Maine Made Gifts: Swans Island Company

Maine Made woven wedding gifts | Photo by Sharyn Peavey

We are so blessed to live in Maine, and not just because of the warm, sunny summers and the picturesque white winters, but because Maine is home to a large number of talented crafts people and artisans like weavers, potters, soap makers, chocolatiers, woodworkers, and jewelers. In every shop in every town, you’ll see incredibly-crafted, unique Maine-made products.

Since many of our couples wish to surprise their wedding guests with welcome bags and/or favors of authentic Maine made products, we wanted to highlight some of our favorite Maine made gifts in this blog series. Of course, many of these handcrafted items would make wonderful bridesmaid or groomsmen gifts as well as gifts for parents of the wedding couple. For guests looking for a unique and meaningful gift for the lovebirds, you will find gift inspiration in this series, too.

How did the business start and who are the owners?

This year, Swans Island Company celebrates 25 years of crafting exquisite textiles here in Maine. Our company was founded in 1992 by John and Carolyn Grace, two retired lawyers seeking a return to the land. They began producing wool blankets by hand on on Swan’s Island using traditional techniques, local fleece and natural dyes, winning a Smithsonian Blue Ribbon for Craft. Our current owners, Bill Laurita and Michele Orne, purchased Swans Island Company in 2004. We’re now located on the mainland, carrying on the tradition of handcrafted heirloom blankets, throws, and apparel with our small and talented team of makers.

Describe the products you sell including how they’re made.

Everything we do at Swans Island – from hand-dyed yarns to our signature handwoven blankets – is a testament to the beauty and value of a handmade life. We craft blankets, throws, pillows, wraps, scarves, in our dyehouse and weaving studio. We also collaborate with small, family-run American mills to produce fine knit apparel. From fiber sourcing to our finishing room table, we believe in creating objects of beauty and utility in authentic and earth-friendly ways here in Maine. All are welcome to come visit our Northport studios to learn more about our processes.

Who typically enjoys your products?

Swans Island’s woven goods are modern-day heirlooms, and our customers come to us time and again to help celebrate life’s many milestones: weddings, anniversaries, welcoming new babies, and more. Our hand-monogramming service and exquisite linen packaging transform our unique handwovens into unforgettable commemorative pieces, designed to be cherished for years to come.

People who love Swans Island Company generally care deeply about how things are made, have strong ties to the Maine coast, and appreciate the traditional approach we take to ensure that everything we produce is at once luxurious and sustainable.

What’s the best way to purchase them?

Swans Island Company goods may be purchased at our Camden or Northport locations, online through our website, and by telephone.

What’s your favorite thing about Maine?

We love Maine for its dramatic natural beauty, which inspires so much of our work.

Bill Laurita, Michele Orne
Swans Island Company
231 Atlantic Highway
Northport, Maine 04849
(207) 338-9691
(888) 526-9526

Secondary Address:

2 Bay View Street
Camden, Maine 04843
207.706.7926
[email protected]
www.swansislandcompany.com

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Featured photo by Sharyn Peavey Photography

Maine Made woven wedding gifts | Photo by Caitlin MacRae Maine Made woven wedding gifts | Photo by Douglas Mott Maine Made woven wedding gifts | Photo by Douglas Mott Maine Made woven wedding gifts | Photo by Douglas Mott Maine Made woven wedding gifts | Photo by Douglas Mott

 

Maine Made Gifts: Wilbur’s of Maine Chocolate Confections

We are so blessed to live in Maine, and not just because of the warm, sunny summers and the picturesque white winters, but because Maine is home to a large number of talented crafts people and artisans like weavers, potters, soap makers, chocolatiers, woodworkers, and jewelers. In every shop in every town, you’ll see incredibly-crafted, unique Maine-made products.

Since many of our couples wish to surprise their wedding guests with welcome bags and/or favors of authentic Maine made products, we wanted to highlight some of our favorite Maine made gifts in this blog series. Of course, many of these handcrafted items would make wonderful bridesmaid or groomsmen gifts as well as gifts for parents of the wedding couple. For guests looking for a unique and meaningful gift for the lovebirds, you will find gift inspiration in this series, too.

How did the business start and who are the owners?

Wilbur’s of Maine Chocolate Confections began in 1983 when Tom Wilbur and Catherine Carty-Wilbur opened a small candy shop on Bow St. in Freeport, Maine. Tom and Catherine were both school teachers at the time and were just looking to supplement their income; selling chocolates and candies made by other companies in their store. It was a few years later that they decided to try making chocolates themselves and secured their first wholesale customer: L.L.Bean. We now have three retail locations, a chocolate factory in Freeport and as of 2016 Andy Wilbur, Tom and Catherine’s son, is the new owner of Wilbur’s of Maine.

Describe the products you sell (including how they’re made, if applicable).

So many products to describe! We make homemade caramels, creams, melt away truffles, needhams, buttercrunch toffee, turtles, marshmallow, fudge, hot fudge sauce, brittle, peanut butter cups, traditional truffles, chocolate dipped cherries, solid chocolate that is molded into just about any shape you can imagine (sea shells, lobsters, bunnies, fish, Santas, shamrocks, pigs, hockey pucks….) we could go on! We can’t forget, of course, our panned chocolates. We are one of very few factories in New England producing panned chocolates, they are the largest part of our wholesale business and include amazing items like chocolate covered blueberries, chocolate covered cranberries, malt balls, chocolate covered almonds, pretzel bites, and many, many more! We produce 100’s of different chocolates and confections.

How are these items made? Well, there are far too many items to explain in detail, but we do try to use local ingredients whenever possible, each item is made with care and by hand in small batches. Also, everything we make is done in our Freeport factory at 174 Lower Main St. in Freeport. There are viewing windows into the factory at all times and we offer tours on select days and times. Best to consult our website or Facebook page for that current month’s event/tour dates.

Who typically enjoys your products?

Anyone and everyone! Chocolate knows no bounds! It brings generations together and is the perfect gift. We have products that are made with 72% dark chocolate and other not-too-sweet items like dark chocolate covered ginger and dark chocolate covered orange peel so even if you think you don’t have a sweet tooth, you’re likely to find something here you will enjoy!

What’s the best way to purchase them?

Our website wilburs.com is being updated weekly with more and more products being added and is the perfect way to have our fine confections shipped all over the country to yourself or a loved one! If you are lucky enough to be in southern Maine visit us at one of our three locations:

174 Lower Main St. Freeport, ME 04032 (factory and retail store)

13 Bow St. Freeport, ME 04032 (retail)

143 Maine St. Brunswick, ME 04011 (retail)

What’s your favorite thing about Maine?

It’s hard to answer this question without sounding too cliché, but if we’re being honest it’s for two reasons: first, because the people here are relatable through all walks of life. Second is the available outdoor space. As we mentioned above we try to source a lot of our ingredients locally and that is made possible in part because of our suppliers have access to this resources of this great state of ours. Our sea salt comes from a company in Marshfield, Maine and is captured from the ocean’s water using Solar power and our vanilla is made in Portland, Maine.

Owner(s) Name: Andy Wilbur

Business Name: Wilbur’s of Maine Chocolate Confections

Address: 174 Lower Main St.

City/State/Zip: Freeport, ME 04032

Phone: 207.865.4071

Email: (general questions) [email protected]

Website: wilburs.com

Facebook: Wilbur’s of Maine Chocolate Confections https://www.facebook.com/WilbursofMaineChocolateConfections/

Pinterest: Wilbur’s of Maine Chocolate Confections https://www.pinterest.com/wilbursofmaine

Instagram: Wilbur’s of Maine https://www.instagram.com/wilbursofmaine/

 

 

Maine Made Gifts: Black Dinah Chocolatiers

Maine wedding favors Black Dinah Chocolatiers

We are so blessed to live in Maine, and not just because of the warm, sunny summers and the picturesque white winters, but because Maine is home to a large number of talented crafts people and artisans like weavers, potters, soap makers, chocolatiers, woodworkers, and jewelers. In every shop in every town, you’ll see incredibly-crafted, unique Maine-made products.

Since many of our couples wish to surprise their wedding guests with welcome bags and/or favors of authentic Maine made products, we wanted to highlight some of our favorite Maine made gifts in this blog series. Of course, many of these handcrafted items would make wonderful bridesmaid or groomsmen gifts as well as gifts for parents of the wedding couple. For guests looking for a unique and meaningful gift for the lovebirds, you will find gift inspiration in this series, too.

How did the business start and who are the owners?

Black Dinah Chocolatiers (BDC) opened it’s doors in 2007, on tiny Isle au Haut, Maine. Steve and Kate Shaffer operated both BDC’s confectionery production, and a busy seasonal cafe, from their island home until 2015. In June of 2015, the business relocated to Westbrook, Maine.

Describe the products you sell (including how they’re made, if applicable).

Black Dinah Chocolatiers specializes in handmade chocolate confections, and gift-worthy presentation. All truffles, sea salt caramels, and novelty confections are made with fairly-traded and sustainably-grown chocolates and sugar. All of our confections are made from whole ingredients, grown locally and/or organically, including cream, butter, fruits, vegetables and herbs.

Who typically enjoys your products?

Our confections are most commonly purchased as gifts by people who want to communicate a sincere, heartfelt message to a friend, client, or beloved family member. Our confections are family and holiday traditions, and are gifted privately, or used as coveted favors for large corporate celebrations or highly personalized weddings.

What’s the best way to purchase them?

Our full line of chocolates and confections can be purchased on our website, or at our retail locations in Westbrook, Maine and Blue Hill, Maine. Our truffles and barks are sold at retail partners throughout Maine and New England, and across the country.

What’s your favorite thing about Maine?

The abundance of fresh, healthful, and beautiful food, grown, produced, and shared on small family farms.

Kate and Steve Shaffer
Black Dinah Chocolatiers
869 Main St.
Westbrook, ME 04092 and 5 Main St., Blue Hill, ME 04614
207-887-9763
[email protected]
www.blackdinahchocolatiers.com
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Maine wedding favors Black Dinah Chocolatiers Maine wedding favors Black Dinah Chocolatiers Maine wedding favors Black Dinah Chocolatiers Maine wedding favors Black Dinah Chocolatiers

Do you have a favorite Maine made gift? Leave your ideas in the comments.

Maine Gifts: Angela Adams

If you are looking for a gift on the way to a wedding at French’s Point, or want to bring a piece of Maine home with you check out one of our most beloved design studios – the Angela Adams studio at the base of Munjoy Hill. Angela Adams is a designer intimately inspired by Maine’s weather and landscape. She uses that inspiration to create stunning wool area rugs and other home accessories, and her husband, furniture designer Sherwood Hamill, crafts sleek furniture that compliments the beauty of Adams’s colorful pieces, pieces that manage to reflect both Maine’s wild ruggedness and its cool serenity.

Adams’s work is known for its playful use of color and its distinctive textures and patterns. The rugs typically have a modern look, with swooping wave patterns or asymmetrical bubbles or intricate Kaleidoscope arrangements. Adams now also creates one-of-a-kind tapestry rugs under her “Treasure Tapestry” collection that are abstract renderings of nature like “Rain”, “Forest Floor” and “Ocean Floor”. Check out “The Wedding” tapestry rug, a cartoonish collage of domestic and recreational images and abstract swirls on a white background.  These rugs must be commissioned and are priced on a case-by-case basis but typically cost $250-$500 per square foot. The area rugs in Angela’s custom collections are priced starting at $375 to upwards of $3,500.

The company also designs household items and gifts like pillows, linens, glassware, and beach towels. And of course the studio also features Hamill’s elegant furniture that anchors the complicated patterns of Adams’s work beautifully. Definitely worth a visit.

Maine Destination Wedding

Maine Destination Wedding

The Farm at French’s Point: Accommodations at French’s Point

Make yourselves at home year round in the stunning Maine farmhouse at French’s Point. The 5,500 square feet of living space at the The Farm at French’s Point on three levels features gleaming wide pine plank floors, exposed hand-hewn ceiling beams and panoramic ocean views. The Farm at French’s Point comfortably accommodates large groups of up to 28 guests overnight making it the ideal setting for gatherings, even intimate Maine weddings.

Our beautiful private beach allows you to take advantage of spectacular views, swim, sun, picnic and treat your family and friends to a genuine Maine lobster bake. We’ll help you with all the arrangements! Beach Rose Farm is situated in the heart of historic Mid Coast Maine making it a perfect location for hosting a destination gathering four seasons of the year.

maine wedding packing

5 Reasons to Book Your 2014 Wedding with French’s Point

Maine Wedding Location

1.      The Venue

French’s Point is unlike any other wedding location in Maine. It is an unforgettable estate with expansive gardens, and a stunning mansion that will match the grace and distinction of your wedding vision. The unique location in Mid-coast Maine will give you the chance to host the quintessential Maine celebration with panoramic views of Penobscot Bay.

2.      Our Staff

You and your guests will be spoiled with world-class service from a kind and attentive staff. From Sarah and her team of planners who will work with you to plan each detail of your big day to the wait staff and on-site staff that will take care of your every need on your wedding day. We truly enjoy meeting your guests and providing them the best experience, and of course, we pride ourselves on creating a day that is completely unique to you and your vision.

3.      Complimentary Stay

No other venue has the capacity and dedication to their guests that allows them to stay at the property before their wedding day. This is no ordinary tour, we invite couples to experience every part of the property by spending a full day and night in our guest rooms. Experience this for yourself by signing up with our Petite Retreats.

4.      On-Site Guest Accommodations

This fully-appointed colonial will accommodate up to 26 of your friends and family on-site and is only a few hundred feet from French’s Point.

5.      Wedding Specialists

Our event planning staff will help you plan your entire event and weekend celebration. We will also be on-site the day of your celebration to manage and oversee the entire event, leaving you with a completely stress free day filled with beauty and joy.

For more information on our services or to book an overnight Stay and Tour email Eric at [email protected] or call 207-567-3650.

Made in Maine Series: 2 Note Perfumery

Maine Wedding Location | Wedding Destination

Classical music is the inspiration for Carolyn Mix and Darcy Doniger, owners of 2 Note Perfumery in Portland, ME. Both Carolyn and Darcy are creators who have infused their passion and artistry into the art of bottling nature.

2 Note has created 8 distinct scents combining simple and natural ingredients for a wide range of perfumes. Each unique scent not only embodies smells but captures a feeling and emotion that the team of artists has defined with short poetic lines.

Adagio – Steal away, Delicate.
Canto – A joyful chorus, she wore flowers in her hair.
Chant – Hum, Transcend.
Encore – Enchanted, More Desire. More Love. Always More.
Legato – Lyrical. Robust. A stroll through the woods in the drizzling rain.
Nocturne – Evocative of night, a sultry ensemble.
Rhapsody – Wild, dwell in possibility.
Sonata – Magnificent, be noticed… and remembered.

Maine Wedding Gifts | Maine Wedding Location

Maine Wedding Gifts | Maine Wedding Location

This is a perfect gift for bridesmaids or mother-of-the-bride (or mother-of-the-groom). It is a truly personal and meaning filled gift that is also very practical.


Made in Maine Series : Turtle Love Co.

Turtle Love Co. is a thoughtfully unique Maine jeweler. Their handcrafted engagement rings and wedding bands are made specifically to reflect the uniqueness of your relationship. Everything they make is designed by independent artisans, and their collections are built with responsibly-sourced or recycled materials and eco-friendly production practices.

Wedding Venue | Wedding Jewelry


This unique approach can be seen in every piece of jewelry they create. You won’t find anything like it at a mall or a traditional jeweler. Your experience working with them will be unlike any other. They are the kindest and most considerate company to work with, which is so important when juggling a dozen vendor relationships while planning your wedding. They go far out of their way to create a personal connection with each couple and help you find the rings or gift that reflects each couple’s relationship.

Beyond their stunning wedding and engagement rings they craft artisan necklaces and earrings that are perfect accents for bridesmaids or wedding party gifts. They also curate beautiful vintage rings for the retro or eco-conscious bride.

Visit their store
Meet their team of designers

Maine Artisan Jeweler

Maine Artisan Jeweler

Maine Wedding Venue Engagement Sessions

We host engaged couples on our property with our Stay and Tour policy of staying a night at our Beach Rose Farm property with a tour of the full estate the next day. In the past year we have combined the Stay and Tours with promotions of an engagement shoot by one of our recommended photographers. These have proved to be very popular and we plan on continuing them into 2013.  The next Stay and Tour Promotion weekend will be in March. Please stay tuned to the blog for more details in the next week or email Eric([email protected]) to try to take part.

Stay and Tour Promotion Highlights

Photography by Joanna Thyer – www.thyerphotography.com or check her out on Facebook


Made in Maine : Tom’s of Maine

This Made in Maine company is, truly, everywhere up here. Go into any Mainers’ bathroom and you’re almost certain to find Tom’s of Maine something – be it toothpaste, deodorant, body wash, or any of the company’s dozens of all-natural personal care products. What better endorsement of a Maine brand than that Mainers love it?

Tom’s was founded in 1970 by husband-and-wife team Tom and Kate Chappell. Tom and Kate had moved to Maine from Philadelphia to pursue a more wholesome lifestyle for themselves and their young children. Their vision included using chemical-free, environmentally friendly products in their home. Problem was, there weren’t many available. So Tom and Kate borrowed $5,000 from a friend to start making their own.

The company that began with homemade, phosphate-free laundry detergent evolved over the years to feature a line of natural care products including toothpaste, soap, mouthwash, and deodorant. Tom’s of Maine is now a multi-million company owned by Colgate-Palmolive, but it’s kept its Maine roots by continuing to manufacture in Kennebunk. The company also prides itself on its green business practice and civic engagement.

You can buy Tom’s pretty much anywhere personal care products are sold in Maine – convenience stores, pharmacies, supermarkets – but for the full selection of products you can order online at their website. Each product comes with Tom’s of Maine’s signature ingredient list. Unlike most labels, this one is written in plain English and includes information about why each of the ingredients is in the product. All of this candor is the bedrock of Tom’s reputation as a quintessential Maine company whose take on personal care is uniquely (minty) fresh.