Year in Business: A look back

Joshua Archer, Special to the Pioneer Times, Special to The County
7 years ago
It was another exciting year for business in the Greater Houlton community. Here are some business highlights for the first half of 2016, covering the months of January to June. The second installment will appear in next week’s edition.



A change in ownership took place at one of Houlton’s longest running, locally-owned businesses. Kent Horten, owner of Horten Building Supplies, sold the business to long-time employee Kevin McGary.

The Threads of Hope thrift store was facing a situation of too much product for their Monticello location. According to Dixie Shaw, program director of hunger and relief services for Catholic Charities of Maine, too much stock for the Monticello-based outlet and not enough customers to purchase the goods.

With a look and feel that was straight out of truck stop Americana, the Littleton Pit Stop began offering diner-style meals, with a unique atmosphere aimed at giving customers the most bang for their buck.

Chelsie Hand of F.A. Peabody Company earned the “Golden Paperclip.” The announcement was typically posted on the company internal or ‘intranet’ website usually along with a picture of the employee particularly if they received something material from the appreciative customer.



The “Other Maine” Project of Aid for Kids has received a $5,000 grant from the Machias Savings Bank Community Development Foundation.

The Houlton Powersports and RV Center welcomed a new manager to make sure the customers’ needs were met. Mike Scott took the helm of the recreational vehicle business’ Houlton office.

One of downtown Houlton’s iconic eateries was under new ownership. Rob Lawless and Kathryn Harnish officially took over operation of the Vault Restaurant this year from Ralph and Miriam Zuriak.



Serving as the Chamber’s annual business meeting, four major awards were presented on the evening. The Business of the Year award went to Douglas Callnan of Agri-Cal; Community Spirit was presented to Steven Bither; and Community Service Award went to Sally and Tom Callnan. The Lifetime Achievement award was presented to Andy Marino.

The final note was played at Northern Musical Supply as Tim and Dorene Humphrey decided to close their business after 32 years.

A new addition to the Houlton shopping scene officially celebrated its grand opening this year with much fanfare. Dollar Tree officially opened its doors to the public with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

While snow still covered the ground, Akin Bak Farmstead in Merrill was gearing up for planting season for locally-grown vegetables. Operated by the mother and son team of Bette and Seth Rousseau, Akin Bak Farmstead was introducing Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) to the area.



The Aroostook Mental Health Center welcomed Angela McCormick to their Houlton office where she was to serve as a staff psychologist offering assessments, evaluations, clinical consultation and individual, family and group therapy.

Pioneer Broadband, a local telecommunications provider, announced its installation of fiber optic Internet for residents of Houlton was expected to be complete by mid-fall. The project included 54 miles of new fiber optic lines with the potential to serve 3,500 homes and businesses.

Throughout April and May, bank employees from Katahdin Trust helped start children throughout northern and central Maine on the path to a positive financial future by participating in the annual Teach Children to Save Day, a nationwide event to teach children their financial ABC’s.



Jody Moulton, manager of the Houlton Hannaford Supermarket presented Houlton Elementary School students with $1,000 through the Hannaford Helps Schools program. The funds were used for additional playground equipment for the more than 400 students enrolled in the pre-K to grade two school.



A corner office in downtown Houlton was given new life as the home of Bloomer and Russell, P.A. law office Located on 72 Main St., Bloomer and Russell, P.A. is a full-service Maine law firm serving clients statewide.

After 40 years in the restaurant industry, Bill Roderick and Nancy Levin jumped at the opportunity when the Houlton Community Golf Course came to them with a proposal to run their new seasonal establishment, the Lakeside Restaurant.