DRESDEN — A company that produces herbal remedies from elderberries and other plants grown on 10 acres of Dresden farmland plans to open an expanded production plant at the former Ames Mill building in Richmond.

Geo Johnston, director of operations for Maine Medicinals Inc., said the company hopes to open the plant sometime this fall. The company plans to use 2,000 square feet to start, but it could eventually use the entire 5,000-square-foot space in the third floor of the building along the Kennebec River that is the home of Richmond Contract Manufacturing.

Johnston and his mother, Edie Johnston, president and CEO of the company, discussed the plans Monday at an event celebrating a U.S. Small Business Administration award given to their partner company, Eldertide LLC, for its research work related to the antioxidants in elderberries.

U.S. Sen. Angus King and Seth Goodall, SBA’s New England regional administrator, visited the research and development lab in the upstairs of the family’s farmhouse Monday, recognizing the companies for their growth and the 2014 Tibbetts Award.

Edie Johnston launched Maine Medicinals’ first product – anthoimmune, an organic elderberry syrup – at the 2009 Common Ground Country Fair in Unity.

The company now has its products in all 38 Whole Foods Markets stores in the retailer’s North Atlantic region, along with some locations in the specialty supermarket’s other eastern regions.

Maine Medicinals also distributes to natural food stores around Maine and to natural health practitioners all over the country, according to Geo Johnston, who lives in Portland.

The company plans to add two more full-time employees when it opens its facility in Richmond.

 


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