Success Stories

Two of the things that bring people together easily are food and competition. Fyood Kitchen in Portland brings the two together in a way that is accessible for the public. Modelled similarly to the TV show “Chopped”, Fyood presents its customers with a box of ingredients and a challenge to create one sweet dish and one savory dish in a competition with other teams.

Maddie Purcell, the owner and creator of Fyood Kitchen, started this model on a small scale in 2016, first with her roommate, and then inviting friends over to participate in the cooking competitions. Once she was sure that there would be a market for the business, she approached the recently opened Fork Food Lab in Portland to secure business space. With help from the Portland chapter of SCORE, Maddie set up a Kickstarter campaign in 2017 to finance new equipment, and Fyood was able to scale up to five events per month, ranging from small parties to corporate team-building events.

As Maddie and Fyood... Read More

In 2017, Flowfold Co-Owners Devin McNeill and Charles Friedman were named as SBA’s Maine Young Entrepreneurs of the Year. In the time since they received their award, Flowfold has continued to see great success and growth, capitalizing on their strengths in the process.

At the time Flowfold received its initial recognition from the SBA, the business was located in a 1,300 square foot space, had five full time employees, and was just beginning to expand their brand outside of the United States. Now, the business has relocated to a new 3,000 square foot space, has eight full time employees with plans for at least three more, and is fully in the swing of exporting. Flowfold has also strengthened its partnership with L.L.Bean with the launch of a new collaboration collection sold online and in all U.S. and Japan L.L.Bean stores.

Through partnerships established with the help of STEP grants and the Maine International Trade Center, Flowfold has been able to establish... Read More

In the winter of 2011, Leigh Kellis got a craving for donuts, so she started looking for the best recipe she could find. After several months of experimenting, she had worked out a donut she loved, and that she thought others would love too. She tested her unique potato-based donuts by bringing a sample to the local coffee shop to see if they would sell them. Initially, Leigh got them to agree to sell a dozen per day. As anyone familiar with Portland food culture can tell you, word gets around quickly when there’s a delicious and unique new entry to the local scene, and Leigh’s donuts were no exception. Within a few months, she was producing 100 dozen donuts per week to keep up with the demand from her distributors. She accomplished this without sacrificing the focus on keeping everything as locally sourced as possible, with Maine-produced fruit, butter, eggs and potatoes forming the base of her products.

Naturally, the growth that The Holy Donut was going through brought on... Read More

Craft brewing has become big business in Maine, and no one recognizes that more than Heather and Nathan Sanborn, owners of Rising Tide Brewing in Portland. Starting off with a small 1,500 foot location in 2010, the company quickly outgrew their space with the help of the Portland Small Business Development Center and found a new location in 2012. Equipment upgrades in 2013, financed with SBA 7a loans, allowed the company to add new fermenters and a bottling line, allowing them to increase production and distribution capacity.

Using the “foodie” culture of Portland to their advantage, Rising Tide offers tours of the brewery and caters to the various brewery tour companies that now operate in the city, as well as food trucks that park outside their location. Nathan has also focused on creating traditional beer with unique tastes, trying them out at home before introducing them to the public. This strategy has allowed the company to see steady growth over the past several years... Read More