This week, the Buzz is all about Lewiston turnover.

What was Terry’s Bridal: Say hello to Sofia Fima.

What was the Union Super Market: Say hello to three new apartments.

What was Provencher’s Landscaping and Nursery: Welcome to town an electrical engineering company.

New purses

Three years after talking about her plans to create high-end, architecturally inspired purses, Dianna Pozdniakov has opened Sofia Fima at 46 Lisbon St. She’s holding an open house Friday from 5 to 7 p.m.

Pozdniakov said it was quite a journey transforming the space with her husband, Kevin Morin. They took it over in 2015 after a burst pipe abruptly closed Terry’s Bridal.

“We removed all of the dropped ceilings, removed all of the wall shelving, removed old plaster to uncover the existing brick walls, installed new large windows, ripped up two layers of flooring to uncover the original porcelain hand-cut mosaic tiles, installed new curved glass at the storefront, installed new black glass at the storefront, and so much more,” she said. “We did all of this ourselves over time and just fell in love more and more with the charm of the building.”

She describes her bags as “the heroes of the everyday hustle,” meant to look great while keeping things organized. Prices range from $165 to $585. They’re all made in the U.S.A.

Store hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Wednesday , 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday. 

Pozdniakov said she hopes it becomes a space for people to stop and talk.

“I am very transparent with my path to entrepreneurship, motherhood and life in general — it’s full of ups and downs,” she said. “I hope to provide an environment where women feel comfortable to speak their minds, let go and just be in a space that is supportive of that. I want to be part of the larger conversation on how to support each other to live the best possible life we can, doing what we love.”

New housing

Gerry Morin, owner of GM Morin Enterprises, bought the Union Super Market at 159 Oak St. in January 2017. It had been for sale for three years. The former owners continued to run the market until November when it closed.

“The price was right because it came with a six-unit alongside it,” Morin said. “So we renovated the six-unit first, while they were working in the store. They wanted to hang on until November until their (business) license ran out. They wanted to retire and do different things.”

Morin, who said he owns about 40 units in the area, has gutted the market and it’s being framed out now for three two-bedroom units and a laundry space.

“Mostly, we’re a construction firm,” he said. “When it’s slow, the guys work there; when we’re busy, I kind of put it on hold and do other projects.” 

New chapter

After owning it for about 30 years, Saturday is Roger Roberge’s last regular day of business for Provencher’s Landscaping and Nursery in Lewiston. He’ll be open by appointment for the next few weeks, and after that, it’s retirement.

“I started working there in high school,” Roberge said. “Always enjoyed the work, and here we are.”

He’s done with the hassles of running a business and finding help.

“Also my wife passed away this past October, so (it’s) a combination of everything, I’m ready to retire,” he said. “I enjoy the plants; I’ll miss that aspect.”

He’s planning a move, but not where one might think: “I wouldn’t want to move to Florida if they paid me.” Instead, it’s to a new development in Sabattus.

The 299 River Road property is being bought by an electrical engineering company that’s moving to town.

“I think it’s going to bring new, high-paying jobs to Lewiston,” Roberge said. “They do consulting and design work for (Central Maine Power), places like that, utilities.”

New stat, a financial website that loves a good ranking, has come out with another on the best places to find jobs in 2018. Of 182 cities, and using measures like starting salary, unemployment rate and employment growth, it ranked Portland No. 6 on the list and Lewiston No. 62. (Lewiston ranked 42nd in a straight job market ranking and 126th in a socioeconomic ranking.)

That said, neither city made the list of the 100 best places to spend Valentine’s Day this year and that just can’t be right.

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

Dianna Pozdniakov in her new Sofia Fima shop at 46 Lisbon St. (Photo courtesy Chelsea Briggs of Centered Images)

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