April 09, 2020

Sporting goods firm eyes move

WEST ENFIELD – A small Passadumkeag company that makes fishing nets and other sports equipment for retailers such as L.L. Bean will be adding another four or five workers and moving to the former Dan’s Sports Bar under a $200,000 plan to expand.

Wallace Bros. LLC Wood Craftsmen has a purchase and sale agreement to buy the 20,000-square-foot facility for $120,000 as soon as a loan can be worked out with the Maine Rural Development Agency of Augusta or TD Banknorth, company Vice President Michael Wallace said Tuesday.

“We just needed more room, and that was the only facility we could find that had the room that we needed,” Wallace said of the former bar on Old County Road.

The 11/2-year-old company, which has two full-time workers and three part-timers, is seeking a $60,000 to $120,000 grant to buy computer equipment to help automate its wood-cutting operations, Wallace said.

Company plans include building a pond on the 7-acre parcel for fly-fishing lessons and demonstrations, working with Lincoln Computer Center of Lincoln to finish a new Web site and establishing on the premises an events center for receptions and corporate meetings, he said.

“We want to have sporting shows and book craft shows,” Wallace said.

If their plans come to fruition, the three Wallace brothers, Don, Michael and Ronald, will have 15 to 20 workers on their payroll and will have multiplied several times over their output of 75 to 125 handmade nets a day, company President Ronald Wallace said.

“Since we started, this company has done nothing but grow. We either grow with it or get out, and we are going to grow with it,” he said. “We have doubled the business since we bought it.”

Besides nets, the company creates cribbage boards, cremation urns and high-end furniture. The wood is hand-lasered by West Branch Traders of Maine, which is in Millinocket, Michael Wallace said.

The Wallaces think they will hear from MRDA by mid-November.

The company is located in a 670-square-foot garage on Goulds Ridge Road in Passadumkeag and on the Internet at fishingnets.net.

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