Portland Buy Local is led by the incredible energy of the following individuals.
Our Board of Directors:
STACY BEGIN, Owner, Two Fat Cats Bakery; President, Portland Buy Local
My Portland is: Vibrant, buzzing, welcoming
How did you get here? From Waterville, Maine, to New York, to St. Louis to Portalnd, Maine! I’ve lived in Portland longer than any other place.
Why do YOU buy local? I buy local because I love small businesses – I love the people who run/own small businesses, I love discovering new items, but mostly I think small businesses add richness, variety and even a neighborliness to the community. Buying local ensures a vibrant, colorful and ever changing community!
JOHN CRANE, General Manager, Portland Food Co-op
My Portland is: Imaginative, resilient, gracious
How did you get here? I first experienced Portland in the early 90s while attending USM. That Portland was a “less refined” version of its current self. Nonetheless, I enjoyed my time here. After living in Boston, Albuquerque, and two other places in Maine, I jumped at the chance to return to Portland in 2011. It feels more like home than any other place I have lived.
Why do YOU Buy Local? Both my parents and grandparents owned small grocery stores in eastern Maine. I grew up understanding that spending your money at a local business directly supports the owners, workers, and their families, and that this support matters. Supporting local businesses encourages community development and empowerment.
KELLY FERNALD, Individual Member, Vice President, Portland Buy Local
My Portland is: Hearty, salty, sweet
How did you get here? I came to Portland in 1982 to finish up my last 2 years of college at USM and have essentially been here ever since. I grew up on an island off the coast about 3 1/2 hours north so it was a big deal to move to Portland. Once I made the move my father’s regular greeting to me became “well hello you sweet gal from the big city.” Yes, Portland was THE big city! It’s going on 22 years now since I opened my first store in Portland and though my current store has gone through several evolutions, I still have many of the same customers. They are my community!
Why do YOU Buy Local? Towns and cities without a thriving small business community feel bleak and soulless to me. The thought of Portland becoming a generic, “anywhere USA” city terrifies me! Our small businesses are a major part of what gives Portland its character, soul and unique personality. I very much want to support the continued development of Portland’s already great character.
LENA GERAGHTY, Individual Member; Treasurer, Portland Buy Local
My Portland is: Delicious, scenic, engaged
How did you get here? When I met my now-husband in San Francisco, we quickly realized we had both lived in Southern Maine summer 2010. We immediately got to scheming how to get back to Vactionland full time. We settled in Portland in 2016 and still consistently pinch ourselves to make sure it’s real.
Why do YOU Buy Local? Without our small business community, Portland could feel like any other place. I buy local to make sure Portland continues to be that special place I fell in love with and to support the people with small local businesses who enjoy it just as much as I do.
EMILY BROADBENT, Individual Member; Secretary, Portland Buy Local
My Portland is: Vibrant, Welcoming, Innovative
How did you get here? I was one of those people that had “live in either Portland” on my bucket list, and after school in Chicago, Maine was closer to my family in PA than the West Coast was. My first job in Portland was at Coffee By Design, so I was introduced to Portland Buy Local early on, and the overwhelming local support for independently owned businesses played a huge role in my growing love for the area.
Why do YOU buy local? I think everyone has a dream of their ideal job, or what they’d do with their time if they could do anything. There are so many people in Portland who turn that dream into a reality by opening their own business, and they’re what make our community the incredible place that it is. Buying local helps these types of businesses to thrive, and helps local people continue to bring their dreams to life.
HEATHER CASTON-TALBOT, Account Executive, Clark Insurance
My Portland is: Diverse, Collaborative & Growing
How did you get here? I was lucky enough to be born and raised here in Portland. I’ve spent time in other parts of Greater Portland throughout my years and likely will into the future, but I will always consider myself a Portlander.
Why do YOU buy local? I buy local to support my friends, family, neighbors and the community in general. Small business is at the heart of every community and I believe it’s why Portland is the amazing city it is.
TOM GANGEWER, Owner, Local Economy
My Portland is: lived in, approachable, and welcoming.
How did you get here? I moved to Portland in 1998. I was working for the Seattle Times when they purchased the Portland Press Herald, and I became Controller of the Press Herald when the purchase was finalized.
Why do YOU buy local? Because I want my money to stay in my community. Because I want to support small business owners who take huge risks when they give up employer-paid insurance and regular paychecks to follow their dreams, but in doing so make our city the special place that it is. Because when I walk into big box stores and see miles and miles of fast-fashion and miscellaneous merchandise it makes me wonder where it came from and where it will end up.
AMY LANDRY, Communications Director, Benchmark Real Estate
My Portland is: Growing, Desirable, Welcoming
How did you get here: I grew up in Midcoast Maine and moved to Portland to attend USM. When I was ready to transfer and move to the West Coast, I met a handsome stranger who liked to fix up and sell old houses. I stayed instead and now 20 years later we work together in the locally-owned company he built.
Why do YOU buy local? Coming from Maine, so many other towns and cities felt so inauthentic. It’s just a fact that locally-owned businesses pour more back into the local economy than big box stores, chains, and franchises. They are also one of the reasons we’re seeing a boom in the housing market here. People and the companies that employ them want to be near the unique amenities and value the quality of life our local business community provides. I don’t want us to lose any of that.
Our Advisory Board:
MARY ALLEN LINDEMANN, Co-Owner, Coffee By Design; A Founding Member, Portland Buy Local
JENN THOMPSON, Previous Director, Portland Buy Local