Bethany Gregory (far right) poses in front of her Provincetown cafe, Tween the Tides, with her staff and some customers. Credit: Courtesy of Bethany Gregory

Cape Cod resident Bethany Gregory’s 10-year goal was to move to Maine, after decades living in cities and towns all over the Northeast working in the restaurant industry. She just didn’t expect that the opportunity to do so would be found in an empty gas station and market on Broadway in Bangor, near the town line in Glenburn.

But Gregory, 48, has big plans for the former location of the Six Mile Falls Store, located at 2354 Broadway. By this July, she plans to open the Maine Market, a cafe, coffee bar and local foods market geared toward thousands of people who commute each day to and from Bangor up and down Route 15.

“I’ve just been in love with Maine since I first visited here more than 10 years ago,” Gregory said. “Everything about this location has been kismet since I first came to see it. It was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down.”

The Six Miles Fall Store, known for its meat market, closed in 2019 after many decades in business under a number of different owners. Its most recent owners were Steven and Lisa Watson of Glenburn.

Sign up for The B-Side, a weekly inside look at what’s going on in the Bangor area

* indicates required
Yes! I want to get an email each week with Bangor area news, events, history, food and more

Gregory just sold Tween the Tides, her Provincetown cafe, and plans to move to Bangor in the coming weeks to begin renovations on the Broadway location, including building a full kitchen and adding indoor seating. It will include made-to-order sandwiches, salads and shareables, a grab-and-go, bakery items, hot bar, and a coffee bar.

At her Cape Cod cafe, she specialized in vegan items, though her Bangor market will offer both meat and meat-free options, in a colorful array of cuisines, including the Mediterranean-inspired dishes she served at Tween the Tides.

Gregory also said she intends to keep the old store’s gas pumps and install an electric car charging station. She also plans to repurpose the old store’s extensive beer and soda coolers into shelving for a selection of local meat, dairy and produce, and eventually add a food truck for mobile catering and events.

The exterior of the Six Miles Falls Store, as it appeared in 2016. The store closed at the end of 2019. Credit: Courtesy of Bethany Gregory

“One of the things I love about Maine is how people love to support small businesses and local farms, so I really want to highlight that here,” she said.

Though Gregory has the seed money to get the basics of the business off the ground, she’s hoping to raise more capital to complete the entirety of the major renovations to the property before a planned mid-summer opening date. 

“Rather than have to close for a day or a week here and there to finish everything, I want to have all the major renovations done before we open,” she said. “We can add all the extras, like the food truck, later on without having to close the business when we’re doing it.”

Rather than obtain a business loan from a bank, she’s opted to crowdfund for that remaining $150,000 she estimates she will need. And rather than turn to a platform like GoFundMe or Kickstarter, she’s partnered with a newer website, Mainvest, a Massachusetts-based platform that is specifically geared toward funding brick-and-mortar small businesses. 

Instead of a single, no-strings-attached donation, people can invest in a business that has gone through Mainvest’s vetting process, and if the business is successful, they will either receive their money back, or potentially receive a return. If the campaign doesn’t generate the full amount it seeks, investors receive a refund. 

Gregory said the seasonal hustle of operating a restaurant in Provincetown helped prepare her as both a chef and an entrepreneur. She’s looking forward to what she hopes will be a less lopsided, more year-round business where she can put down roots in Maine.

“A place like P-Town or Bar Harbor, you’re losing your mind three months out of the year, and then the rest of the year it’s slow,” she said. “I wanted to be in a place that had a good amount of population, but wasn’t too big. Bangor is that. I can’t wait to throw the passion that I have into this endeavor.”

Avatar photo

Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham is a Maine native and proud Bangorian, covering business, the arts, restaurants and the culture and history of the Bangor region.