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November 1, 2021

Bath-based business named 2021 Retailer of the Year by Maine trade group

File Photo / William Hall The Retail Association of Maine has named Lisa-Marie's Made in Maine as the 2021 Retailer of the Year. The company's Portland store, in the Old Port District, is shown here.

The Retail Association of Maine has named Lisa-Marie’s Made in Maine, which sells works by local artisans at locations in Bath and Portland, as the 2021 Retailer of the Year.

The association last week presented the award to owners Lisa-Marie Stewart and Andy Stewart and their staff in the flagship shop at 170 Front St., Bath.

The Retailer of the Year Award has three main criteria, according to the trade group: continued growth in employees or sales, commitment of company resources to community projects, and creation of a positive work environment for all employees.

“The Maine Retailer of the Year is not about being the biggest retailer. It’s about making a difference in your communities and impacting the lives of your customers and employees,” the association's president and CEO, Curtis Picard, said in a news release. “Supporting locally owned businesses is critical, but in Lisa-Marie’s Made in Maine’s case, supporting them means supporting more than 400 other Maine businesses and craftspeople.”

The group said this year encompassed a competitive field of nominations. But Lisa-Marie’s Made in Maine was chosen unanimously by the Retail Association of Maine's board for the company's growth, dedication to local communities and strong support of employees.

Courtesy / Lisa-Marie's Made in Maine
Lisa-Marie Stewart

Lisa-Marie Stewart has promoted Maine-made products since 1990. She first started selling her own work in a Brunswick store called Stone Soup Artisans, which featured other products from the state.

Soon she was on the shop’s management team and became a member of the Society of Southern Maine Craftsmen as well as United Maine Craftsmen. Her husband, Andy, gave her the push to open her own store in downtown Bath.

In 2003, about 50 artisans and craftsmen joined the store, and Lisa-Marie expanded that location in 2006. In 2010, the business expanded to Portland with its location at 35 Exchange St. Lisa-Marie’s Made in Maine continues to be family-owned and operated.

Lisa-Marie’s Made in Maine was recognized in part for its community involvement, which included supporting Shop for a Cause in Bath and Portland, Kindness Day in Bath and the statewide Let’s Be Kind campaign to urge patience and understanding during the pandemic.

The Retail Association of Maine has presented the annual Retailer of the Year Award since 1980. Other recent winners include Fielder’s Choice Ice Cream in 2019, Union Farm Equipment in 2018 and Loyal Biscuit Co. in 2017.

Lisa-Marie's Made in Maine is part of the Maine Made Program, run by the state's Department of Economic and Community Development to build recognition for Maine products, producers and industries. 

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