Startups and mills: A historic combination

From its historic manufacturing roots that extend back to 1850, the Pepperell Mill in Biddeford has been a business incubator. Today it counts scores of businesses under its many roofs, ranging from craft breweries to medical offices to textile manufacturers and more. How do entrepreneurs find their footing there? What are the advantages and disadvantages of working out of a historic mill?

Join us for a conversation about Saco-Biddeford businesses.

We will be at People’s Choice Credit Union in Saco, 23 Industrial Parkway Road. Doors open at 7:15 a.m. with coffee and networking until 8:00 a.m. when the program begins. Program ends at 9 a.m. Coffee and light breakfast provided.



Please use the exterior spaces on the perimeter of the parking lot, so as not to displace credit union customers or consider carpooling, if possible. Parking on-site is free.

About the moderator: 

Hosted by Business Projects Editor Carol Coultas. Carol Coultas has been practicing journalism in Maine since the mid-‘80s and focusing on business journalism since 2003. She oversaw an award-winning staff as the business editor at the Press Herald from 2014 to 2019. This year, she transitioned to a new role as Business Projects Editor, focusing on events, an intern program and other projects to support quality, Maine business journalism.

On the panel:

Marc Feldman, Co-owner and Founder, Think Tank. Mark credits competitive rents and a cooperative and flexible landlord for the 95 percent occupancy of that co-working space. Hear how he intends to leverage that going forward.

Lisa Scali, Marketing Director, Ocean’s Balance Lisa is principal and marketing director of Ocean’s Balance, an edible seaweed products company that moved into the mill about 18 months ago. Its 3,000-sqf production facility, including a lab, doubles its previous space, and the company’s new proximity to the University of New England is an added benefit. Learn why.

Kerry Hanney, owner, Night Moves Bread. Kerry started her bakery of sustainably grown grains in her Portland apartment in 2016. But for the last year-and-a-half, the company has called the Pepperell Mill home. The location has borne some wonderful surprises – collaborations among her neighbors – and some challenges – delivery vans often can’t find her. Learn what’s next.

Doug Sanford, Developer, Pepperell Mill. Called “crazy,” a “visionary,” and just plain “lucky,” Doug Sanford had no idea what would happen when he bought the 1 million-square-foot Pepperell Mill in 2004. Today the complex is nearly three-quarters occupied and home to 500 workers. What’s next for the historic mill, and how are regional real estate trends affecting it?


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