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Online business Moosehead Marketplace celebrates fourth year

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GREENVILLE — Moosehead Marketplace is celebrating its fourth year in business and Janet Richards Chasse, who owns and runs the online operation, couldn’t be happier. The Marketplace has been pretty much a one-woman show since its inception.

“I always smile when I get emails from people reaching out to my business,” she grinned. “When they ask for the outreach department, that’s me. Packing? Shipping? That’s me too! I do it all and because that’s the case, I make a point to keep customers happy. Essentially the buck stops here.”

Moosehead Marketplace specializes in unique gift baskets featuring products from more that 30 artists and craftspeople from Greenville and the surrounding area. “Everything we carry comes from Maine, of course,” Chasse said. “But we are so fortunate to have a large local group of talented people providing products for our baskets.”

Mooshead Marketplace

Observer photo/Shelagh Talbot
MOOSEHEAD MARKETPLACE — Janet Chasse poses with her photo booth, which she created to photograph gift items for Moosehead Marketplace’s online site.

Chasse got the idea for Moosehead Marketplace after listening to international branding consultant Roger Brooks, who came to Greenville during early spring of 2015 when he launched a branding initiative called “America’s Crown Jewel” — a promotion of the Moosehead region of Maine. “One of the things he suggested was lengthening the tourist season up here,” Chasse observed. “I thought to myself, this place needs businesses to be available all year, not just in the summer. It wasn’t long after that I conceived of the marketplace.”

She built her own website with the help of Sara and Eric Cochrane, owners of Beyond a Century. Chasse had worked for them and learned a great deal about the ins and outs of an online business. “They were wonderful,” Chasse said. “They were an immense help in showing me how to run a site, what’s involved with shipping and customer relations. The latter I’m eternally grateful for, because just about half of my customers are repeats. That’s the highest compliment a business can get.”

Chasse chose her suppliers thoughtfully. “I wanted to make sure that what I was doing wouldn’t undercut their business, while at the same time Moosehead Marketplace would make their products available all over the country.” She is grateful for the flexibility and helpfulness of her suppliers too. “Kineo View Balsam Products is a good example of the businesses I work with,” she said. “For example, if I need 10 chickadee balsam pillows right away, they can usually get them to me within 24 hours!”

Valentine’s Day is coming up and Chasse has some special offers for those ordering early. “I am offering $5 off any orders placed between now and the end of January,” she said. “We have some really unique Valentine baskets this year which will make the gift so memorable. They’re a lot nicer than the cookie cutter gifts one usually ends up getting.”

Chasse has a large sunny room with tables and shelves filled with products. Brian, Chasse’s husband, makes the beautiful wooden crates to hold the gifts. “He reminds me that I’m lucky he makes them, because he has a fulltime job,” she laughed. “But really, my job is full time too. I buy all the products, then photograph and list them. I spend a lot of time marketing the business through social media and emails. Then, I print all the invoices, pack and ship. Sometimes, if there aren’t a lot of packages, I even carry them through the backyard to the post office.”

The best way to discover all the products at Moosehead Marketplace is to visit them online at www.mooseheadmarketplace.com.

Chasse also has a Facebook presence for Moosehead Marketplace and you can even call your order in at 207-280-0817. “I’m available between 8 a.m. and 7p.m. Monday through Friday,” Chasse said. You can also subscribe to her free Newsletter, which is available through her website. It’ll give you some nice gift ideas for Valentine’s Day, birthdays or any other special occasion.

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