Tawnya Clough dreamed of owning her own business since her college days at the University of Maine at Farmington. When the opportunity to purchase a popular seafood market in Farmington presented itself in 2011, Tawnya saw an opportunity to move back to her home state and make the leap to business owner.
While the retail aspect of her business remained steady during the first several years of ownership, Tawnya continued to look for ways to increase sales and build additional revenue streams. In 2019, Tawnya reached out to the CEI Women’s Business Center (WBC) to discuss preliminary ideas, including applying for a Community Block Grant through the State of Maine. She met with a WBC advisor, who assisted with the grant application, project ideas and budget.
Mosher’s Seafood is located on a serene stretch of rural highway along the outskirts of Farmington, a bustling college town of 7,000 residents. Far from the rocky Maine coastline, Farmington is summer destination for many families, who enjoy the lakes and mountains of Western Maine. Mosher’s Seafood is the only fresh seafood provider outside of large grocery chains in Franklin County. Along with the iconic Maine lobster and other fresh seafood, Mosher’s offers a variety of grocery produce including beef, pork and chicken, alongside many local made products.
Like many businesses deemed essential during the COVID-19 pandemic, Mosher’s Seafood saw an uptick in business, when the local demand for both fresh and shelf stable foods spiked. The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t been without challenges though. Tawnya noted the additional workflow needed to accommodate social distancing guidelines increased some of her expenses. Her customers have been supportive and understanding. “We’re a small store and when we were at full capacity because of social distancing, folks just waited outside. No one complained.”
A bright spot in 2020 for Tawnya was the news that Mosher’s Seafood was awarded a $30,000 community block grant. Tawnya plans to use the funds to install additional signage and other needed upgrades to her property. While 2020 has been full of ups and downs, Tawnya is optimistic about the future.
Learn more: Mosher’s Seafood