By 2019, we had purchased over $1,000,000 worth of Maine … Skowhegan, Maine 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 … The CEI family of organizations will be closed December 25th - January 1 and will reopen on January 4. There are other opportunities, like selling grain to fish farms, and for other Maine businesses like farms and fish. 1 cup brown sugar or preferred sweetener (liquid may change baking time) 2 eggs lightly beaten. 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. All are part of an active effort to revitalize downtown Skowhegan, as well as to attract more young farmers to the state. Niche mills that were set up on farms had fragile infrastructure, and models of Midwestern operations were of mass scale; there was nothing in-between. Amber Lambke, CEO of Maine Grains. We fix what’s broken. CEO Maine Grains. Create a new password. When did you know you'd made it? She recently visited her birthplace, Iceland, on a trade mission to that country with Gov. Best wishes for a happy holiday. LePage and others. I'd never started a business before, and I was reviving an infrastructure that didn't exist [the mill occupies the former county jail]. 1 cup milk - or milk substitute. Maine Grain Alliance 2078585144 kayla@mainegrainalliance.com. The large parking lot hosts a local farmers market, and commercial space in the mill is rented to tenants including a local foods café, a yarn shop, and a radio station. Maine Grains processes grains naturally, using no water, and ultimately creating products and byproducts that are a valuable local resource. password ? Our privacy policy, 400 Congress Street, P.O. Rob Tod, Founder/Brewer of Allagash Brewing Co. was one of Maine Grains first brewery customers. 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. Raising more money. Please do not leave this page until complete. It didn't help that Amber wasn't born and raised locally. “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. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. “We bought a stone mill from Austria and it came with very rudimentary instructions. A farmer's market runs in the parking lot next to it on weekends. with the intention of turning it into a gristmill. Amber Lambke realized that the missing link in the grain chain was a local mill – so she decided to create the Somerset Grist Mill. 207-504-5900. Lambke's ambitions continue to run wide. Ingredients. Paul LePage. Maine Grains also partners with the UMaine Cooperative Extension to facilitate grain education among farmers. 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. 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. I want to be done raising money. While the mill now has enough space, Lambke foresees a time when it may expand capacity so oats and wheat aren't processed in the same facility. The bakeries however, generally wanted flour, not grain, limiting the market. Amber Lambke helped start the Kneading Conference in 2007 to bring farmers, millers, bread bakers, and researchers together to reinvigorate Maine’s grain economy. One of the lead organizers behind the event is Amber Lambke, executive director of the Maine Grain Alliance and co-owner of the Somerset Grist Mill … There still are unoccupied sections on the top floor of the building with cell blocks. Our privacy policy, To ensure the best experience on our website, articles cannot be read without allowing cookies. She had previously talked with Eimskip, which told her it needed backhaul to Europe and informed her about the trade mission. Mustering the courage to tackle a project of this magnitude. “I realized I could be the eyes and ears for Maine's local foods.” Iceland imports a majority of its food. I'll relax when …? The Book of Lists is an annual publication that the Maine business community looks for every year. Her dad was in the Navy, and after stints in California, West Virginia and then Maine, he worked for Bath Iron Works for more than 20 years. 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. “Iceland doesn't grow much grain, so this is a product they lack,” she says. The mill also potentially could process spelt, buckwheat, barley and other grains. That also would open up the gluten-free market, which she says could double her staff, along with selling online. Learn about the new generation of thought leaders, farmers, & food producers revitalizing our grain economy, from the ground up. The U.S. organic grain production is still only about 1 million acres total, and Maine has about 2,500 total acres of that, she says, quoting numbers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. When trying to source local ingredients, they all agreed that grains were difficult to find, and local milling infrastructure had long been abandoned. What was your 'Haven't we moved beyond this' moment? But there was, perhaps, an element of predestination: She’s since learned from a German baker that her maiden name, … 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. 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. Down Arrow (light) Good for the economy, good for our crust, good for people. Mainebiz researches companies, executives, and transactions in many industries then they rank them by various factors. Coastal Enterprises, Inc. is an equal opportunity lender, provider, and employer. moments. Business Loans for Maine’s Coastal Counties. Breaking down the walls in the former jail was no small task, as they were three feet thick. Mainebiz brings together Maine’s best to share their expertise, insight, knowledge, and experience on a variety of topics that business owners and managers need to know more about. © 2021 Coastal Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Box 4726, Portland, ME 04112, The 2020 Mainebiz Health Care Virtual Forum, The Five on the Future Virtual Forum 2021, New round of PPP loans has big changes from 2020 version, Former merchant mariner finds self-storage sector is lucrative ‘chapter two’, 'Bring it on!’: What 12 Maine business movers and shakers resolve to do in 2021, Here are the top 10 most-read real estate stories of 2020, Developer converts Saco Island office space to apartments to meet surging rental demand, Darling's Auto Group expands south with purchase of Brunswick dealership. 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. Founders Amber Lambke and Michael Sholz started the company in hopes that they could reclaim these lost roots by collaborating with everyone involved in the process—from farmer to baker. That skill was particularly needed when Maine Grains went to the town of Skowhegan to buy the former county jail and turn it into the grist mill. Sourcing, Milling & Baking with Heritage Grains. With the investments Maine Grains received, including CEI’s seed equity investment, 11 new jobs have been created. Amber worked closely with Janet Roderick, CEI Business Advisor, with early stage business planning, developing a narrative, crunching numbers, and identifying and writing grants. 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. It's a small world of stone millers out there and we share tips and stories,” Lambke says. In an article by Maine Insights, Amber Lambke, CEO of Maine Grains, whom I spoke to for this post, explains how grain has been a prevalent practice in New England. In 2007 she developed and hosted the first annual Kneading Conference which brought together farmers, millers, bakers, and other artisans of the like. 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.  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. COASTAL ENTERPRISES, INC. Innovation and investment in rural America. Due to our new system upgrade, we are requesting all existing users to update their password. The renovated facility is MOFGA organic-certified, and functions as a zero-waste operation. Video “Maineland“, by Stephen Parkhurst, Business Insider Bring […] And when she discovered that many of the drivers had never tried the grain they were delivering, she gave them some. 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. They realized quickly they didn't know whether the machine was operating properly. The tall structure had the height necessary for gravity-feed milling, and already had a fully-functional commercial kitchen. To raise twice as much money as you think you'll need. Inside its simplistic shell are two, four-foot diameter grinding stones whose outer eight inches rub and mash wheat from a dozen farms, mostly from The County, until it is fine, after which it goes through an even finer sieve before it is bagged. 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. 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. 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!). 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. 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. We wanted to know if it sounded right, so we called a baker in California who we had been corresponding with, Dave Miller, and we went back and forth, holding the phone up to the mill and asking, 'Does this sound right, is this how it's supposed to sound?' Adds Lambke, “There was some well-founded skepticism,” from senior members of the community, but ultimately she says she received tremendous community support. The people of Maine are just like our landscape- rugged, resilient & industrious. I don't like feeling indebted to people, and I don't like to ask for things, but this project has required me to ask for a lot of help. You can also login or register for a free account. We hope to be profitable this year. Click here for a list of COVID-19 Business Resources. 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. Managing Owner Miller's Table Cafe. 30 Federal Street, Suite 100 The Giving Guide helps nonprofits have the opportunity to showcase and differentiate their organizations so that businesses better understand how they can contribute to a nonprofit’s mission and work. Watch the preview of “Martha Bakes” Oats episode here and check your local listings for showtimes. That way, the truckers get paid both ways. Find our Martha inspired Oats Trio Pack, and check out the tasty recipes featured on this episode: Giant Cowboy Cookies and our own Honeymoon Oat Cakes! 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!). “That translates into the rest of life. There is one mill in Denmark that makes white flour, but no one is making stone ground or organic flours. 1 tsp salt. 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. She and Scholz, an artisan baker looking for the perfect flour, decided to start a mill, and were looking for a site when they found the old county jail building, which was occupied until 2009, was for sale. She is also a founding member of the Maine Grains Alliance. “Amber has played a big role in the development of Maine’s brewing scene,” said Tod. The local mill is … Farmers began to grow wheat, corn, oats, and rye and sell the grains to bakeries in Maine. It was a busy few days for Lambke, who helped organize the conference and fair, as well as the mill tour for the public and later a private tour for Gov. About Us. 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. But that's still enough for a small export business. 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. 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 … 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 … Amber Lambke never imagined that she would be a key visionary leader behind a small town’s economic revitalization, and eventually the CEO and President of a large manufacturing facility. … Produce Produce For Better Health Foundation Commends U.S. The conference established a conversation around revitalizing a grain economy in Maine. Please allow cookies to continue reading. As a Skowhegan resident, Amber found herself actively volunteering with downtown revitalization projects. We're still working to break even. 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 downtown Skowhegan, where her company, Maine Grains, stone grinds organic wheat and oats to sell throughout the Northeast. Maine Grains specializes in freshly milled, organic and heritage grains for stoneground flour and rolled oats. In order to use this feature, we need some information from you. But we also have launched hopefulness and risk-taking into this town, so in that respect I already feel successful. “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. She also received a $40,000 grant from the Quimby Family Foundation. Amber stepped in once again, spurred on by a passion for her community. “Having a growing startup business in need of more personnel support has allowed us to identify key people in the community,” said Amber. Brunswick, ME 04011 I try to relax every day. Maine Grains, housed at the former Somerset County Jail at 42 Court St., announced earlier in October that Amber Lambke, CEO and co-owner, is … “Amber is a very positive person. “ 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. “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. Lambke still struggles with the question of who can buy the locally made food, as 51% of the local area population qualifies for food assistance. “She looks for ways to solve problems.”. 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. Amber Lambke, CEO and President of Maine Grains (photo by Lily Piel) Amber Lambke never imagined that she would be a key visionary leader behind a small town’s economic revitalization, and eventually the CEO and President of a large manufacturing facility. In 2009 Amber Lambke & Michael Scholz purchased the old 14,000 square foot Victorian jailhouse for 65k (!) Business advising at the onset was made possible through the SBDC and CEI. But I'll relax when we break even and then become profitable so we can repay our loans. She's attentive to what needs to be done around her, and helps those who need it, to improve the world around her.”. 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. Upgrade, we had purchased over $ 1,000,000 worth of Maine Grains is a product lack. 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