The food cart that Linda Gastonguay recently opened on the corner of Depot and Mill streets in Freeport, in front of the Downeaster train station, isn’t about earning summer spending money.

Gastonguay, who has been a waitress for most of her life, wants to operate her cart at least through the autumn months, and possibly year-round. She just got started in midsummer because the person who previously claimed the spot – there are four public peddler’s license granted in town – decided against it.

Gastonguay plunked down the $500 fee two weeks ago, and set up operations on the second weekend in July.

“The only reason I am doing this right now is to own my own business – to make people happy,” said Gastonguay, an 11-year Freeport resident. “This is a lovely spot.”

Gastonguay will have to earn it. Two of the locations the town licenses – Li’s Chinese Express, at the corner of Bow and Middle streets, and another on Nathan Nye Street behind Starbucks – are in areas of high foot traffic. Another, in front of the Town Office, failed last summer. Gastonguay’s spot has more foot traffic than the Town Office, but not as much as the other two.

For the past two summers, Chanler Harrison, a 2014 Freeport High School graduate and Husson University student, sold food at the location as a summer job, with moderate success. While Harrison was on the quiet side, Gastonguay says she won’t be bashful to peddle her hot dogs, cheese steak subs, chicken sandwiches, sausage subs, chips and cold drinks. Hot dogs come with choices of sauerkraut, cheese, chili and the traditional condiments.

“I’m going to be a busy lady,” she said. “I need to make money, so I’m going to be successful at it. I’d like to stay in the winter if I could.”

To be successful on Depot Street, Gastonguay will need the patronage of people parking in the big lot across Mill Street from the Nordica Theater, as well as those who walk to and from the train station. People such as David Snyder of Limerick, who saw her cart from his parked car.

“Little stands like this are part of Maine,” said Snyder, who mosied on over to get a cold soda on a warm afternoon. “I’ll come back when I’m here again.”

Stephanie Petkers, executive director of the Greater Freeport Chamber of Commerce, said that the Depot Street location has positive aspects.

“The spot on Depot Street, I think, is pretty good,” Petkers said. “You get a lot of local people just walking around there, plus the train stops right around noontime, when people want lunch. Usually (the cart) is the first thing they see when they get off the train.”

Gastonguay said she will need some help, and will sometimes call on her 14-year-old son, Jacob. She plans to run her business seven days a week, from 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m.

Linda Gastonguay at her recently opened food cart on the corner of Depot and Mill streets in Freeport.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.