Friday, August 31, 2018

Business Spotlight on Auto Shine Car Wash & Detail Center by Michelle Libby

One of the most expensive purchases people make is their vehicles. Auto Shine Car Wash & Detail Center just opened at 660 Roosevelt Trail in Windham, to help keep cars clean, maintained and ready to take on Maine’s weather. With the salt and calcium on the roads, cars take quite a beating.

“The more you come in the better for your car,” said district manager Josh Chase.

With three self service bays, one touchless bay and one SpinLite tunnel, Auto Shine has the capabilities to clean sedans, SUVs, trucks, boats, RVs, campers and motorcycles.
“We want to build relationships and make customers feel like they want to come to a car wash, not that they have to,” said Josh.

It took almost a year to get everything in place to open the location. John Chase, owner of Chase Custom Homes & Finance and Auto Shine Car Wash, attended the August opening day. “Come out, you’ll see. We’re looking forward to a great winter season.” Chase opened his first business in Windham and stayed in town for 18 years. “It’s time to get back into Windham,” he said.

“There’s two times as much stuff below ground,” said Josh. The car wash is high tech using cell phones or computers to control the equipment to wash the cars.

The SpinLite tunnel has a clean, modern look with advanced technology that uses sonar to program the wash to each type of automobile. In the tunnel, it’s a cross between a casino and a disco. Spinning lights and a gentle wash experience make this the car wash to enjoy with the kids or by oneself. The driver provides his or her own music.

Auto Shine is the fourth car wash in New England to put in a SpinLite tunnel. It’s top of the line, according to Josh. “It’s like buying a Rolls Royce instead of a Chevy.”

The touchless wash has no tracks. This is perfect for cars with a low clearance. There are 12 different sonars measuring the shape of the cars.

“It took one month to program everything. There’s so much to a car wash,” said Josh.

All of the concrete is heated making it safe to wash the cars in the dead of winter.

“We’re all about quality. We make sure every customer is satisfied. We strive for quality,” Josh said.
Prices vary depending on the type of wash or the detail package a customer chooses. The tunnel prices vary from $13 for a basic wash to $25 for a full cleaning including the under carriage and the wheels. The touchless bay goes up to $18 per wash. All choices are explained to each customer when they pull up.

#AutoShineThe self-service bays have a 12- by 12-foot opening and are 40-feet long, suitable for boats or RVs. There are also hand dryers in the self-serve bays. Customers buy time at $4 for 5 ½ minutes.

Auto Shine also provides quality detailing for all vehicles. The detailing packages can go from a 30-minute express service to more detailed cleanings by appointment. There are ten to twelve options priced for every budget. Josh does consultations to explain what each package covers. RVs and boats are charged by hull length or square footage.

“Dollar for dollar, you’re not going to get a better deal than us,” Josh said. “Our equipment is different than all others out there. We treat everything like it’s our own product.”

They also perform paint corrections, restore headlights, shampoo seats and clean and condition leather.

Auto Shine uses Simonize chemicals. The Simonize company provides training for the Auto Shine team in Hartford, Connecticut.

There are discounts for AAA members and active military. “We want to develop a relationship and get to know the customers,” Josh said.

There are five employees on staff currently. Josh is hiring still for general laborers.
The car wash is currently open 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Josh also runs the Topsham location of Auto Shine.  

For more information, visit, call 207-572-1065, find them on Facebook or email

Friday, August 24, 2018

Business Spotlight on New England Fitness and Athletics by Michelle Libby"Fitness for everyone is one of the missions of the newest gym in Windham, New England Fitness and Athletics (NEFA) at 15 Commons Avenue. In a 6,000 square foot facility, they have divided the space into three sections: strength on one side, turf in the middle which is utilized for a multitude of classes, and the last third is used for functional training.

NEFA is owned by fitness instructors Travis Guerrette and Nicholas Peirce, who have worked together for years providing locals with fitness tools for healthy living. Guerrette has a bachelor’s degree in applied exercise science from the University of New England and recently graduated with his MBA from University of Southern Maine. “This has been a goal of mine all along: to have an independently owned gym,” he said. “Our mission is to create a fun, community based atmosphere.”

Peirce has a bachelor’s degree in exercise science with a concentration in health and fitness from the University of Southern Maine. Pierce expressed the organization's hope to do community-based and charity workouts. “It’s not just about working out for us, it’s bigger. It’s enriching the lives of our clients.”

NEFA moved into their space in mid-June and it has been fully renovated, including a new bathroom and changing rooms. There is a 14-foot garage door that can open for the trainers to use the back parking lot for flipping tires or other outdoor activities. “We touched every single thing in the room,” said Peirce.

NEFA offers personal one-on-one training, small group training and large group classes. They also work with every age - youth to seniors. “We’re already broad and we want to keep it that way, but we have a passion for athletic training,” said Guerrette. “Conditioning is beneficial for everybody,” Peirce said. “It’s good to get strong. Our goal is to be community oriented with programs for different age groups and fitness types, and our philosophy is consistent overall health and wellness.”

Travis Guerrette and Nicholas Peirce
There are youth strength and conditioning classes broken into age groups starting at fourth grade through high school. According to Guerrette, “Each one has a different focus all working on using the body to gain strength or to help with athletic endeavors.” NEFA also works with nutritionist Tara Whiton, a PhD sports nutrition and performance consultant.

The trainers bring up to date knowledge and experience, while offering a wide variety of training options. Classes include boot camps, HIIT training and Tabata and they are offered at many times throughout the day. Drop in on a class for $5 until the end of August.

“Movement is the best medicine,” said Peirce. “And, a good, safe workout,” Guerrette added. To set up a training, send an email to, call (207-893-8377), or visit  Finally, watch for information on their grand opening event on Facebook and Instagram.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Business spotlight on Seed Sound Herbal Apothecary by Michelle Libby the early 1900s homeowners and farmers would grow and harvest their own herbs for cooking, decoration and medicinal uses. Today, this is not something that most people have time for. Luckily, Lauren Beatrice at Seed Sound Herbal Apothecary, took her passion of making natural remedies and turned it into a new business in Windham.

Beatrice is a clinical herbalist and a medical marijuana caregiver. She runs the two businesses completely separate. She opened her apothecary five weeks ago in the building at 4 White’s Bridge Road. Beatrice has been a licensed cannabis caregiver for two years, but has been in the industry for eight years.

Last year she completed her two-year certification as an herbalist under the direction of Debbie Mercier from Greenwood Herbal in Limerick. She had been harvesting herbs on her own for 10 years before this class. She participates in herbal classes offered locally, many taught by well-renowned herbalists. One of the classes she took was herbal anatomy and physiology.
“I love it so much,” Beatrice said.

The shelves of the apothecary are lined with jars of herbs and bottles of plant extracts. The store is rounded out with unique crystals, gems and minerals, salves and jewelry made my local artisans.
“Cannabis is a medicinal herb that should be on the shelves, but the law forbids it,” Beatrice said. 

“Herbs can be used as medicine. I use it as medicine and teach people. They go hand and hand.”
Since the beginning of July business has been picking up with repeat customers and word of mouth referrals, Beatrice said.

The most popular items in the store are CBD oil and CBD salve. Her tea blends are also in demand. For those who are not local to the store, items can be mailed. Once the website is up and running, orders can be placed there.

“Her stuff is top of the line,” said customer Jo Moser.

Herbs should be recommended by someone who knows the reactions and interactions with prescription medications, pregnancy and certain medical conditions. Beatrice will be offering consultations to recommend which herbs and extracts could help certain people and how much of an herb to use.

Lauren Beatrice at her apothecary shop
“Consultations will be very thorough,” she said. She will focus on spirituality, health, social history and pharmaceuticals during the sessions.

Herbs can help with a multitude of ailments including Lyme Disease. Herbs like teasel, cat’s claw and japanese knotweed all can help in the treatment of Lyme. Many people come in for popular herbs such as, lavender and eucalyptus, Beatrice said.

She has an extract blend that she recommends for migraines and teas recommended for certain ailments or rejuvenation, she said.

“When herbs present themselves in your path, I believe it’s something you need or someone in your life needs,” she said.

Beatrice grows her own cannabis using organic methods. She also makes full spectrum CBD oil using the whole plant. The hemp in the shop comes from MOFGA certified Wild Folk Farm. Candies infused with hemp derived CBD in the apothecary are made by Beatrice’s friend, Jillian Pelletier of VirgoMoon Botanicals, LLC. Other friends make the salves, toothpowder, creams and deodorants. The apothecary sells essential oils made locally.

The extracts in the shop are made with organic grain alcohol and spring water. All of the dried herbs available are organic or wildcrafted.

Customers coming into the apothecary are split with half looking for herbs and the other half looking for cannabis. All dried medicinal herbs are priced individually by weight and the extracts are $13 for a 1-ounce bottle or $24 for a 2-ounce bottle. Custom blends are $15 per ounce.
“She really is a scholar of this,” said Moser.

Tim Hanrahan of Lovelight Medicinals also is a medical marijuana caregiver who rents space at the apothecary.

There will be a grand opening celebration on Saturday, August 18 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, call 207-595-2060, visit once it’s active, or find them on Facebook or Instagram.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Business spotlight on Manson’s Marine by Michelle Libby Marine has been a staple in the Sebago region for many years, in April the service branch of the business was purchased by employee and lead marine technician Tim Manson and became Manson’s Marine. The business is at the same location 627 Roosevelt Trail in Windham.

Manson’s Marine took over the service for all Maine-ly Marine clients. “We still sell used and consigned boats, work on all makes and models, inboards and outboards,” said Manson. “But our primary focus is service.”

One new addition is that they now sell Lighthouse Docks. These high-quality aluminum docks, lifts and accessories are on display outside the office. The lightweight docks provide “the perfect balance of beauty and strength.” They offer floating and semi-floating docks, a large range of lifts for kayaks, personal watercrafts, speed boats and pontoons, piling docks and gangways. Accessories include wheeled sections, bumpers, lights, swivel chairs and stairs. Options and configurations for homeowners are only limited by their imaginations.

On the service side of the business, they do service calls on location at the lake. With four employees, they are kept busy in the shop and on the road. Their customers are mostly boat owners within a 30-mile radius from Windham. Delivery and pick-up are also offered for a fee.

“I never anticipated owning a service center,” said Manson. He started as a technician, then moved to lead tech and finally service manager. When the business came up for sale, it was a natural progression for him, he said. “It’s challenging.”

Manson’s Marine is unique because it is not brand specific. The technicians will work on any make and model.  They also do fiberglass repairs, bottom paints and even detailing.  

At Manson’s Marine, they value their customers and go above and beyond to get their clients back on the water. They are honest, reliable and offer trustworthy repairs at a reasonable rate.

Manson’s Marine offers seasonal service as well. The do winter maintenance, storage, shrink wrapping, small engine repairs including snowmobiles and they work on generators. In the winter, the company also installs remote car starters in customers’ cars and trucks.

There is a winter maintenance program they offer. The technicians will go over the boat and give an estimate for work that needs to be done. After a deposit, they will get the boat caught up on maintenance and will store it for the winter. “It’s very budget friendly”, Manson said.

Manson has been spending money to update the equipment and tools they use to fix the boats and other small engines like lawnmowers and ATVs. Every winter the employees take classes to train on all boat and engine brands. They learn trouble shooting and diagnostics.

The storefront is small and only carries commonly needed items like dock lines and life jackets. However, most parts can be in the next day from Manson’s suppliers. If boaters need a tube for the weekend, it can be ordered and, in the store, the next morning. 

There are only two boats for sale at the shop, but for those who want to do consignment, they accept those.
For more information, visit, find them on Facebook or call 207-892-9191.  They open Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturdays 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.