Farm + Table in Maine helps create a heartfelt home with unique items created by American artisans and apprentices.
Maine welcomes millions of visitors a year. Many return home, dream of a life there one day.
Three years ago, Liz and Bruce Andrews built that life. They also built a house and a new business that same year.
For Liz, a longtime merchandiser, and Bruce, an options trader, retirement came soon enough. They said goodbye to Chicago’s brutal winters but just weren’t the type to idly sit back, watching this new phase in their lives uneventfully pass by.
They loved their New England life and wanted to contribute in some way. A red 1880s barn in town was available for rent and they decided to jump into the retail ring. In 2015, Farm + Table opened in Kennebunkport, less than two hours north of Boston near Cape Porpoise.
This is no ordinary shop; it’s a tour for the senses. Friendly staff is there to greet you upon entry, offering their latest sampling—lotions, jams, cocktail mixes, sweet and savory treats. Visitors don’t just see what they have for sale; they learn about them.
Sous Sweet caramels were discovered about seven years ago at a local farmer’s market and are the tastiest you’ll find, Bruce asserts.
“We sell thousands a year,” Bruce says.
A couple of years ago, Liz came across a wooden serving board made by a local artisan. She fell in love and bought it as a gift for Bruce. The owner walked into Farm + Table one day and an instant connection was formed.
Today, Steve Doe’s cutting and serving boards, made from 200-year-old reclaimed wood, are proudly on display and selling well.
Cashiers Condiment Shop jams and jellies from Appalachian Harvest have a strong following. Owners Kimberly and Kevin Baldwin are friends from South Carolina.
“We have personal relationships with each vendor, we consider them friends,” Bruce says. “We are proud to support their small businesses, help put their kids through school or help pay their electric bill.”
The welcoming setting showcases the warmth of a home and elements that help create one. Picture gifts tied in burlap, carved black walnut bowls and candles hand-poured in repurposed wine bottles perfectly placed on rustic wood tables.
“Items that celebrate entertaining and hospitality,” Bruce says.
Church bells ring in the distance and locals stop by regularly, sometimes just to say “hi.”
The shop is open nine months a year, April through December, giving the proprietors time to travel for a few weeks and look for the next season’s great finds.
Nearly everything at Farm + Table is American made, save for the linens, which are imported from Canada and Lithuania. At gift shows, Liz and Bruce bypass the busy vendors and seek out “the needle in the haystack,” Bruce says. That’s how they came across LooHoo Wool Dryer Balls.
“We use them ourselves every day,” Bruce says. “In the shop, we tell everyone they are 100 percent Maine wool, reducing dry time and replace fabric softener. They sell themselves.”