Houlton Pioneer Times

Houlton area Business Year in Review 2017 (Part 2)

Editor’s Note: The following is the second of two articles highlighting some of the top business stories from 2017.  This article highlights the events from July to December.  


A new location has translated into a business boost at JEI Sports of Maine. Owner Blaine Jackett said that since moving to 60 Main St., the graphic design business has had a nice uptick in walk-in traffic. JEI moved to the Main Street shop, formerly home to Uncle Willy’s Candy Shoppe (and also known as the old S.L. White Drug Co. building) after operating on the other side of Main Street, in the old Netherland Office Products building.

Insurance Business America released the Elite Women in Insurance 2017 report recognizing Houlton-based Dawn Halkyard of The F.A. Peabody Company, among 125 insurance professionals who have broken barriers to become some of today’s industry leaders and executives. In an industry that is mostly male-dominated, IBA turned the spotlight onto the women who made their mark and are slowly changing the face of the insurance space.

Sharon and Blaine Jackett of JEI Sports of Maine put the finishing touches on a banner at their Main Street shop. JEI recently moved to a new location at 60 Main St. in downtown Houlton.
(Courtesy of Sarah Berthiaume)

A brother and sister team originally from Down East are the new owners of the Presque Isle Animal Hospital and veterinary practices in Caribou and Houlton. Veterinarian doctors Hanna Cook and Jonah Babiarz took over the three animal care businesses on May 18.

The Salvation Army Thrift Store loves its new space and so do its customers. The Salvation Army Thrift Store moved its massive inventory this spring, changing over from a location on Pleasant Street to its new site on Main Street. The facility opened at its new location, the former JEI Sports/Netherland Office Products building, on May 30.

Ben Henderson of JMM Services in Hodgdon became the latest winner in the “CAMO Screw Off!” deck fastening competition held at S.W. Collins Co. in Houlton. He earned the right to compete for a 2017 Harley-Davidson Roadster motorcycle and other cash prizes at the “CAMO Screw Off! finals held at the NRLA LBM Expo in Providence, Rhode Island, in February 2018.

The State Farm Volunteer of the Year Award is presented to Ryan Brewer, an outstanding volunteer who has contributed to amateur hockey in New Brunswick. Brewer, a SAMHA alum has no children or family members in the program. He volunteers for the love of the game. Brewer continues to encourage the players whenever he sees them.


Employees of Katahdin Trust present a $639 check to Make-A-Wish Maine. Bank employees raised the money by participating in ‘Casual because we care days’ and donating a minimum of $1 in exchange for the privilege to dress casually and wear jeans.

Four local groups benefited thanks to financial support from Vital Pathways. The town of Ludlow received a grant of $1,000 to repair lighting problems, the Pregnancy Care Center in Presque Isle received $334 for a “Touch of Life” set used to show the stages of a fetus’ life cycle, and Adopt-a-Block of Aroostook received $350 to expand playground equipment at Military Street Baptist Church. The non-profit group also presented $900 to the Houlton Lacrosse Club to help sponsor a summer clinic for 24 youths in the greater Houlton area.

For 50 years, Community Living Association has provided a place for people with developmental disabilities to find independence, self-confidence, and a purpose in their lives. To commemorate the anniversary, CLA hosted a barbecue/fun day on Aug. 16. There were games for children with small prizes as well as hot dogs, chips and sodas for all who attended.

Those hankering smoked meats and barbecue have a new eating option for their dining experience thanks to a local couple’s new business venture. Flatlanders BBQ, located at 51 Main St. in Patten is the brainchild of Christine Parker-England and Wayne England. Featuring a newly-built structure with a half-dozen picnic tables, the couple hopes to bring something different to the Patten area.

Bounce houses, clowns, pony rides and a variety of games were plentiful at the annual Yorks of Houlton “Childrens Fun Day.” Hundreds of people turned out for what has become a popular end of summer vacation tradition in the Shiretown that featured free hot dogs, drinks, chips, snow cones and cotton candy. Bicycles were also given away to several lucky children.


A desire to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey prompted a fundraising effort by Katahdin Trust employees that resulted in a $2,750 gift to the American Red Cross of Aroostook County on Friday, Sept. 8.

Katahdin Bankshares Corp., the parent company of Katahdin Trust Company, announced the election of Richard B. “Rick” Harnum, Jr. of Hampden to its board of directors. Harnum fills the seat left vacant by the recent passing of Arthur L. Shur of Island Falls, who had served on the board since 1983.

The Houlton Elks Lodge hosted a golf tournament for The Ark Animal Sanctuary at the home of Paul Adams. Local golfers joined together in an effort to raise funds for the animals in the care of The Ark and raised $515.

The Houlton Rotary Club met for its luncheon meeting on Monday, Sept. 11. Rotary Auction Rotarian Dana Delano announced that Ward Log Home would be donating a $15,900 Baskahegan log home to be auctioned off.


Houlton Domino’s, located at 127 North St., and the National Fire Protection Association teamed up with the Houlton Fire Department to promote fire safety during Fire Prevention Week Oct. 8-14.

Customers of the Houlton Tractor Supply store were invited to shop crafts, produce and other local goods at the “TSC Farmers Market,” Saturday, Oct. 7. Local farmers and crafters were on hand to showcase and sell their homemade and homegrown goods in front of the Tractor Supply store.

The Houlton Humane Society was awarded a $10,000 grant that would allow it to continue its efforts to reduce feral and domestic cat populations in the Greater Houlton area. The grant was awarded by the Elmina B. Sewell Foundation based in Freeport, a philanthropic organization founded in 1982 that makes grants throughout the state to support the wellbeing of people, animals and the environment, according to its website.

The Safety Committee at Louisiana-Pacific Corp.’s engineered wood products mill sponsored a food drive during its annual “100 Days of Summer” safety program. The mill teamed up with Catholic Charities of Maine for the drive. In addition to several totes and cases of food collected from employees, the mill purchased $250 worth of food from Andy’s IGA, which in turn donated another $150 worth of food.

For the second time in as many weeks, the Houlton Humane Society received a $10,000 grant for its feline spay-neuter program. The latest grant was awarded by the Cleo Fund/Animal Welfare Society in Kennebunk, which advocates for and provides resources for spaying and neutering pets, puts on educational seminars, organizes spay-neuter clinics throughout the state, and offers resources and services for feral cats and their caretakers. Unlike the first grant, the Cleo grant is exclusively for use in Houlton.

Three winners were chosen in the 2017 Houlton Entrepreneur Challenge. Shiretown Stoves and Outdoor Living, Green Minnow Media and Raising The Bar shared over $35,000 in awards including forgivable loans and incentives from program partners.


Employees of Katahdin Trust present a $769 check to Autism Society of Maine. Katahdin Trust employees raised the funds by paying $1 to dress casually on the second Friday of each month to support various non-profit organizations throughout Maine.

The staff at Machias Savings Bank dressed up as scarecrows for Halloween.

A Life Line animal rescue recently unveiled a new logo for its business. Showing off the design are, from left, Luetta Goodall, president; Rosalind Morgan, owner of RosWerks; and Brandy Clark, barn manager.

On Nov. 1, a popular education program came to a close as the fall session of Matter of Balance graduated several students. This program was held at the Houlton Higher Education Center and was sponsored through Houlton/Hodgdon Adult and Community Education through a partnership with the Aroostook Area Agency on Aging. Candy Easton Gough, BSW, the guidance based coordinator from the Aroostook Area Agency on Aging, presented 10 people with their certificates of completion.

To better meet the needs of its clientele, County Physical Therapy, LLC moved its Houlton outpatient clinic. Previously located next to TD Bank, CPT relocated its clinic to a renovated site at 98 Bangor St., adjacent to Harbison Plumbing and Heating. CPT has been providing physical and occupational therapy and other rehabilitation services in Aroostook County since 1987, and has operated a clinic in Houlton since 2001.

Steve Milligan’s big dreams are becoming a reality, thanks to Houlton’s Entrepreneur Challenge.

A resident of Houlton, Milligan opened Green Minnow Media,  a full-service advertising and marketing agency that will provide personalized service for radio, television, print, websites, social media and other creative mediums. Milligan also offers video production, visual effects, web development and even 3D animation.

Ken and Karen White, owner of The Hive Mortgage Solutions, announced that they have hired Hillary Lundgren of Monticello, as a new Loan Originator for Aroostook County.


The Southern Aroostook Soil and Water Conservation District held a luncheon, “Celebrating Women on the Farm” at the Courtyard Cafe Dec.6. The event was held as a way to publicly recognize women as farmers/wives/partners/supporters on the farm. Guest speaker Amanda Beal, president and CEO of Maine of Maine Farmland Trust, spoke about her upbringing on a central Maine dairy farm and the family process over the past several years of transitioning the farm from her dad to her brother.

The Brass Anchor, located at 7 Broadway, opened in Houlton back in June. Owned and operated by Jeremy Bither, the business has grown steadily over the past six months. The shop is a throwback to days gone by, with two barber chairs and of course a red, white and blue spinning barber pole in the window.

A Life Line, the unique large animal rescue and rehabilitation farm located in Smyrna has a new logo. According to officials from A Life Line, the new imprint, designed by Rosalind Morgan of RosWerks, conveys the journey of animals and humans in need of each other.

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