Vote for UpStart Maine's Most Exciting Start Up of 2021!
This year there are multiple ways to vote, and sharing these posts with friends and family is highly encouraged! First, you can vote on this website in the poll that appears on the right hand side of the home page! Additionally you can vote in the comments section of each of UpStart Maine's social media platform(instagram, facebook, and linkedin) on the original post published on January 28th, once per person!
Best of luck to these fantastic nominees who are positively shaping the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Maine and representing female empowerment. Be sure to share and like our posts to ensure your start-up gets as much exposure as possible. Read below to learn more about our wonderful nominees and their start-ups!
Amanda Hatley - She Summits Co
She Summits Co. is a female-oriented summer camp and guiding business that was established in 2019 by entrepreneur, Maine Guide and outdoor enthusiast Amanda Hatley. Amanda was inspired to create She Summits Co. through her own adventures with her two girls. She wanted to create a space for connection to each other, the land we recreate on, and to oneself.
She Summits Co. has been steadily growing ever since with its main focus being on the development of women empowerment, fostering self confidence, and creating brave adventures. The company aims to create connections and empower people through engaging in adventure activities such as mountain climbing, sea kayaking, backpacking etc. by focusing on meeting people where their brave starts, leadership development and communication skills.
She Summits Co. specializes in creating safe spaces for brave adventures with our summer camps for those finishing first to twelfth grades. You can learn more about She Summits Co on most social media platforms @shesummitsco.
Contact She Summits Co Below!
Cherie Scott - Mumbai to Maine
Mumbai-native Cherie Scott left India at the age of 16 and moved to Vancouver, BC. After a few stops in New York City and New Jersey, Cherie has been anchored in Boothbay, Maine now for over a decade. In 2015, she launched her culinary blog, MumbaitoMaine.com to share her signature recipes and nostalgic anecdotes of her youth in Mumbai. In 2018, Cherie was invited to join a lineup of notable guest chef instructors at Stonewall Kitchen Cooking School where she curated an exclusive, regional Indian cooking series. Cherie is the host of “Talking Food In Maine” a series of intimate one-on-one conversations with notable culinary pioneers who have made a substantial contribution to the culinary arts in the state of Maine. To celebrate Maine’s bicentennial and gastronomic talent, Cherie hosted and produced Mumbai to Maine’s podcast in 2020 showcasing some of Maine’s most accomplished culinary taste-makers. In the heart of the pandemic, Cherie launched her signature line of gourmet Indian simmer sauces: Makhani, Saag and Caldine. Inspired by her family’s heritage recipes, these simmer sauces are masterfully crafted in small batches and simmered for hours with an infusion of freshly roasted and ground spice blends. Mumbai to Maine is Maine’s first Indian-inspired culinary brand, available nationwide on www.mumbaitomaine.com and across specialty stores in Maine. Cherie will be teaching her debut cooking class at the Christopher Kimball Online Cooking School this spring. *Photo Credits to the Courtesy of Heidi Kirn.
Contact Mumbai To Maine Below!
Heather Kerner - The Good Crust
The Good Crust is an artisan dough company in Central Maine, pioneering a commitment to regional grains in America’s favorite flatbread: pizza! Not content to accept that good pizza crust must have white flour from far away, The Good Crust is a founding partner of the "Maine Craft Pizza" concept, whereby a new pizza style is being defined by the flavors of one's own regional grain. The company sources 100% of its whole grain ingredients fresh from the gristmill of Maine Grains, and is quickly scaling to serve restaurants, breweries, institutions, and food trucks specializing in wood-fired and locally-sourced ingredients. You can also find The Good Crust at health food and high quality provision shops along East Coast Route 1 from Maine to Hudson Valley, NY. In its first year of business, the company has created 9 jobs, purchased 30,000 pounds of Maine-sourced grain, and plans to be using 8-10,000 pounds per month in the near future as they build distribution capacity for foodservice and retail pizza dough.
The Good Crust's founder, Heather Kerner, is an avid home baker and pediatric Occupational Therapist of 24 years. In addition to solving the problem of a locally sourced pizza dough, she set out to apply her skills in designing a company whose social mission would help people with disabilities to enter the workforce. "We lead an effort to welcome people with unique needs to train on the job, in the belief that 'WE do better, when we ALL do better,'" Kerner says. Exceeding her start up goals in 2021, Kerner has provided 150 hours of workforce development training in her startup year to individuals with brain injury, autism, cerebral palsy, and addiction recovery. As she scales the company's dough manufacturing into a dedicated production facility in year 2, there is a waiting list for The Good Crust's apprenticeship program. "Employee’s progress helps to measure the company’s progress, in an inclusive workplace culture that uses local food not only for delicious pizza crusts and artisan breads, but also for empowering lives with career opportunities." The Good Crust embodies diversity, with its inclusive human resource model.
Kerner credits the ability to start and grow a business during a pandemic to the generous programming assistance of Coastal Enterprises (Propeller I & II, 2021), UpStart Maine, Maine Center for Entrepreneurs (Top Gun 2021), as well as organizations who have provided technical assistance such as Maine Grain Alliance, Maine Street Skowhegan, and Skowhegan Economic Development. She was awarded the "Michael Sheehan Memorial Award" from Preti Flaherty in June 2021 as an upcoming business poised to make a substantial community impact.
Contact The Good Crust Below!
Lee Sowels - Kind Mind
Kind Mind is a social and emotional learning program for elementary-aged children designed to build communities of compassion and resilience. This program was developed based on the Founder’s personal experience overcoming emotional and mental health challenges, and building resilience and wanting to teach these skills to children. Inspired to help children, teachers, and families navigate the growing mental health epidemic facing our nation, Kind Mind offers a program that is simple for teachers to navigate, impactful for children’s emotional health and well-being, and engaging for families at home.
Contact Kind Mind Below!