Matt and Kristen Earley, along with their daughters, Nora, 5, and Hanna, 2, will open The Earley Farm and Nursery in Wales on Friday. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

This week in the Buzz, there’s a new effort to help local bartenders and servers, a new business for Wales, renovations in Lewiston and some amazing shade out of Sunday River Resort (and we’re not talking trees).

Up first, new life on a local farm.

Last month, Matt and Kristen Earley bought the former Roaring Brook Nurseries on Route 126 in Wales, which closed in September. They’re reopening Friday as the Earley Farm & Nursery.

Kristen Earley said the family sold their Litchfield home last year and had been looking for a new home and more space for Matt’s 18-year-old company, M.R. Earley Lawn & Landscape.

“We’ve always admired the property,” she said. “Everything kind of worked out.”

Though she works in marketing at Johnny’s Selected Seeds, “I’m new to farming,” Earley said. “Matt’s got more horticulture background than farming. It is a little bit new to both of us, but we’re really excited to be able to continue and maybe make it a little bit better here, too, for the community.”


They plan to open the storefront with hanging flower baskets and annuals, seedlings, shrubs, vegetables and bulk gardening material like mulch and compost.

The couple still plans to open the berry fields to pick-your-own customers this summer, but has to work out details around social distancing, perhaps staggering people out in the fields.

“It’s a crazy time in general,” Kristen said. “The pressure is on in general for this whole industry. The supply chain can sometimes be a bit hairy when everybody is putting pressure on that. Overall, I think we’re doing OK, I think we’ll be able to get in the stock that we need for this season.”

Virtual tip jar

Kait Gallagher and her boyfriend rarely miss a Tuesday wing night at Fast Breaks in Lewiston.

Submitted photo

“Then during bowling season when we finish at 9 p.m. or so, we usually call in an order and pick it up on the way home as well,” Gallagher said.


She knows the waitstaff well, and as a business owner and bartender herself, knows what her favorite bartenders and servers are going through with the current restaurant shutdown.


She was inspired to create the website about three weeks ago after exploring other regional and national virtual tip jar concepts, figuring she could create one that was Twin Cities-specific.

Fifty-nine servers and bartenders have signed up so far from restaurants like Gridiron, The Pub at Baxter, the Village Inn, Sea40, Gritty’s and Applebee’s, each with a button beside their name for the best way to donate.

Gallagher can’t be sure how much people have collectively donated so far since funds go directly to the person selected, but she does know it’s helping.

“Someone who’s listed on the site last night said she was down to her last $11 in her account and being on the site was able to bring in a little money to help with smaller bills and food,” Gallagher said. “She has not received any other assistance yet.”


From condemned to come on in

The investment firm Losu, LLC is embarking on a $244,950 renovation of 135 Oxford St. in Lewiston, formerly condemned by the city and vacant at least the past two years, Losu representative David Hirshon said Wednesday.

Losu had held the mortgage on the building for the former owner and after foreclosing, opted to fix the property up instead of selling it as-is or letting it be demolished.

“There really is nothing there that’s salvageable at all other than the structure itself,” he said.

It has 12 units and will have 12 units after the renovation, which they hope wraps later this year.

“Please try again.”


Know when you’re having a tough day at work and it feels like no one will listen?

Shout-out to Sunday River Resort’s Twitter team for weathering that sort of day with aplomb last week.

Twitter screenshot

After Sunday River Brewing Co. insisted on opening in spite of Gov. Janet Mills’ timetable, some Twitter users quickly confused the resort with the restaurant and pleasantries ensued, such as, “Hey @SundayRiver: if the brewing company that shares your name opens, my friends in Freeport will not be endangering ourselves to come to your mountain or the Bethel area” and, somewhat inexplicably, “You have no balls.”

As Sunday River said, repeatedly, that the resort had no affiliation with the restaurant, it wove in retorts to the latter, like: “Our social media team is composed of all women, so your tweet does not offend us. Please try again.”

And when a new fan offered to send a gift package as a high-five to the women, the Sunday River Twitter team steered gifts elsewhere: “In all honesty, we’d really appreciate donations being made to our community. The Bethel Area Neighborhood Response group is doing amazing things, delivering groceries, feeding families, and doing the real work in our community.”

We’ll give the final word to @bronzebus: “They don’t need balls they have a heart!!! Thank you Sunday River.”

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

Comments are no longer available on this story

filed under: