Jon Phillips and Briana Campbell, owners of Time & Tide Coffee in downtown Biddeford, had a chat with U.S. Small Business Administration Regional Director Wendell Davis on his recent tour of downtown shops to encourage people to shop locally. Tammy Wells Photo

BIDDEFORD — Briana Campbell and Jon Phillips were vacationing in Saco one summer a couple of years ago when, on a cold rainy weekday, they decided to explore downtown Biddeford.

“We saw a lot of cool things happening,” said Campbell. So, she said, they walked into City Hall and approached the Planning Office about starting a business.

Now, the couple own and operate Time & Tide Coffee, with a cafe on Main Street and coffee roaster in one of the buildings in the mill district — a business that encompasses both the retail and wholesale markets. Time & Tide Coffee has been open for about a year.

When starting their business they got advice from the Downtown Business Development Center, which offers help with business plans, marketing, financial analysis and more. The couple also got assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration, in the form of a loan guarantee.

On Monday, Nov. 25, U.S. SBA Regional Manager, Wendell Davis, Maine Director Amy Bassett and representatives from the Small Business Development Center, Heart of Biddeford, Biddeford + Saco Chamber of Commerce + Industry and others stopped by for coffee and conversation.

“Shop local” was the message Davis imparted at Time & Tide Coffee, the first stop on the tour, which included several small shops and businesses on Main Street and in the mills.


Companies like the coffee shop, and the other businesses they were to visit “bring people downtown,” Davis said.

“I’m excited to be here,” said Davis as he sipped his java.

In a column in advance of Small Business Saturday, which took place on Nov. 30 this year, Davis talked about the importance of doing business with local merchants.

“Let’s make sure we help support the businesses that sponsor our little league teams, make charitable contributions within the community, whose kids go to school with our kids,” Davis wrote.

As for Phillips and Campbell, opening the business wasn’t a sudden decision. The couple, who had lived in Brooklyn, New York, for several years, had been thinking about making a change and opening their own business for a while. Phillips had been in the coffee business for 20 years, and was the green coffee buyer — sourcing raw coffee — in his previous job.

In fact, the couple was in Guatemala for Phillips’ work when they had a heart-to-heart discussion about the future.


“We started to talk about business and the quality of life and what we wanted,” Campbell said.

These days, Phillips is a member of the Downtown Development Commission and recently ran for a Biddeford City Council seat.

The couple volunteer with Heart of Biddeford and Biddeford arts organization Engine and try to be as connected to the downtown as they can, Campbell said.

Davis and Bassett, said shopping locally makes a difference.

Shoppers spent $17.9 billion in 2018 during Small Business Saturday, they said.

After Time & Tide Coffee, the group was to visit Lorne Wine, Night Moves Bread, Maine Pie Co., Hyperlite Mountain Gear and Banded Brewing.

Campbell thanked the SBA and the Small Business Development Center for their help.

“We’re really happy to be here with our cafe, and the roaster in the mill,” she said.

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