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June 11, 2018 From the Editor

Maine Center for Entrepreneurs readies 'cultivator' businesses for growth

Our cover story is devoted to eight food producers that are being mentored by the Maine Center for Entrepreneurs.

As Senior Writer Laurie Schreiber reports in our cover story, which starts on Page 20, MCE's “Cultivator” offers direction for companies that are already well established but want to get to the next level.

The program is sponsored by FocusMaine and is part of a plan to grow jobs in agriculture, aquaculture and biopharmaceuticals over the next decade.

While most of the eight businesses have gotten to this point through their own entrepreneurial grittiness, MCE will help identify ways businesses can scale up. The businesses will develop detailed plans and milestones to track progress. They'll work with mentors and consultants and learn from their peer businesses.

“I'm sure I could grow more, but I want to do it correctly instead of by the seat of my pants,” Ryan Wilson, co-owner of Commonwealth Poultry Co., tells Laurie. “Plus, I feel very responsible for my employees. I value giving people jobs and I want to increase the number and types of jobs.”

'On the Road' on the midcoast

The Mainebiz “On the Road” session in Rockland offered the opportunity to get caught up on the many happenings there. It was my first time inside the Center for Maine Contemporary Art and I found it amazing that a structure of that kind, impressive inside and out, fit neatly on a backstreet in Rockland, less than a block from Main Street.

Rockland continues to grow. In addition to the CMCA, the Farnsworth Museum has invested in upgrades. There are restaurants, coffee shops and galleries — the things that create a vibrant downtown and support the other attractions around them. But there are also facilities where DuPont processes carrageenan to be used as a food thickener and Lonza develops an agarose powder used for drug development and rapid cell health, each created from the abundant seaweed in Penobscot Bay.

After a long, cold spring, it was also energizing to see the windjammer crews in Camden working hard to varnish and paint the transoms, decks, rails and, in one case, the mast. Good to see prosperity in the seasonal businesses, namely the vessels Mary Day, the Lively Lady, Prophet, Mistress, Mercantile, Lewis French, Surprise and Olad, to name a few.

Work by photographer Tim Greenway to be shown

Readers of Mainebiz recognize the work of Tim Greenway, who does about 80% of the photos that run in the print publication. He's been our go-to photographer for 14 years. Tim is also an adjunct professor at the University of New England, where he teaches digital photography. Now here's a chance to see another side of his work.

An exhibit of his photographs, “Mackworth Island Transformed: Rocks Reimagined,” will be shown in the Portland City Hall rotunda from July 3 – Aug. 31. An opening reception will be held in the rotunda on July 6, from 5–8 p.m. Refreshments will be provided by Two Fat Cats Bakery and Black Dinah Chocolatiers.

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