HANCOCK — Sullivan Harbor Farm Smokehouse, a smoked salmon retailer that was shut down several years ago after losing its license from the Food and Drug Administration, is set to reopen at the end of March.
The reopening had been delayed by the federal government shutdown in December, but on Tuesday, owner Leslie Harlow celebrated by hosting a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“Our objective three years ago was to make everything compliant and safe, but still have that artisanal quality,” Harlow said. “It’s been a lot of hard work, but we’re excited to be back in business.”
Harlow reminisced about founding the business in 1992 with her former husband in a 200-year-old barn.
They moved to their current location in 2004, but from 2013-2015 two former employees embezzled thousands of dollars and failed to file paperwork with the FDA, causing the business to be shut down in 2016.
After that, Harlow bought out her former husband and co-owner, and began the process of getting back on track. Set to open in January, the government shutdown prevented the FDA from granting a license, and Harlow noted that U.S. Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) had used them as an example of a business affected by the shutdown.
“I didn’t do it alone,” said Harlow, untying her own ceremonial knot with her employees using a line of rope from her boat. “So I want to thank everyone who has helped. They’ve been invaluable to me. We just did our first cure this week and we’re excited to open.”