July 31, 2023
Aegir's Den Meadery
Since 2012, Aegir’s Den Meadery has been providing Maine with high quality Mead made right here in the Pine Tree State.
Describe your business in one sentence.
We are a craft meadery in central Maine, focusing on locally grown and raised honey, fruits, vegetables and herbs to produce mead.
What unique perspective/skills do you bring to your business?
Our military engineering training and experience have taught us to adapt and overcome, look at a problem, work the best solutions and proceed in the most efficient manner.
What were the biggest challenges you faced in starting your business? In running it?
Our biggest challenge has been bringing awareness to mead. Although it is the oldest alcoholic beverage known to humans, many have no idea what it is, and therefore are less likely to give it a chance unless they can taste it first. This requires us to do a lot of education and tastings to promote what we do. COVID shutdowns occurred just as we were ready to open, causing a delay in the return on investment.
Did CEI help you overcome any of these challenges? Describe how you have worked with our team.
We originally worked with CEI to build a business plan and growth plans. Now we are working to increase awareness and marketing, follow through on the aforementioned plans and integrate improvements where needed.
What are your hopes for your business in the next 1–3 years?
We hope to increase our production and storage capacity to support a larger market, encompassing more of New England and online sales via Vinoshipper, as well as building an outdoor space to accommodate more guests.
What steps are you taking to reduce your business’ carbon footprint and/or make your business environmentally sustainable? What might make it easier to improve your business’s environmental sustainability or climate resilience?
We use natural products and do not overheat our honey during production, therefore using less energy during production than commercial breweries. We strive to find providers of the ingredients from our local area, reducing carbon emitted by transportation. We use organic ingredients when available to limit pesticides and preservatives. We do not use preservatives to age our products. For our Farm to Table dinners and weekend menus we use our own farm products or those of other local farms, organic where possible. We have a private well and septic system, which avoids carrier costs, water treatment and transportation. If we had solar panels we could further reduce our carbon footprint.
In your opinion, what makes a job a good job? How are you providing good jobs for yourself and your employees?
Good job is a place where you enjoy being, with a supportive network around you. It allows ways for you to insert and build upon your existing knowledge, skills and abilities in order to maximize business success and personal satisfaction, sense of purpose, etc. We currently don’t have employees, but when we do get to that point we would like for them to feel that we have provided the above, as well as being fairly compensated, also knowing we care about them as individuals and what they bring to the table.
If you identify with a specific group—veterans, rural residents, women, LGBTQ+ individuals, immigrants, Black entrepreneurs, etc.—do you have any words of wisdom for others from that group starting or running a business?
There are a lot of groups and organizations helping get the information and opportunities for each of the above groups. The key is to talk to people and find where they are and what they can offer to help you expand your business. For fellow veterans, it is surprising how many skills learned during service can help make a business successful. Find a way to turn your skills into something you enjoy and can use to financially support you. There is life after the service! You can still serve your community in a meaningful way.
Learn more about Aegir’s Den here:
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