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Updated: May 16, 2024

With demand for classes surging, Portland Pottery leases additional site in East Bayside

Courtesy / Boulos Co. Portland Pottery will take over space at 49 Fox St. in the East Bayside neighborhood in Portland.

Portland Pottery has had a long-running site on Washington Avenue, as well as supply shops elsewhere in Portland and in Braintree, Mass.

Now, to expand the capacity for classroom and studio space, Portland Pottery has leased its fourth location, at 49 Fox St. in the East Bayside neighborhood. 

In March, the owners leased 1,750 square feet of space that was formerly Taproot Market. Then in April the owners added 1,850 square feet that became available next door.

The new space will primarily serve as a classroom and party space, accommodating the growing demand for pottery classes and events.

Both transactions were brokered by Brice O’Connor of the Boulos Co., on behalf of both the tenant and the landlord, Neap Tide LLC.

Portland Pottery is owned by Karen DiCenso and Jennifer Martini.

“The idea to expand was on a whim," said DiCenso. "I knew we had outgrown the studio and were stuck on how to grow students. Our parties have greatly increased this year and trying to squeeze them into classrooms at 118 Washington Ave. without disrupting students has become difficult. After one particularly busy Sunday, I checked if any buildings were open in the area, and I was pleasantly surprised to see this space.”

She said it is "in the perfect spot at the bottom of the hill between the studio at 118 Washington Ave. and the supply store at 220 Anderson St. I walk up and down the hill to each location, and it is great."

Portland Pottery's roots

Portland Pottery was started three decades ago by Lisa Bonarrigo, who taught pottery classes from her second-floor apartment.

Over the next decade, Portland Pottery Supply, which she owned with her husband, Chris Bruni, became one of the largest suppliers of clay in the Northeast. 

In 2002, Portland Pottery opened a supply store in Braintree, Mass., to serve customers in New England and the Canadian Maritimes. 

In January 2023, Bonarrigo and Bruni retired and sold the business to DiCenso and Martini, longtime managers of the Portland and Braintree locations, according to Boulos and Portland Pottery's website. 

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