Business cooperative opening in Winter Harbor

WINTER HARBOR — A business cooperative is opening this summer at the former Masonic Hall on Main Street.

The idea is to draw people to the area and give businesses — among them artists working out of remote studios — a central location to display their work.

Wendilee Heath O’Brien, a local artist and owner of whopaints, and Bob Hammond, owner of Whitmer-Hammond Antiques, are helping to organize the co-op.

They say they have enrolled 15 enterprises and are at capacity.

Others participating in the co-op will sell flowers, play music and offer sandwiches and baked goods for sale.

O’Brien said the space is being donated by owner Jonathan Okum of Winter Harbor.

“He’d like to see the building being used and help revitalize the downtown,” she said.

Established businesses are expected to pay $75 in dues each month and work one day a month.

Fledgling enterprises will pay $25 per month and work three days.

“We’re really set up for generous spirited people who will promote each other’s work,” O’Brien said.

“We hope it will be a hopping place. We’re pulling out of the woodwork people who can’t afford a storefront.”

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Jacqueline Weaver

Jacqueline Weaver

Reporter at The Ellsworth American
Jacqueline's beat covers the eastern Hancock County towns of Lamoine through Gouldsboro as well as Steuben in Washington County. She was a reporter for the New York Times, United Press International and Reuters before moving to Maine. She also publicized medical research at Yale School of Medicine and scientific findings at Yale University for nine years.[email protected]