Employee Lexi Dorey, left, co-owner Jenn Tripp, center, and employee Colleen Starbird pose in the new Tripp’s Farmhouse Cafe on Center Street in Auburn on Monday. Kathryn Skelton/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

This week the Buzz is a motley mix with a gluten-, dairy-, grain-free double chocolate chip cookie on the side.

Tripp’s Primal Farm and Kitchen has moved across Center Street in Auburn, gained space and trimmed its name.

Tripp’s Farmhouse Cafe reopened at 945 Center St. on Nov. 15 after being closed for just a few days.

Jenn Tripp, who owns the cafe with her husband, Mark, said the same landlord owned their previous location and this one. They let him know years ago that if Center Street Cafe ever closed, they’d love the space.

During a six-week renovation that included adding beams to the ceiling and barn board to the walls, “we tore everything out and started fresh,” she said.

The space is about 50% larger than the previous one and the seating more than doubled, to 28.

Tripp said the menu has expanded a little, offering gluten-free burgers, chicken fingers and fries on Fridays.

She thinks the new location will increase the cafe’s visibility. Everything inside is gluten-free. They also have dairy-free, grain-free, soy-free and keto options

“I think there are a lot more people who have food allergies and diet restrictions who didn’t know we were around,” she said. “The better we eat, the better we feel.”

When a second grill comes in handy

Pierrette’s, C’est Si Bon Cafe in the Auburn Mall closed for a few hours Saturday morning after an electrical fire.

Owner Francis Gagnon said around 7 a.m. Saturday, before the eatery opened, sparks from a flat grill ignited an empty five-gallon oil container.

“The jug melted from the flames and the sparking and it popped and it scared the staff, and that’s when they called the fire department,” he said.

Officials responded quickly and there were no injuries and minimal damage. Pierrette’s had the city’s OK to reopen by 1 p.m.

“Our electrician made some updates but we will be replacing the flat grill to prevent any future issues,” Gagnon said. “Luckily we have a second flat grill to continue serving our cafe.”

The Franco-American-inspired restaurant opened this fall. Gagnon said crowds have been good.

“We’ve had people from far and wide come here, people who want to celebrate this culture through food,” he said. “We also have French fusion, foods like poutine on a pizza. It’s been extremely popular, and then we created a poutine burger as well and that’s been insanely popular.”

At least we’re not 50th?

There’s little to read into new rankings by TheSeniorList.com by way of a silver lining, but we’ve got to take the good with the bad:

The website this week jogged numbers from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and Bureau of Labor Statistics to see how average earnings in each state compared to average expenses and found that in Maine, 91.3% of earnings are taken up by expenses like health care and housing, compared to the 81% national average. (The entire Northeast was generally more expensive.)

That ranked Maine as the 46th most affordable state in the country.


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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