In the spring of 2011 my husband and I found ourselves in one of those uncertain pivotal moments of our lives. We were unemployed, living in Blue Hill, Maine in an 600 sq ft off the grid house, and we were expecting our first child early that summer. With twenty years of professional kitchen experience, Jeff was being offered every chef position he applied for, but none of these great jobs were making us excited; so we started brainstorming…..Jeff was playing around with the idea of a food truck (which made me nervous)….driving through Ellsworth…next idea… what about a food truck inside? See that ‘for rent’ sign? Hmmmm. What about there?
Financing was tough; we were turned down by six banks. Just as we were about to shelve our idea, some generous friends offered to lend us the start up funds. 86 This opened its doors on June 13th 2011. Our son Rye was born two weeks later.
After three and half years of renting and operating out of a little “hole in the wall,” 86 This! was able purchase (again with the help of some amazing friends) a building and expand our business.
We like to describe our place as a “classy punk-rock burrito shop”; our food is real, its delicious, totally unpretentious, and yes, we like to rock a little too. With 17 ft ceilings, brick walls and wood floors the building is spacious and modern while maintaining a cozy family friendly vibe. We have a real love for 125 Main Street, for our awesome staff, and for this place (that we now live).
We also have confidence in downtown Ellsworth. We often jest that if we were able, we would buy every building for sale downtown, and create all the other businesses that compliment and contribute to the vibrancy of a strong town and community. Either way, we are thankful to be a part of Ellsworth, and look forward to watching it transition and grow in the coming years.
Diane and Jeff
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