Intermission at Freeport theater company now means buy local

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FREEPORT — A community theater company is replacing mass-produced snacks with treats made closer to home.

Freeport Players will be offering products from Maine businesses starting next month. The vendors include Vintage Maine Kitchen, SPüN, Wicked Whoopies, and Coffee By Design.

Elizabeth Guffey, managing/artistic director of the company, said it was time for a change.

“I felt that what we were offering wasn’t that exciting,” she said. “It was pretty typical.”

Freeport Players, which was founded in 1989, used to sell chips and candy, Guffey said. The organization will still sell these products, but they’ll be made locally.

Vintage Maine Kitchen, based in Freeport, makes “small-batch” potato chips using Maine ingredients. SPüN, pronounced “spoon,” produces cookies and other sweets. 

Bottled water will still be available at the concessions stand, Guffey said, but everything else will be gone.

Products previously sold for $1, but will now cost $1.50 each. Although the price is increasing, Guffey said the products are of a higher quality and it’s still an “affordable theater experience.”

The changes will go into effect with the start of the new season. The first show, a female version of Neil Simon’s “The Odd Couple,” runs from July 14-31.

Freeport Players has sold local products in the past, but only for a limited time. Guffey said the organization sold Wicked Whoopies last year and they were a huge success.

“We’ve had good luck when we have local products,” she said. “It’s always a big hit with audiences.”

Keeping everything local is important to the organization, Guffey said.

“We’re a local theater so we thought we could extend that local commitment through everything we do,” she said. “We’ve always been well supported by local businesses and we wanted to return that favor.”

Kelly Brodeur, a co-owner of Vintage Maine Kitchen, said she is pleased with the partnership.

“We think it’s great that they want to sell local products and we’re happy to be a part of it,” she said.

Guffey said all the partners have expressed similar sentiments.

“The response was really positive,” she said. “They were excited to be part of a ‘buy local’ mentality.”

Guffey said the partnerships are “mutually beneficial” and Brodeur agreed.

“I think it’s important to support local art programs and it’s important for organizations like Freeport Players to support local foods,” Brodeur said.

Selling local products doesn’t just benefit the food companies and the theater organization, Guffey pointed out, since the community benefits, too.

“It’s valuable to our community if we keep this local and this is another way we can increase our impact on the local economy,” she said.

Kate Gardner can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or kgardner@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter: @katevgardner.

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I'm a reporter for The Forecaster covering Freeport, Yarmouth, Chebeague Island, and Cape Elizabeth. I'm from a small town in NH no one's ever heard of. When not reporting, I can be found eating pasta and reading books, often at the same time.