New business in the city center popping up

New business in the city center popping up

“It was a perfect opportunity,” Parent said. “Tattooing is something that is a sustainable business now, there’s a huge demand for it.” She added she was happy to have a home for her business “in the heart of Ellsworth, to create and give back to the community I’ve been born and raised in.” Also filling an empty Main Street space is Ghost Rose Tattoo. Owner and tattoo artist Jaime Lynn Parent signed a lease last week at 112 Main St., next to Provender’s, and hopes to open by May. Poppy & Polka Dot Boutique is moving up Main Street to the former Beals Gift store at 97 Main St. A new business will move into the boutique’s current home.Ghost Rose Tattoo owner Jaime Lynn Parent signed a lease to open in the Luchini Building on Main Street.Jayme Gibson opened Ellsworth Nutrition on High Street on April 7, serving smoothies and specialty teas.Tattoo artist Jaime Lynn Parent and Provender owner/chef Daron Goldstein shake on a lease that will bring Ghost Rose Tattoo to an empty space in the Luchini Building.

Poppy & Polka Dot’s move will not leave another empty store in its place. Brandon Tracey of Bucksport is helping with renovations on Franklin Street at the new home for Downeast Keto Bakery.

“Acadia Family Therapeutic Massage will be moving into our current space,” said Amanda Beals, who owns both the boutique and the building at 61 Main St. The massage business’s move won’t leave an empty storefront, either, as its current 210 Main St. location is home to several medical practices. For many, an architectural anchor of Main Street is the Beals buildings that sat empty for months but are now the future homes of Poppy & Polka Dot Boutique and Kiddo by Toko. Both businesses are renovating the interiors, with Poppy & Polka Dot planning to move in toward the end of April. New business Kiddo by Toko will open later, depending on how long renovations take, owner Linda van der Does said.

“If I don’t expand, I’m just going to be stuck where I’m at,” she said. “I can’t produce any more than I’m producing now.” She plans to open as a retail store in May and eventually add café seating. Despite economic worries surrounding the pandemic, Richards said “the city remains well positioned post-COVID as a growing retail/service center and employment hub.” In addition, she said new businesses seeking to capitalize on the Ellsworth location is “a strong vote of confidence in the downtown and Ellsworth.” Around the corner on Franklin Street, Downeast Keto Bakery has leased and is renovating a vacant store. Owner Carolyn Corro said she cannot keep up with demands for her bread, bagels, muffins, whoopie pies and assorted keto snacks from her state-licensed home kitchen. 

Kiddo by Toko is a prime example, as Hans and Linda van der Does found success with Toko Ellsworth, which opened on Main Street in 2019, prompting plans for the second downtown Ellsworth store. The same is true for Poppy & Polka Dot, which opened early in 2020 and is ready to expand into a space at least double its current size. Ellsworth Economic Development Director Janna Richards said that several dynamics are behind the “recent flurry of new activity in the downtown.” Some of the new investment can be attributed to the success of established businesses that “are now looking to up their game by expanding and diversifying their services in our community,” while at the same time there is “a changing of the guard on Main Street,” as long-established property and business owners retire.

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