ELLSWORTH – When Leslie Harlow opened her business recently in Ellsworth, she was amazed at the sheer volume of local nonprofit groups that exist in town.
“I’m pretty well connected to this area, but even I didn’t know about half the things that are going on,” Harlow said this week from The Maine Grind, Ellsworth’s newest coffee shop, which opened this summer in the former Mason’s building on Main Street.
Blessed with a highly visible location and an abundance of space, The Maine Grind has decided to give something back to those nonprofits that maybe could use a boost.
Harlow and Peter Rogers, who co-owns the coffee shop, announced recently their “Adopt a Nonprofit” program, which will select a local group each month to highlight at the shop.
“Down East Maine is filled with interesting nonprofits that can use additional exposure,” said Rogers, who also owns an airplane hangar design business in Rockland. “We have a great space that we would like to see utilized for many uses … this is a unique way that we can make a donation to some of these amazing organizations.”
The program comes at little cost to The Maine Grind, Harlow said, and aside from providing visibility for one nonprofit each month, it also brings people into her business.
“Obviously, we’re a business and we have to make money,” she said. “But this is more about being generous to our community. This building has historically always been about giving back so it seemed like a natural thing.”
The first selection for The Maine Grind’s “Adopt a Nonprofit” program is a nearby neighbor and a longtime Ellsworth institution, The Grand Auditorium.
Aside from a large display in the front entranceway, The Grand will have access to the coffee shop space for meetings and, of course, free coffee.
“I think this is a wonderful thing for them to do, and it comes at a good time for us,” said Lee McWilliams, the theater’s executive director. The Grand is getting ready to open its fall musical production of “The Full Monty” on Oct. 20.
Harlow said The Grand was an obvious first choice to get the program started. The theater will be featured through November and Harlow already is lining up nonprofits for coming months.
Anyone interested in participating in the “Adopt a Nonprofit” program may inquire at The Maine Grind on Main Street in downtown Ellsworth or e-mail Leslie Harlow at firstname.lastname@example.org.