Friday, January 26, 2018

Business Spotlight on MGM Builders and Turner Contracting & Remodeling construction companies MGM Builders and Turner Contracting & Remodeling are excited to
announce that they will be joining forces in 2018. Bob Turner of Turner Contracting & Remodeling will begin developing and managing the new renovations division of MGM Builders, in a move that will add depth and experience to the services that MGM Builders has to offer.

Turner brings with him over 20 years’ experience in general contracting, home renovations, new construction and millwork. He started Turner Contracting & Remodeling with his father over a decade ago, defining the business by its high-quality workmanship and customer satisfaction. They maintained a reputation as a trusted contractor in the local community through their honest and straightforward approach. 

“For the last 13 years I have enjoyed running my own renovation business. Since my Dad retired, I have been doing it on my own and it’s simply too much for one person to do,” Turner said. “I love what I do and I am looking forward to being part of the team at MGM Builders!”

Designing and building custom homes has been the core focus of MGM Builders since their first house was built in Raymond, Maine in 1987. Mike Manning, Founder and General Contractor of MGM Builders, has always been passionate about creating homes for his clients, only using quality materials and craftsmen to ensure that the structure is sound. Bob and his team have valued those same standards in their work, making the merge an effortless one.

Bob Turner
“Bob and I have a long history of referring work to one another. It seems like a natural fit to have him as part of our team. We are extremely excited to be able to offer renovation services to our new and existing customers.” Manning said.

With Turner and his team now on board, the company is equipped to offer the community an expanded list of home building services. With their full-service home renovation and additions division that can do everything from small repairs and renovations to expansive home additions.

“Remodeling can be a difficult process. But, I have found over the years that many homeowners are more inclined to renovate their existing home versus go through the process of building new and relocating,” said Turner. “And now that’s something MGM Builders can offer to those homeowners.”
They will be continuing with custom home design, which is a good fit for families who want to be involved in the design process of their home. Another new service they’ve just added is a collection of pre-designed home plans that are more affordable and faster to build, called Made to Measure home designs. 
Mike Manning

“Clients simply pick their favorite home design, and from there they just need to choose their fixtures, finishes, and colors. It’s a less overwhelming process,” said Anne Manning, Co-Founder and Home Design Specialist at MGM Builders.

Though there are many changes happening within the company, MGM Builders remains committed to operating with consistency and integrity. You’re more than just another customer when you work with them. There is an emphasis on learning about the client and what they want in a home. With over 200 homes built since 1987, they’ve become a trusted local home builder in the Cumberland County Region. 

Turner wants to thank everyone that has supported Turner Contracting over the last 13 years and is looking forward to growing the renovation division of MGM Builders. He can be reached by email at, or his direct line at 207-329-4217.

If you are interested in building a new home, MGM Builders has four lots available right now in the Windham Hill neighborhood development Green Acres, being built to be accepted as a town road with city water. Contact Mike at for more information.

The MGM Builders office is located in the Shops at Sebago Plaza in North Windham and is open on weekdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can call the office anytime at 207-892-1019, or find out more about their home building services at

Friday, January 19, 2018

Business spotlight: Sticky Bud Farms by Michelle Libby of Sticky Bud Farms Dave and Judy Whitten are advocates and educators when it comes to medical cannabis. The new business at 815 Roosevelt Trail in Windham, seeks to provide alternative means to help those with chronic conditions. 
Medical cannabis is a holistic and non-addictive way for people with a medical certification card and a qualifying condition such as anxiety/PTSD, chronic pain, epilepsy, and many others to get relief. 

Although Dave cannot make any medical claims, many people swear by the results from using their products. It has become a safer, non-addictive alternative to opiate prescription drugs for chronic pain or post-surgery pain management. For $99 people can be checked by a medical doctor and given a medical cannabis card if the person has a qualifying medical condition. The Whittens receive no financial gain from having the doctor in the shop on Saturday mornings. They offer it as a service to the community.

“Times are changing,” Dave said. “Medical marijuana is a health and human service issue. Unlike big pharmaceutical companies, it’s not about money, it’s purely about helping people.” 

Sticky Bud Farms is a caregiver storefront that sells not only medical cannabis but gifts, accessories, glassware, vaporizers, apparel and CBD products that are non-psychotropic and legal for anyone to purchase. The store does have medicine here for those who want it, but Dave is quick to say they are not a dispensary. The space is open, clean bright and a friendly, welcoming environment. There is no hard sell.

“I change people’s lives on a daily basis by helping them,” Dave said. He works with combat veterans for their PTSD and cancer patients. Most of the clients are from ages 30 to 70. Dave is very knowledgeable in the field of medical cannabis and CBD and has expertise in preparing specific blends of products for treating specific needs. Having the ability to customize products based off specific ailments is what makes this business unique. 

CBD salves and tinctures are hemp based. They produce no high, no side effects and do not require a medical card. CBD is legal in all 50 states and is gaining popularity due to its miraculous results relieving conditions for all ages and even pets. They make hemp dog bones for pets with anxiety, arthritis and other pain issues. All of the edibles and candies are made at a commercial kitchen in Portland and they have won many awards and cups over the last three years. In 2016, Dave was awarded the Outstanding Excellence in Caregiving by the Maine Green Cross and the Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine Trade Association. 

Another unique service provided by Sticky Bud Farms is an Oxygen Bar. Currently there are eight aromas bottled for different effects with more arriving weekly. Sticky Bud Farms consulted with a licensed respiratory therapist before starting the bar.  A customer sits and inhales the oxygen scented with up to two scents at a time. The scents vary from Zen and Invigorating to Pure O2 and Sex on the Beach.  

“I fell in love with oxygen,” Dave said. It’s a great way to add in a little relaxation and mental clarity to your day. 

“It makes people more alert, more focused,” Dave said. The oxygen bar is used for hangovers, recovery from workouts and a way to relax. “It’s a nice break in the midst of a busy day.” 

Dave is available for free consultations about how his products can help. “Education is part of this. It’s not just smoking weed anymore,” he said. “Just talk to us about it. We want to educate.”
Although the store isn’t a grow location, they are happy to answer questions about growing, preparations, medical cannabis and how hemp can help improve quality of life.

For more information about Sticky Bud Farms, call 893-8200 or stop by Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visit them on Facebook where they post many educational articles which will help you see if their products can help you live a healthier, happier life.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Business Spotlight on Jordan Bay Animal Hospital by Michelle Libby you consider your pet family, like most of us do, then it is important you give them the best care you possibly can just like you would your own child. Dr. Eric Riddell and the staff at Jordan Bay Animal Hospital on Roosevelt Trail in Raymond has a reputation for compassionate and professional care you can trust. Since taking over the practice in 2006, Dr. Riddell has provided care for thousands of animals that include dogs, cats, rats, guinea pigs and other small animals.
The philosophy, which is “love is practiced and spoken here,” transfers through everything they do at the clinic from teeth cleaning to vaccinations. 

“The principle center is that we like people to feel happy and welcome,” said Riddell. “Ninety-nine percent of animals are happy when they walk into the clinic.”

Dr. Riddell describes himself as a generalist. He takes care of most issues an animal might have, but he has also surrounded himself with specialists all over New England, so that within days or even minutes using telemedicine, he has a consultation on a case. This saves customers money from a visit with a specialist and keeps the animals closer to home. However, unlike some facilities, Riddell makes sure that the animals have personal care throughout their visit. 

See caption below
When animals must have surgery, a technician will join a dog in a cage or sit with a cat before and after the procedure. “They know they are loved and cared for,” said Kim Riddell, practice manager.
Some advanced diagnosis’ require that pets be referred out of the clinic. However, Dr. Riddell has specialists that he trusts and works closely with in New England. Records and tests can be sent out to other facilities digitally to assist other doctors.  

The office has a friendly, comfortable ambiance. There is always an animal movie playing in the waiting room and the wall is covered with pictures of the many furry friends who come to the clinic.
The practice pretty much does it all and is slowly growing in such a way that customers and animals come first. “That’s why we are here,” said Kim. In the next year, they are hoping to expand the practice to include another veterinarian and more technicians. The practice has a full lab for blood work and urinalysis work. They also provide dentistry including extractions. 

The clinic has a full surgical suite, digital radiology and a state of the art therapeutic laser for non-invasive pain treatment that helps with wounds, aches and fractures. The therapy also can help rescue dogs learn socialization and can comfort all pets. The hospital also offers prescription diets and supplements for certain animals. 

“With everything we do here, we try to make it as careful as possible,” said Riddell.
The office is paperless and does all records electronically. They communicate by email and Facebook for daily announcements and reminders for pet parents. 

“He is very big on education and communication,” said Kim. The office uses Pet Portal, which allows owners to check on charts, medications and send questions for the doctor. They also have several articles on their website to help educate clients on various conditions, tips on how and where to choose your pet, a vetopedia which is a glossary of terms used by vets and more.

Clients come from as far away as Rockland and Carrabassett Valley. Some clients they see during the summer months are from other states, who return year after year to see Dr. Riddell. “They say we’re half the price and twice as nice,” he joked. “We guarantee that everyone here is committed truly, genuinely committed to providing excellent care. It’s not just a job or career, it’s a lifestyle.”
“We wanted to do things in a way that provides service, supports people and their animals and provides a place people look forward to come to work at,” said Kim. 

At Jordan Bay Animal Hospital, they don’t cut corners. They do what’s best for the animals, even if it might be an extra step or two. 

Puppies should have a series of vaccinations and senior animals should have a baseline of blood work done. Pets should be seen at least once a year for annual shots and a checkup. 

Jordan Bay Animal Hospital will be holding a rabies clinic Saturday, January 13, 2018, at 1242 Roosevelt Trail in their office. Vaccinations are $10, but smiles are free.

Jordan Bay Animal Hospital is open from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. For more information, visit, call 207-655-3900 or find them on Facebook.

Picture caption: (L to R) Kim Riddell, Dr. Eric Riddell, Jessica Sollenberger and Carey Gayton stand with some furry friends in front of their wall of satisfied customers. Missing is Maggie Wood. Michelle Libby photo.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Business Spotlight Swan Real Estate by Michelle Libby

When searching for a real estate professional, check out Swan Real Estate. With over 42 years of experience, Steve Swan has created a family real estate business that is centered on customer service. Swan Real Estate opened in 1997 to serve the Greater Portland Area “from the lakes to the ocean,” Steve said. 
Swan Real Estate has three brokers, Steve, Payson Swan and Sarah Swan. Barbara Swan, Steve’s wife, runs the office. Carl Vickerson is also a part-time broker for the company. 

Being in real estate gave Steve the freedom to contribute to his family and do something he really enjoys. “I had the freedom to go to all the kid’s events. I always enjoyed real estate and working with people,” he said. 

The Swans work with a lot of first time home buyers. Many of their more recent clients have been referrals and he has helped generations of families move into new homes. Recently they have been working with local construction companies to find land and build new housing packages. 

“People used to want houses to fix up, but today with HGTV, everyone wants new kitchens and new bathrooms. They want them done because they’re so busy,” Steve said. “And with rates as low as they are, you might as well buy a place that’s all done.” 

Steve Swab
Their strength is “personal service, experience and just service without question,” said Steve. “You’re not worth a nickel if you don’t provide service.” His favorite part of the job is working with people, “without question. I love talking to people,” he said. 

Swan Real Estate has a new office at 630 Roosevelt Trail in Windham in the building with Robie Builders. Although the office itself isn’t used much, it is available for meetings with an appointment. A lot of the work is done online with laptops and smartphones, Steve said, but having a local office is convenient so clients don’t have to travel to their Portland office which is at 202 Pleasant Avenue.
When looking to buy in the region, Steve finds it helpful if the clients are familiar with the area and where they want to buy. Payson does a lot of work in the lakes region, buying and selling properties.

Payson Swan
Both she and Steve have lived on the lakes in the area and their knowledge of the region really helps clients find exactly what they are looking for. Steve has lived on Little Sebago and has property on Frye Island which means he is always on top of what is available. 

He also hopes clients will come with questions about the whole process. “Some people have no clue and some are educated,” he said. When it comes to getting pre-approval, “We like to talk about their pre-approval. They might not be offered all the loans they qualify for if their bank doesn’t offer a certain kind of loan.” Some institutions don’t work with Maine State Housing, VA loans or have adjustable rate mortgages. “Everybody’s situation is different,” he added. 

Sarah Swan
Some people are refinancing their homes to purchase a second home around the lake, especially people from out of state. Swan Real Estate can easily help walk them through the process.

Another strong point for Swan Real Estate is Payson’s connections for services that help sell a house faster. She works with professional photographers, people who stage the house, and uses drone technology to showcase a property’s unique features. 

“She combines all of that really well,” Steve said. “The market is really coming into that part of selling a house.” Prospective buyers can go online to any number of websites to find homes they’re interested in. Once buyers are ready for the next step, they can call Swan Real Estate to use the experience and innovation the Swan’s bring to every deal.

For more information or to contact Swan Real Estate, call the office at 207-879-6327, or to contact Steve, call 207-712-3682 or email Swan Real Estate can also be found on Facebook.