Maine politicians point to the state’s “Brain Drain” where students graduate from Maine high schools, colleges and universities and then leave the state to start their careers.
In Ellsworth two men who went to college out of state, returned home and have teamed up to start their own business.
It went so well in the first year, they just recently expanded.
“Doing the website we hit a lot of customers who are used to buying online but there’s still a lot of people who’d rather come in to a storefront,” said Nick Sarro, Co-Owner Downeast Cheesecakes.
In January of 2016 Sarro and Jordan Crosby started Downeast Cheesecakes by selling online.
“Just to sell two cheesecakes a week was something that we were like excited about, like we were cooking out of my mom’s kitchen at our house and we were like let’s just try this’, said Jordan Crosby, Co-Owner Downeast Cheesecakes so we tried it just to sell as many as we could and it took off from there.”
And people bought enough of the cheesecakes in a mason jar for them to expand out of Jordan’s mom’s kitchen to a facility in Franklin, and as of Saturday April 1st to a storefront on Main Street in Ellsworth. Opening day was a hit.
“Since the morning, line out the door, we sold out hours earlier than planned and up the next day until 2 in the morning baking for Sunday,” said Sarro. “And again Sunday sold out and it was huge support from the town so it was great.”
Nick grew up in Ellsworth, Jordan in Sullivan. But both left Maine for college.
“I didn’t want to come back home for a long time,” said Crosby. “I was against it for the longest time. I just wanted to not be here but it seemed like the right thing once I graduated and then I mean it obviously was the right thing.”
“We both kind of ended up back here and wanted to stay here,” said Nick. “Wanted to just make something big, and something people in Maine may not have seen before bring stuff that we’ve learned outside the state.”
Now this is where they live and work, but they are still looking grow and expand, and both want to see what is next and what the future holds for Downeast Cheesecakes.
“Opening up this retail location was like great for us to see how everything works because we definitely plan on opening up more locations as we grow,” said Nick
“I just want to see us be bigger and do bigger things,” Jordan added. “And not settle as one spot just be as many places as we can.”
“Being young and having the time to do it I think we’re going to go for it,” said Sarro. “And if it doesn’t work we’ll stick with the few that we have and if it does work then we can keep growing.”