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June 27, 2016 From the Editor

Everybody’s got an opinion about Maine’s energy costs

One of the most common complaints we hear from business leaders is Maine's high cost of energy.

Is it a fact or myth?

Depends on who you talk to.

But James McCarthy, one of our senior writers, set out to ask companies about the perceived high cost of energy and what it means to their businesses. Is Maine losing business because of it? Are companies deciding not to open or expand here because of the cost of electricity?

What we found is, like many business issues, it's complicated.

In a nutshell, it depends on whether you mean versus the rest of New England (where Maine compares quite nicely, thank you) or whether you're comparing it to states like Tennessee or Mississippi (in which case Maine is at a disadvantage). Weather is only part of the equation. Like the thrifty Yankees before them, managers at some of Maine's larger manufacturing sites are finding efficient ways to compensate for the cost of energy.

Dead River Co.’s new CEO ‘grew up’ there

Deanna Sherman, president of Dead River Co. who will become CEO in July, has some big shoes to fill, replacing Robert Moore, who is retiring after eight years leading the company.

Yet it's clear from Senior Writer Lori Valigra's story about the transition that Moore is one of her biggest advocates, calling her a rock star within the company. Sherman says she grew up there, starting in 1986 as an assistant manager for procurement. She has been a district manager, a region manager, a vice president. She took over the president role early in the year. Everyone Lori talked to described a quiet, steady force, someone who methodically thinks out her words and actions.

“I never felt I had to manage her,” Moore says in the story. “I just had to give her a goal, task or end result.”

That’s a lot of whoopie pies

Maine seems to have more than its share of iconic products.

Whoopie pies may have its roots in Pennsylvania Dutch country. I lived in Pennsylvania for many years and never really heard about whoopie pies (though I love soft pretzels with mustard and even tried a fried Oreo). Labadie's Bakery in Lewiston claims to have started selling whoopie pies in 1925. I have always felt whoopie pies were more closely tied to Maine, where they're sold in every convenience store.

Apparently so did Amy Bouchard, owner of Wicked Whoopies, a business that's been around since 1994 and recently opened a more prominent store in Freeport. The company has annual sales of $3 million and has 30 employees. It's more than Mainers who are buying them. As correspondent Lisa Joy points out, wholesale is a huge part of the business and the pies can be purchased in seven states. It's easy to see why Wicked Whoopies produces more than 10,000 pies a day.

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