RUMFORD — Eight miles out of town on South Rumford Road, Annette Marin has literally Gone Loco!.
That’s the name of her new foods-based, Mexican takeout business that will feature products from farms within a 50-mile radius, with the exception of cheese. That will come from Pineland Farms Inc. in New Gloucester.
Marin, who owns and operates the No View Farm & Bakery COOP at 855 South Rumford Road, expects to open the new business by mid- to late-March. Hours will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“Right now, I have 11 farms that have committed to selling produce to me for this, because I know I can’t produce it all,” Marin said late Wednesday morning.
“I have been working on this project for eight years, so it’s not a new thing.”
Marin is a disabled farmer working through the Maine AgrAbility Project, which helps Maine farmers with chronic health conditions and disabilities continue to farm successfully.
She has degenerative arthritis in her knees and Bell’s Palsy in the left side of her face, which she cannot move.
The Rumford native took up farming in 1983 when she lost her job with the local paper mill.
Originally, she wanted to open the business in Dixfield, but that didn’t work out. That’s why she’s remodeling her house and business on South Rumford Road to eventually open a Mexican restaurant should the takeout business succeed.
“The reason I chose Mexican is because they use so many vegetables in all of their cooking and spices and herbs; a wide variety of stuff,” she said.
“So I could get a lot more products from around the area and use a lot of the products that are out there, and that is the intent of this. This will be all local foods. ”
That’s why the new business is called “Gone Loco!” Loco is Spanish for crazy, but Marin is using the exclamation point as an “l,” to pun the name.
“Not that I’ve really gone crazy, but that we’ve gone local,” she said. “It’s a kind of dual purpose name.”
Her menu has been created, but she’s not yet ready to take it public until she determines prices.
“With all the local stuff, I’m still trying to work out pricing with some of the local meat vendors,” Marin said.
The food will be authentic Mexican and long-cooked barbecue. She will hand-make tortillas, tortilla chips and salsa. She’s also adding a smoker and a brick oven to make and sell brick pizza.
“Everything’s going to be fresh,” she said. “No canned stuff. We will be using all kinds of cuts of meat, because the Chimichangas and burritos will use long pieces of roasted meat.
“It’s going to be slow-cooked, really good, authentic style,” Marin said.
“Nothing quick. It’s not TexMex. And the biggest thing is we’re not going to ‘heat’ it. You’ll have to add your own. It’s just going to be flavorable food. We’ll have stuff people can add to make their own heat.”
Chimichangas, or deep-fried burritos, are her favorite Mexican food and Chorizo, a Mexican sausage.
“I bought some Chorizo from Volkernick’s Sausage,” she said of Rumford Selectman Jeremy Volkernick’s business.
“It’s wicked good; really, really good, so I’m going to be using his sausage, and the Chorizo will be in some of the dishes.”
Marin said she’s not worried about her location, because she successfully sells her takeout bakery goods to Farmington and Norway cooperatives and local foods’ markets.
She will also have a Mexican food cart to set up in the River Valley area.
“It’s going to be mobile and we will do takeout from here and we are going to do delivery,” she said.
“I’m also going to build a sombrero and put it over my sugar shack. They might think I’m weird, but I’ve gone loco all right!”