For 13 years, Paul Raymond has worked out of two neighboring buildings, on two floors, but no more. 

Coastal T-Shirts is on the move.

The business is moving Sept. 21 from 194 Turner St. in Auburn into the 7,000-square-foot former Met-Craft machine shop at 205 Washington St. South.

“I can have the whole operation in one building on one floor,” company owner Raymond said.

Right now, Coastal T-Shirts runs out of a high-profile spot close to downtown on the first floor of an apartment building, where it has an office, a showroom and handles embroidery work. It does screen printing in the neighboring barn.

“It’s constantly back and forth between two buildings; it’s tough,” he said.

The new office, next to Central Maine Archery Center, is also a nice, high-traffic location, Raymond said. All eight employees are moving down the road with him.

Growing at a run 

Chantel Pettengill has 12 children in her home-based Pettengill Academy day care.

She’s looking to grow that to 200.

Pettengill is renovating former back-office bank space at 1 Atlantis Way in Lewiston to open an expanded Pettengill Academy in either October or November.

“We’ve had a wait list of close to 30 families for two years and we continue to get phone calls. It’s always kind of been a dream for me to grow into a larger center,” she said. “We started small in our home and decided it was time to take the next step.”

The new space is more than 10,000 square feet, half of which will be a dedicated gym and play space that Pettengill said she plans to rent out for birthday parties on the weekends.

“Most of my kids right now are under 3, and having them indoors all winter long — they need to be able to run,” she said. “That’s the biggest part of children’s development is being able to run and play and get their energy out.”

The renovation has included adding half-walls, more windows and more bathrooms. She plans two baby rooms, 3-year-old and 4-year-old preschool and other classrooms broken up by age for a flat base rate of $175 per week.

She anticipates opening with about 30 kids and taking two to three years to grow to capacity and 20 to 30 staff.

It will be the third day care center in Lewiston-Auburn licensed to take up to 200 children, Pettengill said. Toddle Inn and Lever’s are the other two.

“Our biggest goal is to professionalize early childhood education,” she said. “Right now, everyone is like, ‘Oh, it’s just day care,’ and early childhood is so much more than just day care.”

Read up

Need to unwind after jockeying all day between two buildings or watching 200 children?

Look no further than Lisbon Street in Lewiston.

Among the 17 places in Maine heralded in Wine Spectator’s 2015 Restaurant Awards (its Aug. 31 issue): Fuel Restaurant. 

Owner Eric Agren said it is Fuel’s sixth year receiving the magazine’s Award of Excellence.

“We don’t do anything to celebrate, except, um, have a glass of wine or two . . .” he said.

Tune in

The new series “Greenlight Maine” kicks off this weekend. The TV show pits Maine entrepreneur vs. Maine entrepreneur in what Con Fullam at Portland Media Group describes as “the antithesis of ‘Shark Tank.'”

“Nobody gets eaten and beaten in the show,” he said. “We’re using the platform to show people in Maine all the amazing stuff that’s going on here — and there is an astounding amount of stuff going on right now, very underneath the radar.”

The first 13 weeks will air Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. on Channels 6 and 2. In each episode, two companies will present their ideas in front of a panel of three judges. Each episode ends with a winner.

Next spring, each of those 13 winners will be the focus of their own episode spotlighting their work and “we bring in experts that we feel are most appropriate to getting them to the next step,” Fullam said. “To a company, every single one of them needs marketing help.”

It will all culminate next June during Maine Start-Up Week when three finalists will compete head-to-head in a live finale with one awarded the $100,000 grand prize.

Check out “Greenlight Maine’s” website for more details on each of the 26 companies, who they’re squaring off against, the judges for each episode and links to each business’ crowd sourcing website.

“Everybody likes a moving train and when you start seeing somebody’s picking up a lot of speed, it’s likelier they’re going to send that 10 bucks in,” Fullam said. “Some amazing folks pitched on this show.”

As for local companies on the show, Mingle Analytics in South Paris is squaring off against Rapport 10 on Nov. 28 and Blue Ox Malt of Lisbon Falls is facing Northern Maine Distilling on Dec. 19.

Quick hits about business comings, goings and happenings. Have a Buzzable tip? Contact staff writer Kathryn Skelton at 207-689-2844 or [email protected]


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: