Longtime yogis Samantha and Ben Zanfagna sought to open a yoga studio in the middle of the dynamic Freeport Village. After $25,000 in renovations to the 175-year-old building on Main Street, Uprise Hot Yoga finally made its splash this January.

The quaint studio — adorned with painted leaves designed by Portland artist Victoria Hanrahan — often hosts sold-out yoga and dance classes. The studio’s popularity has pushed the Zanfagnas to search for more yoga teachers.

“We really appreciate the Freeport community’s support to bring our vision to life,” Samantha said. “The response has been amazing.”

Uprise Hot Yoga is one of four businesses benefiting from Freeport’s new Fit-Up Grant Program, which aims to revitalize businesses and unused spaces in the downtown area. The businesses — including Loom Clothing and Home, Brewster House, and Twist Salon — all qualified for a maximum contribution of $10,000 from the Fit-Up Grant Program. The program, which in part aims to diversify the types of businesses downtown, reimburses local businesses for development and renovations in the tourist town traditionally known for its retail options.

Natalya Nikitina, the owner of Loom Clothing and Home, plans to use the funds to provide an eco-friendly touch to the downtown neighborhood. With a focus on ethical business practices, Nikitina’s shop aims to supply sustainable and contemporary fashion.

“Loom will be that trusted source with a personal touch right on Main Street,” Nikitina said.


Kelleigh Dulany, owner of Brewster House, and Colleen Brink, owner of Twist Salon, also hope to bring a unique flare to the village.

Inspired by Norwegian saunas, Dulany’s Brewster House, which will be located on Main Street, will make steam and cold plunges easily accessible to residents and visitors. Twist Salon — which will take shape in a former garage on Depot Street — will offer hair care just minutes from cafes and L.L. Bean’s flagship store.

The Fit-Up Grant Program has an annual budget of $60,000, meaning another $20,000 is still available for revitalization projects this year.

The town is also requesting new proposals for the Bartol Building, a former library owned by the town at 55 Main St., which has been a community and retail center for decades.

“The Bartol Building’s next user will be an important partner in advancing Freeport’s Downtown Vision,” said Town Manager Sophia Wilson, referring to Freeport’s Downtown Vision Plan — an initiative to enhance resident and visitor experience by supporting the vibrant downtown district.

The Fit-Up program and Bartol Building proposal details can be found at choosefreeport.com. Interested parties will need to submit a proposal by noon on April 25 and can contact Brett Richardson for more details.

Comments are no longer available on this story