A local catering company is putting down roots in a Waldoboro location, using locally grown produce, locally raised animals, and locally harvested seafood to meet the needs of clients throughout the state.
Harvest Moon’s home off Route 1 boasts 100 acres, including a 40-acre managed woodlot, an equivalent amount of farmable land, a commercial kitchen, and a large barn.
Harvest Moon got its start making wood-fired pizza in a booth at the Common Ground Country Fair in Unity. From the beginning, the business has been committed to sustainable agriculture and providing customers with top-tier farm-to-table cuisine.
Harvest Moon has since grown into a full-service catering company geared toward high-end events, such as destination weddings.
The short but packed summer season keeps things busy at the company’s Waldoboro headquarters, marked by a new sign off Route 1 just south of Dow Furniture, where co-owners Bennett Collins and Shane McGarvey, in addition to catering event managers Christa Thorpe and Arie Hyde, spend time between events.
McGarvey said the new space offers the company a great opportunity.
“For me, utilizing this piece of property is our biggest asset,” McGarvey said.
The property was home to The Well-Tempered Kitchen for 20 years. Gail Montgomery, the proprietor of that business, still owns the property.
Collins said the property’s proximity to Route 1 and accessibility to the Portland Jetport will be useful for the company.
McGarvey said locally grown and harvested products, from garlic to Pemaquid oysters, are a central emphasis for the company.
“Local ingredients are awesome. We have some of the finest seafood and great growing conditions for produce,” McGarvey said.
McGarvey said he partnered with Collins a couple of years ago and the pair transformed the company into a high-end catering service based at a family farm, with a focus on weddings and other special events.
“Last summer was the first full season geared toward destination weddings. I love the Midcoast. This was a family farm for 20 years, and the opportunity to have the space and have a kitchen here is great,” McGarvey said.
“For me, the most exciting part is all the room we have to grow,” Thorpe said. “The property has around 40 farmable acres and a huge barn we are working toward restoring and using as an event venue down the road.”
Thorpe said the land has been hayed in recent years, but the quartet has a vision to bring crops and animals back to the farm.
Collins said he and his colleagues are committed to sustainability. They grow their own produce and raise their own poultry, while sourcing other ingredients from family farmers and local fishermen throughout the Midcoast.
“We have expanded on what we were doing in the first place and deepened our commitment to local food,” Collins said.
“From its inception, the purpose was to support local farming,” Thorpe said.
Collins said that in the future, the Waldoboro space could host benefits for land trusts and other local, sustainability-minded entities.
“We want to support land trusts with the space to have fundraisers and raise awareness for area farms by having a working farm,” Collins said.
Thorpe said she sees the facility as a place to tie in education and farming, working with schools to bring students to the farm.
“We want to give people access to what we do. We want to invest in the area locally. The space lends itself to workshops where we can teach a man to fish instead of giving him one,” Thorpe said.
Thorpe said Harvest Moon works with a number of local companies, including Morning Dew Farm in Newcastle and Goranson Farm in Dresden. The caterers go all over the state, from Southwest Harbor to Kennebunkport and into Maine’s interior to locales such as Norway.
In addition to private parties, Thorpe said the company does work for land trusts in communities such as Camden and Sheepscot.
“Our farm-to-table, sustainable approach appeals to the state’s land trusts,” Thorpe said.
McGarvey said during big events in the summer, the company employs students, teachers, and others. “Some days in the summer we have 30 people working for us,” he said.
With its focus on destination-style weddings, Harvest Moon harnesses capital from outside the state and invests it in the local economy through its emphasis on local products, McGarvey said.
Collins said the business has forged connections with other businesses in the wedding industry, including at an event at Nobleboro’s Duck Puddle Campground in May.
“A really fun part of this is the connections we have made with everybody else in the region’s wedding industry. The demand for destination weddings is untapped and has far outpaced the supply. We all collaborate together and pass clients to one another when we are overbooked,” Collins said.
Collins said business has been great and the company is already booking next year’s events.
“The most rewarding thing we get to do, when we have the time, is to grow something from seed to harvest and turn it into a product so people can see the results of the whole process,” Collins said.
While explaining why the company decided to set its roots in Waldoboro, McGarvey said it was because of the connections people across the country have with the state’s coast.
“Why Midcoast? Why Maine? I think it’s because most people have some connection, something that draws them back,” McGarvey said.