People and Business: Oct. 13

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Donated lease gives new
life to Portland food co-op   

PORTLAND — The Portland Food Cooperative has found a new home thanks to the donation of a five-year lease on an East End building from local businessman Donald Sussman.

Sussman is also donating resources to help the PFC renovate the building and move in by the end of the year.

The property, located at 60 Hampshire St., will provide office, storage and parking space, and will allow for the co-op to eventually operate with a storefront.

Currently the co-op exists as a pre-order food cooperative, where member-owners use an online ordering system to select from over 60,000 discounted local, bulk and organic products. The products are then divided into individual orders and picked up from the PFC office located in the Meg Perry Center.

The new space will enable the PFC to expand its current pre-order operations, begin limited retail sales, and transition to a storefront cooperative.

“The donation of this lease offers the PFC a fantastic opportunity to expand the number of member-owners, offer convenience and work with local producers to increase the amount of local, healthy food available to Portland area residents,” said Emily Graham, PFC board member, in a recent press release.

To become a member-owner of the Portland Food Co-op, an equity investment of $100 is required. Payment plans are available. The co-op also has a $10 low-income member-ownership option for individuals receiving public assistance.

For more information or to become a member, please visit

New Ventures

GREATSTUFF! CONSIGNMENT recently opened its doors in the Freeport Outlet Mall at 475 U.S. Route 1, next to the Sunrise Cafe. The shop specializes in gently used home furnishings, original art, jewelry and antiques. Individuals looking to consignment items can contact the co-owners Leslie Reis and Andrea Rouda at 865-1000. Store hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

South Portland resident Jeffrey Wittig recently published his first novel, “Winnie’s Corks.” The book is available at local bookstores and via

Kevin French and Denis Landry have formed a new partnership, Landry/French Construction, providing professional commercial construction services throughout Maine. French joins Landry’s company as vice president and co-owner and has moved offices from Lewiston to 68 Mussey Road in Scarborough. The company focus is primarily on capital projects in the healthcare, banking, and academic sectors as well as tenant fit-up work. Its services include construction management, design-build and design-bid-build with in-house estimating. Locally, Landry/French Construction has begun on a 22,000 square-foot expansion project for Inverness Medical Innovations in Scarborough and two new Bangor Savings banks, one on Allen Avenue in Portland and another on U.S. Route 1 in Falmouth.

The Maine Island Trail Association has launched an interactive online version of its Guide to the Maine Island Trail. The new website, located at, provides access to all 185+ sites on the Trail, coast-wide nautical charts, put-in and pump-out information, plus local weather and tide information. The online Guide will have content updated in real-time, and includes regional histories, current weather and tide information. Eventually the site will host user-generated content, photos and trip-planning services. A limited version of the Guide is available to nonmembers, with full access available to members only. Membership starts at $45. For more information contact MITA at 761-8225 or visit

Barbara Dee
has recently opened a business to provide advocacy, information and consultation to parents of children with disabilities. Her new business, Special Education Advocates LLC, located in South Portland, will help negotiate the complex arena of special education in public schools. Dee has served as a director of special education for the past 20 years and was named Maine’s Special Education Director of the year in 2008. Special Education Advocates also provides workshops on special education, conflict resolution/mediation and Section 504 for parents, educators and community members. To contact Special Education Advocates call 315-0795 or visit


TechMaine, the Technology Association of Maine, has named Harbor Technologies’ CEO Martin Grimnes CEO of the Year. Harbor Technologies LLC, is a Brunswick-based provider of composite solutions to the marine and infrastructure markets. Founded in 2003 by Grimnes, Harbor Technologies produces environmentally-friendly composite building and marine products, including pilings, hybrid composite beams and marine dock systems.

The University of Southern Maine presented Melissa Kopka of Portland with the Emerging Professional Staff Award at the 2010 Professional Staff Senate Awards and Recognition Ceremony held in Hannaford Hall. Kopka is a student success advisor in the Student Success Center, and is currently enrolled in the master of adult education program with a concentration in higher education at USM.

Edward Jones Financial Advisor Sherry Morrison of South Portland won several awards at the financial firm’s summer regional meetings, including the Client Service Excellence Award, the Jack Phelan Production Award, the Field Training Leader and the Leadership Team Award.

In the 2010 Green Thumb Contest sponsored by the Scarborough Garden Club, awards were presented to Nancy Kelleher, first place; Sharron Cygnan, second place; and Herb and Grace Tyler, third place. The winners received gift certificates to local garden centers from the club.

Norman L. “Norm” Smith and Donald W. “Don” Smith were the co-recipients of the 2010 North Yarmouth Distinguished Citizen Award. The award, created by the town’s Events Committee in 2006, is presented to residents who have demonstrated a long-standing commitment to the community.

The Associated General Contractors of Maine presented the Major Achievement in Construction Award to Eldon Morrison of Freeport-based CPM Contractors. Morrison founded CPM Contractors 25 years ago, growing the company from one employee to over 100.

Sidebar Elements

Carolyn Gile, on left, of the Maine Lions Sight and Hearing Association, presents a $5,000 check to Jim Phipps, executive director of The Iris Network. The donation is a result of the White Cane Day fundraising initiative held annually by the association and other Maine Lions Clubs to help the blind and visually impaired in Maine.