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July 9, 2024

After legal fight, owner of Lumbery in Cape Elizabeth wants to sell for $1.25M

The Lumbery bgilding shows outdoor displays. Photo / Courtesy, KW Commercial Group/Magnusson Balfour Business Brokers The Lumbery is listed for $1.25 million, which includes the building and inventory.

A Cape Elizabeth lumber store that sources from local mills is on the market after four years of operation.

Mike Friedland has listed the Lumbery, at 287 Ocean House Road, with Kirk Butterfield at KW Commercial Group/Magnusson Balfour Business Brokers.

The listing price of $1.25 million includes the 1,980-square-foot building with retail, office and production space, as well as the store's inventory.

“After much thoughtful consideration, we have decided to seek a new owner for our beloved business,” Friedland wrote on the company’s Facebook page.

“This decision wasn’t made lightly and reflects a careful evaluation of our personal and professional goals. We believe that finding the right person can help the Lumbery reach its full potential, leveraging our strong relationships with local, regional and national mills, farms and organizations.”


Friedland was the owner of a handyman business in Cape Elizabeth called Willard Square Home Repair when he bought a former Cumberland Farms building in December 2019 to open a small building supply store for do-it-yourselfers and carpenters.

At the time, he told Mainebiz he got the idea because there was no lumberyard nearby to supply wood for his handyman business. And wood from big-box stores, he said, “may have been sawn within a couple hundred miles of the store, but ends up going two, three or even four states away to a regional distribution hub only to be put back on a truck and shipped back to where it came from.”

Friedland figured that, since he had to stock his own wood, he also had a great opportunity to open a store selling wood and related items to other small businesses. 

The Lumbery name was inspired by microbreweries and micro-roasteries.

Local sourcing

“This is like a micro lumberyard,” he said at the time.

The building supply store leveraged the local-sourcing movement by offering lumber produced only in Maine, from mills that are family-owned and -operated, using trees cut within 40 miles of the mills.

Friedland’s partners in the land and the business included his sister Jennifer Friedland-Stora and Ryan Holland. Friedland is the only person listed as owner of both the land and business. He said his friend Alex Bettigole was also part of the startup.

The listing calls the Lumbery “a unique farmer’s market for local wood, offering sustainably harvested wood from family-owned mills.”

The store provides building and garden supplies as well as hardware, including custom, in-house-built items such as garden arbors, raised garden beds, window boxes, birdhouse kits, picnic tables and outdoor showers. 

Specialty items include northern white cedar, rough-sawn hemlock, live edge slabs, barrel saunas and native Maine plants. The shop’s biggest sellers are white cedar, garden beds, pine and soils. 

“The business recognizes what it is and thus doesn’t try to compete with the larger lumber yards and box stores,” the listing says.

Friedland wrote that “it is my sincere hope that the right person comes along to continue with our mission and expand upon the untapped potential of our business and our land.”


In 2023, the town of Cape Elizabeth sued the Lumbery in a dispute regarding the location of outdoor display items and signage.

The suit was rooted in a condition of approval placed by the Planning Board on the store’s initial site plan, regarding the placement of outdoor displays. 

“This meant that anytime I wanted to move or change my outdoor displays, I needed to apply for a site plan amendment which took, on average, three months and cost, on average, $10,000,” Friedland told Mainebiz.

The arrangement became untenable because the business needed to be able to adjust displays based on demand, effectiveness and seasonality, he said. 

The town dropped the lawsuit last fall.

The lawsuit was a factor in the decision to sell. But there also are other factors.

“There is plenty of untapped potential for our business and our land,” Friedland said. “In order for our business to reach the next level, we would need an infusion of cash and energy. Right now we are lacking in both, which is why we are putting it out there.”

Friedland said day-to-day operations will continue during the transition to a new owner. 

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