Artisans of all kinds work in spaces throughout the Pepperell Mill Campus. Photo by Irvin Serrano

More like a bustling small town than a dusty old factory, Biddeford’s fully renovated historic Pepperell Mill Campus has been converted into a 17-acre community of homes, businesses and services, educational facilities and art galleries, fitness centers and doctors, and – most importantly for its visitors – eateries and shops. Those last two are a collection of independently owned spots by local crafters, artists and clothing designers, full of the kind of gems you won’t find anywhere else.

Take the studio and gallery of Joseph Webster Glass (Building 10, Suite 201, 318-5937, josephwebsterglass.com). Webster, a Maine native and emerging glass artist, does most of his work using Venetian-style glass techniques. The results are beautifully swirled vases, delicate glasses and barware and color blocked sculptures. Watch him create all of the above when he does live glass-blowing sessions on the final Friday of every month, or pay a visit during regular hours to choose one of the unique pieces from his gallery to take with you.

Small-batch cooking meets puppy love at Growlin’ Gourmet (Building 17, Suite 203, 282-0604, growlingourmet.com). There you’ll find gifts and goodies for the pooches back home in the form of handcrafted organic dog biscuits; flavors like peanut butter, Maine blueberry and cheddar cheese are all made with human-grade ingredients. For the humans in your life, check out the original art from Maine artists and cool prints (framed and on T-shirts) at Four Corners Frame Shop & Gallery (Building 18, Suite 203, 710-9751, 4cornersmaine.com).

Peruse the shelves at Swimlids (swimlids.com), a southern Maine-based company that makes lightweight and packable hats specially designed to stay on during high-energy activities from surfing to aerobics. You’ll find toppers in lots of sizes and shapes, from funky bucket hats for women (in all kinds of fabrics like bright solids and preppy patterns) to kids’ sun hats in nylon turtle prints.

When you need a break from shopping, hit the tasting room of Nuts & Bolts Brewing (Building 10, Suite 204, 468-1538, nutsnboltsbeer.com) for a cold one. Say hi to brewers Patrick Doherty and Deedra Week and their assistant brew dog, Ruby, over one of the house’s clean-tasting pale ales or IPAs. Or opt for an even colder treat at Sweetcream Dairy (Building 13, Suite 138, 520-2386, sweetcreamdairy.com). As a certified dairy and milk processing plant, Sweetcream makes each batch of ice cream on site starting with milk and cream from Harris Farm in Dayton and blending in fruits, flavors and herbs from local farmers and suppliers. The menu  of flavors changes constantly, depending on which ingredients are most fresh.

On your way out, check out Four Star Fresh (Building 18, Suite 208, 650-703-9068, @FourStarFresh on Facebook), a takeout spot for handmade pastas (like the popular semolina tagliatelle) and sauces and salsas to take home with you and finish cooking up in your own kitchen. Ditto to Maine Saltwater Creations (Building 15, Suite 202, 650-8075, mainesaltwatercreations.com), where you can grab fresh seafood fixings like made-from-scratch seafood cakes that are vacuum sealed, and haddock casseroles or spicy corn chowder with shrimp to go — all packaged to be easily transportable and freezable.

Alexandra Hall is a longtime New England lifestyle writer who recently moved to Maine.

Sweetcream Dairy is among several food-related makers in the Biddeford mill buildings. Photo by Irvin Serrano


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