American Unagi, the Thomaston-based company that aims to grow Maine glass eels to market size and sell them domestically, received a $10,000 grant from Gorham Savings Bank this week as part of the bank’s Emerging Idea Award.

American Unagi was born out of Sara Rademaker’s desire to offer an alternative for this globe-trotting local resource. Glass eels, or elvers as they are better known, are caught in Maine waters and flown to Asia where they are sold to fish farms, grown out to adult length and then, quite often, processed for sushi that returns to the United States via shipping containers.

In addition to the grant money, American Unagi won $10,000 worth of marketing and public relations services in-kind from a group of local companies that include Creative Imaging Group and Chris Philbrook PR.

“The timing is perfect because my business is positioned well for in-depth brand and marketing discussions,” Rademaker said in a release. “And we need a website.”

Rademaker is selling the mature eels to local restaurants, including Miyake, Fore Street and Hugo’s, among others.

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