Talk about growing! Springworks Farm in Lisbon, which calls itself the largest certified organic aquaponic greenhouse in the Northeast, has secured $22 million in new financing to “fuel the company’s regional expansion,” its owners said.

Sierra Kenkel, vice president of Springworks Farm in Lisbon, and her brother, Trevor Kenkel, founder and president, stand in one of their greenhouses in Lisbon. Submitted photo

Springworks will build its fourth and largest greenhouse, adding 120,000 square feet and 40 new jobs. This is the first phase of its plan to build 500,000 square feet of greenhouse space over the next six years.

Springworks uses aquaponics, a recirculating ecosystem that combines fish and plants to grow organic bibb, romaine and green leaf lettuce. Once the new greenhouse is completed, the farm will produce five million heads of organic lettuce and 315,000 pounds of tilapia per year. The expansion will allow the company to meet increasing demand for its products.

“Regional agriculture is core to the sustainable future we want to help build,” said Trevor Kenkel, who founded Springworks in 2014 at the age of 19. “By delivering organic greens to customers faster, we are able to cut food waste and improve quality.”

The Maine Technology Institute and the Finance Authority of Maine are among the organizations providing financial and technical assistance for the expansion.

The Cage: No longer a final act, but an encore


The next chapter in The Cage saga starts next week as the popular Lewiston bar will pour its last drinks under the current owners on Feb. 15. However, it turns out it won’t be the final act for the saloon.

The Cage will in fact close its doors that day — but will reopen a few weeks later under new ownership.

The Cage on Ash Street in Lewiston will close Feb. 15, but then reopen in March under new ownership. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal file

What happened? Denis Webber, one of the current owners, said the original deal with an out-of-state individual fell through. An article about The Cage published in the Sun Journal Feb. 5 resulted in Webber’s phone “blowing up,” he said. Two “regulars” — Kevin Barrett and Steve Beaulieu — have decided to team up to own and operate the business, signing a five-year lease this week.

The new owners hope to be open around March 1, but they first need to obtain licenses from the Maine Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations.

As for their plans for The Cage? Stay tuned and keep reading The Buzz and we’ll tell you soon!

Main Street 7-Eleven gas pumps return


Customers pump gas Tuesday from the new pumps that recently went online at the 7-Eleven station on Main Street in Lewiston. An equipment malfunction in the older pumps forced a shutdown in March 2022. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

After nearly a year of boarded up gas pumps at the 7-Eleven at 345 Main St., the gasoline is once again flowing, making customers and the franchise owner very happy. “The customers are very excited,” Dalia Karim told the Buzz on Thursday. “They are more excited than we are.”

Karim said an equipment malfunction in the older pumps forced the shutdown in March 2022 and it took until now for 7-Eleven corporate to line up replacement pumps.

CommTank, a commercial fuel tank installation and maintenance company serving New England, said gas station fuel pumps cost between $16,000 and $21,000 each to replace — plus installation — depending on the options like digital screens, the ability to dispense multiple fuels and credit card technology.

Three, two-sided new pumps, offering three grades of fuel were installed at the Main Street 7-Eleven in just four weeks, less time than expected the owner said.

Karim said not having the pumps hurt their business, so she was all smiles as customers walked in and out of the convenience store. Prior to this week, customers had only one choice for gasoline and diesel on the downtown section of Main Street.

The Buzz offers quick hits about trending area business happenings. Have a Buzzable tip? Contact business writer Christopher Wheelock at 689-2817 or [email protected]

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