Houlton Pioneer Times

Houlton area Business Year in Review 2018


Businesses in Aroostook County have another tool to increase sales, according to officials at the Northern Maine Development Commission. The federal government recently announced a change in the Small Business Administration’s Historically Underutilized Business Zone, or HUBZone, program, which should benefit northern Maine. All of The County is now a designated HUBZone.

Madigan Health Care Services announced the promotion of Tiffany Phillips, RN BSN, to the position of director of nursing at the Madigan Estates Long Term/Skilled Care Facility.

The Houlton Rotary Club met for its luncheon meeting on Monday, Jan. 8. Guests of the meeting were speakers Kimberly Jones and Billi Griffeth and their colleague Carolyn Dorsey. Jones and Dorsey are associate professors of business at the University of Presque Isle and Griffeth is the vice president of retail sales at Katahdin Trust Company in Presque Isle. The guest speakers enlightened the club on the course offered by the Young Professional Institute that is offered at UMPI.

Walgreens plans to complete its acquisition of Rite Aid stores in seven Aroostook County towns by the end of the month. The Aroostook stores are located in Fort Kent, Fort Fairfield, Madawaska, Van Buren, Caribou, Houlton and Presque Isle, according to Jim Cohn, director of external communications for Walgreens.


‘Toby,’ a children’s book written by Maine author/illustrator Hazel Mitchell, features a poodle rescued by state seizure in Houlton. The book has been awarded the Maxwell Medal for Best Children’s Book 2017 and nominated for best series of illustrations by The Dog Writer’s Association of America (www.dwaa.org) in its annual dog writing awards.

On March 7, 1918, Katahdin Trust opened its doors for the first time in Patten. To mark the occasion of its 100th anniversary, the bank announced plans in February for a weeklong celebration at all 16 branch locations throughout the state. The week of March 5-9, branches will feature refreshments and prizes, including a daily drawing.

Students from Mill Pond School in Hodgdon toured Northeast Publishing and Print Works on Jan. 30. Plant Operations Manager Bob Maynard showed students the process by which news makes it into a newspaper and on the web. Teacher Leerae Oliver said, “The students and I were fascinated by what we learned from Bob. We truly appreciate the work your team does to publish the latest news for the public each day.” Shown here with Maynard are Meghan Peters, Ava Wells, Ellie Moore, Paige Bosse, George Gaddis, Wyatt Oliver and Alex Sherman.
(Andrew Birden)

This month, the local Tractor Supply Company store will collect donations to benefit the Houlton FFA chapter. Coinciding with National FFA Week (Feb. 17-24), store customers throughout Maine can donate $1 or more at checkout through Feb. 25 either in store, online or by calling customer solutions. Donations will fund the national Grants for Growing program, supporting Maine FFA chapters that are making a difference in their communities through unique and sustainable agricultural projects.


The Tractor Supply Co. store in Houlton is donating 80 bags of pet food to feed dogs and cats in need of adoption. The store presented the pet food donations to the Houlton Humane Society and the Ark Animal Sanctuary.

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of Katahdin Trust Company, the bank held a special ceremony March 7 in Patten, where it all began a century ago, and capped things off by donating to two local groups. Jon J. Prescott, Katahdin Trust president and CEO, and Steven L. Richardson, board chairman, expressed appreciation for the support of employees, customers and shareholders over the past 100 years.

The Rotary Club of Houlton’s Literacy Committee works in partnership with the Cary Library, the Houlton Higher Education Center, and the area schools to find ways to “Support Family Reading in Aroostook County”.

The Houlton Recreation Department recently completed its “Walk Away Winter” event, which encouraged individuals to come to the Gentle Memorial Building to walk laps during the winter. Showing off their certificates are Betty Cummings, left, and Joyce London, who were among the top five walkers for the season. Not pictured are Sandy Cummings, Pam Dorta and Janice Hastey. (Contribtued)

A fundraising skate-a-thon and silent auction at the Millar Civic Center on March 10 collected more than $15,000 for two local families in need. Organized by the Southern Aroostook Minor Hockey Association, the event benefited the families of Simon Cyr, a 17-month-old who died March 3 after a lengthy battle with a congenital heart defect; and Liz Ervin, a Houlton woman who is battling a rare form of cancer.

Phase II of a 12-month regional visioning process, called “Katahdin Gazetteer: a roadmap to the future” is underway. Phase II includes engaging six local ambassadors from the Katahdin region who will be tasked with helping the community understand what Katahdin Gazetteer is, why it matters, and how they can get involved.


After 31 years of helping people select the right type of insurance to meet their needs, Randy Lincoln has decided to retire from the business that bears his name. Fortunately, for clients of the Randy Lincoln Agency, his son Emery has taken up the charge and will carry on the business his father created.

Katahdin Trust is partnering with schools in Northern and Central Maine to celebrate Teach Children to Save Day on Friday, April 20, with savings education throughout the month of April. Many local students will explore lessons on the difference between needs and wants, and learn how to identify expenses, trade-offs and ways to cut pending.

The Aroostook County Action Program is currently recruiting women for a WorkReady/OSHA 10 group to begin at the Houlton Higher Education Center on May 7, and will host two information sessions on April 25.

A five-generation family legacy continues following the opening of Smith Brothers of Houlton Plumbing and Heating. A Houlton native with nearly 20 years of industry experience, owner David E. Smith is proudly carrying on the family tradition in the plumbing and heating business, which dates back to 1882, when the original Smith Brothers store opened in Houlton’s Market Square.


Author Tim Caverly spoke to the Houlton Rotary Club at the weekly meeting of April 9. Caverly, who has published seven books, uses his stories and his background to promote literacy around the state. Caverly has presented 222 programs to 7,700 students. In addition, he has donated 1,750 books to 145 schools. His newest book, “Wilderness Wildlife,” is part of a trilogy of the Allagash Tails series.

Maine 4-H youth can learn valuable leadership skills thanks to $7,079 donated by Maine Tractor Supply customers through Paper Clover, a biannual fundraising campaign held in partnership with the National 4-H Council. Earlier this month, Maine Tractor Supply customers purchased paper clovers for donations at checkout in stores and online. Every Maine donation benefits Maine youths.

The owners of a Linneus convenience store are branching out to reopen a beloved Houlton store, takeout and catering business. Daniel and Vanessa Clark, owners of Clark’s Variety in Linneus, recently signed a deal for the former Dow’s Market on

High Street in Houlton that closed in November 2017. They will be reopening it as Clark’s Market.

A local radio station is changing its musical format for what is believed to be the first time in the station’s history.  WHOU-FM owner Fred Grant announced Friday, May 18, that the station will be switching to its new format as of midnight, Thursday, May 24. WHOU’’s new music format  will be classic hits from the 1970s and ’80s.

In each of the 61 McDonald’s located in Maine and the four located in northern New Hampshire, McDonald’s customers routinely toss their change into the donation boxes.  On Thursday, a portion of that money came back to the greater Houlton community when Ronald Mcdonald House Charities of Maine presented a check for $17,000 to the Aid for Kids program.


Those looking for something fun to do in Island Falls now have a new indoor miniature golf facility to try their hand at sinking a hole-in-one. Brick Garage Ice Cream and Mini Golf celebrated its grand opening Saturday, May 26, with an open house. Elizabeth Moulton, manager of the business, said the ice cream side of the business opened in 2013 in what was once an automotive repair business and later on became a bottle redemption center.

Bangor Savings Bank has announced its 2018 recipients of grants as part of the bank’s “Community Matters More” program. The bank donated $5,000 to the Houlton Performing Arts Center and $1,000 to the Halfway Home Pet Rescue in Caribou.

The directors of the Maine Community Foundation have approved a $10,000 grant from the Aroostook County Fund for the latest building project at The Southern Aroostook Agricultural Museum in Littleton. This grant will help with the creation of a display highlighting the history of snow plowing and snow removal in Aroostook County.

The Temple Cinema in Houlton is celebrating its 100th birthday with a special free showing of “The Wizard of Oz” on Saturday, Aug. 18. (Contributed)

During a special 100th anniversary event, Bonnie Foster, executive vice president, retail services at Katahdin Trust, announced the promotions of five employees. Tori Barber has been promoted to assistant vice president; Sunny Flannery to assistant vice president; Debbie Schillinger to assistant vice president; Joe Clukey to vice president; and Peggy Smith to vice president.Houlton area Business Year in Review 2018.


Among the awards presented at the annual meeting of the Houlton Rotary Club were a Lifetime Achievement Award which was presented to Bob Anderson. In addition, Otis Smith was the recipient of a Paul Harris Fellowship, which is one of the highest honors a member can receive.

Lisa MacDonald of Houlton has never set foot on a cruise ship before, but will now have a golden opportunity to do so thanks to her employer. MacDonald was named Dunkin Donuts Drewco LLC Manager of the Year and received a seven-day, all-inclusive cruise to the Bahamas on the NCL Norwegian Dawn.

Dr. Karl Woods, a dentist who practices in Houlton, has been recognized with a Maine Dental Association President’s Award. He was honored at the organization’s annual convention on June 9 at the Portland Marriott at Sable Oaks in South Portland. Outgoing Executive Board President Dr. Gary Creisher presented the award to Woods, which recognizes an individual who has made significant and meaningful contributions to the profession.

A pair of local entrepreneurs recently capitalized on what they felt was a lack of takeout opportunities in the area and filled the void by opening their own mobile eatery. David Tucker and Eric Nelson received a victualer license to open TNT Takeout during a council meeting the previous month. The food truck is located on Water Street behind Sadie’s Bakery.

Something tasty is brewing for coffee lovers at Mak’s Coffee House. Patten’s newest eatery, the coffee house opened for business on July 2 and is the brainchild of Tabatha and Bobby Loukeris of Mount Chase.


At the Houlton Community Market, Garth Bean set the mood for shoppers by playing Frank Sinatra tunes out of one of the smartphone symphony stands that he designed. It is one of the many products that the Houlton native is selling through his new business, Coolbeans Woodcraft, the wares of which are available both at the market and online.

After working in retail for a number of years, Houlton’s Amy Carmichael figured it was time she branched out on her own. Featuring exactly what the name of her business boasts, Amy’s This and That shop, located at 66 North St., has a wide variety of new and used goods. Her business includes primitive decor items crafted from wood, Paparazzi jewelry, as well as a line of “Melissa and Doug” toys.

For the past 100 years, Temple Cinemas has brought Hollywood to Houlton. To commemorate the businesses’ 100th anniversary, current theatre owner Charlie Fortier held a special free screening of “The Wizard of Oz,” on Saturday, Aug. 18, with donations accepted for Aid for Kids.

Local children filled the Gentle Memorial Building in Houlton on Aug. 10 to play games and win a few prizes as part of the third annual Summer Reading Celebration Day. The third of three events hosted by the United Way of Aroostook and Katahdin Trust, Friday’s session culminated several weeks of summer reading for area children.

On Saturday, Aug. 18, the Houlton Community Market in conjunction with the Maine Federation of Farmer’s Markets celebrated Snapshot Day. To help spread the word about the pleasures of shopping at farmer’s markets, patrons were encouraged to share their photos of the day on social media.


The accolades continue to pile up for Hidden Spring Winery of East Hodgdon. For two consecutive years, Jean and Richard Sloat, owners of the Hidden Spring Winery, have earned awards from the “Big E” wine competition, which takes place in June. The Big E, “New England’s Great State Fair,” is held each autumn in Springfield, Massachusetts. The fair is the largest agricultural event on the Eastern Seaboard and attracts more than 1 million visitors each year.

The Dollar General celebrated the grand opening of it’s Patten store on Saturday, Oct. 13. The store is the latest in a series of new locations opened in northern Maine. Taking part in the opening are, from left, Patten Selectmen Marty McCarthy, State Representative Steve Stanley, Brandi Leathers-Savage (representing US Representative Bruce Poliquin), Patten Selectmen (Chair) Reggie Porter, Sr., Dollar General Assistant Manager D.J. Steeves, Dollar General Manager Angelo Cappello, Patten Selectmen Lana Tucker and Patten Selectmen (Vice Chair) Ken Perkins.
(Courtesy of Raymond Foss)

Theriault Equipment, a John Deere dealership that sells both new and used tractors and lawn mowers, has closed the doors to its Houlton location after 12 years of service in the Shiretown.

Katahdin Trust Company was recently named as one of the 2018 Best Places to Work in Maine. The bank, which is a locally owned and managed community bank founded in 1918 serving Aroostook, Penobscot and Cumberland counties, offers its employees a benefits package that includes performance bonus incentives, sick and personal family time, college tuition reimbursement program, and an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP).

Katahdin Trust announced the promotion of Krista K. Putnam to senior vice president/marketing. In her new role, she will continue to oversee all areas of marketing and advertising including communications, brand strategy, contributions, and public relations efforts. Putnam will assume additional management responsibilities including serving on the bank’s senior management team.


A non-profit organization formed by a network of volunteers to provide equine-assisted learning programs has received a significant grant to develop a

therapy program. Nancy Ketch, Houlton’s economic and community development director, said on Wednesday that the Maine Community Development Block Grant program awarded $50,000 to Manes and Tails of Houlton to fund the project.

The Houlton Council of Catholic Women celebrated its 80th Anniversary on Oct. 1. Father Kent Ouellette officiated at the 5 p.m. mass at St. Mary of the Visitation Church. Also, participating in the mass were council members: Janet Barker as lector, while Mary Grant, Alta Reardon, and Jane Stile, brought the gifts to the Altar for the Offertory.

Another business is closing its doors in the Shiretown as Olympia Sports revealed it would be shutting down its Houlton location. Signs that went up earlier this week in the window of the North Street location are advertising a “Store Closing Sale.” Another sign inside the store near the cash register states: “All sales are final.”

The National Safety Council this week recognized Danforth Postal Carrier Anna L. Crone with the Joseph M. Kaplan Safe Driver of the Year Award for the Northeast Area. The award came with thanks from the National Safety Council for her commitment to safety and support of the National Safety Council’s mission to eliminate preventable deaths in our lifetime.

Katahdin Trust announced the promotion of Sam Clockedile to marketing officer. In this role, he will be responsible for the implementation of the bank’s advertising campaigns, branch merchandise, promotional material and marketing communications for all 16 locations from Fort Kent to Scarborough.


Vital Pathways, a non-profit organization that has supported the southern Aroostook region since 1994, awards several mini grants over the years. Two local projects were chosen in 2018 to each receive a $500 mini grant. The town of Monticello received a grant to replace the front steps and ramp of the town’s new community center at the site of the former Methodist Church. The other recipient was The Link for Hope Coalition for their efforts in training five people as Peer Recovery Coaches.

Katahdin Trust officials recently named Melissa Dahlgren as the branch manager and retail services officer for Fort Fairfield. In this role, Dahlgren will assume responsibility for the day-to-day management of activities at the Fort Fairfield branch, sales and business development, as well as retail lending.

Youngsters were out supporting local businesses Saturday, Nov. 17, in downtown Patten as part of an After School Program event with the Katahdin school system. Encouraging people to “Shop Local” are, back row from left, Emma Schmidt, Conner Schmidt, Ralph Heath, Mason Rush and Colby Heath. In front is Tessa Rush. (Joseph Cyr)

Students at Katahdin Middle-High School were walking the streets of downtown Patten Saturday, Nov. 17, as part of a “Shop Local” event. “This is a student led project focusing on youth entrepreneurs and the importance of supporting your local economy,” explained Kala Rush.

During the Houlton Rotary Club meeting on Nov. 26, member Mac Randolph reported to fellow Rotarians that the grand total from E-Waste Day turned out to be 99,800 pounds, which is an increase of 20,000 pounds over last year’s total. Also, President Nate Bodestab told members that the Annual Rotary Auction, which took months of preparation, raised $46,000.


The F. A. Peabody Company made two recent promotions as a result of a change to its management structure. Chris Anderson, FAPCO president, has announced the promotions of Troy Heald of Caribou to become regional manager of the new Northern Aroostook division and Mary Cray of Mattawamkeag as regional manager of the new Northern Penobscot division.

The Houlton Rotary Club met for its luncheon meeting at Watson Hall on Monday Dec. 3. Rotarian Annette Beaton hosted Patti Hersey of Katahdin Trust Company as one of the guest speakers that day. Barresi-Saucier thanked the club for having her since she loves to share the details of the agency’s work.

After a successful start this summer, the operators of a Houlton food truck have found a permanent location to move their business. David Tucker and his wife, Crystal Tucker, received a victualer’s license from the Town Council to run TNT Takeout at 69 High Street.

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