PORTLAND — A team led by Dylan Hardman, the head roaster at Portland’s Coffee By Design, recently won first place at the Roasters Guild Competition in Roanoke, W. Va. This is the second year in a row Hardman’s team took first place.
The Tri-Style Roast Challenge, which placed nearly 100 roasters from across the country on teams, tested roasters on their coffee capabilities through tests for roasts for drip coffeemakers and French press pots as well as a roast to match a simple score.
Hardman’s team included roasters from Seattle, Texas and Oregon and received the highest score for the pour-over filter preparation and the highest overall score.
Alan Spear, owner and president of Coffee By Design, also entered the competition. His team received the highest score for the press-pot preparation and came in third in the overall score.
“Specialty roasters are passionate about what we do and this retreat and competition gave us a wonderful way to connect with our peers and share our energy and enthusiasm for roasting coffee,” Spear said in a press release.
The winner of the competition receives a Probatino 1-kilo roaster valued at $16,000 to donate to the coffee producing country and farm of their choice. While Hardman’s team has not yet chosen the country for this year’s prize, last year his team chose to donate the roaster to Anacafe, the Guatemalan National Coffee Association, for use in their organization’s training room.
Community Television Network, which covers the greater Portland area on channels 2 and 5, will soon launch “Spotlight,” a program designed to introduce new audiences to local arts. The program will be funded by a grant from the Quimby Family Foundation. In a press release, CTN said it hoped the show will help people and businesses inside Maine and ‘from away’ acquaint themselves with southern Maine’s creative economy.
Norton Financial, a Cumberland-based employee benefits agency, announced recently that the company has acquired C. Baker Associates of Yarmouth. Established in 2005, C. Baker Associates provides group benefit plans to Maine-based employers, including group health plans, defined contribution retirement plans, disability insurance and other voluntary employee benefit programs. With the acquisition by Norton Financial, C. Baker will consolidate its operations at Norton Insurance Financial’s headquarters in Cumberland. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
A new after-school program, Martha’s After School Book Club and Homework Help, has opened in Freeport. The program runs five days a week after school until 5:30 p.m. The owner and facilitator, Martha Carton, is a former teacher with 20 years of experience. Carton said the program has a relaxed but engaging atmosphere, where children ages 9-12 will join reading discussions and receive help with their schoolwork, as well as get ample time to play outside with their friends. For more information, call Carton at 449-8490 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Freeport-based owner of the Yarmouth restaurant The Muddy Rudder has negotiated a transfer/purchase agreement with Granite Hospitality LLC, an Arizona-based hotel management company. The deal was completed earlier this summer. The new owners, Jeff Miller and Matt Witham have been working together in the restaurant business since high school.
Zaftig, a consignment shop aimed at plus-sized women, is teaming up with area nonprofits to provide clothing to needy women and youth. Proprietor Jeanne McGurn’s consignors will provide professional clothing to the Southern Maine chapter of Dress for Success, an organization that supports the economic independence of disadvantaged women by helping them secure quality employment. It will also provide clothing to homeless youth in need through Youth Alternatives Ingraham of South Portland, an agency that provides social and mental health care services to youth, families and adults in Maine.
Portland-based marketing firm Forge has relaunched and changed its name to Might & Main. As a result of its first-year growth, including work with several nationally-recognized clients and a 2011 HOW Promotional Design Award from How Magazine, Forge principals Sean Wilkinson, Arielle Walrath and Kevin Brooks are shifting their focus to the national stage and to creative collaboration to provide clients the power of a full-service agency under a small roof. In a press release, the company said the new name provides a more unique identity that better demonstrates the agency’s collective creative force. The leadership, location, and all other aspects of the company remain the same.
Marine First Lt. Grace Thompson Raftery, center, a graduate of Yarmouth High School, just completed a seven-month deployment in Afghanistan as the Adjutant of Marine Corps Combat Logistics Battalion 8. She was welcomed back to her base at Camp Lejeune, N.C., by her mother, Susan R. Longley, left, and her sister, Paige Thompson, right. Her husband, Ryan, also a Marine Corps officer, is currently serving in Afghanistan.