Linked from: Piscataquis Observer
Ernie Clark, Bangor Daily News Staff • May 14, 2020
Bissell Brothers Brewing had a product to sell in late March but suddenly lacked the most direct method of distribution — its taprooms in southern and central Maine.
Gov. Janet Mills shut down bars and restaurants around the state to dine-in service nearly two months ago in an effort to deter the spread of COVID-19, impelling businesses like the popular Maine-based craft brewery to develop quick sales alternatives beyond curbside pickup in order to maintain financial solvency.
“As this all started to happen it felt like you had these 72-hour cycles where the world would change dramatically and it kept changing one way,” said Matt Robinson, general manager of the craft brewery’s northern Maine operations in Milo.
“Then 72 hours after policing the doors a little better and spreading out the tables and being on five-minute cleaning cycles and with everything looking different, it quickly became, ‘The taproom’s not going to be open at all. What do we do?’”
Company officials blended social media marketing with a tradition resembling milk sales of generations past to develop a near-statewide home delivery system virtually on the fly — or at least on the roads of Maine — to accommodate much of their fan base while continuing to generate income.
Bissell Brothers now has delivery routes covering most of northern and southern Maine, the northern routes based in Milo and the southern routes leaving from the company’s Portland base, which opened in 2014.
“Between everything we’re doing up here and down there, we’re not missing very much,” said Robinson of the brewery’s in-state geographic reach.
That’s particularly true in the less populated more northern reaches where the deliveries originate at the production facility and taproom brothers Noah and Peter Bissell — the company’s founders — built at a former snowmobile dealership in their Piscataquis County hometown of Milo two years ago.=
Barrels of beer surround an old ‘Welcome to Milo’ sign inside the Bissell Brothers Three Rivers taproom and brewery center in Milo. Company officials have been using the facility in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic as a distribution center for deliveries to customers throughout northern, central and Down East Maine.
“Here curbside isn’t as big so we said let’s try [delivery] and see if there’s anything there,” said Robinson, whose parents grew up in Milo. “Let’s see if we can find routes that make some economic sense and where you can get enough orders built up so you can go do a route and bring beer to people.”
Those routes developed organically over a matter of days.
“What started to happen was that from Facebook messages and Instagram messages and from people we’ve become friends with over the years of being open here starting to reach out saying, ‘Hey, if I put a big order together with some friends would you come to...Read More
The Town of Sebec has recently launched a new website.
Though it is only in its infancy stages, it will blossom over time.
Please be sure to stop by often to see the progress.
Linked from: WABI TV5
By Morgan Sturdivant | Posted: Fri 6:50 PM, May 08, 2020
MILO, Maine (WABI) - If you're missing craft fairs and farmers' markets, a Milo woman has come up with something you might like.
VAM is a virtual artisan market, right on Facebook.
On Saturday mornings new artisans will be sharing their products through Facebook live.
Creator Heather Lux says she saw the need for crafters and artisans to connect with people now more than ever.
Lux says it's totally free for participants and anyone is able to watch and shop right from home.
She says this is a way to share these handmade products with people while large gatherings are prohibited and many fairs are being canceled.
Heather Lux, Creator of VAM - Virtual Artisan Market" I realized we could create a bridge to bring the artisan to the consumer in a really fun and interesting way that's safe, that's in the comfort and convenience of peoples own homes every Saturday morning."
The next live show is Saturday morning at ten.
Past shows are posted to the page if you can't make it.
Brownville Town Office News
Linked from: Piscataquis Observer
Staff, Piscataquis Observer • April 30, 2020
The Maine Tourism Association and Poland Spring 100% Natural Spring Water, part of the Nestlé Waters family, announced the official launch of “The Maine Tourism Relief Fund, Founded by Poland Spring and the Maine Tourism Association.” Thanks to a generous donation of $100,000 by Poland Spring and the work of the Maine Tourism Association, one-time grants will be made available to Maine’s tourism businesses and employees who have been impacted by a loss of business, or decrease in income, due to the COVID-19 crisis.
In addition to Poland Spring, contributors to the fund include Experience Maine and Bissell Brothers Brewing which has a location in the founders’ hometown of Milo. The latter two companies are selling Maine-made products, a portion of the proceeds of which will be donated to the fund. Links to these products can be found on the Maine Tourism Relief Fund website.
Stay-at-home orders mandated by the state have closed restaurants, retail outlets and attractions, and left small motels and B&Bs empty. Camps, cottages, and outdoor attractions have been forced to delay their season opening — significantly reducing their opportunity to earn income. These delays also prevent many Mainers from the seasonal employment that so many depend upon. Tourism supports over 110,000 employees in Maine. Around one in three of Maine’s private sector wage and salary employees work for businesses with fewer than 50 employees.
“Our mission is to keep the tourism businesses sustainable, which fits into our mission of why we are an association,” said Tony Cameron, CEO of the Maine Tourism Association. “Tourism is the backbone of Maine’s economy, and that is why the industry needs to be supported in this difficult time. These small businesses are what makes Maine a unique and special place to live – and visit! They give us great food, excellent service, and give us experiences that make memories that last a lifetime. We hope that by creating this fund, we can help protect the industries that Mainers and visitors alike will enjoy for many years to come.”
All of the money donated to the Maine Tourism Relief Fund founded by Poland Spring and the Maine Tourism Association will be given directly to fund recipients.
“175 years ago, Poland Spring started out as a small Maine business and tourist destination, and we are proud to team up with the Maine Tourism Association to help support today’s small businesses in the tourism industry,” said Tara Carraro, executive vice president and chief corporate affairs officer for Nestlé Waters North America, which owns the Poland Spring brand. “We believe in the power of coming together as a community during difficult times, and hope that this fund will provide some relief to those whose work makes Maine so special.”
“We are thrilled to be joining forces with Poland...Read More