A family business offering a 21st-century take on the workday opened in downtown Damariscotta on Monday, Sept. 26, in the historic Gilbert E. Gay building at 133 Main St.
Jennifer Van Horne, of Swans Island, and her daughters, Erin Van Horne, of Portland, and Torie DeLisle, of Waldoboro, co-own Buzz Maine, a workspace, coffee bar, and cocktail bar.
The business brings together all of the elements of a typical workday into one location, Jennifer said. Her husband, Eric, first came up with the concept for the business almost 30 years ago under the name Corner Office.
“The idea for Buzz Maine came from this concept of a man putting on his fedora, grabbing his briefcase, and heading into the office for the day,” Jennifer said. “He stops for coffee along the way, goes into work, and then afterward goes to the local watering hole for a drink or two with some friends.”
“We took that idea and put it all in one place,” Jennifer said.
Buzz Maine has a collaborative workspace in the center of the building, which allows members to work together on projects. In addition, there are private work areas for those who wish to work quietly, Jennifer said.
Buzz Maine also has a conference room available to rent for meetings and presentations. Jennifer said the hope is to bring in speakers and workshops for “Buzz talks” in the future.
The business also has ultra-high-speed fiber-optic internet, Jennifer said.
Access to the Buzz Maine workspace and resources is membership-based, and is available at daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly rates. Each level offers incentives, including discounts on the rental of the conference room, 10 percent off drinks from the coffee bar, and access to Buzz talks and programs.
There is also a Buzz Club membership for $25 a month for those who do not need to utilize the workspace during the day but would still like access to other membership benefits, including discounts on coffee and rental of the conference room, and access to Buzz talks and programs.
All levels of membership include access to the cocktail hour, and members are welcome to bring as many friends as they would like, Jennifer said.
Due to the availability of seating, membership at Buzz Maine is limited to 40 people. The Buzz Club will have up to 25 members. Others who wish to sign up will go on a waitlist.
From Monday-Saturday, Buzz Maine opens at 7 a.m. The workspace is available to members, and the grab-and-go coffee bar is open to both members and the public.
The coffee bar closes at 4:30 p.m. for half an hour before reopening from 5-6:30 p.m. for cocktails.
On Sundays, the workspace and coffee bar is open from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and the cocktail bar is open from 1-3:30 p.m.
Jennifer said the hours could change based on the needs of the membership.
“We want to be receptive to what they’re asking for,” Jennifer said.
August DeLisle, Torie DeLisle’s husband, is the general manager of the coffee bar and cocktail bar, Jennifer said.
Buzz Maine is completely organic, and features locally sourced ingredients and products, including a cocktail menu featuring spirits from Split Rock Distillery in Newcastle, Jennifer said.
“We’re trying to keep it as close as possible,” Jennifer said.
In addition to baked goods made on the premises, Buzz Maine also offers sandwiches over the lunch hour. Personal pizzas will be available during the cocktail hour, Jennifer said.
Buzz Maine will also be the new home of the semimonthly “speakeasy” events August and Torie DeLisle began at nearby Van Lloyd’s Bistro, which they co-founded.
Buzz Maine opened Sept. 26 for a soft opening. A grand opening is planned for later in the year, Jennifer said.
Jennifer said the goal is to expand Buzz Maine to multiple towns and locations.
“This is the first Buzz, but we’re hoping to add more,” Jennifer said.