Curious about how Maine’s food-related businesses change hands? Or ready to pass yours on but don’t know how? The Food Studies Program at the University of Southern Maine is hosting an event Thursday focused on succession in food-based businesses.

It’s co-sponsored by some heavy hitters in Maine’s food economy: Cooperative Development Institute, Rosemont Market & Bakery, Coastal Enterprises Inc., Maine Farmland Trust and Land for Good.

Participants will include Slow Money Maine coordinator Bonnie Rukin, who will give one keynote speech, and Rob Brown, head of the Business Ownership Solutions Program at the Cooperative Development Institute. Amanda Beal, president and CEO of Maine Farmland Trust and Merritt Carey of the Tenants Harbor Fisherman’s Co-op and Maine Aquaculture Co-op will be on a panel that also includes Mike Wiley, co-owner of Eventide, The Honey Paw and Hugo’s restaurants in Portland.

Breakout sessions will cover worker ownership models, legal considerations and financial ramifications (a Bernstein Shur expert will be on hand to demystify the sale process) and even the complexity of family dynamics around succession.

For a full schedule, visit

Sounds like a great chance to learn about the way food businesses get bought and sold in Maine. And psst, we heard lunch is free.



WHAT: Selling Up: Business Succession in Maine’s Food-Based Economy, a day-long series of workshops and discussions.

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday

WHERE: Abromson Community Education Center, University of Southern Maine, 88 Bedford St., Portland

HOW: The event is free, lunch included, but you must register in advance. Email Lisa Marie Lindenschmidt with the Food Studies Program, call 780-4490 or sign up at Move quickly, though, as USM needs a head count by Monday.

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