Friday, May 31, 2019

Business Spotlight: Delano Architecture Lorraine Glowczak

It may be true that most architectural firms combine engineering, science and technology to design homes and commercial spaces - but at Delano Architecture, the “art of space” has become their mission of how they think differently about creating custom designed buildings.  

“When people dream about building a home, they often start by thinking of a particular style,” began Delano. “But we think of the process very differently. We love the diverse landscape of Maine, so we look first at it to inspire us.” 

Delano studies the entire property for unique features, such as the trees, topography, the quality of sunlight, any distant views, or special places on the property. “We are listeners first before we begin any design,” stated Delano. “We find out what is important to our clients, both in the present and for the future.” 

Surprisingly, Delano works out the living spaces first.  “Our top priority is creating beautiful spaces for people that connect seamlessly with nature. The interiors come first, then the outside forms - this surprises many people.” 

Delano’s passion for art and architecture began in high school while taking art classes. “My art teacher told me directly, ‘Chris, you are going to be an architect.’  I think I already knew it, but having a mentor be so direct, gave me the clear confidence to go ‘all in’ with it.

Delano, who is originally from upstate New York, received his Bachelor of Arts in architecture from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA and a Master of Architecture at the University of Washington in Seattle. After living in Maryland and North Carolina, Delano and his wife moved to Maine in 2002, making Windham their permanent home in 2003 with their three children. “I had developed a fondness for Maine as a child by vacationing every year near Castine with my grandparents and family,” he stated. “I was an early riser then and used to spend hours walking the rocks along Penobscot Bay and in the woods before my parents woke up. The stillness and quality of light in the early morning is something I still can’t get enough of.  I bring those memories into every home we design.” 

Since his time here, Delano Architecture’s highly-regarded reputation has grown substantially, designing homes, waterfront and hospitality projects in many parts of the state, winning a citation award from AIA (American Institute of Architects) with feature articles in the Portland Press Herald and Maine Home and Design magazine for the design of a new house in Gorham and the recently completed, Roots CafĂ© in Westbrook.

Chris Delano
Delano begins the process with his clients by pulling together a ‘wish list’ of their goals and ideas, and adding in photos of spaces and materials—things they like from all areas of their life.  They use these images, ideas, and a realistic budget to establish a course and to give them direction in the design process. They use this information and start with the big ideas first, layering in more detail as the clients see success. “We are very visual,” stated Delano. “We bring in all kinds of drawings and models to both generate and present ideas. We place these in the center of the table with our clients and then talk about them, the good and bad, where they come from, and why they matter. It moves forward and back like this until we hit all our targets.”

‘We are passionate about buildings’ the website states.  Truth be told, Delano is passionate about many things—people, nature, science, art, cities, mountaintops…  For them, buildings are the way of engaging with these things.  “They are the touch-points for our relationships, activities and the natural world,” Delano said.  “Regrettably, I think many homes miss this potential.”   

One local client, Steve and Pam Rich, speaks highly of the Delano process. “Chris was able to take our thoughts and ideas to create the home of our dreams. … we can’t thank him enough.” 

If you are considering a new home, renovation, or business and wish to incorporate the “art of space” into the process, Delano Architecture can meet all your needs – as well as respecting Maine’s natural beauty. For more information, contact Chris Delano at 207-892-1643, or peruse the website at Also be sure to follow him on Instagram.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Business Spotlight: The Sebago Center

By Lorraine Glowczak

There are a lot of innovative and fresh ideas happening these days at Saint Joseph’s College— all with the intention of strengthening community. Diversifying the student body and becoming a 21st century exemplary learning center are key goals of the 107-year old institution. The latest transformation taking place and officially launching today, Friday May 24 is the The Sebago Center.

“The Sebago Center functions as an extension of Saint Joseph’s College of Maine and is the latest expression of the college’s long-standing commitment to community, one of our seven core values,” stated Jim Dlugos, President of the College.

As stated on its website—— The Sebago Center grew from the strategic vision of Saint Joseph’s College of Maine to seek the highest and best use of its resources, core competencies, and legacy to provide new learning opportunities for a changing society, support the growth of Maine’s emerging economies, and create sustainable enterprises as models for replication and scale.

“By working with leaders in industry, education, non-profits, municipalities, federal and state government, and other cross-sector alliances, the Center is able to synthesize global and local initiatives and leverage the resources of the College to make the greatest contribution to broadly shared goals,” said Peter Nielsen, Executive Director & Entrepreneur-in-Residence.  “Together with our valued partners, we seek to apply ourselves and commit our resources to the advancement of a sustainable environmental, economic, and social ecosystem.”

Sustainability in a changing society is one of the motivating forces for establishing The Sebago Center. Nielsen explained that resilience in a transforming economy, shifting population, and changing climate is necessary to community success. One path to success is by taking advantage of the resources already available on campus. “The campus and its infrastructure will be complemented by new programming in the Institute for Local Food Systems Innovation, Institute for Integrative Aging, and the Institute for Sustainable Hospitality,” Nielsen began. “By combining these efforts along with partners in the community, The Sebago Center will act as an innovation hub for a resilient Lakes Region in a changing and often unpredictable world.”

Nielsen further explained how the Center will achieve their goals by addressing the needs of an ever-changing society. The Sebago Center’s three visions to success include the following:

To create learning opportunities not only for students on campus but for life-long learners. “The opportunities for learning are not necessarily for credit. We will provide a broad scope of learning experiences that are for skill building and career development,” Nielsen stated. “For example, we are developing curriculum for hydroponic farming, senior fitness training, and aging in place home design.”

To help meet and address the needs of the state’s emerging economy by providing tools for economic development. One avenue to address and meet these needs is through the growth of an entrepreneurial hub and culture that will provide a community of support, skill development, and resources for startups in the food, hospitality, and longevity economies. By gathering people with varied skills and interests, but all with the common goal of innovation and enterprise, we will build an environment that generates new business and regional growth.

To create a more sustainable institution. It is no secret that higher education in America must evolve to meet the demands of a shifting population and economic pressures. Colleges across the nation—particularly rural colleges—must find innovative ways to heighten their social and economic impact, and the Sebago Center will be a vehicle for Saint Joseph’s to do this work.

Perhaps more importantly is how this positively affects the lives of those who have a long history of living in the Lakes Region area. Ashley O’Brion of Raymond, Senior Director of Customer Experience at The Sebago Center stated that she came on board because she valued the center’s mission and its contribution to her family’s future.

“The mission of The Sebago Center is the reason I am here,” O’Brion began. “Yes, I am here as professional in my field, but I’m also passionately motivated to be a part of The Sebago Center on a personal level. As a mother who wants her three children to grow up in a sustainable and successful community and who has a husband with roots in the Sebago Region, I want to be a part of making our community vibrant and thriving for all the families in the Lakes Region.”

For more information about the organization and its schedule of community events occurring this summer, peruse their new website at <

Friday, May 17, 2019

Business Spotlight: Raymond Car Wash and Detailing

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By Lorraine Glowczak

Raymond Car Wash has been a trusted Lakes Region business with happy and steadfast customers from the greater Raymond area, as well as to summer visitors, for the past 16 years.

And now - as a result of the many requests by area patrons, Raymond Car Wash has recently incorporated an additional service. “We have been asked for a long time to add detailing services to the car wash,” stated Owner, Drew Taylor. “So, last spring I decided to accommodate those requests and now offer express detailing and complete detailing packages for most vehicles including boats. We are now in our second year and are already taking appointments for two weeks out.”

Being a full-time entrepreneur who owns the building and storage units next door to the car wash, Taylor, married and a father of two, also keeps busy as the owner of Kingsley Pines Camp. Knowing that his schedule would not allow his own personal touch to detailing on a daily basis, he sought out another local entrepreneur who knows the importance of customer service and satisfaction to manage the demand for service.

Melissa Duchesneau, Raymond Car Wash and Detailing Manager is a Maine girl who works hard at making sure customers drive away happy – and are proud owners of their “like new,” clean vehicles once they leave the lot. She began managing last spring after taking courses on detailing and working at other shops to gain experience and expertise.

“I tend to be very meticulous,” stated Duchesneau, who also owns MidRidge Farm in Casco with her husband. “Owning my own business, I can’t help but bring the level of detail and customer satisfaction from that area of my life to this business as well.”

Melissa Dechesneau, manager and
Drew Taylor, owner
This is what makes Raymond Car Wash and Detailing stand out – the quality of service they provide as well as the care and personal touch they add to each vehicle that comes through their detailing doors. “We are not in the business of rushing a vehicle in and out,” Taylor stated. “We often like to have the vehicle come to the location prior to the appointment so we can take a close look at all the areas of concern. Each vehicle is unique, and each requires different attention. By examining the vehicle prior to detail cleaning, we are able to set the right expectation and the customer can then leave with that expectation met and be ecstatic with the service we have provided.”

This type of quality relationship with the customer is their driving force to success. Paul Druchniak became a detailing customer last year and has had three vehicles and a boat detailed at Raymond Car Wash and Detailing. “I tried most of the detailers in the area and Raymond Car Wash is by far the best!”

Nina Kamman concurred with Druchniak’s assessment. “Melissa met and exceeded my expectations,” Kamman said. “Close attention to detail was very evident. I would highly recommend Raymond Car Wash.”

Below is just a small list of the various detailing options one can obtain at Raymond Car Wash and Detailing:

Express detail includes wash, wax and vacuum. The vehicle will be washed and scrubbed with an express wax and protectant on the exteriors. This service also includes window cleaning (both inside and out) as well as interior vacuuming, dash wipe down and cleaned tires. This service begins at $99.
Other options include a complete exterior detail, complete inside and out reconditioning and complete interior detail. Theses services begin at $139.

When asked what the most difficult cleaning service they offer was, there was an emphatic, “Tree sap removal,” from both Taylor and Duchesneau. How do they successfully remove tree sap? “It’s a secret,” joked Taylor. “We can’t give away our secrets.”

Duchesneau also stated that dog hair removal is a close second to sap removal in terms of difficulty.

For a spotlessly cleaned vehicle or boat – and personalized service to boot, contact Taylor or Duchesneau by email at or by phone at 207-655-4643 to make an appointment. Detailing services are offered from May through October, weather permitting. Hours are 9 to 5 on Tuesdays through Fridays and Sundays. The self-serve wash remains open 24/7 year-round.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Business Spotlight: Sara’s Sewing and Creation, LLC Lorraine Glowczak

It’s a professional talent that is slowly diminishing as a much-needed trade that is difficult to be found, but there is one local and gifted person who is bringing it back to life. Seamstress extraordinaire, Sara Bruce of Sara’s Sewing and Creation, LLC has taken her long-time hobby of stitching, needlework, sewing repair and embroidery and created a business right here in the Lakes Region.

“I learned how to sew over 30 years ago in Home Economics class by a teacher who wasn’t a fan of cooking,” Sara stated. “I wanted to learn how to cook but instead, I inherited her passion for sewing, and I have made it a part of my life ever since.”

In February of this year Sara took the leap from her hobby/home business and opened a sewing studio located at 57 Tandberg Trail in Windham. Whether it is replacing a zipper, mending a shirt, wedding, or formal dress, Sara can do it all. “I also love to make bags, pillows, curtains and machine embroidery,” she explained. “I make and sell these items but can also do special requests and custom-made pieces.”

It all started when people realized she enjoyed sewing. “People started asking me to do projects for them that they either didn’t know how to do or simply couldn’t find the time,” Sara stated. “It got to the point that I realized I could make a business out of it. When my daughter went to college, I realized I wanted to take the next step and have a real studio and business.”

In only three months since she’s opened shop, her business is booming. “I’ve been a bit busy lately with altering prom dresses” she said. “I’m so happy that it has been successful so quickly. I also have some wedding gowns and bridesmaid dresses that I will be working on next but am always looking for more ways to help with many sewing needs.”

There are many local customers who have found Sara’s techniques and talent to be among the most professional and would highly recommend her services. Jonathan Priest, a Windham Insurance specialist with MetLife whose success is reliant, in part, on a professional looking appearance has used Sara’s Sewing and Creation to his advantage. “Sara has hemmed many of his wife’s skirts and has repaired seams for me,” began Priest. “She has done so in a timely manner and in the style of an expert. In fact, when I bring my items home, my wife is always taken aback because it is as if they came directly from the factory itself. Sara is super approachable and really nice. I highly recommend her and her sewing services.”

Connie Ayotte is another customer who raves about Sara’s expertise. “I am a dance mom and Sara has altered a dozen or more costumes for me,” Ayotte stated. “She is amazing and fast – with a quick turnaround. It always comes back to me perfectly. I highly recommend Sara because she is experienced and knows how to fix the most difficult situations – always thinking outside the box to solve a problem. And just as important – she is local!”

Sara’s talents do not end here. She also teaches sewing at the Fiddlehead Art and Science Center in Gray in their afterschool enrichment program. “I also am looking into teaching adult sewing classes at the local Adult Education Centers in the near future,” Sara stated.

Sara is originally from the Madison, Maine area, graduating from Carrabec High School. Upon graduation, she attended Beal College in Bangor and gained an Associates Degree in Office Management. “Then we moved to Windham and I received my Business Degree at Saint Joseph’s College,” Sara explained. “I’m now putting what I learned as a business major into action with something I love to do.”

For any sewing project or custom-made items you may have, Sara Bruce of Sara’s Sewing and Creation, LLC is at your service. You can follow her on Facebook, give her a call at 207-415-1511 or email her at Services are by appointment only. Her website is now under construction and will be up and running soon.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Business Spotlight: Brook Trout Electric

By Lorraine Glowczak

Whether it is as simple as replacing or adding an outlet or a more complicated and time-consuming
project as rebuilding old wiring in your home, working with electricity is dangerous and requires the work of a Master Electrician.

Ben Emmons, co-owner of Brook Trout Electric of Windham, a third generation Master Electrician
who has been working in the field of electricity with his grandfather and father since he was 15 years old, has opened his own shop. “The only time I took a break from working with my family was when I joined the Army in 2003,” Ben said.

Ben and his wife, Simone who co-owns the business, also joined the Army and are both 2002 Windham High School graduates. Ironically, it wasn’t until Ben returned from tours in Afghanistan and Iraq and who was stationed for a time in Vicenza, Italy that the husband and wife team met for the first time at Pat’s Pizza in Windham.

Upon his return, the veterans married, and Ben continued working in the electrical business while obtaining his Master License. Four years ago, Ben and Simone, set out into the world of family and locally-owned entrepreneurship, starting Brook Trout Electric to meet the needs of the community and surrounding areas. “There are very few certified electricians out there,” explained Ben. “And those who are in the business now will soon be retiring. So, we felt like now was time to follow in my grandfather’s and father’s footsteps.”

Afterall, how many of us can - or want - to do without electricity? Ben is certified and offers the following services:

*New and rebuilt home wiring.
*Repair electrical damage caused by rodents.
*Upgrading electric outlets, etc.
*Installing solar panels.
*Connecting generators.
*Adding pole lights in both residential and commercial properties.
*Connecting heat pumps.
*Install electric car hooks up at home or the office.
*Swapping the house or office over to LED, providing energy audit rebates.

And, this is just the beginning of the many services available which includes going above and beyond what is expected. Learning from his ancestors, Ben knows the importance of giving it your all to the customer. What makes Ben and Brook Trout Electric standout? Besides having the owner of the company enter your home and providing superb quality work with honesty to boot, he gives where most companies do not give. “I do my best to be available at all times of the day,” began Ben. “I am flexible with my schedule and my extended hours sets us apart from most companies,”

Simone, who is the office manager extraordinaire, laughed and quickly added, “If you call him while he’s fishing on a weekend day and spending a moment with his family, he will be there for you – but he has to reel that big fish in first.” Although they both laugh, family is important to them. Simone and Ben have two children – a one-year old son and a three-year old daughter. It is their goal to create a successful and well-trusted business their children will be proud of and who might wish to be owners of Brook Trout Electric someday - thus creating a fourth generation of electrical professionals.
Ben Emmons (with a brook trout in the background).

Although only four years into their business as Brook Trout Electric, they have received many accolades. Rick Damon of Windham stated that “Ben is professional, reliable and is reasonable with the cost of his services. Mel Greenier, Commander of American Legion’s Field Allen Post 148 in Windham concurred with Damon, stating that “Ben is exceptional and capable of all things electrical.

In his over 20 years of experience, Ben has many stories to share regarding those who believe they can do electrical work on their own. “Safety really should come first,” Ben stated. “Many people think there isn’t much to doing small electrical repairs or installing a generator safely. But if you are not careful, you could not only cause a house fire or death in your own family – but if one forgets to turn off the main circuit when using a generator, it can back feed and cause the death of a CMP [Central Maine Power] linesman.”

Put safety in the hands of Ben, Simone and the locally, veteran-owned Brook Trout Electric where pride in work well-done is first and foremost. To have Ben give you a free quote or for more information about availability and rates on any electrical services, call Ben at 207-807-9282 or email him at For more information, be sure to peruse their Facebook page and their website at