Lewiston has a new factory store that’s not a factory store, though there is a perma-sale. 

Rancourt & Co. this week turned its conference space into a showroom-meets-retail-spot to start selling its high-end, handmade leather shoes direct to the walk-in public at 10 percent off, all the time.

“It’s funny; it’s a confusing term because lots of companies call their factory store what would be their second-quality store or their bargain store,” Kyle Rancourt, the company’s vice president and a third-generation shoemaker, said. “We’re calling it a factory store because it’s at our factory, but it’s all first-quality items.”

Rancourt & Co., at 9 Bridge St. behind Central Maine Medical Center, hand-sews its own line of shoes, including a made-to-order collection, along with shoes for specialty brands. Prices start around $200.

Before opening the new space, it wasn’t unusual to have a Bates College parent or other travelers wanting to drop by to get fitted and buy a pair of shoes, Rancourt said.

“Unfortunately, we were pretty ill-equipped to handle that; they were just sort of stumbling into our office,” he said. “It’s just a better way to welcome people into our world.”

Shop hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday. Everything inside, down to the socks, is made in the U.S.A.

Cleaning up

A local ServiceMaster franchise has bought the former Crystal Springs Water Co. bottling plant at 29 Brickyard Circle in Auburn with plans to move its headquarters from Oxford to here.

Steve Cox, one of the two owners of ServiceMaster Fire & Water Restoration, said the spot is ideal for its location, turnpike access and space. The company specializes in cleanup from fire, water and mold damage, as well as offering commercial cleaning services, and often has to bring things back to the office.

“It’s constructed well for our needs,” Cox said. “(There are) drains all through the floor. That place is built to get wet.”

Michael Anderson of Paragon Commercial Real Estate and Brian Berube of CBRE/The Boulos Co. brokered the sale by H2O Realty Corp. for $537,000, according to Boulos.

Cox said the company has been at 517 Main St. in Oxford for many years, but “we’ve outgrown the space by a long shot.” With a coverage area stretching up to Waterville, down to Scarborough and over to Brunswick, it also wasn’t the most central.

He’s looking to keep a small office in Oxford and move into the new address in July.

New union members 

This week, licensed pharmacists who work at Osco Drug stores within Shaw’s supermarkets in Maine voted to join the Teamsters Union Local No. 340.

Ed Marzano, Teamsters’ business agent, said the move covers about 20 people at stores in Lewiston and Auburn. For reasons having to do with state statute, it doesn’t include pharmacy mangers, he said.

Quick hits about business comings, goings and happenings. Have a Buzz-worthy tip? Contact staff writer Kathryn Skelton at 689-2844 or [email protected]


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