WATERVILLE, Maine — A popular chain of sandwich shops in Bangor and surrounding towns is preparing to open its seventh location in Waterville.
Harvest Moon Deli, which opened its first store in Orono in 2007, serves sandwiches, paninis, salads and soups. The deli has locations in Bangor, Brewer, Orono and Newport. The Waterville deli at 295 Kennedy Memorial Dr. is under construction and set to open in early September, founding co-owner Keith Manaker told the Waterville City Council last week.
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The company’s expansion is an example of a business investing in the city as it undergoes a major revitalization. That includes an improved and more walkable Main Street and surrounding area, plus converting Main and Front streets from one- to two-way traffic.
“It’s always been our intent to move south at some point, and this is our most southern store,” Manaker said. “We love what’s going on in Waterville along Main Street and other places around here. We’re very excited to be part of the community.”
Manaker has spent time visiting friends in Waterville and was struck by the lively restaurant scene, he told councilors. Harvest Moon Deli will be well received by full-time residents and college students, he said.
If the new shop sees success, Manaker and co-owner Zack Richardson would consider opening a second one in the city and nearby areas.
“We try to open small clusters,” Manaker said. “We believe, if things go well, this could be the start of a small cluster of Harvest Moon Delis in this part of Maine, hopefully a couple in Waterville and perhaps a few in the Augusta area.”
The deli is known for its sandwiches with clever names — such as Bacon Care of Business and Salami and Bobby McGee — inspired by classic music hits.
At its Bangor area locations, the company collaborates with local businesses to offer specials and raise funds for charities.
For example, last month the deli collaborated with Mainly Succulents, a plant shop in downtown Orono, to create a new sandwich available throughout June. In February, the shop partnered with Glow Getters Custom Spray Tans, and a portion of specials sold was donated to Sarah’s House of Maine, which provides lodging to cancer patients in the Bangor area.
“We plan to do everything we can to give back to and be an active member of the Waterville community,” Richardson said Tuesday.
The new shop will have a staff of about 10 people. The co-owners will begin hiring and training once a true opening date is locked in, Richardson said.
Waterville city councilors unanimously approved the company’s request for a victualer’s license at the meeting last week.