1 tsp salt. But that's still enough for a small export business. By 2019, we had purchased over $1,000,000 worth of Maine … I want to be done raising money. Amber Lambke, CEO of Maine Grains. Amber Lambke is president of the Somerset Grist Mill, LLC and its Maine Grains label, carried by specialty food stores and used by fine restaurants and bakeries throughout the Northeast. Maine Grains CEO Amber Lambke, of Skowhegan, to appear on Martha Stewart TV The episode was taped in September in New York and is to be aired sometime this fall. 1/2 cup melted butter. Business advising at the onset was made possible through the SBDC and CEI. Launched in 2020, the initiative supports local teams working together to improve economic outcomes for all people in Maine’s towns, cities, and rural communities. “You have to be on your toes constantly, tying shoes, putting on sunscreen and thinking of the next thing,” Scholz told Mainebiz, speaking from his Old Town kayak off the shore of the camp. To Scholz, Lambke's infectious smile and ability to multitask hearkens back to when he first met her at Pine Tree Camp for the disabled on the shore of North Pond in Rome, where they both were volunteers. Maine, USA Fun fact: In the 1830s, a single town in Maine produced more than 239,000 bushels of wheat (that’s enough for 100,000 people!). Maine Grains, located in downtown Skowhegan, is now home to other businesses and is a prime example of the town’s growth and community revitalization efforts. Housed in a Victorian-era jailhouse the Somerset Grist Mill / Maine Grains sources grains from local farmers, and has fostered the creation of a CSA and a farmer's market that provides local produce to area residents. We sell to bakers, brewers, and chefs throughout the Northeast. Michael speaks with Amber Lambke, Founder/Owner of Maine Grains about working with local farmers and the Community to provide Brewers, Bakers and Chefs with quality grain. All are part of an active effort to revitalize downtown Skowhegan, as well as to attract more young farmers to the state. She became a co-founder of the first Kneading Conference in 2007, she says, “To bring millers, farmers and others together to help revive the regional economy.” She had met her husband, who is a doctor, at a contra dance in North Whitefield and moved to Skowhegan in 2001, at first keeping her profession as a speech pathologist, and then gaining interest in the artisan baking and local food movements. Amber is the founder and president of Maine Grains, Inc., which can be found in specialty food stores and is used by bakeries, breweries, and restaurants throughout the Northeast. After four years of operations, the company currently works with 36 farmers, a number which has doubled every year, and sources 90% of its grains from farms in Maine, with preference given to non-GMO, organic grains. 1 cup milk - or milk substitute. 3 cups Maine Grains Rolled Oats. In 2009 Amber Lambke & Michael Scholz purchased the old 14,000 square foot Victorian jailhouse for 65k (!) When trying to source local ingredients, they all agreed that grains were difficult to find, and local milling infrastructure had long been abandoned. She had previously talked with Eimskip, which told her it needed backhaul to Europe and informed her about the trade mission. Adds Lambke, “There was some well-founded skepticism,” from senior members of the community, but ultimately she says she received tremendous community support. The mill's light pine exterior and wooden, hand-twist adjustment levers mask the sheer might needed to make artisan bread flour. It's a small world of stone millers out there and we share tips and stories,” Lambke says. “She looks for ways to solve problems.”. Maine, USA Fun fact: In the 1830s, a single town in Maine produced more than 239,000 bushels of wheat (that’s enough for 100,000 people!). Kneading brings together grain growers, bakers, oven builders, and the like, to put some serious momentum behind reviving the grain economy here in Maine and beyond. They bought the 14,000-square-foot building from the county for $65,000, and raised and spent $1.6 million to build it into its current configuration, which includes the grist mill occupying about one-third of the building, a separate yarn shop and an outdoor coffee shop. Maine Grains specializes in freshly milled, organic and heritage grains for stoneground flour and rolled oats. The machine's arrival a year or so ago from Austria both thrilled and scared Lambke, who is president, and co-owner Mike Scholz, who is vice president. Business Loans for Maine’s Coastal Counties. Amber Lambke realized that the missing link in the grain chain was a local mill – so she decided to create the Somerset Grist Mill. That way, the truckers get paid both ways. The Working Communities Challenge advances local collaborative efforts that build strong, healthy economies and communities in Maine’s rural towns, regions, and smaller cities.  All jobs are filled by local residents and with milling expertise such a rare commodity, Maine Grains integrates on-the-job-training for all milling jobs. “I realized I could be the eyes and ears for Maine's local foods.” Iceland imports a majority of its food. At the grist mill, that means talking to the truck drivers who bring the grain and helping them get something to haul on the way back, like sawdust for Sappi. Her business model is to reach New York City and the rest of the Northeast, distributing through Crown O'Maine and others. Maine Grains co-founder Amber Lambke didn’t have a background in farming or food before opening in 2012; she used to be a speech pathologist. Maine Grains – Amber Lambke, CEO & President; Rob Tod – Allagash Brewing Company, Founder; Nancy Harmon Jenkins – Cookbook Author and Chef Sara Jenkins – Nina June restaurant, Owner; Split Rock Distilling – Topher Mallory and Matthew Page, Co-founders Linda Greenlaw – New York Times bestselling author and swordfish Captain. “Amber has played a big role in the development of Maine’s brewing scene,” said Tod. The people of Maine are just like our landscape- rugged, resilient & industrious. 207-504-5900. Forgot your Maine Grains also partners with the UMaine Cooperative Extension to facilitate grain education among farmers. Down Arrow (light) Good for the economy, good for our crust, good for people. The CEI family of organizations will be closed December 25th - January 1 and will reopen on January 4. What was the biggest challenge of your career? Maine Grains Contact: Amber Lambke & Michael Scholz Address: 42 Court Street Skowhegan, ME, 04976 Email Address: info@mainegrains.com Phone: 207-474-8001 Website: https://www.mainegrains.com. That also would open up the gluten-free market, which she says could double her staff, along with selling online. Positions including six milling staff, a bookkeeper, salespeople, a customer service representative, and an operations manager are in the lot. The grains milled at the facility are sold widely among purveyors in brewing and natural food industries, offering a nutritious, flavorful, and locally milled product. Coastal Enterprises, Inc. is an equal opportunity lender, provider, and employer. As Amber Lambke, the founder and chief executive of Maine Grains, told me, there’s more to that vision than selling a fancy type of flour. We invite you to join Amber Lambke, CEO & Founder of Maine Grains and Kerry Hanney, founder, owner, and baker behind Night Moves, as they discuss baking with heritage grains, sourdough and stone-ground flours. Amber Lambke smiles like a proud parent at the Osttiroler Getreidemühlen Green grain mill that occupies most of the second floor of the Somerset Grist Mill in … She was leading a tour of 70 or so artisan bread (which she defines as high quality) makers and aficionados who had come for the two-day Kneading Conference and the Maine Artisan Bread Fair, and eagerly answering detailed questions about the how the grist mill works. When did you know you'd made it? We fix what’s broken. Amber Waves of Regional Grain There are many community grains, produced, processed, and distributed within local and regional value chains that remain intact despite the pandemic. To raise twice as much money as you think you'll need. In 2012, she identified a highly visible old Victorian jailhouse in historic downtown Skowhegan in which to establish Maine Grains. “The shipping for us would be no more complicated than getting our product to New York City.”, “I left Iceland feeling like we can continue talking to them about value-added whole grains,” she says. © 2021 Coastal Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Breaking down the walls in the former jail was no small task, as they were three feet thick. Best wishes for a happy holiday. moments. As a Skowhegan resident, Amber found herself actively volunteering with downtown revitalization projects. Maine Grains specializes in freshly milled, organic and heritage grains for stoneground flour and rolled oats, selling to bakers, brewers, and chefs throughout the Northeast. See Amber bake with Martha Stewart! She's attentive to what needs to be done around her, and helps those who need it, to improve the world around her.”. Her funding strategy has been to find what she calls “slow investors,” those who defer principal and interest for the first five years, charge a low interest of around 5% and who believe in strengthening the food system. The lot, about a quarter acre in size, was listed for sale by the SEDC in August 2018, shortly after the historic Kennebec Inn was torn down. Maine Grains innovative leap Skowhegan 1018 Amber Lambke, left, and Jeff Hewett on Thursday show off the lot where the historic Kennebec Valley Inn once … “When someone from elsewhere comes to a small town in Maine and shakes things up, it can put people's noses out of joint,” says Scholz. We're still working to break even. What advice do you wish you'd gotten early in your career? In 2012 Maine Grains began production. What was your 'Haven't we moved beyond this' moment? “ Here at The Miller’s Table, we love to play with dough made with Maine Grains freshly milled flour and baked in our wood-fired oven. Talk to me in 10 years. 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