Four businesses changing up the way they operate in the COVID-19 era

Fri, 07/10/2020 - 6:45pm

    MIDCOAST — Charles Darwin had it right when in The Origin of Species he said: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”

    As Maine enters mid-summer during a pandemic that has changed how businesses operate in absolutely every way, four Midcoast businesses have pivoted toward a new model of business—doing what they do best—in order to reach more customers.

    Hoxbill rebrands to BLAZE Camden

    Following a pop-up test kitchen weekend on July 4, Hoxbill owner Matt Haskell has rebranded the oceanfront restaurant into Blaze Camden, a signature member in his stable of Blaze restaurant group with locations in Bar Harbor and Bangor. Citing that the move was in place before COVID-19, the changes will include a new pared-down menu featuring wood-fired grill dining, a new sign, and premiere outdoor seating on the Camden waterfront. The brewing company Blaze is attached on-site and the restaurant/brewery will now be open seven days a week. FMI: Facebook

    Bell The Cat’s Spin On ‘Hello Fresh’

    Two years after the Belfast deli restaurant Bell The Cat re-opened in a new location, as we reported in 2018, owner JoJo Oliphant, has taken his model of fresh, locally sourced breakfasts and deli-style lunches and added on a new component, a meal plan system, offering organic fresh meats and produce and menu items and vegan meals with delivery on Mondays. FMI: Website

    Boynton McKay Turns to Tacos and Donuts

    With a tight space inside the Camden eatery, owner Brian Beggerly announced in May that COVID-19 had altered their summer plans, and instead, starting June 1, they would operate as a take-out only service offering two signature items: tacos and donuts. Cold Toes Tacos is one side of the business with locally sourced ingredients such as halibut and lobster tacos as well as pre-order taco kits, nachos, and other goodies. The other side of the business is Ruckus Donuts.  FMI: Facebook

    Trillium Caterers Opens New Division: Trilly

    In April, Belfast-based Trillium Caterers owners Abigale Avey and Michael Casby saw the writing on the wall when COVID-19 prevented large gatherings of people—a very necessary component of their Wedding and Event business. From there, the couple decided to expand on their cooking skills to provide a new delivery service that is part meal kit, part take-out with an emphasis on “being fancy to yourself.” They call it Trilly—a pet nickname their staff gave the business.

    From homemade dips, sauces, and appetizers to Meals & Sides for Two, as well as to-go pre-batched cocktails, the service allows you to order on the weekend with a Thursday/Friday delivery to areas in the Midcoast. “We provide you with everything such as edible flowers or pea tendrils so that it looks beautiful on the plate at home and that’s a really big component we’re trying to push,” said Avey. FMI: Website

    Kay Stephens can be reached at