This week in the Buzz, a beautiful dilemma, a tire store expansion and a new fresh-frozen custard stand.

How fresh?

Think a 24-hour-turnaround from cow to custard.

The Brigeen Farms on Upper Street in Turner is opening the Canty Cow Creamery with limited hours from 4 to 8 p.m. this Saturday and regular hours coming in September.

“We’ll have chocolate, strawberry, lemon and coffee for sure,” said Betsy Bullard, a 10th generation farmer at Brigeen. “Our taste testers are still working on a couple other ones. We may have surprise flavors as well.”

For now, the frozen custard is being sold in pints and quarts. Eventually, they’ll also sell by the cone.


“We have always focused on quality with the milk that we produce, and we really like good food, so ice cream felt like it would be an interesting venture,” she said. “We’ve been working on it for the last year or so. The milk is from the cows at our dairy; it’s all small batch, pasteurized on site. From a local food standpoint, this is pretty local. It goes about 500 feet to the dairy where we’re making it at night.”

Fun fact No. 1: It takes three gallons of milk to make one gallon of ice cream, Bullard said.

Fun fact No. 2: “Canty” is a Welsh word for happy. The new creamery’s name came from working with Warp + Weft in Auburn.

“We know cows pretty well, and milk, but not marketing, so we have relied on their expertise in that area,” Bullard said.

Agora Grand Event Center owner Billie-Jayne Cooke is dwarfed by the roughly 15- by 10-foot painting by Harry Cochrane of a copy of Murillo’s Immaculate Conception. According to Cooke, it has hung in the chapel of what was formerly St. Patrick’s Church in Lewiston since at least 1910. It is not known when it was actually painted but was restored at some point by Paul Gruenewald of Topsham and most likely restored in 1960 or 1985 during one of the churches “revampings.” Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Wanted: One really big wall

The Inn at the Agora is making changes.


Billie-Jayne Cooke and her husband, Wess, bought the inn, event center and former church next to Kennedy Park in Lewiston a year ago.

She said they’ve decided to remove the pews from the small chapel and replace them with chairs to give the space more flexibility. They’re selling the pews to fund the new seating.

“So far I’ve got rid of 10 — they were rehomed to a wedding that’s happening next month then being gifted to family members in the wedding, which I thought was kind of cool,” she said. “The reality is I have this beautiful space over there that could be rented out for all of the phone calls I get for baby showers, bridal showers and family parties (but) I don’t currently have a way to do that because I just have pews. If I had an open space, then I have a smaller venue than our grand reception hall that’s also more affordable and it’s perfect for business meetings and even small weddings.”

They hope to have initial work done and offer the space out next month. The full project, which includes details like new lighting, will be finished by the spring.

As part of the changes, Cooke said they’re trying to decide what’s to become of a roughly 10- by 15-foot historic painting by Harry Cochrane, a Monmouth artist commissioned for lots of local mural work about 100 years ago. Cooke said the piece is his interpretation of Bartolome Esteban Murillo’s famous painting, “The Immaculate Conception.”

“We’d love to find a home for (it),” she said. “It’s sitting behind a curtain in my chapel. I see no need to dispose of it, I know there’s a home where it can be loved, but it’s so large, it’s hard to find someone that will even touch it.”


Town Fair Tire in Auburn is planning an expansion that will take out 13 parking spaces. Google Maps image

Auburn: Pressing the gas and tapping the brakes

Town Fair Tire beside the Auburn Mall is getting bigger.

The Auburn Planning Board on Tuesday night unanimously approved a 2,397-square-foot, single-story expansion, according to City Planner Audrey Knight.

According to a project report by the civil engineers Sitelines, the expansion is for sales and service and will eliminate 13 parking spaces. The project’s cost isn’t included on Town Fair Tire’s initial application.

The Planning Board also discussed two proposed housing projects — a new 12-unit apartment building at 204 Broad St. and turning a nursing home at 185 Summer St. into 12 apartments — but tabled both to September, Knight said, after neighbors turned out in opposition to both.

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

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