There’s so much Buzz we couldn’t wait for the regular column on Friday.

Think mouthwatering. Think intriguing. Think entrepreneurial.

Think, well, mouthwatering again.

To start: After two summers on Center Street, Backwoods BBQ & Grill owner Tom Cerulli is bringing his recipes to the Auburn-Lewiston Municipal Airport.

The new Backwoods BBQ & Grill restaurant opened a month ago, serving breakfast and lunch. In a few weeks, it’ll add dinner.

“I thought (the space) had great potential,” Cerulli said. “It had a good track record up until a few years ago and it really fit our need. My dinner business, the business over at Center Street, a lot of them weren’t ready to stop eating barbecue — I feel like I have a little bit of advantage that a good part of my clientele from the other location will come here.”

The restaurant is open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday. After Sept. 14, it will stay open until 8 p.m., year-round.

The Center Street location will continue to be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. through mid-October. Cerulli, from Jay, plans to operate both sites next year.

With the second location, he added about five employees and expanded the menu.

In addition to pancakes, French toast and traditional breakfast fare, “we do pulled pork, pulled chicken omelets,” he said. “Some people like the sauce on, some people don’t — we always ask them if they want barbecue sauce.”


The Cupcakery is moving, expanding and growing its name.

On Sept. 9, it’s relocating from its spot beside Rainbow Bicycle on Lisbon Street in Lewiston to 56 Sabattus St., into a former Chinese restaurant and becoming The Cupcakery Cafe and Bakeshop.

Bakery manager Angelique Tamburo said it was time to grow after two years. The new location has more parking and more seating — two stories and a porch.

Its last day at the current address is Sept. 2.

“So far, all of our regulars have said that they will try to walk to our new cafe, but I think that our cake business will bloom exponentially there,” Tamburo said. “We will have a temperature-controlled decorating room at the new building as well, so that will definitely help with our cake orders.”

The Cupcakery already makes custom cakes and wedding cakes. Now, it’ll make more. Coffees, breakfast and lunch will still be offered.

The Cupcakery is owned by Opportunity Enterprises, a nonprofit with a mission that includes supporting jobs skills training for people with disabilities.

“It’s such a great step for us and a great step for The Cupcakery, and a great step just for the parent company as well,” Tamburo said. “Every time somebody buys something from us, it goes to help other people. I always think about every cake that we do, ‘This is helping someone.'”

Hmm . . .

The Lewiston Planning Board gave unanimous approval Monday night to a parking lot expansion at the former VIP Warehouse at 12 Lexington St. that will pave the way for new activity there.

According to documents filed with the Planning Board, the new 59-space addition will help accommodate a new tenant which plans to use the 105,000-square-foot building “as an office, warehouse and manufacturing facility employing between 70 and 100 employees in multiple shifts.”

Between 50 and 70 of those jobs will come from the unnamed company’s current, nearby location.

VIP had used 12 Lexington St. as a parts warehouse until 2012 when that work moved elsewhere.

A VIP spokesman said the company was happy to see the space being used again but declined to reveal the new tenant’s name.

So stay tuned.

Let’s get ready to roundtable

New to L-A and known: the Small Business Administration’s Scale Up program.

Gerry Brown, a program manager for Scale Up Maine, said it looks to help companies already earning between $150,000 and $500,000 with business fundamentals.

“Accounting, marketing, managing people, strategic planning,” Brown said. “It’s a great opportunity for entrepreneurs who want to see their businesses grow. We’re very, very excited about doing it in Lewiston-Auburn and being able to team with (the Lewiston-Auburn Economic Growth Council). Frankly, it’s an area that doesn’t have the entrepreneurial support we see in Portland, but has a lot of great businesses and great people and gives us the ability to draw from not just Lewiston-Auburn but Oxford and Franklin counties.”

Scale Up is looking for 15  business owners who will meet over eight to 10 roundtable sessions at the Growth Council starting Oct. 12.

The deadline to apply is the first week of September.

Four sessions have been held in Maine over the past two years, two in Portland, two in greater Brunswick. Sixty businesses have participated, including Wild Oats Bakery in Brunswick and Two Fat Cats Bakery and Foundation Brewing in Portland.

“We’re still in touch with people that we started working with 18 months ago,” Brown said. “The challenge of running a small business never stops. The hope would be a couple things: they grow revenue, they hire people, but they in turn would become mentors and resources for the people that come after them. We’ll create a larger group of entrepreneurs in the Lewiston-Auburn area that are resources for the guys and gals in their kitchens with great ideas, wondering how to get them off the ground.”

Growth Council President John Holden said Scale Up fits well with business developments already happening in the area, like the Top Gun program rolling out later this year.

Which he doesn’t want to formally announce just yet, so stay tuned.

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

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