A trio of Kennebunkport-area businessmen are launching a new “beverage and lifestyle brand” called Lucky Dog that will donate a percentage of its proceeds to animal shelters in Maine.

Lucky Dog includes a hybrid brewery/distillery in Biddeford, a farm and orchard in Kennebunkport, and a tasting room at the former Tia’s Topside at 12 Western Ave. in Kennebunk. The partners in the project are Tim Harrington, the co-founder and creative director of the Kennebunkport Resort Collection; Kevin Lord, owner of Thomas & Lord Custom Builders; and Matt Dyer, the former beverage director of Earth at Hidden Pond.

Rigby the bulldog, shown wreathed in hops, inspired the name of the new brewery/distillery. Photo courtesy of Lucky Dog

The name of the business is inspired by Dyer’s bulldog, Rigby.

Lucky Dog’s partners planted the seed for their new business in 2014 by growing hops and lavender on their farm and orchard. Those ingredients are now being used to make their first spirits and ales. Dyer is the lead distiller, and Wade Benker-Ritchey is the head brewer.

Lucky Dog will officially open after renovations are complete at the tasting room, most likely in late September. The owners plan to sell their products in the tasting room and at local restaurants and bars.

GATHER THAT EXTRA VEG

Is your garden overflowing with goodness this year? Trade in those spare tomatoes and cucumbers for a nice night out at a restaurant.

Gather in Yarmouth is once again offering restaurant credit to anyone with a surplus of homegrown produce willing to swap it for a pizza, a plate of crabcakes, fish tacos – or anything on their menu that you want to buy with your credit. Forget dumping your squash that’s as heavy as a cruise missile, though. And the restaurant doesn’t want your herbs or garlic, either. Stuff that qualifies: Radishes, tomatoes, cucumbers, leeks, reasonably sized squash and lettuces. “However, we love and are open to surprises,” the restaurant says on its website.

Garden Barter hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday and Friday. Be sure to wash your produce before bringing it in.

CHOCOLATIER FOR A DAY

If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to own your own chocolate shop – or you’d like to channel your inner Lucy Ricardo or Ethel Mertz on the chocolate production line – then Kate Shaffer, founder of Black Dinah Chocolatiers, has a special opportunity for you.

Shaffer is giving away a chance to be “Chocolatier for a Day” at her Westbrook facility. This is more than just a tour. The winner of the contest will get to work with Shaffer and her staff, receiving one-on-one instruction on how to make ganache, cook caramel, enrobe truffles, temper chocolate and mold bonbons. The winner may not be able to stuff their faces a la Lucy and Ethel, but he or she will be allowed to take home some of what they make. In addition to the education in chocolate making, the winner will receive a copy of “Desserted” (Shaffer’s cookbook), and a Black Dinah chef’s cap and apron.

To enter, watch Black Dinah’s Facebook page for the launch of the contest on Sept. 4. Entries will close at 11:59 p.m. Sept. 17, and the winner will be announced on Facebook Sept. 20.

OAKS & MAPLE CLOSED

The Oaks & Maple Cafe at Brunswick Landing closed earlier this month. The cafe, which took over the leased space at 25 Burbank Ave. from the New Beet Market, was open for just six months. The restaurant’s Facebook page and website are down, although its Instagram account is still active. David Barter was the cafe’s chef/owner.

BUCKS HAS NEW OWNERS

Alex and Wendyll Caisse, owners of Bucks Naked BBQ in Freeport and Windham, have sold their business to their longtime operations manager, Al Brown, and his wife, Susan, who is the restaurant’s catering director.

In a Facebook post announcing the change, Wendyll Caisse noted that Al Brown has been with Buck’s since 2008 “and has been the backbone of our company for quite some time.”

“It’s been very rewarding being a small part of this tremendous town where we have enjoyed supporting Freeport’s causes and community, and we want to thank our many customers for giving us an opportunity to be hospitable,” she wrote.

The Caisses started Buck’s 13 years ago in a small, drafty garage in Freeport, in the middle of winter. They opened the Windham location in 2010, and a third location in Portland’s Old Port in 2012. The Portland location closed in 2016.

Caisse said she and her husband plan to “move on to other pursuits.” Wendyll Caisse is involved in local politics in Freeport, and Alex Caisse is a registered Maine guide.

Meredith Goad can be contacted at 791-6332 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: MeredithGoad