The Snowflake Trail, the open-house weekend of small local businesses in Limington, Limerick and Newfield, returns next month with 11 participating shops.

The event is set for Nov. 11-13, and features plenty of food and beverages, including craft beer, artisanal French-style chocolates, local maple syrup and homemade turkey pot pies. Food-based businesses taking part in this year’s trail include Naturally Jammin’ of Limington, Wright Chocolate House and Gneiss Brewing Company of Limerick and Hilltop Boilers Maple Syrup and Harris Turkey Farm of Newfield.

The “Best Turkey Pot Pie,” sold frozen from Harris Turkey Farm in Newfield, is one of many delicious foods for sale during the Snowflake Trail open house weekend later this month. Courtesy of Harris Turkey Farm

Chase Harris, co-owner of Harris Turkey Farm, said the Snowflake Trail event draws thousands of visitors to the three small towns each year. “It’s big business for us, that weekend,” he said.

Visitors this year will also be able to learn about outdoor cooking from award-winning pitmasters at Humphrey’s in West Newfield, and several locations will partner with food trucks as well.

Historically, The Snowflake Trail was a women’s shopping weekend for handcrafted Christmas gifts in Newfield. “We still see groups of ladies making it an annual tradition, a girls’ weekend,” said Lynn Wright of Wright Chocolate House.

Printable maps of the 17-mile “trail,” along with more information on participating businesses, are available at the Snowflake Trail website.



Getting in the spooky spirit, culinary and hospitality students at Southern Maine Community College are hosting a “Grimm and Gore Storybook Dinner” Oct. 27-29 on the South Portland campus.

The three-night event is entirely student-planned and executed, according to Maureen LaSalle, chair of the college’s culinary and hospitality programs. The five-course dinner offers two seatings each night at 6 and 6:30 p.m. in the campus Culinary Arts Building on 2 Fort Road.

LaSalle said the dinner opens fittingly with a course of frogs’ legs, while the main course features beef or mushroom “skellington.” Students will read excerpts of Grimm’s fairy tales aloud during the dinner, and guests can have their pictures taken with the Big Bad Wolf, LaSalle said.

Tickets for the dinner are $30-$50, available online at Eventbrite. LaSalle said proceeds from the event will fund student scholarships.



Congress Street cocktail bar Dirty Dove recently rebranded as St. Joe Restobar, following owner Joe Fournier’s buyout of a former partner.

Fournier opened Dirty Dove at 229 Congress St. last December with partner and beverage specialist Michael Gatlin. As St. Joe, the venue will place an emphasis on food first, rather than drinks, Fournier said.

“It was time to make it my own, to evolve into St. Joe,” said Fournier, who also owned the popular A & C Grocery. “My focus is food here, because my background is food. And I’m enjoying having a more food-focused restaurant.”

The menu changes daily, and includes some Mediterranean-style comfort dishes like shakshuka (eggs poached in a thick, spicy tomato sauce) and chicken shawarma. Fournier said Ezra Dunn, formerly sous chef at Black Cow Burger, is heading up the kitchen at St. Joe, and has already taken on painstaking labors of love, like baking mini-bagels for pizza bagel bites.

“It’s all about the handcrafted food,” Fournier said.

The restobar’s new name refers not to Fournier, but rather to legendary musician Joe Strummer, best known for heading up the English punk band The Clash.

“Everything I do, there’s a certain level of subversiveness to it,” said Fournier. “Owning a small business is a colossal pain sometimes, you’ve got to at least have some fun with it and not take yourself too seriously.”

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