Maine Community Cookbook 2022

The team that produced the Maine Bicentennial Community Cookbook are now working on a second volume which will contain more “recipes and stories that will continue the celebration of home cooking and the vibrant cultural tapestry of Maine”. As with their first volume the initiative will also raise money to fight hunger in Maine.

“The feedback we got from the first book was overwhelmingly positive, and at the same time, we heard from many people that they didn’t know we were collecting recipes. They wished that they could submit their family recipe or family food story,” says Karl Schatz, one of the book’s editors. “We know there are more great recipes and stories out there, and this is our chance to be even more inclusive.”

$2 from each book sold will be donated to non-profits with the goal of fighting food insecurity and inequity. The Maine Bicentennial Community Cookbook so far has raised and distributed more than $15,000 to 25 different organizations fighting hunger in all corners of the state.

Submit your recipe for Volume 2
Anyone with a connection to Maine can submit a recipe, food story, family photos or scans of recipe cards. A submission portal on the website,, will open on Mother’s Day, May 9, 2021 to receive submissions, and the team will continue to collect recipes and stories through Labor Day, 2021. Recipes can also be mailed to Maine Community Cookbook c/o Rabelais Books, 2 Main Street, Suite 18-214, Biddeford, Maine 04005.

The second volume  is expected to be published on April 15, 2022.

Soul Food Paradise Launching Friday

A new takeout restaurant called Soul Food Paradise (website, instagram) is launching this Friday. They’re operating out of Fork Food Lab, the food business incubator and commercial kitchen in Bayside.

Owner Martin Beavers is serving up a menu that includes oxtail, jerk chicken, fried catfish and smothered pork chops.

Our menu pays homage to the comfort foods my mother made for our large family growing up in the Bronx. Now we’re excited to bring these flavors to Maine. We invite you to give us a try and become apart of our extended family.

Online pre-ordering is live for pick-up on Friday and orders can also be placed on May 7th. The Soul Food Paradise menu will also be available for delivery through Doordash or Grubhub.

Buzz Coffee

A new food cart called Buzz Coffee (instagram) is in the final stages of development.

Owner Corey Koch and his friend Christopher Weiss are pursuing a dream of launching a cafe by taking the first step with a mobile coffee business. Buzz Coffee will be serving cold brew coffee from a hand-built pushcart throughout Portland. Beans for the cold brew are being sourced from Rwanda Bean in Portland and Buzz will be sourcing milks, honey and syrups locally as well.

They hope to launch Buzz Coffee on Saturday, May 15th at the Eastern Promenade open from 8 am to 1 pm.

Nibblesford in Biddeford

A new cheese shop and specialty market called Nibblesford (facebook, instagram, twitter) is under construction in Biddeford. Brothers Travis and Ian Kern hope to open Nibblesford early this summer.

Nibblesford will sell cheeses from a wide variety of Maine producers as well as Maine made culinary equipment and goods such as cutting boards, linens and knives. Nibblesford will be located at 5 Washington Street just on the other side of Shevenell Park next to Palace Diner.

Travis Kern has been working in the restaurant industry for 20+ years—his most recent position was as the chef de cuisine at Local 188. Ian Kern has moved to Maine from New York City where he managed the Mysterious Book Shop.

Portland Wine Week

The 3rd Annual Portland Wine Week (websitefacebookinstagramtwitter) is taking place this summer June 14th to 20th at various locations across the city. There are 38 events already on the calendar and more are being added every week.

Here are some of the highlights:

Follow Portland Wine Week on instagram to keep in the loop on new events as they’re announced.

Also check out the Sponsorship page on for opportunities to support Portland Wine Week overall or specific events on the program.

Stop AAPI Hate/Dough Something (Updated)

A growing number of Portland restaurants are working together to raise money for Stop AAPI Hate, an organization dedicated to addressing anti-Asian hate amid the pandemic.

May 16th through May 22nd participating restaurants will donate $1 for every order of the Stop AAPI Hate item on their menu. Already signed up for this program are:

Restaurants that want to take part should reach out to Krista Cole at Sur Lie ( You can also make a donation to Stop AAPI Hate online.

On a related note, Hilltop Coffee has announced they’ll be raising funds for Asian Americans Advancing Justice. During the month of May, $1 will be donated for every Green Goddess avocado toast purchased during the month at Hilltop. Hilltop’s initiative was inspired by the Dough Something project launched by Chicago pastry chef Beverly Kim.

You can also make a donation to Asian Americans Advancing Justice online.

2021 Food Trucks

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes a report on some of the new food trucks set to open this year.

By April, according to Portland city records, 21 food trucks had been licensed or renewed their licenses, with another 11 licenses pending. On top of that, nearly 15 newcomers have announced plans to hit the road this summer, serving tacos, fish and chips, vegan comfort food, lobster rolls, burritos and banh mi. That’s nearly 50 food trucks that will be roaming the Greater Portland area this summer. Why so many?

Restaurant Real Estate: May 2021

Welcome to the May 2021 edition of the Portland Food Map restaurant real estate listings sponsored by The Boulos Company. This monthly column gathers in one convenient place the spaces available in Portland that could be potential sites for restaurants and food producers/retailers to locate their next business.

Even in these tough times for the hospitality industry some people are pursuing their dreams and opening new food businesses. Finding the right spot is one of the crucial early challenges in launching a new business and hopefully this new resource will make that step just a little bit easier.

West End

101 York St – a 15,000 sq ft sub-dividable space in the new building on the corner of York and High Street is available for $15-20/sq ft (NNN). The space already has a hood vent and grease traps installed.

Arts District

555 Congress St – the former Five Fifty-Five building is for sale for $2,400,000.

605 Congress St – Two spaces in the State Theater Building is available. They are 543 sq ft and 2,685 sq ft and are listed at $25-35/sq ft (MG).


148 Anderson St – 3,000 sq ft in East Bayside located next to Tandem Coffee available for $17/sq ft (NNN).

170 Anderson St – 2,000 – 3,500 sq ft in East Bayside available for $15/sq ft (NNN).

15 Chestnut St – the 14,000 sq ft building that was the former home of Grace is for sale for $3,730,000.

84 Cove St – The 8,969 sq ft former Milk & Honey in Bayside is available for $13/sq ft (NNN).

360 Cumberland Ave – two spaces (900 sq ft on Cumbeerland Ave and 1,000 sq ft in a building set back from the street) are available for $24-25/sq ft (NNN).

178 Kennebec St – a new building under construction will have 1,800 – 5314 sq ft for lease at $30/sq ft (NNN).

23 Marginal Way – a 1,300 sq ft space in Century Plaza is available for $28/sq ft (NNN).

25 Portland St – 2 spaces in the Flat Iron Block (600 and 725 sq ft) ar available for $1,300 and $1,500/month respectively.

34 Portland St – the 4,256 sq ft building that was formerly occupied by Candy’s is available for $3,500/month.

24 Preble St – former location of Arcadia is available.

225 Oxford St – 600-2,000 sq ft of build to suit space in a new building for $25/sq ft (NNN).

Old Port

1 Commercial St – the original location of Benkay at the corner of Commercial and India Streets is available. The 2,494 sq ft is for lease at $35/sq ft (NNN).

266 Commercial St – 6,689 sq ft of new construction retail space will be available for $20-22/sq ft (NNN).

383 Commercial St – 4 street retail spaces will be available (1,631 – 1,971 sq ft) at $28/sq ft (NNN) in a new building under construction at the corner of Maple and Commercial Streets.

98 Cross St – a 991 sq ft retail space is available for $20/sq ft (MG).

18 Exchange St – 1,800 sq ft of retail space for lease at $6,950/month (MG).

425 Fore St – The former Five Guys is available. $2,900/sq ft and $40/sq ft (MG).

446 Fore St – 1,600 – 3,400 sq ft in the former Pearl space with entrances on Wharf and Fore Streets is available for $30-40/sq ft (MG).

40 Free St – A new building is under construction on Free Street by JB Brown. The first floor will have 4/5 storefronts ranging in size from 1,358 to 3,067 sq ft. The construction is expected to be completed in early 2021. The rate is $30/sq ft (NNN).

56 Hampshire St – a 1,450 sq ft space in the new condo building on Hampshire Street is available for $24/sq ft (NNN).

55 Market St – this 3,700 sq ft space on Market Street was formerly occupied by the Big Easy. It’s available for $24/sq ft (NNN).

28 Monument Square – the former Maine Squeeze juice bar in the Public Market House is for lease. Contact for more information. Also, the second floor space formerly occupied by Sichuan Kitchen is available, call (207) 939-0980 for information.

66 Pearl St – the 5,796 space formerly occupied by Bull Moose is available for $15.75/sq ft (MG).

2 Portland Square – the turnkey former Walter’s is on the market. 3,219 sq ft for $28/sq ft (MG).

3 Portland Square – This new building will include 2,500 – 20,000 square feet of retail space for$28.50/sq ft.

3 Spring St – the 2,554 – 3,500 sq ft former Lio space is available at $23/sq ft (NNN).

23 Temple St – this 947 sq ft is located in the same building as the Nickelodeon. It’s for lease at $25/sq ft (MG).

India/Washington Ave

100 Fore St – 2 retail spaces are available in a new building planned for Fore Street. 1,141 and 1,914 sq ft respectively, $27 – 30/sq ft (NNN).

Forest Ave

701 Forest Ave – this former Rite Aid building is being converted and has 4 retail spaces available for $20-25/sq ft (NNN).

1053 Forest Ave – the former Papa John’s on Forest Ave is available, 1,200 sq ft at $25/sq ft (NNN).

1190 Forest Ave – located right in the center of Morrill’s Corner. 3,000 – 5,082 sq ft at $12 – 20/sq ft (NNN).

1569 Forest Ave – a 1,400 sq ft “soon to be completed restaurant/retail building” is available on outer Forest Ave.


865 Brighton Ave – a 1,232 sq ft former gas station/quick market is for sale for $400,000.

1041 Brighton Ave – 1,500 -7,000 sq ft of space available in the strip mall that’s the longtime location of Panda Garden. The space is available for $10-13/sq ft (NNN).

118 Congress St – a 1,088 sq ft retail space on Munjoy Hill for $25/sq ft (NNN).

441 Congress St – The 2,400 sq ft former home of Guitar Grave across the street from 1 Monument Square is available for $20/sq ft.

469 Stevens Ave – the 850 sq ft space formerly occupied by Simply Scandinavian Foods is for lease for $1,500/month (MG).

Riverside Gold Course – the City of Portland is looking for someone interested in taking over the restaurant at the Riverside Golf Course.

Westgate Shopping Center – two spaces are for least at $17-37/sq ft (NNN).

23 Lincoln St, Biddeford – a 12,600 sq ft space divided equally on two floors, each floor has a kitchen with hoods is available for $11/sq ft (NNN). Contact Tony Delois for more information at

117 Route 1, Freeport – the former Conundrum building in Freeport is for sale for $1.2M.

111 Main St, Westbrook – the former Ruby Tuesday’s in Westbrook Crossing shopping plaza off of Brighton is for lease. Contact

Other Spaces – some vacated restaurant spaces haven’t yet been formerly listed for by the owner (e.g. Piccolo). Check the closing announcements for the latest information.


MG – Modified Gross which indicates that the operating expenses (taxes, insurance, maintenance, etc.) for the property are included in the lease rate. The tenant would pay its own utilities, which sometimes includes heat.

NNN – Triple Net which indicates that operating expenses are not included in the lease rate, and the tenant will pay them separately. They are often referred to as CAM (Common Area Maintenance) charges and taxes, which are expressed as $/sf. The tenant is also responsible for utilities.

Gross – Gross indicates all expenses including utilities are included in the lease rate. The tenant would be responsible for phone and internet access, as well as interior janitorial.

Jackrabbit Cafe in Biddeford

The opening of Jackrabbit Cafe (instagram) will take place this coming Friday on May 7th. The bakery and cafe from Elda (instagram) chef/co-owner Bowman Brown will “focus on Scandinavian-inspired breads and pastries as well as seasonal vegetable dishes, sandwiches, and heartier small plates”. Jackrabbit is located in the first floor of 14 Main Street in Biddeford. The second floor of the newly renovated building will be the future home of Elda when it re-opens (timing still TBD but likely this summer).

Here are some photos from both Jackrabbit and Elda. The picture above is of the Jackrabbit dining room, below you can see photos of co-owners Bowman and Anna Brown, Jackrabbit signage, the Russian dumplings and a cardamom bun. The bottom 4 pictures are of the new dining room and bar of Elda. The Browns worked with Carrie Dessertine of Mey & Co on the design of the cafe and restaurant.

Brown moved to Maine from Salt Lake City where he was the co-owner and chef of Forage. He was a Food & Wine Best New Chef in 2011. Additionally, Brown was six time Beard semifinalists in the Best Chef: Southwest from 2011 to 2016. Elda was named one of the Best New Restaurants in America by Bill Addison at Eater in 2018, and was the feature of a New York Times article in that same year.

Jackrabbit Cafe will be open Wednesday through Saturday 8:30 – 3.

Cheese Louise Opens Today

Cheese Louise (websitefacebookinstagram) is holding their grand opening today at 11 am. The restaurant is located at 363 Fore Street in the space formerly occupied by Cheevitdee. The menu includes 6 grilled cheese sandwich options which you can order online.

Cheese Louise was founded by  James Gaudreault, Ian Lubkin and Bryce Harrison as a food truck in New Hampshire and have two restaurants in Conway. Hours for the Old Port location will be Sunday through Thursday 11 – 9, and Friday/Saturday 11 – at least midnight.