Sadly, Cheevitdee has announced that they will be permanently closing their business at the end of February. Cheevitdee fans should take note that the instagram post does hint that “The spirit of Cheevitdee lives on. Details in the near future.”
A food cart called The Shuck Wagon (instagram) is planning to expand their mobile oyster shucking business this summer.
In 2020 The Shuck Wagon was onsite at some Portland area breweries including Fore River, Austin Street and Bunker Brewing. This year they’re building a second food cart that they hope to locate along the Portland waterfront and use for catering.
The Shuck Wagon is run by Spartan Sea Farms, an aquaculture operation in Freeport that farms oysters, scallops, quahogs, and kelp.
As reported back in January, a new brewery called Belleflower Brewing (website, facebook, instagram) has taken over the former Brewery Extrava space in East Bayside. Owners Zach Page, Melissa Page, Nick Bonadies and Katie Bonadies plan on launching later this year producing a line-up of hoppy beers and stouts to start.
Belleflower has now applied for a liquor license. In the cover letter submitted with the application they’ve indiciated that they will offer wine, cider and non-alcoholic drinks in addition to their house-made beer, and will have a changing menu of “pre-packaged snacks from local vendors”. The draft menu includes a cheese and charcuterie board from The Cheese Shop.
The C. Love Cookie Project is launching a baking academy to “offering women the skills needed to thrive in a professional pastry kitchen and lift immigrant women to the level they deserve.”
Accepted applicants will be shown the world of pastry through an intensive series of recipes with opportunities to express themselves through weekly recipe assignments. In addition to time learning in the CLBA kitchen, students will learn from various professionals in Portland’s baking and cafe community and enjoy having one-on-one time with the instructors. Recipes learned in class will be sold in C. Love’s retail space with students working on-site at the cafe.
Mr. Tuna is again expanding their first floor space in the Public Market House. This time owner Jordan Rubin is building out the area adjacent to Big Sky as a prep kitchen. This will provide Mr. Tuna with the space needed to breakdown and prepare tuna for use at the Mr. Tuna mobile units and at the Public Market House itself.
Also in the Public Market House, Maine Squeeze has shut down their juice bar. The window front space is now available for lease. A sign indicates that interested parties should reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
A new food truck called Iron Clad Eats (instagram) is under development with plans to launch the spring. Iron Clad is focused on serving tacos that draw inspiration from street food and regional favorites. They plan to deliver “big loud flavors…to bring fun and unique food to go to the mouths of Maine”.
Chef Joe McCluskey is working to launch the truck along with family members Dan McCluskey and Stephanie McCort. Joe McCluskey has worked at several restaurants in the Brunswick area, and Dan McCluskey and Stephanie McCort have experience in the events and tourism industry in New York City.
Follow Iron Clad Eats on instagram to follow along with their progress to an opening day and watch for their kickstarter launch later this month.
Amy Ng, Erin Zobitz, and Marcus Im are leasing a space in The Black Box container building on Washington Ave where they plan to open ONGGI Ferments & Foods (website, instagram) this spring.
Their goal is to make the cultures of fermentation more accessible and approachable. ONGGI will be a market for fermented food, a retail shop for fermentation equipment and a resource through classes and workshops to learn the skills to produce your own fermented foods at home.
Ng, Zobitz and Im describe themselves as having been “obsessed over ferments for years” and are excited to share their passion for the topic and to become part of the broader Portland food community. During 2020 they operated an online initiative called 100 Days of Ferments which featured their “own recipes daily, alongside contributing recipes from people all over the fermentation space”. Additionally, Im has apprenticed with James Beard award-winning author Sarah Owens and has worked for both Tonx Coffee and Blue Bottle Coffee.