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Updated: June 13, 2022 From the Editor

From the Editor: Maine’s growth is reaching new places

Being based in southern Maine has its advantages and disadvantages. There’s a tendency to think that everything is happening in Portland. I admit I fall into that thinking at times. While Portland is a big part of Maine’s growth, it’s far from the whole story.

Senior Writer Renee Cordes spent time in Auburn, whose famously pro-growth Mayor Jason Levesque is advocating for housing growth. At the same time, some retailers are clamoring to get space in Auburn as well. Having a Target store is often thought of as a sign of validation for a city.

I was in Philadelphia when it got its first Target, and people there saw it as a major accomplishment. Now Target is planned in Auburn, with a Black Friday opening. Restaurants, including Five Guys and Olive Garden, are coming to town. Manufacturers are also growing. As one company’s business development director told Renee, “There’s a buzz here in Auburn, I feel like we have some momentum, and I’m very excited about the future.” See “Target market,” which starts on Page 14.

Our other feature story, “Skowhegan comes alive,” had its roots in the profile we did of Amber Lambke, co-founder and CEO of Maine Grains, for the Mainebiz Business Leaders of the Year awards. I was fortunate to be the writer on that profile and spent some time touring the Maine Grains site in Skowhegan.

At every turn, it seemed, Amber was introducing me to a business or product that was started as a result of Maine Grains or received a boost by association. The Miller’s Table cafe at Maine Grains features a beautiful, copper-domed wood-fired pizza oven. As one of my colleagues later remarked, it could have been made in Italy, but in actuality was made in Skowhegan. A cheesemaker in the same building was recruited to open there by Amber. A pizza dough company exclusively uses wheat from Maine Grains. There were too many ties-ins to ignore, and they called for another story, which starts on Page 18.

Elsewhere in the issue, we have an interview with the new leader of the Maine Trial Lawyers Association, on Page 22.

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June 13, 2022

You published an article last week indicating that Maine is in the bottom 10 of U.S. economies. If you take out Portland, Maine is the worst performing state in the country. Probably more in line with a tiny third-world country, with abject poverty and little hope.

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