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Success Stories

Heidi V. Neal with her dog Fenway

Heidi Vanorse Neal loves animals, and it’s very clear to see that’s where the inspiration for her business, Loyal Biscuit Co., comes from. Opening their doors in 2010 at their first storefront in Rockland, Loyal Biscuit, by which we mean Heidi as the only employee at the time, began offering customers a place where they could be sure their pets would be treated like a part of the family.

All the hard work that Heidi put into making the company’s focus a truly welcoming and friendly atmosphere quickly paid off. Working with David Hill of the Small Business Development Center, Heidi began planning for expansion, and in 2011 Loyal Biscuit opened a second location in Belfast and hired two employees. Then, in 2012, a third location was added in Camden, and more employees joined Loyal Biscuit. Most recently, in 2014, Heidi opened her first store outside the midcoast, in Waterville. To date, Loyal Biscuit Co. has created 11 jobs, and that number may grow as the company’s growth... Read More

In 1994, as large coffee companies began aggressive expansion across the country, a small coffeehouse opened in Portland. The owners worked from open to close every day of the week, and only had one part-time employee. This was how serious they were abouttheir business and how determined they were to compete with the national chains.

Today, Alan Spear and Mary Allen Lindemann may not have to work in the shop as long as they did when they first opened, but that certainly doesn’t mean that they have slowed down. Coffee by Design has expanded from its initial location and one part-timer, to four retail locations, in addition to a roasting facility, and 51 staff. Most recently, Coffee by Design received an SBA backed 504 loan to purchase and rehab yet another location that houses a roasting facility, staff training area, and a retail space. It makes one wonder just how much of the coffee the owners consume themselves.

In addition to the incredible growth experienced by... Read More

Cory J. Laplante grew up in the town of Van Buren, Maine. At the age of 16, Cory lost a leg to osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. At the time he was faced with traveling hundreds of miles to receive quality care, and it was during one of those long trips to New Hampshire that he made a promise to himself to go on to college, become a certified prosthetist and open a practice in Aroostook County, which he has done—in a very successful fashion. In 2007 Cory established Northern Prosthetics in Presque Isle, Maine. Cory was the only employee of the business for the first year, handling all aspects of the business from negotiating contracts with health insurance companies, to the patient’s protocol from casting to fabrication, right through and including the billing process. Due to the increasing demand of the business he began adding staff for billing and also added an orthotic line. The business quickly expanded and began to outgrow the existing facility, so Cory decided to... Read More

Qualey Granite was opened for business in 2003 by Matt Qualey. Initially providing granite countertops for kitchens and baths, the business expanded in 2006, with the assistance of Bangor Savings Bank and an SBA 7a loan, and began offering a full range of flooring tiles. By 2010 the business had moved into its current facility in Veazie, Maine which includes a warehouse and state of the art home design center. By 2011, again with the assistance of Bangor Savings Bank and the SBA, the company added another line becoming a distributor for Consentino and sales surged to over $1.5 million. They added a new sales representative position in 2012 and have seen positive sales results with their company now offering one of the largest stone inventories north of Boston.

Matt Qualey is a true “Mainer” having grown up on a potato farm in Aroostook County and graduating from the University of Maine. While preparing for graduate school, Mr. Qualey apprenticed with Irish stone masons in... Read More

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