Grant for Northwoods Gourmet Girl approved

Staff Report

    GREENVILLE — The town of Greenville has received a $50,000 grant from the CDBG Micro-Enterprise Program for Northwoods Gourmet Girl to expand its business.
    The grant was written and submitted by the Piscataquis County Economic Development Council. “Northwoods Gourmet Girl is an excellent example of a locally-based business that markets throughout Maine, New England and the United States,” said Ken Woodbury, economic development director for PCEDC. “We need to develop and support more local businesses that have a regional, national and even international clientele.”

    In the CBDG application, Woodbury explained that Northwoods Gourmet Girl owner Abby Freethy assumed a $330,000 loan from a private lender to purchase and remodel the space at 203 Pritham Ave. in Greenville after moving her business from Greenville Junction.
    The Depot Street building was leased and she made improvements to that building which could not be transferred. “Some of the current equipment came with her in the move to larger quarters but the new loan also was used to purchase addition kitchen equipment,” Woodbury wrote. “The current loan has maxed out her borrowing capacity.”
    The remodeled and expanded building now includes a 1,860 square-foot commercial kitchen, production area and office space to meet the growing demand for products. Northwoods Gourmet Girl has increased its retail presence throughout Maine and now has a customer base of over 100 clients and still growing.
    The grant will be used to purchase a delivery vehicle, additional kitchen equipment and office hardware and software.
    The commercial vehicle will be used for both deliveries and for  transporting materials to events and trade shows.
    For the kitchen, the company needs a 60-gallon steam kettle and two commercial dishwashers.
    One of the most urgent needs for Northwoods Gourmet Girl is a more powerful office personal computer with an inventory management software program.  This growth will allow the owner to have two part-time employees become full-time employees, and also create two new positions – one in production and one in administration – to handle the increased workflow. 
    A public hearing on the grant application was held on July 23 and all comments were favorable, according to minutes of the session.

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