For a couple in Maine, calling a Grange Hall home means financial freedom

Feb 23, 2024
With the goal of living mortgage-free, "I really knew that I would go anywhere and I would live in anything," Kate Mill says.
After living in Nashville, Tennessee, for 23 years, Henry Pile and Kate Mills bought this  Grange Hall in Livermore Falls, Maine.
Courtesy Henry Pile

Feeling burnt out from COVID-19, one nurse turned to chainsaw art

Nov 6, 2023
"I got that first chainsaw and, I don't know, I just felt right at home," says Taylor White, a chainsaw carver in Maine.
One of White's most recent projects was a 10-foot-tall grizzly bear carving.
Courtesy Taylor White

Understanding Maine's "yellow flag" gun law

Maine's gun laws are under scrutiny after the deadliest mass shooting in the state's history.
Maine's yellow flag law requires a medical practitioner to agree that a person is at risk before police seize firearms from them. Recent reporting finds that the law is underused. Above, the scene near one of the mass shooting sites in Lewiston.
Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

Islamic home financing expanding in the U.S., opening doors for Muslim homebuyers

Sep 18, 2023
Islamic finance offers alternatives to conventional loans and mortgages to comply with a religious prohibition on interest, which is seen as financial exploitation.
Sophie Mutamuliza, seated in purple headscarf, and her husband, Adam Abeza, standing, with their four children outside the family's home in Maine this summer. The family was one of the first to close on a home using Maine-based Androscoggin Bank's new Islamic mortgage solution.
Ari Snider

Revisiting a revitalized Waterville, Maine

Sep 12, 2023
In 2010, this town was a picture of economic devastation. Reinvestment brought Main Street back to life.
On a street where long-empty clothing stores once stood, a multi-million dollar hotel has opened. It's all part of a push for economic reinvestment in Waterville's Main Street.
David Brancaccio/Marketplace

Consumer spending is “all over the place,” chocolate shop owner says

Jul 7, 2023
Even with erratic demand, this Maine chocolatier is optimistic about a strong year for her business.
Dean's Sweets in Portland, Maine, is looking forward to a busy summer.
Melissa Mullen Photography

Valentine's Day chocolate sales were strong ... but it'd be helpful if you shopped earlier

Feb 17, 2023
"It's fun but it's difficult to know how much to make when everyone comes in on the same day," said Kristin Thalheimer Bingham, co-owner of Dean's Sweets in Portland, Maine.
Of all the holidays, Valentine's Day is the biggest chocolate-seller for Dean's Sweets.
Courtesy Melissa Mullen Photography

For public good, not for profit.

For this Maine chocolatier, costs are starting to cool down

Jan 12, 2023
After raising prices last fall, Kristin Thalheimer Bingham, co-owner of Dean's Sweets, describes her expenses and product pricing.
"Our biggest challenge going forward is to get our inventory back up and ready for Valentine's Day," said Kristin Thalheimer Bingham, co-owner of Dean's Sweets. Above, nonpareils from the shop.
Melissa Mullen Photography

Maine chocolatiers resist raising prices as holiday sales begin

Sep 26, 2022
Kristin Thalheimer Bingham, co-owner of Dean's Sweets in Portland, talks about preparing for the holidays and rising costs.
"We are resisting, really resisting price increases," says Kristin Thalheimer Bingham of Dean's Sweets in Portland, Maine.
Melissa Mullen Photography

For this Maine chocolatier, labor is the "No. 1 cost to stay competitive"

Jul 13, 2022
"To keep our great team, we have raised our wages significantly," said Kristin Thalheimer Bingham, co-owner of Dean's Sweets in Portland, Maine.
Chocolate "bombs" being prepared at Dean's Sweets in Portland, Maine.
Kaitlin Toto Photography