December 8, 2022

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Christmas tree enterprise proprietor wins ,000 in entrepreneur contest

Christmas tree enterprise proprietor wins $5,000 in entrepreneur contest

Christmas tree enterprise proprietor wins ,000 in entrepreneur contest

Matt Quinn of Cornville touts plans for his Christmas tree enterprise Saturday as a part of the Enterprise Lab Ultimate Pitch Contest on the Skowhegan Heart for Entrepreneurship. Quinn’s presentation received $5,000 from Skowhegan Financial savings Financial institution. Amy Calder/Morning Sentinel

SKOWHEGAN — Matt Quinn stood confidently in entrance of his viewers Saturday, touting the advantages of his enterprise, Cornville Christmas Tree Firm LLC.

He instantly drew laughter as he disputed the declare of a former speaker who stated cash doesn’t develop on bushes.

“I’m right here to inform you that it does,” he stated.

Quinn, 43, and a handful of different entrepreneurs or aspiring entrepreneurs, had been competing for a $5,000 prize as a part of the primary Enterprise Lab Ultimate Pitch Contest offered by Fundamental Avenue Skowhegan. They stood earlier than an viewers of about 30, together with three judges, on the Skowhegan Heart for Entrepreneurship, to pitch their enterprise concepts.

Quinn, who later was introduced the winner, already owns the Christmas tree enterprise, which operates Quinn Tree Farm, however he’s working to develop it. He stated if he had been to be awarded the $5,000 Skowhegan Financial savings Financial institution pitched in because the prize, he would purchase a tree shaker, which shakes undesirable objects akin to dry needles from the bushes, and a wreath-making machine, which might save money and time. The financial institution sponsored Saturday’s occasion.

In his enthusiastic and entertaining presentation, Quinn stated his father, Jeffrey, instilled in him a love of horticulture, and family and friends present up each November and December to assist get the bushes out to the place they should go.

“You have got a Christmas tree stand, you want a Christmas tree,” he stated. “We’re providing a spot for your loved ones to make reminiscences.”

Quinn, who has been a full-time Skowhegan firefighter for seven years and a volunteer 16 years earlier than that, stated his buyer base is primarily folks inside a couple of 25-mile radius.

“They arrive to the farm, they lower down their bushes they usually’re pleased,” he stated.

The farm sells about 1,200 bushes wholesale and people are offered and bought by folks all up and down the East coast.

“We’re an environmentally pleasant, environmentally sustainable, enterprise,” Quinn stated.

An acre of bushes produces sufficient oxygen for 18 folks a day and gives habitat for songbirds, deer, squirrels, skunks, wasps, bees and different animals, he stated. The farm crops two to 3 seedlings for each tree it harvests and final 12 months, Quinn stated, he planted 2,500 bushes and grossed $35,000 in gross sales of not solely bushes, however wreaths, garlands and associated objects. This 12 months, he hopes to gross $65,000. He stated he is also on the lookout for extra land to develop bushes on and he doesn’t should personal the land. Landowners get a share of earnings.

Quinn and the opposite contestants had spent seven earlier Saturdays taking a course on the Skowhegan Heart for Entrepreneurship, which opened in April at 181 Water St. and is a program of Fundamental Avenue Skowhegan. They listened to audio system and discovered about enterprise imaginative and prescient, mission and values, in addition to finance and accounting, advertising and marketing prospects, gross sales and undertaking administration. Additionally they practiced their enterprise pitches. The course facilitator was Patric Moore, enterprise relations supervisor for Skowhegan Fundamental Avenue.

“They’ve been placing in a number of work over the seven weeks,” Moore stated after Saturday’s occasion.

Different contestants Saturday had been Heather Hutchins, who owns a salon however pitched a brand new enterprise, Rock Backside Cafe, which she stated can be a snug espresso lounge that provides a fast, home made breakfast, with inside and out of doors seating; Joe Almand, who’s creating Joe’s Flat Iron Cafe within the former Paper Klip house in downtown Skowhegan and stated he was not eligible for the $5,000 prize as a result of he’s on the board of administrators for Fundamental Avenue Skowhegan and Moore is his landlord; Noah Sixberry, proprietor of Sixberry Options, a digital advertising and marketing company specializing in search engine marketing, enterprise profile administration and social media administration; and Sara Forbus, who desires to start out a touring meals truck with home made fare that she would arrange at sporting occasions, weddings, festivals and for firms.

Kristina Cannon, government director of Fundamental Avenue Skowhegan, welcomed the contributors and viewers members Saturday, explaining that Fundamental Avenue is a nonprofit working to assist revitalize Skowhegan, and that features supporting companies and entrepreneurs in order that they thrive.

“There’s quite a few issues we’re engaged on to assist increase our ecosystem for entrepreneurs and companies,” Cannon stated.

She stated extra companies and potential companies will take the middle’s course, which is able to proceed to work with companies after they full it.

“We’re actually thrilled that Skowhegan Financial savings Financial institution stated, ‘Sure, we’ll help you once more,’” she stated.

Saturday’s judges had been Angel Fast, the financial institution’s vp of treasury and financial institution providers, who introduced the winner; Peter Piconi of the Maine Small Enterprise Improvement Heart; and Kim Kennedy, who’s in enterprise administration and a school member at Kennebec Valley Neighborhood School in Fairfield.

Almand, the husband of Skowhegan City Supervisor Christine Almand, stated in his pitch that on July 26 he fell 25 toes into the Kennebec River Gorge, which led to the tip of his profession as a firefighter. He broke a bone in his face, in addition to three ribs and each wrists and he sustained different accidents, together with a major mind damage.

“That made me should make new selections,” he stated of his plan to open a restaurant downtown.

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