Page 1


Fishing Holes Getting

Pampered in LA

L-A Harley

Enjoyin’ the Ride

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Sample business listing and page Category Name

Business specialty

Contact Information


Payroll & Tax Services 00 Any Street, Auburn, ME 04210 207-000-0000 www.samplecpa.com

Contact person

John Sample, Accountant




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contents VOL. 2

FALL 2017

No. 4




Promoting railroad hobbyists, enthusiasts, and railroad safety

The receipe for success

From relaxation to rejuvenation, spas do it all


16 DOWN BY THE RIVER Some of the best fishing holes around the LA area and how to find them

42 WORKING LIKE A DOG Canines at the workplace and at doggie daycare

66 J. DOSTIE JEWELERS 26 ENJOYIN’ THE RIDE John Story & L-A Harley Davidson’s contribution to the community

32 ROY I. SNOW, INC A family affair for 70 years and the next generation of Snows

51 FOSS MANSION Enduring elegance for 100 years in Auburn

56 PINKY D’S FOOD TRUCK Authentic poutine garners local fame

On the cover: Laura Davis of Rinck Advertising with her English Cream Golden Retriever, Huckleberry.



3-D Ring design, the possibilities are endless


15th best trade school in the country. An evolution in education

70 COTE CRANE CORPORATION 51 years of service to the community



s we were assigning stories to our fabulous writers for this issue, I knew before I read any of them which would be my favorite. I’m sure you have already figured it has something to do with dogs. Yep, that’s four Golden Retrievers – we breed Goldens. Some say we’re crazy, some say where do you find the time. A good question for sure. What can I say? We love dogs! This issue if jammed packed full of great editorial content. We’d love to hear what your favorite story is. I’m sure many will love the fishing story. Others will be drawn to the “getting pampered in LA” story. There are literally so many “bests” in the LA area, there’s not enough time to cover them all. If you have an idea for a story or have a comment about one you’ve read, we’d love to hear from you. Be sure to take a look at our call for “letters to the editor” on the next page. Let us know what you think.

We understand that there are nearly 7,500 businesses in Androscoggin County. Please consider supporting the magazine and get your business listed– both in print and digitally! We’re planning a very comprehensive online version that we think any business would want to take advantage of. See page 3 to learn how you can get your business involved.

As we head into Fall, a lot of us sports fans start to think about NFL football and watching our favorite team on Sunday. So, sort of Bill Belichick-ish (Patriots head coach), we’re on to the next issue.


Our fans have sent a ton of requests for us to do a comprehensive business directory– a directory that could include every business in Androscoggin County. We heard you. We can do that, we just need your help.

JIM MARSTON Editor-in-chief jim@LAMetroMagazine.com

In the meantime, we hope you enjoy our Fall issue!

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Jim Marston MARS Marketing LLC


Hello LA Metro Mag, I am the recruiting coordinator for the CMMC Family Medicine Residency and would be interested in receiving your magazine to show to our applicants when they interview here with us. We recruit physicians from all over the world and this would be a wonderful recruiting tool for us to be able to offer them to view when they are here interviewing with us. Thank you!

– Michelle T.

Jim Marston jim@LAMetroMagazine.com

CHIEF VISIONARY OFFICER Matt Leonard matt@LAMetroMagazine.com


Jim Marston, Matt Leonard Tim Rucker, Steve Simard, Rebekah Leonard

PRODUCTION MANAGERS Jim Marston Matt Leonard


VISUALS EDITOR Lauryn Hottinger



Emily Chouinard, Peggy DeBlois, Toby Haber-Giasson, Michael Krapovicky Karen Landry, Dan Marois, David Muise, Donna Rousseau, Andrew Watson

PHOTOGRAPHY Lauryn Hottinger Rebekah Leonard

COVER PHOTO Lauryn Hottinger

LA Metro Magazine is published four times each year by LA Metro Magazine, LLC Editorial and subscription info: Call 207-783-7039 email: info@LAMetroMagazine.com 9 Grove Street, Auburn, ME 04210 Opinions expressed in articles or advertisements, unless otherwise noted, do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher or staff. Every effort has been made to ensure that all information presented in this issue is accurate, and neither LA Metro Magazine nor any of its staff are responsible for omissions or information that has been misrepresented to the magazine. No establishment is ever covered in this magazine because it has advertised, and no payment ever influences our stories and reviews.



Copyright Š2017 LA Metro Magazine, LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission, in writing, from the publisher. Printed in Lewiston, ME, USA.

chief visionary officer’s note



uring these dog days of summer we’ve been working like a dog to bring you the second annual Best of LA issue of LA Metro Magazine. Be sure to check out “Working Like a Dog”, on page 42 of this issue, which features pet-friendly businesses in the LA area and their people. One of the things I enjoy most about working on this magazine is learning about all of the great things here in the greater Lewiston Auburn area. There are so many things right here in our backyard that we pass by everyday that boast “best of” status. The goal of this issue is to highlight those businesses, locations, and activities (and yes, the people) that make LA more than just cities and towns but rather great communities. Frequently, we get the question, “Don’t you think you’ll run out of “best ofs” to write about?” Spend some time in our communities and you’ll quickly learn— nope. As we close out the summer— Pumpkinhead on tap already!? — we are already hard at work on the January issue that will feature the most comprehensive directory of businesses in the greater LA area both in print and digitally. I’ve said it over and over, if you’re in LA’s market, you’re in Maine’s market. Not only is LA Maine’s second largest metropolitan area boasting 105,000 people, it’s young, vibrant, and growing! Home to more people under the age of 20 than anywhere else in the state. Be sure to take advantage of getting your business listed in the directory! Lastly, we’ve added a “letter to the editor” section to the magazine. We’d love to hear your thoughts about the magazine and your submissions of “best ofs” for next year’s edition. Send your comments to: editor@LAMetroMagazine. Best,

Matt Leonard Chief Visionary Officer matt@LAMetroMagazine.com

LA Metro Magazine is proudly printed in Lewiston, Maine at:

8 Lexington Street, Lewiston • www.penmor.com LA METRO MAGAZINE digital edition @ LAMetroMagazine.com


GREAT FALLS MODEL RAILROAD CLUB Community, craftsmanship and camaraderie only begin to outline the inner workings of the Great Falls Model Railroad club. For over 30 years, members from all over Maine have come together with a common passion for trains. The club has played an active role in our community since it first organized in 1987. The founding officers of the club were president Paul Lodge, secretary Terry King, and treasurer Paul Gardner. As part of Maine Operation Lifesaver, the members here have a responsibility to not only create and craft model railroad layouts, but also promote and teach railroad safety. There are many different opportunities here to expand one’s skills, but the main focus of the club is education.

Just one of the impressive model trains on display at the Great Falls Model RR Club 10


ALL ABOARD! Promoting railroad hobbyists, enthusiasts, and railroad safety


by Emily Chouinard | Photography by Rebekah Leonard

wice a year, the Great Falls Model Railroad offers an eight-week course, through Auburn Adult education, at the club’s headquarters that’s all about model railroading. It first started in the fall of 1988 and focuses on teaching and improving skills used when building model trains. The objective of the course is to build a small module using skills such as soldering, laying track, making scenery, and much more. People come from all over the state of Maine to participate. Members of the railroading club in Auburn have been very supportive since the program first came to be. Almost every member has taken the course and/or helped teach it. Many current members first joined the Great Falls Model Railroad Club as a result of taking the classes. With the addition of some classroom space in the basement of the club’s building in Auburn, it’s become a great place to learn and create together. Often times there are enough members and students around during the classes that allow for plenty of individual instruction. The skills learned through the course can be put to use on individual’s own layouts at home. Another major education point the club is centered around is safety. The club is part of Maine Operation Lifesaver, an

organization dedicated to informing the public about railroad safety. It has been a huge influence within the club. About half a dozen of the members go out to elementary schools, drivers education programs and even police and fire departments to talk about railroad safety. For more information on Maine Operation Lifesaver you can visit their website: www.maineol.org.

Train Time Show

In September of 2000, a course in video photography and editing was being offered at Central Maine Community College in Auburn. Paul Lodge, the club’s first acting president, took the course for some time and became skilled in editing his own personal clips of trains. Paul worked to refine this newfound editing skill, and began to share his train footage with the club. It soon became clear to Paul how many others enjoyed taking their own photos and videos of real life trains. Within a year, the “Train Time” show was born and was first aired on a local television station, Great Falls TV. From there it grew immensely and is now shown on over 85 stations. The show is edited by Paul and produced by the Great Falls Model Railroad Club. To date, the show has over 250 episodes.

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By Emily Chouinard | Great Falls Model Railroad Club To shoot these videos, the Train Time Team has come up with a few different techniques that allow viewers to get the full experience of trains traveling through different areas. Sometimes a group of 4 to 5 members will form teams to photograph a train in different locations. They call this “leap frogging” one another, and use it to cover as many sites as they can in one day. When it’s all put together you’re able to see a train’s full course within the day as it passes through each location. Another useful technique has been “pacing the train,” which is simply having one person drive parallel to a moving train while another records it. This makes for some awesome live action shots of trains in motion. If you’re thinking these videos are only of trains coming and going in Maine, you’d be wrong. The Train Time team has traveled and shot clips in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, New York’s Hudson River, and various locations in Vermont. In 2009, four members of the team visited and photographed Cajon Pass and surrounding communities in Southern California; but these are only a few of the locations around the country where the team has visited and shot footage. The overall benefit to this project is being able to observe and share how trains operate in real life. By sharing this with members and viewers at home, people can take that knowledge and apply it to their model trains and home layouts. Copies of every Train Time show are kept in the club’s personal library and can be borrowed at any time.


Also be sure to stop by for the annual Train Fest held every year at the club during The Great Falls Balloon Festival coming up on August 19. The event will feature many balloon-themed games with prizes. Kids can also sign up to be guest engineers and run the model trains like real conductors. To get more information on clubs events or to find out how you can apply for membership, visit www.greatfallsmodelrrclub.org. Great Falls Model Railroad Club 144 Mill Street, Auburn • (207) 576-3788 www.greatfallsmodelrrclub.org facebook.com/GreatFallsModelRailRoadClub Hours: Wednesdays 6pm-9pm and Saturdays 9am to noon. Visit to see extensive model train layouts like this one.


Another key feature of the club is its personal library. It’s home to 10,000 slides, 600 books and over 6,000 model train magazines. Some magazines date back to 1898. “We are very proud of our library; not many clubs have something like this,” says Paul. It serves as the largest railroad library in the Northeast. Many people are sent here from the public libraries in Lewiston Auburn when in search of information on railroads. Just like any other library, books and magazine can be borrowed at anytime. The library’s collection is almost exclusively sourced by donations. Lost of people over the years have brought books and other train paraphernalia to the club for safekeeping. Once people know there is a safe space for all their old railroading media, the donations come flying in. The library can be found inside of the club on Mill Street in Auburn.

Join the club

When you step into this railroading club everyone is equal, whether you are a janitor or a college professor. In here, everyone learns from each other. The members here at the Great Falls Model Railroad club all share a deep passion for trains and they find such joy in sharing that passion with the community. If you are looking for a creative outlet and have an interest in trains and working with a team, this might be the place for you.



Great Falls Model Railroading Club President, Thunder McBride, & Paul Lodge

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Matthew Delamater photo


our visuals editor


Lauryn Hottinger of Lauryn Sophia Photography is a professional photographer in Southern Maine. Available for weddings, families and editorial. LaurynSophiaPhotography.com

Pam Ashby

Pam has been a graphic designer since 2001. She runs her own graphic design business, and is a full-time designer at Uncle Andy’s Digest. She also has additional experience in sales, management and customer service.



our editorial director TOBY HABER-GIASSON

Toby hails from the bustling New York City world of P.R. and event promotion. She interviewed bands and wrote album reviews for the likes of Creem and Audio magazines. Locally, she’s logged 10 years coordinating publicity for First Universalist Church of Auburn events, co-founded UU Theatre and Pleasant Note Open Mic and Poetry Slam, which she co-hosts.

Karen Landry

Karen Landry was born in Massachusetts and moved to Maine at age 10. Shortly thereafter she read The Outsiders, and decided she wanted to be a writer. Or a greaser. She studied Arts and Humanities at the University of Southern Maine. She still enjoys reading, writing, music, and most of all making her 4 year-old son, David, smile.

Dan Marois

Dan Marois is an actor, producer, writer and editor. As owner of Mystery for Hire, he has performed in 750 mystery dinner theater shows. With Mainely Improv, he does improv comedy performances as well as corporate training in using the skills of improvisation. He is also the Administrative Director for the Maine Public Relations Council.

David Muise David is a serial entrepreneur, writer, painter and player of very mediocre guitar. He fits these endeavors in around his busy fly fishing schedule.


Donna Rousseau

A Maine native, Donna has dedicated much of her career to assisting families as they navigate the world of eldercare. Her philosophy is “Create good by approaching all things with an open mind and a generous, honest heart�; it has served her well personally and professionally. Writing is her happy place. Her family is her heart.

Emily Chouinard

Michael Krapovicky

Emily is a freelance writer born and raised in Auburn. She got her start writing for local newspapers in the Livermore Falls area.

Michael is a freelance writer and musician from Auburn. He graduated from the University of Maine Presque Isle in 1999 with a BFA.

Emily grew up traveling all around northern Maine with her father, which she believes sprouted her passion for the outdoors and the history of Maine towns and their people.

He has submitted stories and articles for various publications, and performs throughout New England as a solo guitarist and bassist. Michael enjoys traveling, hiking, and spending leisure time with family and friends.


A native of Lewiston, Peggy L. DeBlois began writing creatively as a child growing up in a French-Catholic neighborhood. A graduate of Bowdoin College, she began her career in journalism at PC Week in Boston, where she was the ghostwriter for the industry gossip columnist, Spencer the Cat. She has also worked locally as an English teacher and public relations consultant. A resident of Auburn, she recently finished her first novel.

Andrew Watson

Andrew Watson is a freelance writer from Auburn, Maine. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Northwest University in Seattle, Washington, and then moved to Los Angeles, California, where he worked at a prominent entertainment law firm and began a career in strategic communications. In addition to freelance writing, Andrew enjoys cooking, his faith, and all things psychology.

Want to join our talented pool of writers? Send us a sample of your writing to editor@LAMetroMagazine.com

for consideration.

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Our own David Muise tries his hand at fly fishing.



By David Muise | Photography by Lauryn Hottinger | Down By The River

THE RIVER Secret fishing gems less than 15-minutes from downtown LA


by David Muise | Photography by Lauryn Hottinger here’s not a pond, river or lake around here that I’m a stranger to,” says George Krapovicky. Much like the elusive fish he is after, he can be a bit cagey about giving up the goods.

“In that picture there, that’s the biggest salmon I’ve ever caught around here,” says George. “I caught it on a fly rod in Lake Auburn... but I won’t tell you where.” George has been fishing in the LA area since 1940 or so. He grew up on Newbury Street in Auburn, where he could walk out his door and throw a line in the Androscoggin River. “I had a line, a hook, a worm, a rock, and my hands,” says Krapovicky. “The best hole was right behind the old stove my neighbors threw in the river when they got a new one.” Back in those days, George explains, there was no garbage collection and most people just threw all sorts of refuse into the Androscoggin.

George. “In fact, the fumes from the river reacted with the lead paint on our house and turned it yellow. People used to say the Androscoggin was, ‘too thick to flow and too thin to plow’.” Fortunately that was then. Since that time a combination of legislation like the Clean Water Act, water treatment facilities, education about environmental issues, and a changing economy have helped the Androscoggin make a dramatic turnaround. Nowadays, the Androscoggin River is home to a thriving fish population and has once again become a great destination for anglers. George’s recommendation is to stand on the banks just about anywhere on “the Andro,” or throw your canoe, kayak or boat in and see what you find. In the greater LA area, the Andro holds all sorts of fish from brook trout to bass and- for better or worse- big pike. It is rumored that in the fall you may even happen into a salmon making a spawning run down towards Lisbon. So go explore your town’s largest river, but for now we will take you to some of the lesser-known places to enjoy some time down by the river in the LA area.

“It was really polluted back in those days,” says

George Krapovicky, circ

a 1975

Submitted photo

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The law of the land

We spoke with Jim Pellerin, a fish biologist from the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Department, and he offered some helpful tips on compliance and safety as well as giving up a few special fishing holes. The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (IFW) operates an easy-to-use and very informative website: www.maine.gov/ifw. Jim tells us that this website is currently in the process of being redesigned, to make it even easier to access information. You are encouraged to use this resource to find the many regulations of Maine’s waters, stocking reports, lake surveys and more. Also, most people will need a license to fish in Maine, and, as of recently, you will need to request of the merchant from whom you are buying your license a saltwater demarcation as well. You will need this if you plan to fish in Maine’s saltwater areas including the ocean. It costs $1 extra- well worth it. The IFW site has an excellent mobile version as well. So, if you have cell reception you can check in on special regulations, lake maps and more, while you are out on the water. Finally, you will be given a blue booklet produced by the IFW when you get your license. This book contains most of what you will need to know to assure that you are in compliance with Maine State fishing laws. Get one and use it! Jim also says that if you have any questions about fishing regulations or the other services performed by the IFW, you are free to call the Region A office, which covers the LA area, at 207-657-2345.

Where to get outfitted

Ask any angler in the area where to get outfitted locally and there is pretty much one answer- Dag’s Bait and Tackle. Everyone with whom we spoke mentioned Dag’s at some Dylan Larose, Dag’s Bait Shop Owner Submitted photo point in our conversation. Dag’s was opened in 1960 by Leo Daignault. It has been a staple in the LA area almost ever since. The store was boarded up 18


and out of business for a short time before it was purchased in 2008 by Dylan Larose. “It was an icon of the town,” says Dylan. “To see it boarded up just didn’t seem right.” Dylan had returned to LA after serving in the Air Force when he bought Dag’s Bait and Tackle. He set out to restore the shop to the iconic nature for which it had been known. First he decided the best thing he could do was hire anglers and to put those employees first in the hopes that

By David Muise | Photography by Lauryn Hottinger | Down By The River

In fact, Scottie is a Registered Maine Guide. He is a deft angler and is known to always put his clients on the fish. He offers us some tips on where and what to fish below. Whereas some of the terminology used by anglers might prove daunting for some folks, he encourages readers to stop into the store. If you don’t know what a riffle or a caddis fly is, you should feel comfortable knowing that the good folks at Dag’s are willing to help. “There are no stupid questions,” says Scottie. Visit Dag’s Bait & Tackle at 559 Minot Ave., Auburn, 207-783-0388; online at dagsbaitandtackle.com or on Facebook. Hours: Sunday-Thursday 6am6pm, Friday and Saturday 6am-7pm

THE SECRET IS OUT Martin Stream, Turner

You may have never heard of Martin Stream, though it runs pretty much right along Route 4 from Turner Village all the way up to Brettuns Pond in Livermore. In fact, it passes right under Route 4 no fewer than three times.

Six or seven miles north of Turner Village, on the east side of the road, you will see a small parking lot next to what appears to be a small pond. This is actually part of Martin Stream. You can fish right from the shore, but also consider putting your watercraft in and heading north toward the inlet, says our insider George. The “fisherati” of the area know there is a nice wild brook trout population here. Scottie Bragdon, Register ed Maine Guide and Dag’s employee

Martin Stream, Turner

happy employees would mean happy customers. Next Dylan began doing some outreach in the hopes of fostering a community of young anglers. He’s worked with the Boys and Girls Club, the Boy Scouts and local elementary schools to assure that kids wanting to learn how to fish can access the equipment they need to do so. Visitors to Dag’s know that Owen and Scottie, Dylan’s employees, are valuable resources, loaded to the gills with fishing knowledge. And what’s more, they are happy and enthusiastic to share it- not something you find in every bait shop as anglers are often cagey about giving away information. LA METRO MAGAZINE digital edition @ LAMetroMagazine.com


A worm is always a nice treat for a brook trout, but remember that in the warm summer months, the trout will be down lower in the cooler water. In the spring and fall, they are more apt to be nearer the surface. Spinning tackle can work here as well. Try small trout lures such as a Classic Teardrop Spinner by Panther Martin. Another way to fish Martin Stream is to park near any of the small bridges over the stream along Route 4. Any small stream anywhere between Turner Village and Brettuns Pond is either Martin Stream or one of its tributaries. Your hike toward the stream will be short; you are encouraged to fish your way upstream, exploring the water as you go. You may even end up stumbling onto the next top secret fishing hole. Be sure to be aware of private property. If in doubt, always ask permission first.

Collyer Brook, New Gloucester/Gray Line

Collyer Brook is a little gem right on the Gray/New Gloucester town line, Scottie tells us. If you are heading south on Route 100, take a left onto Mayall Road just over the town line. About 1/2 mile up Mayall Road, look for Megquire Road on your left. There is a dirt pull-off just before the bridge going over Collyer Brook on Megquire Road- park here.

Collyer Brook, New Gloucester/Gray

any aggressively feeding fish around. You will know if this technique is working within 5-10 casts. If not, move on to a dry fly like a caddis. Land it at the top of the pool and let it slowly drift towards you on the calm water. You will know pretty quickly if this spot is going to produce on the day and time you are there. If there is no action within 15-30 minutes consider trying downstream. Head back up to the road and just over the bridge where you will find another access point to the brook. Here you will be facing the bridge and, ideally, casting up under it. There was recently a report of a 3 pound brook trout being taken here. Both of these spots are fishable with a spin rod using light tackle. Try small rooster tails or other spinners. Also, Collyer Brook allows for the use of worms. If that’s your thing, get some smaller trout worms and bounce them along the bottom on both sections. Collyer Brook is heavily stocked with both brown and brook trout yearly in the spring. The deep pools and heavy underwater structure (boulders, tree limbs, etc.) make for ideal hiding places for trout to survive year over year, which is why it is not unusual for big fish to be found.

Little Androscoggin, Auburn, Minot and Mechanic Falls

Our mighty river’s little brother is not the polluted, barren stretch of water that many know from years past. Surely you know the “Little Andro.” but you might not know these great spots to catch lots of fish.

Hotel Road Bridge, Auburn

There is a little dirt parking lot on the southwestern side of the bridge on Hotel Road that crosses the Little Andro. From here, carefully cross the street and the railroad tracks to find a walking trail that leads to two great fishing spots. Be careful after crossing the tracks, as the trail down to the river here is quite steep. Just a couple of hundred feet down you will see some small rapids and exposed rocks. This is your first destination. If you can walk out into the river with waders or boots, you will have a perfect vantage point to numerous pools. If you’d prefer to fish from the shore, there are some rock outcroppings on which to position yourself. From this parking spot, you can walk down to the brook about 50 feet. You will be just upstream from the bridge. Once on the bank (or in the ankle-deep water in the brook) look upstream at the remnants of an old mill. It is a beautiful setting, with water flowing out from beneath large granite slabs forming a small set of riffles in the water. Immediately below those riffles and to your right there is a nice pool that usually holds brook trout. There is enough room here to fly fish. If doing so, try stripping a streamer down through the riffles to see if there are 20


Fly fisherman will want to try pulling streamers through the riffles and letting them come down into pools and the awaiting trout. Those with spinning gear can try trout worms and light spinning tackle such as a small spoon lure. Remember to use the smallest lure possible in shallow water conditions. Scottie recommends an erratic retrieve with such spoons. “Reel just fast enough to keep the line tight and occasionally give a small tug so the spoon will appear as though it is darting or tumbling through the water.”

By David Muise | Photography by Lauryn Hottinger | Down By The River

Hotel Road Bridge, Auburn

Once you have fished this section of the Little Andro you can get back on the walking trail and head downriver to another, more remote and less fished area. You will walk about 1/4 of a mile along the trail before coming to an old dam that is out of use- the Littlefield Dam. Most of the dam still stands but the far side of it has been removed to allow for the free flow of water. Because this water is pinched through a relatively small opening, the resultant flow of water is staggering to see- huge rapids and lots of whitewater. Make no bones about it, this is a dangerous area and you should not attempt to get in the water here. However, just below the dam where the whitewater ends, you will find a lovely pool where fish love to hide out and wait for the whitewater to wash down food. Both fly fishing, worms, and spinners the likes of which were described above should provide plenty of action.

the stray brook trout in here, as well. Get to Dag’s and ask for a streamer with a “white marabou feather” says Scottie. This fly seems to have a special attraction in this area. Worms and small spinners or spoons will produce fish as well. Added bonus: it is rumored that at certain times of the year, you may happen into a spawning salmon making a run through this area as well.

Sawyer Bridge, Mechanic Falls

Sawyer Bridge is not hard to get to but it is a special spot for anglers and one that not many speak about, as it produces lively rainbow trout fishing. Jim gave us the lowdown on this spot. Continue west through Mechanic Falls on Route 121. Not far down the road you will see Lane Road on your left.

Minot Country Store, Minot

Head west on Minot Avenue toward the Minot Country Store. Just behind the store on a small road, you will find a small parking area. This area is heavily stocked with Brown and Rainbow trout. Scottie tells us that you may even find

Minot Country Store, Minot

Sawyer Bridge, Mechanic Falls LA METRO MAGAZINE digital edition @ LAMetroMagazine.com


There is room to park just past the bridge. From here, you will want to head upstream toward some visible riffles. This spot is great because it is easily reached and provides you with near immediate upstream fishing. Fish from the shore or get in the water here. The rainbows here are fun fighters, often dancing out of the water on their tails. The fishing gets really hot here on some days, providing lots of trout action for the angler.

Bog Brook, West Minot

Bog Brook, and the trout holes on it, are some of the most closely guarded secrets in this area. Jim tells us that this is

Scottie Bragdon, Registered Maine Guide, shows us a few successful catches

Bog Brook, West Minot “trophy wild brook trout fishing territory.” This area produces such good fish that we couldn’t get anyone to give us an exact location. What we do know is that if you head north on Route 124 out of Mechanic Falls, the brook will be on your left, or westerly side, all the way to the junction of Routes 124 and 119. Explore this area, get out of the car and walk around, hike into the woods and see what’s out there. This is really the magic of fishing- exploring a body of water until you find the perfect combination of access, safety and, most importantly, big fish!



By David Muise | Photography by Lauryn Hottinger | Down By The River

Down-East Sportscraft Ever hear someone say, “They just don’t make things like they used to”? So has Steve Peterson, and he is apt to laugh when he hears it. That’s because he is manufacturing a certain piece of fishing gear- used the world over- that was designed by his grandfather in 1946. His company, Down-East Sportscraft, has been producing the product right here in Lewiston, Maine, ever since.

“We now also sell to Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops. Through our website, we are able to sell all over the world.” Little has changed since Fritz first introduced the Down-Easter. Short of developing different mounting systems for newer styles of boats, the basic mechanism is still exactly the way Fritz first made it. The faces at Down-East Sportscraft haven’t changed much either. Fritz’s son, Fred, joined the business after serving in the Air Force in the Korean War. Fritz finally retired at the age of 91, when his grandson joined the business in 1993 after completing his studies in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Maine at Orono. Today Fritz’s son Fred and his grandson Steve run the business together. Three generations of the Peterson family have been producing a very successful product right here in our backyard but “no one knows about us,” says Steve. Hopefully, that will change.

“We use the same mold my grandfather made back in ’46,” says Peterson. It is almost unheard of in the 21st century to be continuously using the same steel mold of a design made 71 years ago, but that’s the secret of Down-East Sportscraft’s success.

At the very least, you will have them to thank when you hear someone laments how “they just don’t make things the way the used to” and you get to retort, “Sure they do. Just look at Down-East Sportscraft.” Down-East Sportscraft, 258 Russell Street, Lewiston www.down-east.com • 207-783-0421

In the 1940s, Fritz Peterson of Lewiston, Maine, set out to offer fishermen a “third hand” when he first designed his Down-Easter rod holder. He wanted a fisherman to be able to securely fasten his rod to his boat, while still having both hands free to paddle. Further, he wanted the rod holder to allow a fisherman to simply pick the rod up and out of its holster, without having to undo or unfasten anything. He figured this would make it far easier to snag a fish when it had taken the bait. He succeeded in creating the design and built a mold to begin its manufacture. He built these popular rod holders in a warehouse on Russell Street in Lewiston- the same place where they are still manufactured today. “We’ve been selling to L.L. Bean since they were a shack on the side of the road,” says Steve Peterson.

Three generations of Down-Easter’s: Steve, Fred & George Peterson LA METRO MAGAZINE digital edition @ LAMetroMagazine.com




Catering Division Weddings •Reunions Corporate Events & More

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&L-A Harley-Davidson’s

contribution to the community by Michael Krapovicky | Photography by Lauryn Hottinger


ohn Story is a visionary philanthropist and businessman, directing operations at L-A Harley-Davidson’s 839 Main St. location since 2005. He has taken their website’s axiom “Let us show you what a ‘dealer who cares about you’ is really like!” to new heights with fundraisers, large musical concert productions, and other fun community-based events both on and off-site. Being a proponent of the interests and requisites of the general populacenot only just Harley-Davidson riders- has served Story and his team well. “The Lewiston Auburn community obviously supports my business and me, and I feel I owe them a great deal,” said Story. “It’s always been my philosophy that businesses and individuals should give something back to the community.”

“I believe we, as business people, should always help the needy,” Story continued. “There’s lots of folks out there with different types of needs, and whether it’s Camp Sunshine, Make-A-Wish, or the Dempsey Center, there are organizations dedicated to providing relief. Most often L-A Harley will help by donating directly or providing a venue for these charities.” Story proffered that the giving spirit of his customers is in direct contrast to the perception of the ‘gruff, tough guy’ persona of the motorcycle enthusiast. “The biker community is mostly white-collar professionals; they have the means and also the desire to help in so many ways. It’s pretty easy to encourage those folks to do a ride, a barbecue, something to help raise money.”

LA METRO MAGAZINE digital edition @ LAMetroMagazine.com


Team spirit

Story gave a great deal of credit for his success to his team at L-A Harley-Davidson. “It’s about my 49 employees and what they do. I’m very fortunate; I have great people here,” Story asserted. “Two of my key players are Bert Asselin and Patrick Waitt. Bert grew up in the New Auburn area and he’s my sales manager. He’s been here through the transition from Schott Motorcycle Supply. Pat is my operations guy; he’s responsible for parts, accessories, service, and motor clothes as well. I have excellent managers in all departments working here, but Bert and Pat are the lynchpins of L-A Harley-Davidson.” Bert Asselin shared his history with the Harley-Davidson dealerships over the years and the influence of John Story on the business model. “I worked at Schott Motorcycle Supply in many capacities from 1978-1989,” recalled Asselin. “ I left for a while, then came back in 2005 to help with the transition. My former employers always strived, and were successful in, bringing the customer a good experience. John Story and L-A Harley has brought that idea to a whole different level, making sure the customer is taken care of and completely satisfied.” Asselin described the collective spirit that Story and the L-A Harley team has attempted to foster. “We want to give our customers fun opportunities to ride their motorcycles, attend events to meet other riders, and form a biking community,” Asselin attests. “The customers end up using their purchases more, and getting the best overall experience, to the end that they will be life-long customers.”



“As an example of how we at L-A Harley promote the use of our bikes, we established the Ride In Maine card.” Asselin explained. “We’d contact businesses around the state: restaurants, pubs, outdoor sporting ventures, who would donate a gift certificate or prize of some type, and be included as a destination on the punch card. We’d hand out the cards in the spring, and people would have all summer to get their cards stamped at these locations. Then we’d have a party where we’d use the cards to draw giveaways of our own merchandise as well as the businesses’ offerings. Out of over 700 cards issued, well over 50 percent were returned fully stamped, which we consider a huge success. It gets people out riding their motorcycles, enjoying them.”

Charitable rides

Asselin described the charitable work he, Story and the LA Harley team have helped institute. “We have seasonal event-sponsored rides, such as the Camp Sunshine Sugarloaf Ride. I spearheaded Veteran Appreciation events and was very involved in Team Bud, the organization for Bud Caoutte’s fight against cancer. For four or five years in a row, we did the Autism Ride, raising money for families with autistic children. We plan to revisit these events and establish new ones which, knowing John Story, will be bigger and better than ever.” In addition to the numerous charitable events, L-A Harley-Davidson has hosted performances by acts of a magnitude rarely seen the Twin Cities. National artists Josh Turner, Easton Corbin and Canaan Smith have been some of the acts Story and his team have put on stage. The L-A

By Michael Krapovicky | Photography by Lauryn Hottinger | L-A Harley

L-A Harley-Davidson 839 Main St. Lewiston 207.786.2822 www.l-aharley.com Harley Band, assembled and fronted by Asselin, featuring some of the finest local musicians, has also been an integral part of L-A Harley-Davidson’s biggest events. “We don’t see a profit directly from these events,” Story attested. “They are fun for us. The city has always done whatever they could do to help make these events successful. We can give something to the community, and also the community is able to contribute to the cause we are supporting.”

Vision of Growth

John Story has a positive, long-term, family-oriented future in mind for L-A Harley-Davidson. “Living in Maine has turned out to be more than I ever hoped for. We, as a family, are committed to the Lewiston Auburn area. My vision for this dealership is for it to continue to grow, and for my two boys to take over and run it.” As far as Lewiston Auburn’s future, Story holds a view of slow-and-steady progress. “I think our area will continue to grow slowly, as it has this past decade. I feel very positive about that. I’m hoping that people will come in and do more conversions of all these wonderful mills we have. If you take a look at Fishbones and Fuel Restaurant, you see the potential. It will just take time.” Story wished to impart words of gratitude toward the Twin Cities. “I’d like to thank the people of Lewiston Auburn for accepting us here, and for participating in all the fundraisers we do. Without their money and support, it would be impossible; and I appreciate the time and effort they share with us.”

The L-A Harley Band

has been performing for over ten years now. Bert Asselin continues to use this outlet to support charities and offer quality entertainment to community events. The lineup, which has evolved over time, has always included LA’s top talented musicians. They have been the openers for national acts such as the Greg Allman Band, Doobie Brothers, Travis Tritt, and have played for various philanthropic causes and events. The current lineup features (l to r): Tony Andrews on guitar, Steve Brown on keyboards, and father and son Dan (right) and Derek Johnson on bass/vocals and drums respectively, and Bert Asselin on guitar/vocals. LA METRO MAGAZINE digital edition @ LAMetroMagazine.com




Mac’s Grill

“Where the locals eat!” 1052 Minot Avenue, Auburn 207-783-6885



s e o D ! g n i r Cate Weddings, Banquets, Birthdays, Corporate Parties, and more! No event too BIG or SMALL... We cater it ALL!

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A Family Affair for The next generation for Roy I. Snow, Inc. by Toby Haber-Giasson



70 Years It’s a very American story. Family works together, makes sacrifices and achieves success. But the children want “something more” and walk away from their “mom and pop” business the family built. Roy I. Snow, Inc. is decidedly bucking this trend. Their 70-year run- as perhaps the longest-operating electrical contractor in Southern Maineremains a family affair.

By Toby Haber-Giasson | A Family Affair For 70 Years


Roy I. Snow learned the electrical trade by working in the shoe shops with his father, Roy A. Snow. With a thriving shoe industry and little competition, Roy I. founded his own company in 1947. Together with his wife Gertrude, they built up their business to support a dozen employees. The Snows taught their kids a strong work ethic. Son Dan recalls, “My dad put me to work at age 10, washing fixtures in the warehouse.” Later, Dan studied Electrical Engineering in college, and worked alongside his father for 30 years. Dan’s wife, Debbie Snow, insists he was shown no privileges. “He got the dirtiest jobs; he earned his way.” “It was a gift,” Dan says of his dad’s professionalism, “to learn from the Master.” And Dan learned other lessons from his father, how he often helped customers during tough times. “He would accept pickles, a chicken or a pie for payment.”

New millenium

Dan and his wife Debbie formally took over the company in 2005. Debbie sought to bring Roy I. Snow, Inc. into the modern century. And so an office that still had rotary phones moved from manual bookkeeping to online accounting software, and ditched beepers for cellphones. Roy I. Snow, Inc. is on top of the latest industry rules and regulations, as well as new market opportunities. When the shoe industry dwindled, they fostered a more diverse customer base. The company ventured into commercial the bulk of their business. National accounts- which currently number over 20- form a lucrative revenue stream. Residential work, which many electricians don’t want to take on, comprises about 20% of billings.

Giving back

Despite all his success, Snow didn’t forget the lessons from the Master about helping others. Behind the scenes, says Steve Wallace, CEO of the YMCA of Auburn-Lewiston, soft-spoken Dan Snow is a “rock star.” As a YMCA board member, Dan has donated thousands in pro bono work caring for the Y’s historic building, but he’s done so much more than wiring.

The Snows: Dan, Danielle, Desiree & Debbie

Lauryn Hottinger photo

“Actions speak louder than words,” Wallace reports. “Dan has spent countless hours securing sponsorships and scholarships, and looking over plans for the new YMCA and different scenarios for our Outdoor Learning & Education Committee. I can’t even begin to quantify the value of his experience and contacts in putting LA METRO MAGAZINE digital edition @ LAMetroMagazine.com


together these plans.” Wallace adds, “Dan’s been the genesis behind us starting a new Health & Wellness Pathfinder’s Club for teens. We just received a $25,000 grant to start the program this fall! Without Dan’s push, this program wouldn’t be starting.” Wallace is surely not the only one who is grateful that “Dan Snow is a man who chooses to make a positive difference, instead of just talking about it.” 

Snow 3.0

Unlike his father, who retired at 83, Dan Snow has been looking forward to moving on. He wanted to see his electrical business continue, but none of his three daughters had gone into the field. Yet eldest daughter Danielle and youngest daughter Des both wanted to see their parents’ business continue, too. Both also wanted to move back to Maine. Desiree was working in local government as Assistant to the Manager for Hoke County, North Carolina, where she became a jack of all municipal services. Two managers came and went while Des ran schedules, budgets and several departments. But last summer, Desiree moved back to Maine to become Operations Manager for the family business. “When Danielle said, ‘Let’s run the family business together,’” recalls Desiree, “I jumped at the chance.” Danielle Snow had gone to Silicon Valley 20 years ago,



Danielle, Debbie & Dan Snow Photo credit: Grand Rounds

penetrating the vortex of the tech industry. As a senior executive at Grand Rounds, she helped establish their East Coast office in Lewiston last summer. She will head up Grand Rounds in LA while serving as Board Advisor to Roy I. Snow, Inc., and visit GR headquarters in San Francisco monthly. Dan Snow will retain his title as President until he retires at the end of the year. Until then, he provides invaluable mentorship, sharing his life-long business experience with the next generation.

By Toby Haber-Giasson | A Family Affair for 70 Years

Wired for success

Larger-scale work comes in via Requests for Proposals (RFPs) and from GCs (general contractors). Desiree also scours the internet looking for government and private projects to bid on. To work up a quote for a national account, a Journeyman or Master assesses the situation and diagnoses what needs to be done. Desiree gets pricing from a supply house and makes a quote for the client.

This could be a good move both for Desiree and for the firm. Economic forces have made it hard to find an electrician nowadays. Since few young people are going into trades, the average age of an electrician is close to retirement age. As baby boomers retire, there aren’t enough young workers to take their place. Because of the shortage, the trades pay much better than first-time jobs for college grads.

Another stream is homeowners preparing for sale. “When someone wants to sell their house, their wiring may need an upgrade, like if they have an old knob and tube system.”

Desiree is going “all in” on the family business, running operations in the office and working toward licensure. Already an Electrician’s Helper, she is taking courses for a Journeyman Electrician program. She will then undertake four years of supervised fieldwork under a licensed electrician before she can sit for her exam.

“I only wish I had gotten into it sooner,” laments Desiree, “I worked here in my early 20s before I went to college for graphic design- and I haven’t ever used that.” But Debbie Snow thinks the company is definitely benefitting from Desiree’s training in graphic design. “Her creative flair shows up on our website, our business cards and forms. They have a more cohesive look with the company’s new branding.” (See their logo on bottom of facing page).

Snow day

Any weekday will find Desiree in the office fielding phone calls from A to Z: contractors, residents, and inspectors. She has to decide what the problem is, and who can solve it. Then she makes the schedule for these “trouble calls” and coordinates workers who will do the service. Generally it’s first-come, first-served, with the exception of an emergency. If someone is without power, or without heat in winter, that call gets bumped up.

Weekly, Desiree holds professional development meetings with all the electricians on safety topics. She also conducts weekly meetings with her father and her two estimators, to go over projects in the bidding and construction phases.

Power outlet

Every good electrician surely needs an outlet, and Desiree Snow has some very interesting ones. Back in North Carolina, Desiree skated with the Rogue Rollergirls league. One night, they did a promotional event with a men’s wrestling company. She said, “I can do that,” and started training to wrestle. In 2008, Snow began a five-year reign as Mia Svensson. Women’s wrestling was a novelty on live shows, so Des was competing through Ring Wars Carolina almost every weekend, while still skating with Rogue Rollergirls. Not every Electrician’s Helper is a two-time champion of the Allied Independent Wrestling Federation women’s title, in 2012 and 2013. Since returning to LA, Desiree has joined the local roller derby team, the Androscoggin Fallen Angels. How does she find the time? “It’s difficult to fit in,” she admits, “but I needed an outlet just for me.”

it: Photo cred lum Doug Col

of Impact Versus Thea Trinidad (formerly Rosita graphy Wrestling). Photo by Element Photo

Photo cred

it: Louis Ke


Desiree Snow in her wrestling days and now in her roller derby days. LA METRO MAGAZINE digital edition @ LAMetroMagazine.com


Bird on a wire

Perhaps Desiree was uniquely qualified to make a most unusual service call to ground and wire a light-- in a swimming pool. The pool was partly drained but Des was in the water up to her chest. She needed both hands to do the work, so the supervising Master Electrician made a makeshift swing to suspend her. The city inspector was there, too, admiring her amazing feat!

Owen Tripp & Joan Macri

Photo credit: Grand Rounds

Tech trek

Daughter Danielle had a different path back to the family business. Growing up, Danielle liked going out on jobs with her dad. It was fun to tag along and tour construction sites. But her passion was debate. Her coach at Lewiston High School was Joan Macri, now Associate Director of College for ME-Androscoggin. “She was all curls and shy,” recalls Macri, “but she had a mind like a steel trap. Danielle was underestimated as a debater, but she could take them down- and take them down hard.” Macri remains a lifelong mentor and friend. Danielle started college at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, in Massachusetts. Her grandparents still owned the family business at a time when Grandma Gertrude required extensive medical treatment. A loyal Snow, Danielle took a year off from school, to fill in until she returned. After this period, Danielle returned to college, this time at University of Maine at Orono, studying Communications. She stayed there to pursue a Master’s degree, focusing on intercultural conflicts. It was there Danielle met her husband, Derek Ribbons, a software specialist. After graduation, Derek had an offer from Hewlett Packard in California, so the couple moved to the San Francisco area in 1999.

In 2013, Tripp asked Danielle to join his new venture, Grand Rounds, which connects patients to specialty care. As Senior Vice President of Patient Care, Snow directs a medical care staff of RNs NPs PAs, records, and all sections that manage patients virtually.

Tech was booming in Silicon Valley in the late ‘90s, and Danielle was the right person at the right time. She joined a start-up called TiVo, a digital video recorder manufacturer, and spent eight years there, moving up to Senior Manager of Consumer Applications.

“Danielle is committed to getting work done but looking at how we do the work, for our employees and our patients,” says Tripp. “After meeting her parents, I see where it comes from.”

Husband Derek says Danielle is a great operational problem solver, but her magic power is working with people. “It’s a hard skill, practiced with mutual respect and transparency.”

Those very parents, Debbie and Dan, are now looking forward to retirement. They have big plans for grandchild time at their camp, as well as travel, golfing and gardening.

Danielle left TiVo for Vudu, Inc., an internet movie delivery service. Beginning in 2007, she served as Director of Service Operations. While there, she earned an MBA online, thinking it might allow her to help the family business someday. In 2011, she landed at Reputation.com, an internet image management service, cofounded by internet entrepreneur Owen Tripp. As leader of the Reputation Defender product line, Danielle made quite an impression on Tripp. “You can


get the impression that Danielle is soft-spoken,” cautions Tripp, “but she’s strong, savvy and incredibly principled.”



The legacy of Roy I. Snow, Inc. is riding on new shoulders now. It seems the Snow family likes their “mom and pop” business just fine. “I can’t envision working for someone else now,” says Desiree. “That’s a driver in keeping it successful, because I don’t want to work for anyone else again!” Roy I. Snow 11 Library Ave, Auburn • 207-782-3734 www.roysnow.com

n line ffline

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BEFORE You can have your own free color consultation for the outside or interior of your home or business.

Last fall, homeowner s, John and Jackie me t with Stefanie to discuss Re freshing their home col or to change the intense blue to a curb appeal ing color that would com pliment holiday decora tions. They were very pleased with the result s. Have you ever started a paint job, and realized half way through, that you wish you had picked a different color! Refresh can help you get it right the first time!

Staging • Redesign • Color Consultation Window Treatments • Boat Furnishings Interior Decorating

207-200-6507 • refresh207.com



The public is invited to attend the FREE DESIGNER EVENT called Color your World Wednesday. It is being hosted August 30th and on the last Wednesday of every month from 4-7 in the Auburn, Center Street Sherwin Williams store. Stop by with photos of your home, room(s) or business on your way home from work, and we will help you pick the right color. Pizza & drink provided!

Dad’s Place Catering Top-notch service and quality food are the recipe for success.


by Dan Marois | Photography by Lauryn Hottinger e didn’t really plan to become one of the most popular caterers in the area.

“I went to college for elementary education and then did an about turn and went to the Police Academy. I spent 12 years in law enforcement,” explained Larry Roy who, with his wife Diana, run Dad’s Place Catering in Mechanic Falls. “You might say it happened by accident.”

In 2002, the Roys purchased a convenience store run by Diana’s family, called “The Store,” and renamed it “Dad’s Place.” There was a food counter that offered an array of popular items along with the standard fare of a neighborhood store.

And so it began

“One day, a client came in as asked if we could cater an event for 80 people,” said Roy, noting that the client wanted a barbeque for the event. “While I wasn’t in the catering business, I know that I’ve served a barbeque for 50 people at my house. I figured I could do this for 80 people and I booked the event. I told my wife about it. She wasn’t exactly thrilled.”

for a family reunion or corporate picnic, graduation party, even the lobster bake on the beach or any event where you are in need of an onsite caterer that will travel to any venue, bring the food, the plateware as well as a full service bar, tables, chairs, and porta potties. You want a tent and a dance floor, Dad’s has got you covered, literally. “We are a one-stop full service caterer and we travel just about anywhere with a wide variety of menu options,” said Roy, who can accommodate just about any number of guests. “So far, our largest event was for 800 people. We also did an event for the Maine Army National Guard where we were asked to serve 400 guests in exactly 21 minutes.” Roy even has an option for do-it-yourself event planners who want to pick up items all prepared to serve. “Our Carry Out Catering allows customers to order hot dishes, sandwich fillings, side salads, appetizers, finger rolls, pasta salads, and desserts ready-made to serve,” said Roy, pointing out that this option gives customers an easy way to host their own event.”

Soon, another client came in and asked if I could cater an event for 200 people,” remembers Roy. “Not wanting to refuse any business, I said yes, again to my wife’s amazement.” After successfully handling both events, other requests started coming their way and what started as a small enterprise is now a full time catering business. Dad’s Place Catering has quickly become one of the top wedding caterers in the area. They also offer the barbecue LA METRO MAGAZINE digital edition @ LAMetroMagazine.com


All in the family: Diana, Larry & Cassie Roy

While the business can be stressful and requires excellent planning skills, Roy has a passion for the work.

Sustained success


“There are barns scattered throughout Maine that host weddings or other special events.” (A visit to rusticbride. com lists 130 venues in Maine with a barn or barn-like setting.)

“We are successful because we offer top notch service, quality food, and a personality that goes with creating a memorable event,” said Roy who credits working for Pollyanna’s Catering in Lewiston as a teenager for giving him a taste of the business. “As for the planning required for an event, everything is formula-based in how much food is needed to feed so many people. We pride ourselves on not running out of food. We want everyone satisfied.”

Roy employs 30 staff members for their catering business, their convenience store and their bottle redemption center, all based in Mechanic Falls. The catering business includes the husband and wife team in all aspects including planning and food preparation. It also includes their 16- and 20-year old daughters, as well as Larry’s 73-year old mother who helps out at events.

Roy has seen an interesting trend in the catering business especially for wedding venues.

Business remains brisk for catering, with bookings lined up for 2018 and 2019.

“There was a time when we were doing most weddings in a VFW hall or American Legion hall pretty much. Then, people were moving to outdoor weddings under a tent. That was the rage,” said Roy. In recent years, weddings have moved to rustic barns renovated for this express purpose.

“Right now, business is status quo,” said Roy, crediting current and repeat customers keeping Dad’s Place Catering very busy. “We wouldn’t be here without a strong customer base.”


Dad’s Place Catering, 207-536-3759, dadsplacecatering.com

The Fortin Group

217 Turner St. Auburn, ME 04210 207-783-8545 70 Horton St. Lewiston, ME 04240 207-784-4584 LA METRO MAGAZINE digital edition @ LAMetroMagazine.com


Hanging out at Doggz INN in Auburn



By Dan Marois | Photography by Lauryn Hottinger | It’s a Dog’s World

Canines at the workplace and at doggie daycare by Dan Marois | Photography by Lauryn Hottinger


ucy, the black Labrador Retriever mascot at Evergreen Subaru, is feeling a bit disappointed.

“She usually meets the FedEx guy at the door and he has a treat for her every day,” explains Ashley Marquis, a sales consultant at the auto dealership. “But today, it wasn’t the regular guy so Lucy is confused as to why she didn’t get a doggie treat.” Oh, the woes of a dog that is gainfully employed. Lucy is one of a growing breed of canines who are embraced in the workplace and becoming fixtures in area businesses. Some tend to be mascots and official greeters. Others tend to be morale boosters for employees with a hectic work schedule. Either way, some businesses are taking steps to allow dogs at the workplace with very positive experiences. “Lucy started coming to the dealership when she was six weeks old,” said Lynn Weisz, marketing manager and wife of Evergreen Subaru owner, Doug Weisz. “We’ve had the business for almost 12 years and I joined the company about 5 years ago. Lucy has been coming here for nine and a half years.” Because Maine is a dog-friendly state and Subaru is a dog-friendly vehicle, the decision of having Lucy as a regular employee was an easy one. “She greets every new person hoping that she may end up with a treat,” explains Weisz. “She definitely has a routine where she goes about greeting all the employees in the morning, though she tends to gravitate to the accounting offices, where most of the treats are stored for her and where she has some dog beds. Otherwise, she has lots of places where she visits through the day, which may include on someone’s desk chair.” At Rinck Advertising in their newly renovated digs at the former W.T. Grant store in the heart of downtown Lisbon Street, agency president Laura Davis Rinck “employs” two dogs, Huckleberry and Nellie. LA METRO MAGAZINE digital edition @ LAMetroMagazine.com


Huckleberry spends the most time at the busy advertising agency with its 40 employees. He’s a bit of a conversation piece in that he is a rarely seen 100% English Cream Golden Retriever, pure white in color. Nellie doesn’t work as much; she’s half English Cream and half Golden, a more recognizable color for the breed. berry Huckle li h it w is av owg Laura D renier with M G & Ben

“They have over 3,000 followers on Instagram,” a fact that would be known only to advertising executive Rinck. “Their page is #huckandnell.” Like Lucy at the auto dealership, Huck has a daily routine. “He goes from office to office greeting people in the morning. Of course, he has his favorite places with folks that give him more attention and a bit of a snack,” said Rinck. “Karly Eretizan’s office is one of his favorite stops. Karly is our Vice President of Creative Services. He also has a few other favorites.” Rinck said that Huck is particularly attached to her during the day, choosing to hang around her office or follow her to and from meetings, all the time patiently sitting and waiting for his next move. Rinck said that he likes to go for walks and will even enjoy a running excursion with employees that do a power run at lunch time.

Engaging with dogs

Both Rinck and Weisz point out that it is not only their own dogs that come to the workplaces, but

Right: Laura Davis with Huckleberry

Lucy, the mascot at Evergreen Subaru in Auburn.



By Dan Marois | Photography by Lauryn Hottinger | Working Like a Dog that employees are welcome to bring their dogs to work as well. “We have some employees that will bring their dogs and it usually works out okay,” said Weisz. “But we also invite our customers to bring in their dogs when visiting.” About a third of customers going to the garage for service bring their canines. When visiting, they usually receive a few treats and some “dog swag” gifts. “We have a chalkboard in the service area where we invite customers to write down the names of their dogs that have visited us,” said Weisz, pointing to the board that has about 100 names on it. “Our staff gets to know the dogs by name and they look forward to the fun of having them here.” Evergreen Subaru has even hosted dog-friendly events along with the Greater Androscoggin Humane Society, including a dog Halloween costume contest and a pet adoption day when the society brought dogs to the dealership that were available for adoption. The dog-friendly interest even extends to the marketing efforts at the dealership. “Lucy is featured in most of our television commercials and we get lots of response from the public,” said Weisz. “We also have a commercial that features Lucy along with dogs owned by our employees. They all gathered for the video shoot.”

Shared perspective

For both employees and employers, allowing dogs at the workplace seem to have major benefits. “I have brought my pet to work and it is great,” said Marquis, at Evergreen. “My

dog has been in some of our television commercials.” For Weisz, having Lucy at the workplace is almost an employee benefit. “It definitely unifies the team here where we treat her as our mascot,” noted Weisz. “She brings us together through the day where we all share the responsibility of taking care of her and engage her in our workplace. And she’s comfortable with everyone coming and going as she pleases.” Katie Greenlaw, Director of Public Relations at Rinck, has taken her dogs to the office on occasion. “I have two high-energy breeds, a Jack Russell Terrier and a Vizsla, who is still a puppy, so they aren’t as mellow as some of the other pups that hang here at Rinck,” said Greenlaw. “It does create some jealousy when I get home and my pups can smell other dogs on me.” Greenlaw believes that there are benefits of having dogs at the workplace especially because of the positive vibe they bring. “We’ve often referred to them as our chief morale officers because they encourage us occasionally to sit back, take a break from meetings or plugging away on projects, and take a breath and simply enjoy their company,” said Greenlaw. “Having dogs in the office creates an opportunity to bond with employees, clients, vendors, the postal carrier- you get the idea- over a shared loved of animals. And, I think it also speaks to the type of environment we enjoy here and extend to all who enter: that we are open, flexible, warm, inviting.” Rinck added, “Dogs have a sixth sense about human

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beings. They know what they need emotionally and they can respond by helping to relieve stress with their very presence.” Occasionally, staff from the local animal shelter will arrive at Rinck with an assortment of puppies that are up for adoption. “We simply take a break and everyone ends up on the floor playing with them,” admits Rinck. “It is powerful puppy therapy.”

Advice for becoming dog-friendly

“When introducing dogs to the workplace, they should be friendly to humans and other dogs, housebroken and well-mannered,” said Donna M. Kincer, Development Director at the Greater Androscoggin Humane Society, advising that both management and staff be supportive of the idea. “The workplace environment should be amendable to dogs. Some dogs, whether shy or fearful, may not enjoy a busy work setting.”

Rebecca Campbell & Celeste Truman of the Doggz Inn

She also suggests establishing guidelines and policies for responsible pet care and creating a dog-free zone for those not as comfortable being around dogs. When becoming dog friendly, Rinck advises to take things slowly. “Restrict the dog to your own space and work its way out through the building,” said Rinck, who remembers using a childproof baby gate to limit Huck’s reach. “Keep them on a leash and give them frequent walks. But most of all, take full responsibility for your pets especially if they have ‘accidents’. Start small and be aware of how the dog affects others.” With some effort, a dog friendly business can be welcoming for all concerned. “Insure that having a dog is a good fit for your business,” adds Weisz, pointing out that dogs might not be appropriate in some settings. “Having a dog should be value added and not an intrusion.”

Bruce Bilodeau of Doggone Fun Doggie Daycare



By Dan Marois | Photography by Lauryn Hottinger | Working Like a Dog

When the doggie needs daycare

What happens when your fur baby can’t go to work with you? Simple. Sign up with doggie daycare. That’s right. Along with the many daycare centers for youngsters that dot the countryside, dog owners have found the joys of doggie daycare. “The advantages of doggie daycare are numerous,” said Kincer. “There is playtime, socialization, exercise, and for those dogs who are bored or have separation anxiety, doggie daycare is a healthy way to deter unwanted behaviors.” “Today, we have 60 dogs on the premises. Our all-time high was 111,” said Bruce Bilodeau. He and his wife Lisa own Doggone Fun Doggie Daycare on outer Lincoln Street away from the downtown area. “When I first started, I would have been happy with just me and 10 dogs a day.” In addition to daycare for dogs, Bilodeau offers overnight boarding, for pet owners who will be away for an extended period. It is a busy operation that runs seven days a week year-round.

Donna Kincer with a friend at the Humane Society

“I charge people by the day so I’m never quite sure how many dogs I will have for a single day,” said Bilodeau. “Some come a couple of days a week, and others come for five days.” Bilodeau charges $20 a day for the daycare service and $30-35 for overnight boarding. People who sign up for five days a week of daycare receive one day free of charge. At The DOGGz INN on Washington Street in Auburn, owners Rebecka Campbell and daughter Celeste Truman average 40 dogs per day with cost ranges from $14 to $27 per day, depending on how many days they attend. According to Bilodeau, the attraction for doggie daycare comes from people who have busy lives but still want to have a dog as a pet and companion. “People want the dog but feel guilty leaving them alone during the day,” said wife Lisa. “One customer boasts that she never paid for daycare when her children were growing up but now pays for her doggie to have daycare.” “When I started 10 years ago, it was a luxury,” said Campbell. “Now our lives have become so busy these days that it has almost become a necessity.” And the type of customer at doggie daycare varies considerably. “Our customer base is as varied as our dog breeds,” said Campbell. “But the one thing they all have in common is a love for their dog.” “We have single young people, families with children, professionals; there is a diversity in our clientele,” said Bilodeau. Bilodeau estimates that about 60% of the dogs at his daycare have been adopted from animal shelters and, in general, the dogs tend to get along with one another. “We have a staff of six full time and 3 part-time employees to run the place. It takes a special kind of person to do the job,” Bilodeau said. “If someone says they are great with dogs and simply like to be around them, they will last for only two days. There is lots more to learn than just being great with dogs.” LA METRO MAGAZINE digital edition @ LAMetroMagazine.com


Staff first must learn the nature of the barks and growls of the dogs, noting which ones are playful and which ones are threatening. They also must learn a point system of when to intervene when the doggie roughhousing gets too rough.

If a dog is too disruptive, Bilodeau said they might have to be “voted off the island” or if they do not get along well with other dogs, they might not be allowed in the daycare.

“We have a point system of one to ten. When the activity gets excessive, around a seven, we step in and give the dog a timeout,” said Bilodeau. “We have to remember that they are pack animals and what they might think is playful can have consequences when they are playing with sharp teeth. After a few minutes, they usually calm down and can return to the play area.”

Doggone Fun Doggie Daycare 528 Lincoln Street, Lewiston, (207) 786-2794 Doggonefundoggydaycare.com

“Safety is our major concern.”

The DOGGZ INN 65 Washington St N, Auburn, (207) 333-3640 Doggy Daycare, Grooming & Boutique https://sites.google.com/site/thedoggzinn/home

How to Choose a Good Puppy Sensible guidelines to use when choosing a puppy

Don’t let the puppy choose you. You may have been advised by well-meaning friends to “Pick the puppy who runs right up to you!” But this simply results in all the bold and pushy puppies being chosen first. The gentler puppies who wait politely in the background get ignored. Most families are making a mistake when they choose bold, vigorous, energetic puppies who jump all over you, grab all the toys, start all the wrestling matches, grab hold of your pants leg and tug fiercely with adorable puppy growls. Sure, these little dynamos are a blast to play with – for an hour at the breeder’s house. But they can drive you crazy within a day or two in your own home. And they can be more difficult to train. A puppy can be perfectly suited to you without immediately launching himself into your lap. Before you choose, resolve to give each puppy a fair shake.

First, evaluate the litter as a group

Your first look should be at the litter as a group. If there are four puppies and three of them are staying at arm’s length or woofing suspiciously at you, this is probably a very risky litter. And what about the fourth puppy, the one who acts normal? Still be wary. He could have inherited the same shy or distrustful genes and it simply hasn’t caught up to him yet. Shy puppies become shy adult dogs. A puppy who tucks his tail or shrinks away from you is not a safe choice as a pet. This is especially true if you have children. If the shyness is hardwired into his genes, a shy puppy will grow into a shy adult who can be difficult to live with and who may even snap defensively if startled or frightened. So if the litter isn’t running away, what should they be doing? Normal puppies are friendly, curious, trusting. They mill 48


around your feet, tug at your shoelaces, crawl into your lap, nibble on your fingers, and just generally toddle around checking everything out.

Puppies playing

Observe how each puppy plays with the other puppies. You can tell something about the individual puppies by the way they interact with their littermates. Which ones are strong, outgoing, bossy, noisy? Which ones are quiet, submissive, gentle? Which ones grab all the toys and win the tugs-of-war? Which ones seem delicate or picked on? Most families do best with a pup who is neither boss of the litter nor lowest on the totem pole. Next, evaluate the puppies individually. After viewing the pups as a group, ask the breeder if you can see each puppy who is available for sale, individually. This is an important step in evaluating puppies. You want to see how each puppy reacts when he is away from his littermates. After all, that’s how it’s going to be at your house. Sometimes a puppy who seems bold when his friends are “backing him up” will become less certain on his own. Sometimes a puppy who feels dominated by the others will become more outgoing on his own. Sometimes an energetic puppy will calm down when not being egged on by the others.

By Dan Marois | Photography by Lauryn Hottinger | Working Like a Dog

TRAINING Use dog crates and gates to confine your new dog when home alone until his house manners earn him unsupervised freedom. Provide plenty of “legal” things for your dog to chew. If he has attractive toys and bones of his own, he’ll be much less likely to engage in destructive behavoir. Be sure your dog has at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise–running, fetching, playing or swimming–each day. A tired dog will be much less likely to engage in destructive behavior. A busy dog will be much better behaved, too. Consider feeding your pet in food-puzzle toys when he has to stay home alone. If he spends his time working for his chow, he’ll be less likely to look other ways to alleviate his boredom–like chewing on furniture legs or unstuffing couches. Research house training for dogs and remember to increase your pet’s roaming privileges slowly, room by room. Going from restriction to complete freedom can set a pet up to fail. We cannot overstate the importance of dog obedience. Not only is it good for the dog, it’s good for the owner, too. There are few things more impressive than seeing a dog that listens and obeys commands.

Bella shows off her talent

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100 YEARS The Horatio and Ella Foss Mansion Enduring elegance in downtown Auburn


by Donna Keene Rousseau

otted throughout thought to be ancient Nathe neighbortive American remains. hoods of downtown Auburn A regal face are the historic Today, the mansion comhomes of yesteryear. mands Elm Street from Their striking architectural its elevated perch with its bones define them as the striking two-story porch sup“grande dames” of their ported by four Roman Doric age. Listed on the Nation(Greek) columns, Palladian al Register of Places in entryways and windows. 1976, the Horatio G. Foss White stucco exterior covers Mansion of 19 Elm Street terra cotta tile walls and in Auburn, with its unique provides distinct contrast to aesthetic balance of Georits red clay tile hip roof. The Image of an early postcard of the Foss mansion gian Revival and Spanish southern-facing main façade influence, serves as reminder of a bygone era of elegance features three symmetrical bays, including a two-story tall and refinement in our city’s history. pair of bays flanking the central entry, which is sheltered The mansion was designed by two Lewiston architects, Eugene J. Gibbs and Addison Pulsifer, for Horatio G. Foss, owner of Dingley, Foss & Company, and his wife, Ella May Fletcher Foss, both Maine natives. Construction began in 1914 on the site of another landmark home, originally known as the Pickard Home and later the Pickard-Briggs Home; the property was sold by Samuel Pickard, son-inlaw of Squire Edward Little. The tearing down and clearing of that property contributed to the three years it took to complete the Foss home in 1917. According to an article in the Lewiston Daily Sun, during the excavation on the lot, three sets of human skeletons were unearthed, later

by a portico topped by a segmented-arch pediment. The cornices of the portico, doorway pediment, and roof, including the lines of the roof dormers, are all supported by ornate brackets, or modillions, architectural details contributing to the home’s regal imperative.

Making an entrance

The front entry door, constructed of solid wood and accented by leaded glass sidelights, is topped by a rectangular transom and leads to a tiled vestibule opening onto a central hall. If the mansion’s outside beauty emblazons its image in the mind’s eye, the interior of the three-story

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home does not disappoint, once over its threshold. Entering the high-ceilinged central hall lit by crystal chandeliers, the eye meets the grandeur of a flying oak staircase that conjures images of sweeping ballgowns descending the wide, red carpet-covered steps at a long-forgotten soiree. The newel posts of the staircase feature three designs and a mahogany bannister. Five bowed stained-glass windows, two of which are on interior walls, and a handsome grandfather clock, grace the circular landing where the staircase splits. From the central hall and to the left is a living room of 22x26 feet, featuring an ample fireplace and French doors opening onto the tiled, palm corridor. A half bath is located to one end of the corridor; the porte cochere, a roofed structure extending from the house over the driveway to shelter guests entering or exiting their automobiles, appoints the other.

strategically hidden behind decorative mouldings –which directed the light to the ceiling and reflected illumination over the room. The system was thought to the best of any system of that time for creating the softest lighting and quality illumination. The oak paneled dining room’s fireplace mantel piece in this room is carved with floral garlands and flanked on either side with built-in china closets. Sliding pocket doors provide for privacy in dining.

Where beauty meets function

The kitchen, located in back of the dining room, is accessed through the butler’s pantry, which has a steel vegetable sink. The dumbwaiter ascends from the ice room to the second floor and maintains access to the dining room through two tabletop openings. A back staircase leads to the upper floors. Each of the five spacious bedrooms on the second floor has it owns bathroom. One of the five rooms was reserved for the second floor servants. The back staircase leads to additional servants’ quarters, storage, and a large room finished with tongue-in-groove boards that served as a recreation or billiard room on the third story.

To the right of the grand central hall is the library with a second fireplace. Beyond it is a tiled solarium which, in earlier descriptions, was “to be one of the most attractive apartments of the whole mansion”. The dining room, measuring 20x28 feet and boasting 560 A view of the Solarium square feet, is also accessed from the central hall as well as through a French The basement, not open to the public, is reached by a window entrance in the solarium. It features a “concealed” stairway in the back hallway. Divided into many rooms, this lighting system – electrical lamps placed along walls and Photo below: Outing for the Woman’s Literary Union at Wiseman’s Farm, South Lewiston 1932 (photo credit: Washburn Studios)



By Donna Keene Rousseau | The Horation and Ella Foss Mansion floor was for functionality and housed the furnace, coal storage, vegetable/root cellar and laundry room. During WWII, the Women’s Literary Union, to whom Mrs. Foss willed the mansion upon her death in 1941, granted the Red Cross to use a room in the basement for home nursing classes.

Ever the hostess

Mrs. Foss bequeathed her home to the Woman’s Literary Union, of which she was a member, upon her death in 1941. Seventy five years later, the organization remains a faithful steward and through its fundraising efforts maintains the home and makes necessary repairs and renovations. The WLU’s fundraisers include doll and tea parties, BUNCO gatherings, craft fairs, and holiday open houses, to name a few. The mansion is also available as a venue for bridal and baby showers and other celebrations.


100 YEARS On Saturday, September 23, 2017, Mrs. Fred McKenny, Mrs. Florian Berube, Mrs. Frederick Dick, Mrs. Neal Donahue & Mrs. Forrest Kemp at the club house with the Woman’s Literay Union 1960 (photo credit: Sun Journal)

In addition to the woodworking craftsmanship throughout the home, other remarkable features include a central vacuuming system, original paintings and décor, period wallpaper, Persian rugs, and flower gardens like those Mrs. Foss enjoyed during her life in the mansion. A detached two-car garage, designed with a turntable, is located off the porte cochere. Once driven onto the turntable, a car could be turned by manual crank to position it to face the street for ease in exiting the garage. The building also had a basement, as well as chauffeur quarters upstairs.

the Foss Mansion will host a Centennial Celebration entitled, “100 Years of Fashion” from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM, organized by the WLU. Guests are invited to dress in their favorite decade of fashion. It is an apropos celebration of the “grande dame’s” birthday. After all, the Foss Mansion has been “dressed” for just such an occasion for 100 years and, with continued good stewardship, should remain so for centuries to come. For more info: Kathy Lawrence, The Woman’s Literary Union, 207 795-6134, kmlawrence@aol.com

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Food Truck Authentic poutine garners local fame


by Andrew Watson | Photography by Lauryn Hottinger

fter 25 grueling years in the restaurant industry, Randall Smith decided it was time to shake things up. Like many of us, he dreamed of the opportunity to lead a self-sufficient career without having to report to others. He needed a career that would not only ignite his passions but one that would also be practical enough to break the constraints of such a demanding industry. What is a man in such a precarious situation to do? He started a food truck. Not just any food truck, but Pinky D’s Food Truck. And his now-famous Canadian-inspired poutine has become a delicacy in the Lewiston Auburn community and beyond. The most popular dish on the menu – the classic poutine -- is composed of hot, crispy french fries stacked with locally produced cheese curds that melt in your mouth, and then it’s topped with an authentic, Canadian-style light brown gravy. Moans of sheer pleasure inevitably follow the first bite.

Smith switched from tater tots to french fries, rebranded, and delved deeply into ensuring he would be providing nothing short of top quality, phenomenal poutine. To accomplish that, he immediately traveled to Canada and dined at every poutine shop he could find, engaging the professionals behind these culinary creations and learning the intricacies involved in making an authentic poutine. Armed with new information, Smith returned to Maine to create his very own classic poutine. His gravy is a top-secret recipe that mixes a pork, bacon, and chicken base with the finest locally produced cheese curds that exist. The classic poutine dish was ready, and Smith hit the road – literally.

Say yes to food trucks

The majority of all food trucks are street vendors, traveling from corner to corner. The practice is called street vending, and in major metropolitan areas street vendors can be seen daily on certain streets at certain times. When and where is based on local ordinances, though, which posed a problem for Smith. Lewiston – until recently – had no such ordinances, so Smith was confined to private businesses. After multiple conversations with local city officials, who collectively put substantial time and effort into reviewing and modifying current policy, the city has adjusted an ordinance that now allows food trucks. What does this means for Pinky D’s? “More time on the streets,” says Smith. It was a mutually beneficial decision. The city of Lewiston has seen significant development in its downtown in recent years with multiple shops and businesses opening

Randy serves up some of his classic Poutine

Perfecting the recipe

Pinky D’s started by serving tater tots covered in an assortment of toppings, but the dishes were hard to explain and trial and error showed that some tater tots exploded in production. Something was missing. Then one day, a customer who was excitedly enjoying her lunch of tater tots covered in buffalo chicken, lettuce, a gorgonzola crumble and ranch dressing said, “I haven’t had poutine in forever!” And Pinky D’s found its true identity.

Lobster Poutine

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on lower Lisbon Street, and allowing food trucks to service the area will increase foot traffic. The increase in pedestrians contributes to a lively, bustling downtown. Food trucks bring something special, a variety of sorts, that is inherently exciting and shakes up the typical work day. Especially when it’s Pinky D’s.

Behind the scenes

The question now becomes how to track down Pinky D’s to enjoy its delectable poutine. For that, social media is key. Pinky D’s has a lively Facebook page (along with Twitter and Instagram) with a dedicated fandom and regularly posts its schedule and events. The schedule is diverse and availability is not always guaranteed, though. Smith maintains over 150 accounts and a lot of them book private events for employee or customer appreciation days. Keeping up with that kind of demand is not easy. In addition to the clients Smith serves, he also fields hundreds of new requests to make an appearance. The majority of his everyday work is actually behind the scenes, managing phone calls, writing e-mails, and trying to organize a months-deep schedule that quickly turns chaotic without consistently active management. Truck maintenance hijacks a significant portion of his time and expenses as well, where maintenance is ongoing. His days are long and the work is hard.

Randy Smith, Owner

All of this hard work has its benefits, though. Smith recently accepted an invitation from NASCAR to appear at an exclusive VIP Lounge at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The race was nationally televised and featured Pinky D’s, where a reporter sampled his poutine and raved about it for all of America to see. On this day, hanging out with NASCAR drivers was just part of the job.

Sharing lessons

Despite the demand that comes with his new-found local fame and success, Smith still finds time to give back, too. He began teaching a class at Lewiston Adult Education on street vending, sharing the lessons he’s learned and helping others get started. Opening a food truck is a low-barrier entry into the restaurant industry; it costs much less, and gives people the opportunity to create their craft, see if they like the work, and garner success. Success in street vending often means graduating from a food truck to opening a “brick and mortar” restaurant. And that is exactly what Smith has in mind. In fact, he’s actively looking for a permanent location for Pinky D’s. Rejoice, fellow citizens of the Lewiston-Auburn community: the poutine we’ve come to love will soon be available permanently, and the menu is expanding. Along with a full restaurant, Smith also plans to introduce The Smart Cart, a second food truck featuring healthier street food options like gourmet chicken sausage and taco lettuce wraps. A spinach asiago sausage with avocado, tomato, cucumber, and pico de gallo topped with a lime yogurt sauce is on the menu. The journey has been long for Smith, but Pinky D’s has made an impactful impression on the community and its future is bright. Has all of the hard work been worth it? “Absolutely,” Smith says. “It’s like Christmas morning for a lot of customers when they get a Poutine. Food is instant gratification, and we’re truly delighting customers. What I love the most, though, is the constant interaction with people of this community.” Pinky D’s Food Truck 207-415-8997, www.pinkyds.com



Fall means Football Beer, Wine, Liquor & snacks now available at all 6 locations! 794 Sabattus St. Lewiston 783-6353 694 Main St. Lewiston 782-1482 1420 Lisbon St. Lewiston 333-3095 545 Minot Ave. Auburn 783-2047 303 Main St. Auburn 783-9098 Rt. 26 Oxford 539-6072

Our Family Serving Yours

Since 1992

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getting pampered in LA More and more people are learning the joys of a spa experience, a mini-vacation from the pressures of everyday life found in a few hours of self-indulgence. Some might call it pampering. Others call it a wellness retreat visit. Either way, here are a few places that offer a refreshing experience that will leave one feeling physically and mentally revitalized. And while there might be competition for customers, the one thing the spa experts agree on it is that the industry has room to grow and they predict its future will be bright.

Pedicure station at the Beauty Bar



From relaxation to rejuvenation, spas do it all by Dan Marois | Photography by Lauryn Hottinger

Revelation Massage

Kim Jacques is president of Revelation Massage, where she specializes in massage therapies with titles such as Swedish massage, polarity therapy, deep tissue massage, trigger point therapy, and reflexology. She’s been in the industry as a massage therapist since 1999. She opened her first storefront location in Auburn in 2011 after working out of a chiropractic office and a homebased practice. Last year, she purchased her own building and moved to 577 Main Street in Lewiston.

Jacques offers two unique services at her new Lewiston location: floatation therapy and infrared saunas. “My husband Jeff has been fascinated with flotation pods. They are sometimes referred to as ‘sensory deprivation tanks.’ So, when we decided to buy our new building and realized we had the space to bring flotation therapy to the area, we jumped at the chance,” said Jacques. She said that the floating experience in the tank creates an atmosphere with no gravity, no sound, no sight and no temperature variation. “This gives your brain the ability to “re-boot” and allows you to physiologically shift into a deep state of mind and body relaxation.”

Kim Jacques,

President of Revelation Massage

Jacques offers customized massages with therapists who have advanced training and more experience with chronic care issues of a therapeutic nature. “It is not unusual to spend a whole hour on one region of the body, whether it be the neck and back or the legs, depending on the wellness needs of the client,” said Jacques. “We more often do a combination of some site-specific work while integrating a nice relaxing experience.” “Our typical customer is looking to invest in their preventative care on a regular basis. It’s a mindset of understanding the value of maintaining health before you lose it,” said Jacques. She says of her clients, “They are typically active and busy people who enjoy that we are open seven days a week, with extended hours on the weekdays, and love the convenience of online booking. They like that, with our 24 trained massage therapists, they can usually find an appointment that fits their schedule.”

Floatation Pod

Her saunas use infrared heat, instead of hot rocks or steam used in traditional saunas. Traditional saunas heat the air at extremely high temperatures, which can make the client experience unbearable heat and difficulty breathing. “Because infrared heats the body directly instead of simply heating the air, infrared saunas are seven times more effective for detoxification,” said Jacques.

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peels, massage (including prenatal), body scrubs, spray tans, lash and brow tinting, eyelash extensions, body waxing and, most recently, we have added reflexology, cupping and scraping to our service menu,” said Laliberte. What would Laliberte recommend for a first-time spa visit? “We would recommend a facial - it’s much more than just a deep-cleansing of the face. While it is true that your skin will be thoroughly cleansed, we use a steam machine to open the pores to really get in there and give you a level of cleanliness you can’t experience at home,” said Laliberte. “Your skin will also be exfoliated to remove dead skin cells that leave your complexion dull-looking and your skin will be hydrated with our high-quality moisturizers. You also receive a facial massage which feels unbelievably amazing and transforms you into a deep state of relaxation. Not only will your skin be glowing, you’ll feel euphoric when you leave the spa.” Laliberte also recommends a full body massage, as a great starter experience for anyone looking to test out a spa service. Massage Table at Revelation Massage

“I’m not into fads but I’m cognizant of trends,” said Jacques. “The wellness industry is destined to be a trillion-dollar industry.  Fads come and go, but Baby Boomers don’t want to age the same way their parents did. They are ready to invest in their health.” And most agree that, in a spa market dominated by female customers, there’s plenty of room to expand the market toward men. Jacques says that on average, 18% of massage therapist clients are men.  In her shop, 44% of massage clients are men. “Men don’t traditionally ‘pamper’ themselves and that is how the industry is advertised,” says Jacques. “Here, we allow men to have a place they can come to for care for painful arms after a day of construction.”

The Beauty Bar

“We love to make our clients look their very best, but also feel their very best,” said Christine Laliberte, owner of The Beauty Bar in Auburn. “We believe it’s all in the details, like offering a complimentary beverage or a warm neck wrap during a pedicure.” Laliberte has over 12 years’ experience as a licensed cosmetologist. The Beauty Bar is the result of Christine’s passion, endless dedication to education and research and love for the ever-evolving beauty industry. “Many people don’t realize the wide range of services we offer at The Beauty Bar. Not only are we a busy hair salon, we also offer manicures on both natural and artificial nails, pedicures, gentlemen’s manicures and pedicures, facials, 62


“Typically speaking, most of our clients are women. However, we cater to men, women and children,” said Laliberte. “Everyone can benefit from time spent at the spa, so we offer services that appeal to all demographics.” She notes that for the most part, men understand and appreciate what a massage can do for sore muscles, tension, aches and pains. However, enticing them to other spa services is a challenge. Christine Laliberte

Owner of The Beauty Bar

By Dan Marois | Photography by Lauryn Hottinger | Getting Pampered in LA

“That’s why we offer the popular Hot Whiskey ‘Scour’ pedicure and our Bourbon, Neat Gentleman’s manicure,” said Laliberte. “We always offer a complimentary ice-cold beer with our services, which is often well-received.” Is The Beauty Bar seeing any current trends in customer preferences? “We aren’t really noticing any standout trends but there is this amazing movement right now of embracing yourself and just being the best version of you. No longer are the days where everyone comes in with a picture of a celebrity and says, ‘Make me look like her,’” said the engaging Laliberte. “Literally, everything is in right now- from super long hair, to pixie cuts and even buzz cuts with hair tattoos.”

For Dubois, her number one job is managing people, which is especially challenging in the spa industry. “We have regular meeting to discuss issues and how to improve our services. I have done a lot of training over the years and the employees have really benefitted.” According to Dubois, one of the biggest challenges in any business is finding and retaining the right employees. “This industry, in particular, has a very mobile workforce with people working their very first full-time jobs to people with thirty years’ experience in the field,” said Dubois. Facial/massage at Cassiel’s Spa & Wellness

And what is The Beauty Bar’s secret for success in a highly competitive industry? “First and foremost, our talented team is what truly sets us apart. Their passion for the industry, commitment to continued education and dedication to their clientele is first class. Our staff is friendly, professional and knowledgeable. We love what we do and it’s abundantly clear to our clients.”

Cassiel’s Spa & Wellness

Cassiel’s Spa & Wellness is located on a busy stretch of East Avenue in Lewiston. Diane Dubois has been in the salon industry since 1992 starting as a solo practitioner. Fifteen years ago, she opened Cassiel’s, which now occupies both floors of an expansive residential building. Homey and inviting, Cassiel’s now has 8 employees. While Dubois offers similar spa services to other salons, she stands out with offerings of permanent cosmetic makeup, permanent hair removal, and microdermabrasion that provides treatments for moderate fine lines and pigmented lesions. In fact, Dubois is a licensed electrologist and micropigmentologist. LA METRO MAGAZINE digital edition @ LAMetroMagazine.com


“Here at Cassiel’s, we are fit for those who are truly career-minded who want to work with a legacy of long term clients who rely on us for that enchanting moment of pampering and relaxation.” “Personally, I look forward to really changing a client’s day,” said Dubois. “I look at every challenge presented by a client as an opportunity for a creative solution. I sometimes see an unbelievable change in attitude and feeling of a client from the time they arrive to the time they leave. It is extremely rewarding.” And as a sure sign of growth and longevity, Dubois is beginning to see three generations of families coming into her spa. “I served the grandmothers and mothers, and now the daughters are coming in.” “My specialty requires I spend time taking classes and educating myself,” said Dubois, sounding more like a corporate CEO than a spa owner. “In addition, I have to continually improve my business skills. This means attending national conventions and hiring various spa experts to help my business.” Dubois has always had her heart set on more than a one-woman shop. “It seems I knew the industry from the beginning,” said Dubois. “Although Cassiel’s grew in ways I did not anticipate, we are now moving in the direction I originally envisioned.”

While she recently stopped offering hair services, this new direction helps align her plans for a health and wellness center. “For years, Cassiel’s has offered relaxing and healthy massage, facials, and other pampering services. We now offer many health and wellness products, some of which are supplied by The Center for Wisdom’s Women, a local women’s drop-in center that we’ve supported for some time,” Dubois said. “Soon we hope to add meditation and yoga classes. Wellness of the mind and body has always been my number one dream for this place.” Dubois believes that spa services are not just about being pampered but that many clients are looking for the fountain of youth. “They want to look and feel healthy and there is always new research being done to help slow the aging process. We strive to offer services that help keep clients youthful.” Revelation Massage 577 Main Street, Lewiston • 207-376-3233 Revelationmassage.com The Beauty Bar Salon 36 Millett Drive, Auburn • (207) 782-3848 Thebeautybarmaine.com Cassiel’s Spa & Wellness 71 East Avenue, Lewiston • 207-783-3321 Cassiels.com

Application of permanent make-up offered at Cassiel’s Spa & Wellness



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J. Dostie


The possibilities are endless by Peggy DeBlois


t’s a warm summer day and the corner of Main and Lisbon Streets in Lewiston is busy with traffic. Hot wind from vehicles speeding up Main Street blows dust in the air while unidentifiable music seeps from cars waiting at the light on Lisbon Street. Stepping into J. Dostie Jewelers provides an oasis into luxury. The store encapsulates the visitor in cool natural tones, all to a jazzy soundtrack. The simple elegant cases are at eye-level, allowing a visitor to walk around and take in the artful display of jewels; each case has a simple explanation of the featured stone. Proprietor Michael Dostie is alone behind the counter, speaking with a customer about a jewelry piece that has been in her family for some time. This is not your typical mall jewelry store, with a hustle and bustle of employees looking to make a sale – this is a place for jewelry connoisseurs.

Family business

Michael Dostie is the third generation Dostie to stand behind these counters. He started as an apprentice to his father, Dan, in the company’s Portland location. In 2006, Michael moved to the Lewiston location where he recognized the potential for endless possibilities.

All jewelry pieces shown created by J. Dostie

Michael recounts his decision to enter the family business as a major surprise to everyone, including himself. “When considering working for Dad, that was the last thing I wanted to do,” he says with an earnest look. “Jewelry was a punishment for me: files, endless files – I can’t even begin to imagine how many pieces of paper I had to file in that basement. Sweeping the parking lot – whatever menial task they could find for me. My Dad literally turned it into a punishment for me: I remember in middle school, I failed a spelling exam in Mrs. Woods’ class and my Dad made me study garnets for the next week. No, I

LA METRO MAGAZINE | FALL 2017 66 Photos: J. Dostie website

definitely did not expect to be running this business.” According to “The Facts of Family Business” published on Forbes.com, less than one third of family businesses survive the transition from first to second generation ownership. Another 50% don’t survive the transition from second to third generation. After working in design and fabrication for ten years, Michael believed he was ready to start designing his own jewelry pieces. He credits his current expertise to the fact that his father, Dan, is not a strong teacher, but a strong critic. “I worked on this piece for several hours, and I thought I had the greatest gift created for women,” remembers Michael. “Dad said it was too heavy and lopsided, nobody would wear it, and tossed it aside. I was devastated at first, but then I looked at it as constructive criticism, and you know what? He was right. I went back to the drawing board and started to design thinking about how a woman wears jewelry.” Michael certainly learned from one of the best in his father, Dan, who is one of a very select group in Maine to be a Certified Gemologist Appraiser for 30 years. “Reaching that level is like graduating from jewelry college with the highest degree,” he explains.

“That’s how our business has evolved from one generation to the next,” he continues, “by education. Both my grandmother and my grandfather were highly educated in

By Peggy DeBlois | J. Dostie Jewelers: The Possibilities Are Endless gemology – that’s what set them apart and established our longevity. Even back when my grandparents were selling engagement rings to the guys who worked in the mills and could only pay $1 per week, the business was known for its focus on quality products, good materials that were made to last.”

Surviving the recession

Since the recession of the first decade of 2000, there are one-third less jewelry stores in Maine, according to Dostie. J. Dostie Jewelers had to completely re-set its way of doing business to emerge successfully on the other side. Dostie remembers that from 2006-2008, sales in the store could be tracked within 12% each month. After 2008, the consistency was just gone. “We just had our best first quarter in years, worst April in history, best May in seven years, but now it’s gone quiet – we have absolutely no predictability in our business anymore,” admits Dostie. He has adjusted by managing the company’s debt and running the business without employees. Michael works five to six days a week on his own, with Dan joining him as needed. He says it’s just the kind of sacrifice you make as a business owner, and for him, it allows him to have a hyper focus on inventory management. Dostie buys most of their diamonds and gemstones separately from the mountings he sets them into, giving him better control of the quality of the finished pieces.

this new system,” he explains, “and it has benefits over the traditional wax carving. It allows me to make several models in a plastic polymer which we can set with actual gems so the customer can try it on and get a very realistic view of the finished piece. Our goal is to become proficient enough with the software so we can go from sketch to building the ring model within thirty minutes. Best of all, it gives the customer the experience of interactive involvement with the actual design process.” CAD view of a ring design

A ring design produced from the 3-D printer

“We really scrutinize what we are making in house, and we are clear on what our customers want. Rather than following a current trend in jewelry fashion, we concentrate on offering pieces that someone will want to wear forever. Our customer is primarily a well-educated person who wants to have a conversation about our specialty.”

Custom design meets technology

People looking for a custom-designed piece of jewelry typically come in with a sketch or photos of different pieces, each with a feature to incorporate. Michael will take the concept and come up with several variations, then have a formal sit-down conversation with the customer. “Jewelry is more than just looks,” he explains. “We need to have a conversation about what the person wearing the piece does every day.” He opens a long rectangular black box and removes a ring model from a row of a dozen models. “For example, this one was made for a woman who works in the medical field, so she needs the gem to have a low profile.” He clicks on a wall-mounted large screen monitor, and the same ring modeled in his hand shows up on the screen of the jewelry CAD program. He manipulates it to change the gemstone, add a channel of diamonds, adjust the height of the setting. Once the design looks the way the customer has envisioned, the attached 3-D printer will produce a model for final approval. “I’ve done several projects with

The door jingles and another couple comes in, asking for help in identifying an unusual gem in a family necklace. Michael is back behind the counter, animatedly discussing the possibilities. J. Dostie Jewelers, 4 Lisbon Street, Lewiston 207-782-7758, www.jdostie.com. LA METRO MAGAZINE digital edition @ LAMetroMagazine.com



Photo credit (all

photos): The Bra

nd Collective

Recently named the 15th Best Trade School in the country by Forbes Magazine, Maine College of Health Professions (MCHP) has evolved into a premiere provider of degree and certificate programs in the health field. Now in its 126th year, Maine College of Health Professions continues to grow and adapt to fit the needs of its students, and the needs of the community it serves.

An evolution in education by Karen Landry


lready offering associate’s degrees in Nursing and Radiologic Technology, Maine College of Health Professions is in the final steps of rolling out a Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN) degree. This spring, the State of Maine Board of Education granted approval for MCHP to offer bachelor’s degrees. The college is awaiting final approval from its regional accreditor, the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). The initial bachelor’s degree offering will be for current registered nurses and will offer students flexibility by featuring many



online courses. MCHP is aiming for a January 2018 launch, pending accreditor approval. But this isn’t all that’s new at MCHP. Dr. Monika Bissell became President of Maine College of Health Professions in April 2016. Bringing more than 20 years’ experience in higher education, she had this to say about these exciting new steps: “It is well known that there is a significant and ongoing need for health professionals. Many people are familiar with the challenges that Maine and the rest of the country are facing in terms of educat-

By Karen Landry | Maine College of Health Professionals ing sufficient numbers of nurses. What isn’t well known, though, is that there is also a great need in other healthcare disciplines.” The Central Maine area is fortunate that Maine College of Health Professions has an answer to this dilemma. Dr. Bissell continues, “With that in mind, we plan to expand our nursing programming while developing majors and certificates in other healthcare fields. One prospective program that we’ve been discussing is an Associate’s of Science in Health Sciences, which would concurrently offer exposure to a variety of healthcare professions -nursing, imaging, practice management, sonography, etc.- while also providing a sound educational foundation. The intention is that the graduates of this program will gain a broad view of healthcare careers that would inform their educational paths. It’s exciting to see students learn about the vast choices in the world of healthcare employment, and we are uniquely positioned to expose students to a breadth of options.”

simulated learning are constant. With that in mind, Maine College of Health Professions is in the planning stages of creating a state-of-the-art simulation center at its Middle Street campus.”

Other Differentiators

Several aspects make Maine College of Health Professions unique. First and foremost is its small size. This allows for students to have easy access to faculty, staff, and management. They encourage open communication, as well as respect, fun, and creativity. Dr. Bissell also notes, “We are the only hospital-affiliated, regionally accredited college in Northern New England. This is significant for several reasons...we have ready access to healthcare in real time. Our affiliation to Central Maine Medical Center is exceptionally advantageous to our students, whose education is informed by both theory and live practice...we are honored to be a welcomed member of the Central Maine Healthcare community.”

Other programs in consideration include: Bachelor of Science degree in Imaging, certificate programs in sonography and mammography, a “traditional” BSN, an accelerated BSN, and a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Healthcare Management. Plans to offer master’s degrees are also being considered.

Recently launched at Maine College of Health Professions is the Maine Healthcare Scholars program, generously supported by two donors: The Dr. Gard Twaddle Nurses’ Scholarship Fund, and the Alice E. Tucker Fund. This is offered to a small group of high school students showing promise and interest in a nursing career.


Also notable, Dr. Bissell adds: “During this first year, Healthcare Scholars take general education courses, have the option to live on a hospital campus, and study among healthcare students. By the end of the first year, successful students will have completed 24 credits, be well prepared for entry into the nursing program, and have firsthand exposure to hospital operations and healthcare studies. Successful program participants are accepted into the nursing program and enroll as full-fledged nursing students... As of today, the cost of this program is less than $4,500, and, for most students who qualify for acceptance, this cost is covered by federal financial aid. The net result is zero cost for a fantastic opportunity.”

Unique because they specialize in only healthcare, the faculty at Maine College of Health Professions are described as fully engaged and excited to teach, while employing learning theory with their students. The college also engages students in Interprofessional Education opportunities, where students from different healthcare disciplines come together and learn how to effectively collaborate with each other. Dr. Bissell elaborates on the educational program: “Our nursing faculty recently made the bold decision to disaggregate the nursing curriculum. In virtually every other undergraduate nursing program, students are expected to complete comprehensive, 8-10 credit hour nursing fundamentals classes. What we’ve done is break up those larger classes into smaller, subject-specific offerings. The advantage of this is that students can focus on distinct areas, as opposed to being expected to navigate a more complex learning environment. We implemented this approach last year, and our data shows that it was very worthwhile. So far, we have improved both our retention rates and our NCLEX (the nursing board exam) pass rate.” Maine College of Health Professions also engages in simulated learning, a key for hands-on training. Along with role-playing, computerized mannequins with realistic human functions help students to hone their clinical skills in a low-risk environment. Dr. Bissell says, “Simulated learning as a whole is nothing new, but innovations within

Momentous Time

This is an exciting time for Maine College of Health Professions as they head into the a new era of growth. Innovative changes in a rewarding field make for an exceptional experience most anyone can afford to pursue. For more information on their high quality healthcare education options, financial aid, and more visit: www.mchp. edu, or look them up on Facebook under Maine College of Health Professions. Maine College of Health Professions, 70 Middle Street, Lewiston (207) 795-2840 • www.mchp.edu

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GENERATIONS: The Cote Corporation 51 years of service to the community by Michael Krapovicky


he Cote Corporation has been in operation for 51 years, and continues to be a versatile, dynamic entity in today’s fluctuating industrial market. Armand and his wife Carmen Cote founded the company in 1966 to support local contractors with crane and rigging service. The Cote Corporation has expanded consistently over time, purchasing the Pete Bolduc Company in 1974, then the property on 2980 Hotel Road, which now has a 40,000 square-foot storage and office complex. Dan Cote Sr., treasurer, CEO, and co-owner of the Cote Corporation, described the merits of the family-based company. “As 3rd generation company, with a 4th generation on the way, we are stakeholders in not just the company, but our name, and our reputation as a quality service provider,” Dan Sr. said. “We take a lot of pride in what we do.”

How it began

Armand Cote, now 88, is still the president, figurehead and elder statesman of the company he created.


red with his first cra

Armand Cote, pictu



Family roots: 6

year old Arman

d with his dad

and uncles

“I was brought up during the Depression, and had an eighth-grade education,” Armand stated with deliberation. “I worked for companies in Lewiston as a laborer, and worked myself up to a truck driver. The foreman saw I was a willing worker, and gave me the chance to operate a bulldozer, then a backhoe, then I eventually became a crane operator. I worked for Callahan Brothers in Mechanic Falls for 13 years, building bridges mostly along 95.” The idea to form Cote Crane was borne out of necessity. “At the time in 1966, there were only a few cranes in the area.” recalled Armand. “I purchased a small crane to rent, and it grew from there. My three sons learned how to operate all the Cote Crane and Rigging machinery between schooling, and came back here to work full-time when they were done.” Dan Gagne has worked for Cote Corporation for 26 years, currently as Controller. “One of the biggest things historically in Cote Corporation’s development would be Dan Sr., Ron and Paul Cote, Armand’s sons, coming into the business in different departments and areas, allowing us

By Michael Krapovicky | The Cote Corporation to grow,” said Gagne. “When Daniel, Dan’s son, came on board, he brought new technologies, knowledge, new information to the company. He took the skill-set of the previous generation and applied his experience to the business, giving us ways of expanding into markets we wouldn’t have considered in the past.” Dan Sr. was a crane operator, rigger, and millwright before becoming CEO, and recounts his family’s expanding role through the company. “My brother Ron was a rigger, then came into the office, where he became a dispatcher. He retired 5 years ago as the Vice President of Operations. My brother Paul was involved with maintenance, as a mechanic, working his way up to Mechanics Supervisor. Armand, my dad, was always hands-on in the field, making things happen out there, keeping things in line. It’s very important to know that this is how we got to where we are today.” Daniel Cote Jr., Dan’s son, is a graduate of Clarkson University with a degree in engineering. “After I saw how the rest of the world runs, it certainly gave me a deep appreciation for what I had back home.” Daniel said. “I had travelled to New York and Massachusetts and worked for 5 years in high-tech industries, and was very happy afterwards to return to Maine and join my family here.” “Taking pride in what you do is very easily lost in many industries,” Daniel continued. “Everything we do here is

really hard work; we go out and physically make things happen, operating a crane, trucking, moving heavy machinery. Finding people who are willing to do that is harder and harder. Most of the people we work for are based here in Central Maine, and that’s where we try to focus, being the best in the state of Maine. We have very good project managers and project foremen. All we have to sell is a service; it’s important to have the right people to make that happen, and we are fortunate to have that. We’re very proud of our team here, and because them we’ve had a good level of success.” “We are in a very defined, niche market,” Gagne explained. “There isn’t anybody out there that does what Cote Corporation does, as a whole. Although there is some competition out there that can handle some aspects of a project, companies in a wide variety of industries are generally finding us the best all-around solution. We treat all of the equipment- whether it’s a small item or large heavy value item- with care and consideration, and it makes a difference to our customers.”

Maine family ties

Being the best in Maine was the driving force of The Cote Corporation’s business model, not wishing to expand too deeply into out-of-state markets, because of a strong family-first mentality. Dan Sr. recalled the impetus of this strategy.

51 YEARS OF LEADERSHIP: Dan Cote Jr, Ron Cote, Dan Cote Sr, & Dan Gagne

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“My dad used to leave with a suitcase Monday morning and come back Friday, week in and week out, year in and year out,” said Dan Sr. “Between him and my mom, Carmen, they decided with four rambunctious kids running around, it was time to regroup, and focus more on being at home.”

“My experience with the Cote Corporation is that they realize that the employees are the ones that make the company work,” Daniel recounted. “We treat them all as family, with a lot of respect, and try to keep in mind the things that are important to them. We try to make it possible to take care of their family needs, desires and issues, as often as we can, to make it easy for someone with a family to work here. That’s the kind of stable people we want.” “We are very conscious of our business decisions, as to what’s good for our employees and their happiness in the long run,” Daniel continued. “Lots of companies in our industry send people off on long contracts without regard for family life; and while that might be more lucrative in the short term, it’s not the best for keeping valuable people. Giving them the opportunity to have a stable, 72


happy family life; because mom or dad can go home every night, really makes a big difference.” The Cote Corporation is built upon a core set of specialized, hard-working individuals. Many of their employees are secondand even third-generation, all with a deep and lasting commitment to the company. “Our employees are willing to recommend their work experience to someone they care about; how it’s been very positive,” Daniel said. “That’s how we’ve often ended up with members of the same family working here. The Cote Corporation has a lot of longevity with regards to employees, which is rare in this field, very much a blue-collar industry. Having very little turnover helps with our trade, which is quite uncommon. We are focused on developing teachers for the next generation of Cote Corporation employees and passing along the trade. It really helped our company’s success; being able to hold on to our valued employees.” “We live in Maine, which in relation to a lot of regions is a very small economy- so our work opportunities are ever-changing.” said Daniel. “Some years we may do a lot of work for the communications industry; the next, the power industry, or paper mills. This adaptability is what has really helped us succeed for over 50 years. We cover the entire state of Maine, geographically. So we have jobs nine, ten hours away at times, which is necessary to sustain our business. Many times, other independent contractors we’ve worked alongside recommend our services to companies in other geographical areas, because they are pleased and impressed with us. That said, when asked to send our team out of state for weeks, months at a time, we generally will turn down the opportunity.” “We’d estimate 25 percent of our business is right here,” Dan Sr. surmised. “Back in the ‘60s and early ‘70s, 60 percent of our customer base was in Lewiston/Auburn. We’ve seen manufacturing decline over the years; most of the large shoe and textile plants that were a big source of our clientele are gone. However, we’ve found other oppor-

By Michael Krapovicky | The Cote Corporation tunities in markets in LA in communications, retail, and in the medical field.” “When there were a few big customers in town such as the shoe mills, we had positive interactions with the managers and employees that fanned out as these folks found work elsewhere,” Daniel said. “As their horizons have expanded, it’s given us the opportunity to expand along with them, while still keeping ties with the original companies. It’s been an interesting dynamic how we’ve been able to establish and grow our customer base throughout the changing business climate.”

A Good Corporate Citizen

“The Cote Corporation is really trying to be the best at what we do, and having more and more of the market share here in Maine.” Daniel attests. “To be the best is how we are going to grow. We’re really happy and comfortable living and thriving here, pushing to be the best crane and rigging company in the state of Maine. Good things will happen if we focus on doing that. We don’t have eyes on expanding into New York or Massachusetts; we’re looking at expanding internally. We hoping to be a bigger and bigger part of the industries we currently support; finding new industries in Maine to support is what we think is the best way to grow.” “What we attempt to do is be a good corporate citizen,” Dan Gagne noted. “We are part of the Auburn Business Association and the Chamber of Commerce. We participate as much as possible with the schools’ Project Graduation. We support events such as the Liberty Festival. Dan Cote Sr. was the presi-

dent of the Auburn Business Association for a number of years, as well as a member of various local committees and organizations. Dan Cote Jr. was the Associated Builders and Contractors’ director at one time. We take a strong part in the community as much as possible, while still maintaining a good focus on our own business.” “Economic growth in Lewiston/Auburn is growth for Cote Crane and Rigging,” espoused Daniel. “Our family has always invested a lot of time in trying to help Lewiston/ Auburn expand. Growth will attract more and more to our community, and in turn create more opportunities for business for us. I know my dad has always been really generous with his time; and my grandfather, Mr. Gagne, and my uncles always took a lot of time to help the community grow because they knew that was what was best for the company in the long run.” “I don’t think we go a week without helping some charitable cause either financially, through promotion, or offering services at a discount for the schools, hospitals, charitable organizations- anything we can do to make things easier for them to get things done,” adds Daniel. “We have been involved in the Moxie Parade in Lisbon, we’ve installed Christmas trees in Lewiston and Auburn, and assisted in the transportation and installation of the Veterans Memorial Park monument project,” said Dan Sr., listing the Cote Corporation’s extensive work for many charitable institutions. “We’ve raised money or done work at little to no cost for folks such as Museum LA, (Good Shepherd) Food Bank, and the Catholic Diocese. We’ve had a banner on our building promoting The House in The Woods, (a retreat for veterans, active servicemen and women, and their families to share challenges they may face after serving in the military - houseinthewoods.org). It’s one of the many organizations in which we take a special interest.” For their substantial community service, The Cote Corporation has received Museum L/A’s Business Support award, The Lewiston-Auburn Economic Growth Council’s Business of the Year award, and the Department of the Navy’s PWD Maine Safety Award. “I have a hat I wear; the logo on it is ‘L/A – It’s Happening Here,’” exulted Dan Sr. “It is ‘Happening Here’ in Lewiston/Auburn - with everybody helping it happen. We like to think we’re a part of that.” The Cote Corporation 2980 Hotel Road, Auburn, 1-800-696-6282 www.cotecrane.com

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CREATIVE AMERICAN CUISINE Located in the historic Bates Mill No. 6



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Profile for LA Metro Magazine

LA Metro Magazine - Fall 2017  

LA Metro Magazine - Fall 2017