Gladstone's Gourmet Snacks Finds a Nice Spot in Ellsworth
Thursday, November 3, 2005 - Ellsworth American
By Jennifer Osborn
ELLSWORTH - Gladstone's Under the Sun, producer of Maine Munchies - healthy, gourmet treats - has relocated from Bar Harbor to the former Morrison Chevrolet building on Water Street.
Owners Craig and Rosemary Gladstone said they have been looking for a larger location for a year.
Their business has been booming since its beginning four years ago in the couple's home.
Business at the Web site is up 140 percent over last year, Craig Gladstone said.
The move to the former Morrison location is temporary. The city of Ellsworth has a one-year option to purchase the Morrison property and convert it to a park.
In the meantime, the location gives the Gladstones the space needed to get through the busy holiday season and time to look for a permanent location in Ellsworth.
The Gladstones said City Planner Michele Gagnon and Micki Sumpter, director of the Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce, have been helpful in making the rental arrangement possible, as has Clyde Lewis, general manager at Morrison Chevrolet.
"We were very impressed with their outlook, their vision here," Craig Gladstone said.
Maine Munchies are healthy, gourmet snacks with a twist - packaging designed to educate and entertain the snacker.
The Gladstones created their product after running a farm stand in Otter Creek.
They routinely heard the same statements from visitors, Craig Gladstone said.
"[They would say] 'I just want a little something to take on a hike' and 'Where are the good places to hike?'" Craig Gladstone said.
And so, the couple designed Maine Munchies and its packaging to fit those needs.
The snacks range from simple bags of dried cranberries or dried wild Maine blueberries to fancy mixes like Blue Loon Munch, which contains dark organic blueberry lavender chocolate, blueberries and roasted almonds.
Another fancy mix is Apple Pie A La Mode, which contains dried Maine apples and cinnamon yogurt-covered raisins.
The snacks are made with as many local ingredients as possible.
The containers - sturdy, reclosable stand-up bags - have been specially designed for hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts.
Gladstone's distinguishes itself from other gourmet snacks by creating labels that educate and share interesting information with the consumer.
For example, some snack labels have a map and information about a hiking trail at Acadia National Park or facts about features that are special to Maine, such as loons or black bears.
The Gladstones have made special labels for Mount Battie in Camden and other Maine attractions, such as the Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport.
The Gladstones and their staff of five have begun gearing up for the holiday season.
To that end, the business has opened its Water Street showroom to the public starting Tuesday, Nov. 1.
The showroom will have munchies available for sampling. The products are available to purchase by the bag or in gift packages for the holidays.
The Gladstone products are sold at L.L. Bean in Freeport, Graves Supermarket in Bar Harbor as well as many specialty food stores throughout New England.
For a complete list of the snacks produced by Gladstone's Under The Sun, check out the company's Web site at www.mainemunchies.com.