By Jodi Hersey
Who doesn’t want to close (and lock) the door on 2020 and open a new one to 2021? Creating new doors to walk through and windows with unforgettable views is a specialty for Mathews Brothers. The Belfast-based company expanded its business to Hermon two years ago, completely transforming a cold storage warehouse on Logistics Lane into what is now a fully functioning, climate controlled, manufacturing facility for patio doors and windows. There are 15 people working in the new building and another 10 Hermon residents currently being trained in Belfast who will soon transfer their skills to the new site.
John Magri is the company president. Brothers Alex and Kyle Hawthorne are part of the management team and the third generation of Hawthornes to work for Mathews Brothers. Their dad and grandfather helped shape the business into what it is today.
“People used to ask Alex and Kyle’s father what we do; instead of saying windows he’d say, ‘We create opportunities for families in the Belfast area, we just do it through making windows,’ and I feel the same way in Hermon. We’re creating new opportunities there,” said Magri.
With over 160 years of experience carefully crafting windows and doors, Mathews Brothers has become a big name in the industry and now Hermon gets to be part of that legacy.
“We make a lot of promises and through our facilities we keep those promises,” explained Kyle Hawthorne. “We brought one of our patio door production lines to Hermon. We have new machinery being installed and we are increasing our glass capabilities and continuing to move forward.”
“Some of the functions happening in Hermon are some of the higher skilled functions, and we have established our own bending lab to make geometric and radius shapes,” added Magri. “We are doing a lot of things in Hermon now that we might have contracted out in the past.”
There’s no denying COVID has affected businesses and communities in many different ways. However, despite the downturn the pandemic has caused, Hermon has been fortunate to see both business and residential growth through it all according to Hermon’s Economic and Community Development Director Scott Perkins.
“There are a couple things going on in Hermon that we really love and that’s businesses expanding in place, businesses moving from lease to ownership, and new businesses moving here. Right now we’re fortunate enough to be experiencing all three things,” Perkins explained.
The Shop is one of the many Hermon businesses that is busier than ever. The automotive repair company located on Route 2, is owned by husband and wife Frankie and Kristin Noyes.
“We have a good percentage of fleet work. We have a lot of utility trucks that have to stay running so that’s kept us going, and snow tire season has helped our business too. We do anything from basic service needs to alignments and diagnostics and the whole range of what can go wrong with these vehicles that are all computerized today,” explained Kristin Noyes.
The Shop is adding on to its building in 2021 in order to create storage for more parts on site.
“Hermon is really business-friendly and the business taxes are affordable, but we chose Hermon because raising my son in Bangor just felt a little too big for me,” said Noyes. “It’s nice that Hermon is close to everything we could want or need but still has that small town feel. All of our staff are Hermon residents and we all have kids in the school system. Everyone knows everyone, and it’s worked out great for us.”
That neighborly vibe and tight-knit community feel that Hermon so strongly represents is what attracts residents and businesses alike to this town just beyond the Bangor city line.
“We had over 30 million dollars worth of residential and commercial growth in 2020; that’s probably a record for a community our size. It’s absolutely fantastic,” Perkins said. “Our low taxes, the convenience of being close to central and eastern Maine, our readily available workforce, and all the transportation businesses and options we have are why people are coming to Hermon to live and work here and enjoy our school systems.”
The town was an attractive location for physical therapist Ann Covey, owner of Covey Physical Therapy.
“When I first went into business for myself I wanted to fill the niche of physical therapy from home care to outpatient. Hermon was and continues to be a growing community, so I felt like it was the perfect place for us to grow our business as well,” explained Covey.
Originally located in the Danforth’s Supermarket Plaza, Covey’s business thrived and within three years she outgrew the space. So, she decided to break ground on her own building on Route 2 that has been every bit as successful as the first location.
“Physical therapy and my business are my passion. I strive to create an environment that will help patients feel at ease and properly cared for. Our patients are not numbers to us. We do everything we can to help them meet their goals,” she shared. “We provide outpatient physical therapy and occupational therapy. We also provide home, office, and school visits as needed without the need for patients to be homebound and we provide aquatic therapy as well. We are extremely proud to be a part of this community.”
Hermon is helping numerous businesses like Covey’s Physical Therapy, The Shop and Mathews Brothers embark, open the door, and cross the threshold to all the opportunities that Hermon has to offer, no key required. “It’s exciting watching the town grow,” Perkins said. “I couldn’t be more happy or more busy in this position I am in. There’s a lot of good work being done.”
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