focused on delivering better value and service for members, not investors. While membership sounds like a barrier, “there’s a credit union for everyone,” adds Gleason.

This is especially true at University Credit Union (or UCU for short), where anyone with an affiliation to the University of Maine System can join. This is just one reason UCU is one of the largest credit unions in Maine, with 28,000 members, 175 shared branching locations and eight UCU branches around the state, including Forest Avenue in Portland and on the USM campus in nearby Gorham. Founded in 1967 on the University of Maine campus in Orono, UCU is Maine’s only full-service financial institution created to serve University of Maine System students, alumni, employees and their families.

“One of the things that makes UCU unique is how multi-generational our membership is,” explains Gleason. “We just celebrated our 50th anniversary, and we have members in retirement who have been with us since college, and whose children and grandchildren are UCU members. Our products and services reflect this broad range of financial needs, from the first savings account to the first retirement account, from the first car to the first home, which often surprises folks who think credit unions are too small to help. In fact, we can usually do just as much, and in some cases more, for you than larger banks, especially on mortgages.”

Being a financial institution rooted in Maine’s public university system, UCU believes educating members is just as important as serving them and regularly partners with Maine hoMEworks, a nonprofit dedicated to educating Mainers about the home-buying process, to offer low-to-no-cost education courses around the state.

Gleason, who serves on the board of Maine hoMEworks and is a frequent presenter, believes these courses are one of the best ways to clear up the mystery around homebuying and avoid costly mistakes in terms of time and money, both of which are essential to navigate Maine’s hot real estate market.

For at least one local resident, the homebuying experience with UCU was very positive.

“I can’t stress enough how important attending the First-Time Home Buyers class was in preparing me for this endeavor,” says Vinnie, a UCU member from Casco who recently closed on his first home (pictured above). “All the information provided, from types of loans, home inspections, insurance and much more helped lay the groundwork for me to purchase this new home. On top of the information learned, the $3,500 from the Maine State Housing Program was an amazing addition to an already awesome learning experience.”

To learn more about membership eligibility and how UCU can help you meet your financial goals, visit or call 800-696-8628. Federally Insured by NCUA. Equal Housing Lender. NMLS 407658.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Business Spotlight on Montecito Market by Briana Bizier you drive along Route 302 between Windham and Portland, you’re in for a treat!

Montecito Market, a newly opened store offering take-out food located at 1102 Bridgton Road (Route 302) in Westbrook, offers a plethora of delicious treats to brighten your commute. Even if you haven’t yet set foot in Montecito’s bright and sunny market, you’ve probably noticed Rudy the Rooster, the enormous rainbow-colored rooster statue proudly standing at attention in front of the market.

 “Everyone loves Rudy,” Julia Havers, co-owner, tells me, explaining the colorful statue is part of their new social media marketing strategy. “If you stop by to take a picture with Rudy and post it on our Facebook or Instagram pages, we’ll give you a free 8 oz. bag of Montecito Roadhouse tortilla chips.

Twenty years ago, Julia and co-owner/husband Scott Rehart moved from Santa Barbara, California to Portland in order to be closer to Julia’s family. Julia began work as a clinical social worker at Maine Medical Center, and Scott decided to rent a “day table” from the now-defunct Portland Public Market.

We’ve always loved Mexican food,” Julia tells me. “Every time we went out to a restaurant, we’d choose Mexican. But then I would say, ‘This isn’t half as good as what you can make at home.”
Scott’s rented “day table” at the Portland Public Market included a microwave oven and an array of enchiladas displayed on tubs of ice. Scott baked his enchiladas at home, set them on ice, and allowed customers to warm them in the microwave.

“I sold out the first weekend,” Scott says. “Then I sold out again the second weekend. By the fourth weekend, I decided I wanted a permanent stall in the market.” Scott operated his El Mirador Mexican Deli at the Portland Public Market for six years.

Montecito Market Owners, Julia and Scott with "Rudy".
“I made tortilla chips like we did growing up in California, and just tossed a handful on the combo plates. Customers began requesting them by the bagful. I had a customer who liked my El Mirador chips so much she brought bags to the Cape Elizabeth IGA,” Scott recalls. “I should have given her a finder’s fee for securing the account! Our chips are still sold at that IGA only now as Montecito Roadhouse.”

Scott and Julia bought the property on 302 which had formerly been Westbrook Pool and Spa. After renovating the building, the couple is looking forward to growing their Market. It features Montecito Roadhouse tortilla chips, as well as a wide range of take-out meals and other local products, from maple syrup, mustards, salad dressings, spice packages, cheesecake and lava cake mixes, to hot sauce and salsa.

We’re trying to showcase other Maine-made products”, Scott says, “since we recognize how much hard work is behind it. There is a real respect and appreciation when local vendors go out of their way to visit and get to know their customers.” Julia has enjoyed meeting the owners of Mother’s Mountain, Jarva Cakes, Raye’s Mustard, and Coopers Maple Products.

Montecito Market’s take-out menu includes Mexican favorites such as chile rellenos, burritos, and the same enchiladas that were so popular when Scott set up his first “day table” at the Portland Public Market. However, the menu also includes other comfort foods.

“That’s part of what makes us special,” Julia explains. Chicken pot pies, Tennessee meatloaf, lasagna, macaroni and cheese, and a range of soups and chilis join the Mexican meals in their take-out menu, ensuring that Montecito Market will have a delicious meal to please whomever is waiting for you at home!

Scott tells how the couple drove through Louisiana a few years ago and stopped at Café du Monde, a New Orleans landmark that specializes in beignets, the state donut of Louisiana.  Returning to Maine, Scott began making his own beignets. He is making them at Montecito Market both plain, and with various fillings including crème brulee, cream cheese, and jalapeno jelly that he makes at the Market. In the name of journalism, I made sure to sample a beignet. It was delicious enough to make me wish my morning commute followed 302!

When I asked if he missed the Santa Barbara sunshine, Scott laughed. “The sunshine gets boring,” he said. “The weather is always the same in California.”

“We do have a lot of people comment after eating Scott’s food, “This tastes just like California!” Julia adds.

We may not have Santa Barbara's sunshine but, thanks to Scott and Julia’s Montecito Roadhouse, southern Maine can now have a taste of California!

Montecito Market has had a soft opening to meet their neighbors and invites you to its Grand Opening this Saturday, October 27 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, contact Julia and Scott and 207-856-6811 or follow them on Facebook.

Friday, October 19, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, October 12, 2018

Business Spotlight: The Beauty Barr

By Lorraine Glowczak

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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