Two of the eight stories on our front page are dedicated to the turnover of ownership in two downtown Damariscotta cornerstones, King Eider’s Pub and S. Fernald’s Country Store. While this sentiment may seem strange, we’re choosing to see this as good news for the community for a few reasons.
Let us explain.
In other parts of the country, businesses are simply closing. By staying open under new ownership, the vibrancy and resiliency of the Twin Village’s business community takes center stage. We are fortunate to live in an area that supports so many year-round establishments.
In many ways, King Eider’s and Fernald’s represent the best of Lincoln County. Both are family-owned establishments that have decades of history in the area. They are economic drivers in the community, employing a wide age range of locals. They both have a dedicated following, ready to argue about the best sandwich or defend the crabcake’s honor with unmatched intensity at the drop of a hat.
At their core, however, what makes both of these businesses truly special is the community-mindedness of their ownership.
When the COVID-19 pandemic came to Lincoln County, the team behind Fernald’s helped jumpstart the Lincoln County Food Initiative, a collaboration of individuals, businesses, and organizations that provide food assistance to those in need. Just earlier this month, the King Eider’s crew graced these pages after leaping to another eatery’s aid on their day off.
We’re leaving out a lot of other examples of giving back, donations, and kindness, but if we tried to capture everything there would be no room left on the editorial page.
As far we know, no one in either of the teams going through leadership transition plan to leave the area. The new King Eider’s owners have strong ties to both the business and the area, and Fernald’s is looking for someone who will preserve the store and its importance in the region.
At the end of the day, we’re gaining more people in the business community who understand what makes this area special. That is never bad thing.
Our congratulations to Todd, Sarah, Jed, and Cynthia on a fantastic tenure at King Eider’s, to Damon and Scott for their next chapter at the pub, to Ricky and Rosie on their new adventure, and to whoever becomes the next Fernald’s caretaker on preserving the community space.
Long live crabcakes and Moxie!