Growing a Vibrant and Resilient Maine Food System
From a fresh picked crop to the product from your secret family recipe, we love Maine food and the people that grow, harvest and make it.
Since 1978, we have been deeply rooted in our local food system – working with farmers, growers, processors, dealers or wholesalers of food grown in Maine and northern New England. Local farms and food businesses know they can rely on us for advice, capital and support.
Our food system experts are adept at helping businesses find opportunities for diversification and make strategic investment in facilities, equipment and technology that strengthen their individual businesses and expand the capacity of our local and regional food system using sustainable and regenerative practices.
Interpretation services are available upon request.
OUR PRODUCTS & SERVICES
Holistic Support for Your Food-Based Business
“For nine generations, the Brodis family have tended to their lands in Hope, Maine. Over the years, their immense efforts have slowly turned…”
Rwanda Bean Coffee
“Rwanda Bean Company (RBC) was founded Portland, Maine, by Mike Mwenedata, with a mission to support coffee farmers in Rwanda, Africa. A coffee…”
The Good Crust
“Heather Kearner opened The Good Crust in September of 2020, right in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, but that didn’t stop her…”
Our Tastemakers Initiative, sponsored by FocusMaine, helps established food and beverage companies expand and improve production capacity, create jobs, and grow by offering grant funding for tailored consulting and access to financial resources and investor networking opportunities.
We offer a variety of loan products, at competitive rates, to help meet your business needs. Our lending team has extensive experience working with farmers, food producers and other businesses in the sector and can help match you with a loan product that will boost, not burden, your business.
For companies with high growth potential, a significant positive impact on the regional food system and a commitment to creating Good Jobs, an equity investment from CEI can provide the capital, flexibility and support your business needs to flourish.
BUSINESS ADVISING & TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE
Meet with our food and agricultural experts at the Maine Small Business Development Center hosted at CEI. We will pair you with a Certified Business Advisor who knows the industry well to help you start or grow your marine-based business with tailored advice on business planning, marketing, financials and more. If you need capital for your business, we can help you get “loan ready” whether you apply to CEI or other lenders.
Our food systems team has decades of experience with agricultural and food production and processing businesses. We have deep connections within Maine’s agricultural community and are well-versed in farming, harvesting and production technology options and best practices. We can connect you with resources across the state to build or grow your business.
Support from experts that know YOUR kind of business
We look at the food system holistically, forging networks, embracing new technologies, advocating for better policies at the state and federal level and celebrating how Maine grown and made foods sustain our way of life. This includes working within coalitions like the Agricultural Council of Maine, the Maine Food Convergence Project and the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition to promote policies that provide direct investment in and support to our farms and food producers.
““One of the greatest challenges we’ve faced as a company in rural Vermont has been building a qualified workforce to keep up with…”
Long Shot Revival Homestead
“Long Shot Revival Homestead, in Orland, is a family farm owned and run by Joe and Haley Brown. An Army National Guard veteran,…”
“At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the most sought-after and hard-to-find items, behind toilet paper and hand sanitizer, was flour.…”