Local Business

2019 Bowls & Brews!

Calling all Chili and Chowder aficionados! The Second Annual Bowls & Brews will be held on Saturday, November 9th from 4-6 pm at the Lovell VFW Hall on Smart's Hill Road. This event will provide an opportunity for both professional and amateur chefs to compete for top awards and bragging rights.

Bowls & Brews donates all profits to MSAD 72's Sunshine Backpack Food Program. This Program sends weekend food home to children in need in the three elementary schools within the system.

Residents, businesses and organizations throughout western Maine and Mt Washington Valley are invited to participate. There are two distinct categories: People's Choice and Judges' Favorites. Special awards will be given to all winners.

Building on last year's large and enthusiastic turnout, the well-known musical trio of Dave Kobrenski, Jed Wilson and Craig Bryan will be playing.

Admission is $10 for adults; $5 for ages 12-17 and free for children 11 and under. In addition to the variety of great chili and chowder, a number of Maine craft breweries will have their beer available for tasting. This lineup includes: Atlantic Brewery -- Bar Harbor; Rock Harbor Brewing -- Rockland; Lake St. George Brewing -- Liberty; Norway Brewing -- Norway; Saco River Brewing -- Fryeburg and Oxbow Brewing-- Newcastle.

And local bakers will be contributing delicious deserts for the popular bake sale!

For more information regarding the Second Annual Bowls & Brews, please contact Stan Tupaj at 207-925-1500 or stan@kezarrealty.com. Click here to print an entry form.

      

2019 Kezar Realty Calendars

The 2019 'fully magnetic' Kezar Realty calendars are hot off the press! Feel free to stop by the office for your very own copy or pick one up at some of the local stores. Not in Lovell? Send me an email at stan@kezarrealty.com and I will be happy to send you one or two in the mail.

For the past two years, some eagle-eye folks have spotted an error or two on our calendars.Minor things like the dates starting on the wrong day of the week or November having an extra day but not very helpful if you want to use the calendar for planning purposes! Well, this year, our printer, Nat Beal at The Write Stuff and myself, took extra time to make sure that there were no mistakes. I can now certify that the 2019 Kezar Realty calendar is 100% accurate! The same cannot be said for a local bank that uses local photographers' photos each month (including Lovell's Pam Bliss in May). I was using their calendar to proof my draft and discovered that they cut December short by one day! I sure did enjoy pointing out to them their mistake.

As always, do you want your fridge to be without this calendar?

Lovell Bowls and Brews

For those that remember, Lovell's Chili Challenge always was a popular event. Not only did it attract local chefs entering their 'special' recipe, people came from all over to taste a variety of very good chili. And to top it all off, significant funds were raised for the Fuel Fund.

Every year, however, there were a number of people who would suggest that a beer tasting would be the perfect compliment to the chili. As in many parts of New England, there has been a wonderful explosion of local craft breweries. Why not take the opportunity to showcase them!

So, this November 10th, we will have Lovell's First Annual BOWLS & BREWS. It will be at the VFW Hall on Smart's Hill Road from 2-5 pm. This year's charity will be MSAD 72’s Sunshine Backpack Food Program which sends weekend food home to children in need in the three elementary schools within the District. All proceeds will be donated to the Program. Visit their Facebook page for more information.

As before, there will be two categories, Judges' Favorites and People's Choice. A special prize will also be awarded to the Best Decorated Table and the always popular Bake Sale table will be full of goodies!

Whether you would like to cook or taste, be sure to come to the VFW Hall on November 10th. Please note that the event is now on a Saturday so you won't have to worry about whether the Patriots are winning or losing. 

Click here for an application form. For more information, please contact either Stan Tupaj at 207-925-1500/stan@fairpoint.net or Paula Hughes at 207-925-6846/hughes.paula@yahoo.com. And a special thank you goes to Paula for her effort on soliciting the breweries and doing the necessary liquor license paperwork with the town and state.

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Maine Vacation Rentals and the Importance of Service

It wasn’t too long ago that, when travelling to a big city like Boston, New York or Washington, you would take a licensed cab from the airport to your hotel.  Or, when leaving a restaurant, you would go curbside to hail a passing cab.

However, with the advent of mobile technology, travel patterns have changed dramatically. Pull up your UBER or LYFT app on your phone and you will soon have a choice of drivers offering their car to take you to your destination. And people sure do like the service of Air B n B where you have choices of renting houses, condo units or rooms directly from the owners, with prices somewhat cheaper than a hotel of large part of their appeal.

On the surface, this all seems very attractive. However, many communities are having issues with the short-term rentals. Problems such as too many occupants, loud parties with the renters showing no respect for the neighborhood. And from the renters’ perspective, there are stories of renter’s not finding the residence as advertised or not being told that they need to bring a supply of their own linens.

Which leads me to the following:

Since Kezar Realty opened in 2009, we have offered Vacation Rentals in Lovell and surrounding towns. In addition to listing and selling property, Broker Jeanne Bonner manages our Vacation Rentals. Jeanne has been matching vacationers with the perfect Maine cottage for more than 25 years.

In January 2018, Down East Magazine published an article “Home Advantage” that highlighted the positive resources that many local Vacation Rental Agencies in Maine provide, such as handling bookings, greeting incoming renters, coordinating Saturday morning cleaning, making sure the trash was taken to the transfer station and not left at the cottage, replacing misplaced/lost keys and much more. Kezar Realty is a member of the Vacation Rental Professionals of Maine, a group of about 30 Maine Vacation Rental companies and provides support and lobbying efforts on behalf of the industry.

An important element of renters arriving in Lovell is that they have a friendly place greeting them when they arrive and are provided with a packet of information about their cottage as well as local merchants and recreational activities. And if they need something during the week, they know that Jeanne is just a phone call away.

As we inch closer to the summer season, be sure to contact Jeanne for assistance on vacation rentals. And remember, you will be pleased that the personal touch is still considered important here at Kezar Realty. And that includes having extensive local knowledge as well as caring that you have a great experience.

Technology is great and we all benefit from the tools that it provides but hopefully it will never eliminate the Jeanne Bonners of the world.

The Tree Revisited

Thanks to Tom McLaughlin for an informative column on Rod Blood, Merton Blood and the Lovell Village Tree! Back in September's KezarLife posting A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.., there was quite a bit of feedback received and questions asked. It seems that everyone has an opinion on this intricate work of art.

Everyday I look out my office window and see the tree. Although the park is a good spot for the tree, I am still not certain that the current location is the best. Perhaps set back a bit further away from the Memorial, the Minuteman statue and the flag.

Here's a link to the full story on Tom's blog.

The End of the 'No Questions Asked' Return Policy

Image result for photo of the ll bean boot

Way back in January 2014, I posted about my very happy, one and only experience with L.L. Bean's famous 100% liberal return policy (KezarLife post here) Even though I am not a big customer of Bean's products, you buy with the knowledge that it will last for a very long time. So even though you might pay more for a similar item than at another store, you are getting the L.L. Bean value!

It is so sad that a high number of people took advantage of this longstanding option! The Company's Chairman suggests that people were exchanging items that they acquired at yard sales. So here is another example of how the majority suffers because of the actions of a greedy minority. And according to a Boston.com article, social media may have spread the word on just how to take advantage of the store's goodwill.

Here is the letter from Executive Chairman Shawn Gorman that was sent to the store's customers:

A Letter to Our Customers

Since 1912, our mission has been to sell high-quality products that inspire and enable people to enjoy the outdoors. Our commitment to customer service has earned us your trust and respect, as has our guarantee, which ensures that we stand behind everything we sell.

Increasingly, a small, but growing number of customers has been interpreting our guarantee well beyond its original intent. Some view it as a lifetime product replacement program, expecting refunds for heavily worn products used over many years. Others seek refunds for products that have been purchased through third parties, such as at yard sales.

Based on these experiences, we have updated our policy. Customers will have one year after purchasing an item to return it, accompanied by proof of purchase. After one year, we will work with our customers to reach a fair solution if a product is defective in any way.

This update adds clarity to our policy and will only affect a small percentage of returns. It will also ensure we can continue to honor one of the best guarantees in retail, with no impact for the vast majority of our customers. To learn more, please view our full return policy at llbean.com.

L.L.Bean has stood for quality, service, trust, and getting people outdoors ever since my great-grandfather founded our company over 100 years ago - and that will never change. Thank you for being a loyal customer and we look forward to continuing to inspire and enable you to Be an Outsider.

Sincerely,


Shawn O. Gorman
Executive Chairman

 

Appalachian Mountain Club's 2018 International Dinner & Adventure Series

Sunrise on Top of Yellow Mountain

Sunrise on Top of Yellow Mountain

Here we are at the end of December and it is shaping up to be a classic New England winter -- COLD and SNOWY! With well over a foot on the ground already, we now have a great base of snow for everyone to enjoy the outdoors. From skiing to ice skating to snowshoeing to ice fishing, go outside and have some fun!

Starting Wednesday January 3rd, the Appalachian Mountain Club kicks off its 28th year of hosting the International Dinner and Adventure Series. Each week there will be a different four-course menu related to that evening's country. The meal is followed by a presentation (by local and regional guides, explorers and travelers), with photos, that detail a visit to a far-away place. Responsible BYOB is welcome! What better way to enjoy a winter evening with good food and information about exotic places?

Take special note of the presentation for March 7th! "Cuisine of China, followed by SUNRISE ON TOP OF YELLOW MOUNTAIN with Stan Tupaj!"

Dinners are $21 for AMC members and $24 for non-members (group rates also available). The programs are free and open to the public.

Here is a special AMC International Dinner VACATION PACKAGE which includes:

  • A four-course dinner
  • The evening presentation
  • An overnight room in the Joe Dodge Lodge
  • Morning breakfast
  • A Thursday Skiing or Tubing package at Great Glen Trails!
  • All for $49. Call 603-466-2727 Monday-Saturday between 9 & 5 and mention the International Dinner Series Special.

Click here for for the complete Schedule and Menus:  AMC Information Flyer              AMC Menu

2018 KEZAR REALTY CALENDAR

The 2018 Kezar Realty calendars have arrived and they are now available for pick-up at our office and in stores all around town. Not in Lovell? Send me an email (stan@fairpoint.net) and I will be sure to send one (or two) in the mail.

Now I ask, what better way to dress up your fridge?

Shop Local -- Shop Lovell UPDATE

In my list of local places to Christmas shop, I inadvertently omitted a new business in town. Please be sure to check out Ann Williams' handmade crafts at ONCE IN A BLUE MOON. Ann specializes in Knitwear and Accessories as well as Decorative Arts. Her studio is located 1298 Main Street in Lovell at the corner of Dragonfly Road. It is best to call ahead for hours. Phone number is 207-925-1124 and her email is annwill1@frontier.com