Franklin Countys First News

New Ventures Maine awards marketing mini-grant in western Maine

The Sweet Life Kettle Corn. Left to right are two of the three co-owners: Janice Crandall and Erica Emery.

FARMINGTON - The Sweet Life Kettle Corn LLC of Farmington Falls and Four Pines Painting of Poland have been selected as New Ventures Maine’s spring 2018 Western Marketing Mini-Grant recipients. They were selected from a strong group of applicants from Androscoggin, Franklin, and Oxford counties.

Mother/daughter trio, Janice Crandall, Erica Emery, and Tabitha Mitchell, founded The Sweet Life Kettle Corn, LLC in 2015. They make small batch kettle corn stirred by hand. Their products can be found at farmer’s markets, community events, music events, and festivals in Maine. They are expanding their production capacity for wholesale distribution at new retail markets.

“We are so excited to be on the path to getting our kettle corn to larger wholesale accounts,” said Emery. They will use the Marketing Mini-grant to design and print new labels.

Four Pines Painting. Left to right are co-owners: Josh Niss, Kyle Harrington, Michael Banaitis, David Muise

Kyle Harrington, Josh Niss, David Muise and Mike Banaitis decided to form Four Pines Painting in 2018 after painting together for several years. They service both commercial and residential clients in Central, Southern and Western Maine. Together the team has over 30 years of painting experience. They will use the Marketing Mini-grant to design and print reusable signs that will raise brand awareness.

"We are grateful to New Ventures Maine for fostering the entrepreneurial spirit and awarding us this grant," said Muise. "The investment this grant allowed us to make was something we had wanted to do, but hadn't. This grant kicked started the process and helped us see this marketing endeavor through to completion."

New Ventures Maine’s Marketing Mini-Grant program aims to strengthen access to markets for micro-businesses by supporting the development of marketing tools, materials, and activities. The Mini-Grants are funded in part by Norway Savings Bank. The next competition will be held in fall 2018. For more information on Marketing Mini-Grants and NVME’s other tuition-free programs, classes, and resources visit or call 1-800-442-2092.

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