April 6, 2022 (Ellsworth, ME) – Founder John Fuhrman of Bub ‘n Mutha’s in Winter Harbor took home the judge’s prize for top contender in the second annual Downeast Business Bootcamp Pitch Off held on March 25th.
Bub ‘n Mutha’s is a Veteran-owned gourmet dry rub company with a Maine attitude and a mission to use only 100% natural spices and real Maine ingredients from real Maine companies like Raye’s Mustard, Maine Maple and Coffee Hound. Bub n’ Mutha’s products can be found in over 71 stores in 7 states. Fuhrman plans to use his winnings to attend public events to expand his customer base and to cover a year’s rent at the Union River Center for Innovation, a business incubator in Ellsworth, ME. The larger space will allow him to increase production to meet demand. The rest will be used for working with a distribution clearing house that places products with major chains.
Bub ‘n Mutha’s went up against four other Downeast businesses to take home the first-place prize of $5000. The other competitors were Blessing Hands of Maine, a locally owned non-medical, in-home care agency serving aging seniors and adults with disabilities in Washington, Hancock and Penobscot counties; Horn Run Brewing, a local family-owned brewery in Eastport; Ellsworth’s Ashes to Ashes, an enterprise of Harbor View Studio, a photography studio that creates archival quality keepsake prints of loved ones that incorporate cremated remains in the pigment; and Red Gypsy Bohemian, which makes custom, handmade home decor on Beals Island.
The competition was judged by Machias Savings Bank Chief Banking Officer Chris Lyford, Coastal Enterprises CEO Betsy Biemann and the Maine Community Foundation’s Director of Philanthropy, Maggie Drummond Bahl.
“The decision to pick a single winner was challenging, as all five businesses were very different and all the entrepreneurs delivered strong pitches,” Biemann said. “In the end, Bub’n Mutha’s had the strongest overall message about product, growth, community impact and clarity around purpose.”
Blessing Hands of Maine won the $5000 Audience Choice award, determined by the highest number of the 58 voting audience participants during the live virtual event on Zoom. Eastport’s Horn Run Brewing was the $3500 second place award by the judges.
All five businesses spent two weeks practicing their pitches and learning business skills from a team of local experts. This year’s event was co-hosted by Coastal Enterprises, Inc., the Maine Small Business Development Centers, the CEI Women’s Business Center, Sunrise Country Economic Council and MaineStreet Business Building. The Bootcamp was sponsored by Machias Savings Bank and the Maine Community Foundation. In kind-services were provided to participants and winners by Maine Made, Downeast Photography Maine, Branch Pond Computers, Oncourse Business Services, Swanson Consulting & Associates and Varney Insurance.
To be notified about the next Downeast Business Bootcamp, interested entrepreneurs can sign up for more information at https://www.ceimaine.org/advising/business-counseling-development/downeast-business-bootcamp/
About the Downeast Business Boot Camp & Pitch-Off
The Downeast Business Boot Camp & Pitch-Off is a collaborative effort of resource partners in Washington and Hancock counties designed to encourage, engage and create community for Downeast entrepreneurs. The Boot Camp consists of an intensive training and prep program for early-stage business owners leading up to a final pitch for prize money.
Program Director/Business Advisor, CEI Women’s Business Center
Center Director/Certified Business Advisor Maine SBDC at CEI