Devan Pratt, a baker at Monte’s Fine Foods in Portland, makes a list Monday of some of the perishable items that went bad during the power outage. Owner Steve Quattrucci said the business was without power for around 37 hours, from late Saturday night to Monday afternoon. “Our loss is probably about $100,000. We lost three days business and thousands of dollars worth of food,” Quattrucci said. Pratt weighed and photographed each item that was no longer usable so the business can submit a claim to its insurer. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

Steve Quattrucci and his staff spent Monday afternoon emptying the walk-in coolers at Monte’s Fine Foods in Portland, meticulously weighing and recording each item they couldn’t salvage. 

The spring ice storm caught the pizza shop and food market by surprise, and after nearly 40 hours without power, almost all the perishable goods had to be thrown out. Between the food and three days of lost revenue, Quattrucci estimated he’s out a minimum of $100,000. 

Devan Pratt, a baker at Monte’s Fine Foods in Portland, makes a list of some of the perishable items the shop lost due to the power being out. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

“They’re always so good about getting power back on in Portland, we didn’t expect to have an outage of this length,” he said Monday afternoon, about an hour after power was restored. 

Businesses in Maine’s southern counties are struggling to get back on their feet after the weekend storm turned out to be more destructive than anticipated. 

Some had to close for a day or two during the worst of the ice on Saturday and Sunday, but others are looking at longer closures and substantial food losses. 

At Hannaford supermarket in Yarmouth on Sunday afternoon, shoppers were told that perishable items were not for sale. Long rolls of yellow tape cordoned off entire freezer and refrigerator aisles and employees were clearing leafy greens and other perishable vegetables from their cases. On social media, shoppers at other Hannaford locations reported similar scenes and said many cases were still empty Monday. 


A Hannaford spokesperson said all locations were up and running on Monday but did not respond to questions about the duration of power outages or how much food was thrown out.

Caitlin Cortelyou, external communications manager for the grocery store chain, said Hannaford follows strict food safety protocols and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Food Recovery Hierarchy, “which prioritizes the rescue of safe, nutritious food for donation to food insecure individuals.”

Owner Steve Quattrucci puts away a delivery in the retail cooler Monday at his restaurant and specialty grocery Monte’s Fine Foods in Portland. He was able to keep the retail fridge on with a generator he bought at Home Depot Sunday morning. “I only got one because I got to Home Depot at 7:30 a.m., they sold out shortly after,” Quattrucci said. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

Food not suitable for human consumption is donated to local livestock farmers or used for food-to-energy conversion efforts, Cortelyou said. She did not respond to questions asking how much of the food, if any, was donated.

At Monte’s in Portland, Quattrucci was able to get a generator going to power the retail food and deli cases, but much of the walk-in refrigerator was a loss, save maybe for a few wheels of parmesan, some prosciutto and a handful of root vegetables.

Monte’s Roman-style pizza dough takes 48 hours to ferment, so the business will be closed until at least Wednesday. Quattrucci said they’ll use whatever time they have left over to give the restaurant and market a deep clean.

Monday afternoon, Brad Moll was still waiting for the power to come back on at Clayton’s Cafe in Yarmouth. The longstanding sandwich shop was one of a handful of Route 1 businesses still without power Monday, which Moll said was frustrating, given that his neighbors all had their lights on.


“Generally power outages are not much of a problem for us,” he said. “We didn’t do a lot at first, thinking this would be a typical situation.” 

Brad Moll, owner of Clayton’s Cafe in Yarmouth, stands behind a cooler full of food that will need to be discarded after the restaurant lost power during the weekend ice storm. The longstanding sandwich shop is among several businesses on U.S. Route 1 in Yarmouth that lost power. Clayton’s was still without power Monday afternoon, and Moll didn’t expect it to reopen until Wednesday at the earliest. The business lost a significant amount of food before Moll was able to secure a generator Monday morning. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

But as the hours ticked by, he started to worry. By the time they were able to track down a generator Monday morning, the cafe had lost a significant amount of food. 

Moll didn’t have an estimate for the amount of food and revenue lost in the roughly 2 ½ days he’s expecting the shop will be closed. But “it’s substantial,” he said. 

“All our product is handmade. It’s not just food in packaging, there’s a lot of labor that went into it as well,” he said. 


He’s hoping to reopen by Wednesday. 


“Obviously it’s going to have a substantial financial impact that we’ll have to overcome,” he said, adding that he’s confident the business will pull through.  

Moll also is a co-founder and president of Brickyard Hollow, a pizzeria and brewpub with 10 locations across the state. He said the Brunswick and Yarmouth locations closed Sunday but managed not to lose any food. 

Connor Scott spent Sunday afternoon carting tubs of butter, cartons of eggs, and trays of steak tartare and scallops from his Brunswick coffee shop and cocktail bar to his mom’s house. The Abbey, which opened in Brunswick in late December, lost power late Saturday evening.

Owner Steve Quattrucci looks at the small generator that was keeping his retail cooler going at his restaurant and specialty grocery Monte’s Fine Foods in Portland on Monday. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

The subzero freezers were able to keep their contents cold for a while but Scott and co-owner Lainey Catalino had limited time to get the most crucial items out of several rapidly warming refrigerators and over to his mom’s house, which had a generator and, as luck would have it, an extra refrigerator.

She was able to “Tetris” a surprising amount of food inside its doors, Scott said, but the business still lost roughly $3,000 worth of food. Coupled with keeping the doors closed on what was expected to be a busy weekend, the financial loss is a blow to the fledgling restaurant.

“The next couple of days are going to be pretty tight, pretty crucial,” Scott said.

The restaurant reopened with a limited menu Monday, with a “huge prep day” scheduled for Tuesday, when the business is closed.

For now, they’re celebrating with oysters and their signature martini – coincidentally named the “Ice Storm of ’98.”

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