Features
Making it Maine

Two families team up in business to build for their future and their hometown

Tucked between Main Street and the Machias River, the historic Machias Hardware building had been in the same family for 70 years. When Isaiah Roberts ’10 heard of its potential sale, he knew he had to act quickly. He talked to his wife, Caissie ’13, the owner, then to shipmate Harry Finn ’09.

“I asked him, ‘Do you want to split a building?’”

What began as a straightforward real estate investment has blossomed, putting Harry and his wife Gina along with Isaiah and Caissie at the heart of a Main Street revival for downtown Machias, the seat of Washington County.

The initial plans to just lease out the building’s vacant storefronts were altered when Caissie’s home-based business hit a tipping point.

“In the middle of the purchase, I realized I was outgrowing my space at home, and having a storefront could bring me up to the next level,” says Caissie, who was an MMA International Business and Logistics major. She chose Maine Maritime Academy because of its strong alumni network and high job placement rate. Although she worked in the insurance and banking industries after graduation, ultimately Caissie put her business degree into action working for herself.

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