This week the Buzz is kickin’ and moving.

First up: A little caffeine pick-me-up.

Tulio DeAlmeida makes an iced macchiato for himself at the Auburn Aroma Joe’s earlier this winter. The franchisee got approval last week to open a new location in Lewiston. (Sun Journal file photo by Andree Kehn)

Aroma Joe’s is coming to 403 Sabattus St., not far from the former Elizabeth Ann General Store.

The Lewiston Planning Board unanimously approved the 848-square-foot, $500,000 project last week. City Planner Doug Greene said the board included the caveat that staff monitor traffic accidents near the location. After a year, if there are four or more related to left-hand turns in and out, the entrance will be converted to right-in, right-out only.

Tulio DeAlmeida, who also owns the Auburn Aroma Joe’s franchise, said he’s hoping it opens around October or November. It will employ about 12 people.

“Because we already work with the community in Auburn, having another location in Lewiston, partnering up both locations to do events will be much easier,” he said Thursday.


New proposed school

J.F. Murphy Homes is looking to build a $4.8 million combined middle and high school on 21 acres at 5 Memorial Ave., according to an application filed with the Lewiston Planning Board by Stoneybrook Consultants.

The 41,400-square-foot school would bring together Margaret Murphy Centers for Children programs at 180 Mt. Auburn Ave. in Auburn and 655 Main St. in Lewiston.

Margaret Murphy Centers for Children specializes in serving children with autism spectrum disorder, development disabilities and emotional and behavioral disorders.

The combined school would serve 120 students and would have 120 staffers. According to Stoneybrook, it would “offer a technical school level training program for more advanced students to be able to seek employment in the local workforce.”

A notice to abutters was sent Thursday afternoon and plans will get a public hearing Monday, May 13. Greene said all development review projects over 5,000 square feet of new construction trigger a notice to property owners within 300 feet.


If approved by the board, construction would be targeted to wrap up in June 2020.

Moving on and up

Lewiston’s NAPA Auto Parts is moving up the street into 22,275 square feet in the former Shaw’s-anchored plaza at 1035 Lisbon St.

“They’re starting renovations very soon,” said Nick Lucas at The Boulos Co., who brokered the lease.

CES is also moving from Main Street to 415 Lisbon St. at the end of the month, leasing 4,489 square feet above the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. Lucas and Chris Paszyc, also at Boulos, brokered that lease.

Jessie Pottle, marketing director at CES, a company of engineers, environmental scientists and land surveyors, said its lease was up and it was committed to keeping a presence in the area.


The company has eight to 10 employees in Lewiston and more than 100 statewide.

“We’re pretty excited,” Pottle said. “It does have some more space, but it’s really an opportunity for us to do some renovation and really have a more modern space for our employees. We’ll have more stand-up desks and stand-up conference tables. To be downtown is nice, too, to be able to walk to restaurants.”

Something to chirp about

Entosense, the Lewiston company founded by brother and sister Bill and Susan Broadbent, rolled out Mini-Kickers Flavored Crickets in December, little vials of grab-and-go crickets in flavors such as lemon meringue, sun-dried tomato and Indian curry, and already, they’ve kicked their way to be the company’s top seller.

“The whole edible insect trend is gaining ground quickly,” Bill said Thursday. “The Mini-Kickers are an easy and inexpensive way to try flavored crickets. (We’ve been) happily surprised at how quickly they have been accepted.”

The munchies on shelves now weren’t raised locally, but that will change with the seasons, he said.


Lewiston-based Entosense’s Mini-Kickers, snack-size flavored crickets, launched in December and have already become the company’s top seller. (Submitted photo)

“We’re selling around 100 pounds of crickets a week, so we get them from a few sources in the USA and Canada,” he said. “We were raising some crickets, but stopped for the winter and will begin again this spring. They need heat and humidity. Maine is perfect in the summer and just the opposite in the winter.”

The Mini-Kickers retail for $5.95 and can be found locally at Ron’s Market in Farmington and Axis Natural Foods in Auburn.

Bill said Entosense has had sales to “The Late Late Show with James Corden,” the Smithsonian Institute and Sea World.

No word on how well they pair with an Aroma Joe’s FROJOE.

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

This story was updated at 9:32 a.m. Friday.

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