Wiscasset recently welcomed another new business to its downtown, as partners Kelsey Grossmann and Jonathan Turcotte opened Yonder, a shop offering sandwiches, soups, and salads, at 100 Main St. in downtown Wiscasset, the former home of Golden Wok Restaurant.
Grossmann said they started thinking about renting the property in May and signed the lease in June. After putting in a little elbow grease, patching up the walls, and putting on a new coat of paint, the pair opened Yonder in September.
Growing up, Turcotte’s family spent summers in Lincoln County, eventually falling in love with the area. Turcotte’s parents bought land in New Harbor, and, as Turcotte and Grossmann began to think about the life they wanted to lead together, this area came to mind.
“I was working and living in Rhode Island at the time and just wanted to change the scenery, change the career, and so we thought, ‘Let’s try Maine,’ see if Vacationland can be Foreverland,” said Turcotte. “We wanted a different place and different pace and tried something out, didn’t know if it would be forever, and then pretty quickly we were like, ‘Yeah, we’re going to spend the rest of our lives here.’ So, here we are.”
Turcotte and Grossmann explained that since moving to Maine, they have invented and filed away many business ideas, but Yonder is the idea that made the most sense for them to execute due to the need Grossmann saw in downtown Wiscasset for an establishment with vegetarian options.
Yonder has menu staples that fit any dietary need. The Bobo and The Bingley Boy are made as vegetarian options, while The Ed Tom has smoked ham and provolone and The Llewellyn features smoked chicken and blood orange chimichurri. The shop’s offerings of soups, salads, and specials rotate weekly, and gluten-free bread can be requested for any of the sandwiches for an extra $1.
Having a brick-and-mortar place has always been an interest, Turcotte and Grossman said, and they looked at many different properties, landing on the Wiscasset site due to its availability, location, and surrounding businesses and community.
“I think there’s always room for improvement and room for growth. We want to expand on certain aspects of it, like using more food items down the line. Staying really small and concentrated on what we’re doing is important for us,” Grossman said.
For the foreseeable future, Grossman and Turcotte are perfectly happy with what they have achieved, but do hope they can bring another idea connected to Yonder to life someday.
Their 30-acre home in New Harbor is the theoretical home of one of their many business ideas, Down Yonder. The pair said that they hope to eventually utilize their home to grow food, flowers, and cater events and dinners, as well as use their animals to provide animal-assisted therapy. Turcotte said that connecting Yonder and Down Yonder is down the line, and the pair has already begun to flush out their ideas for the business and brand.
Turcotte and Grossmann have named their menu items after their animals – like The Bobo and El Capitan – to keep their connection to Down Yonder and their home close and alive.
For now, Grossmann and Turcotte are the only staff at Yonder. Turcotte explained that once the pair has had time to hone their craft and truly settle in, they may look into bringing on extra hands for the summer of 2024.
“Until then, we’re going to rock it,” said Turcotte.
Yonder is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. For more information, call 687-8137, go to downyonder.me, or find the business on Instagram and Facebook.