Maine Food Means Business 

There are people all across the state of Maine who buy and sell different kinds of foods. The companies are large and small, and cater to different crowds. Tuesday, they all got together in Bangor, to talk, learn from each other and make new connections.”This is a great meeting today to bring producers from all venues, all walks of life, from Fort Kent to Kittery, together with the different grocers associations, different stores and wholesalers. To be able to use Maine products in our Maine stores,” says Jay McCrum, of Penobscot McCrum.The summit, called Maine Food Means Business, has been in the works for awhile. It brings together the Maine Grocers Association with the new Maine Food Producers Alliance.”Any time we can collaborate together, we can obviously be more successful. So I’m excited to have this and to have it with the grocers makes a lot of sense. Why not work together?” says Aaron Anker, of GrandyOats Granola.Many companies are growing and looking for new distributors, in the state and across the country. Matt Bolinder started his coffee business, Matt’s Wood Roasted Organic Coffee, two years ago.”For me, it’s a way to gather information about how food is distributed through the state. And speak with other small-scale and large-scale food producers to hear what’s worked well for them,” Bolinder says.Cynthia Fisher with Bar Harbor Foods says Maine companies working together helps them all get to the next level.”There are so many wonderful food products in Maine. And they’re made by small, niche companies that have outstanding products with organic, all natural ingredients. And it’s difficult for small companies to break into that next step of distribution into retailers where consumers can get their hands on their products,” Fisher says.