The six Bangor-area Leadbetter's will join the chain of 17 Freshies locations across the state later this year.
The Leadbetter's store on Broadway is pictured in this 2015 file photo. Credit: Gabor Degre / BDN

Hampden-based R.H. Foster Energy has purchased six out of the eight Leadbetter’s convenience stores in the Bangor area, and plans to rebrand them with its own convenience store brand, Freshies, later this year.

R.H. Foster purchased the Leadbetter’s locations on Stillwater Avenue, Broadway and Outer Hammond Street in Bangor; Wilson Street in Brewer; Main Road in Holden; and Main Street in Bucksport. The company said it would continue to operate those locations unchanged until it transitions them to the Freshies brand later this year. R.H. Foster also said it would keep a number of the Leadbetter’s deli items for which those locations are known.

The remaining two Leadbetter’s locations, the mini stop on Hammond Street near downtown Bangor and one in Orono, were not part of the sale and will remain open under the ownership of Scott Leadbetter and Adam Leadbetter, respectively.

Jeff Leadbetter, who previously owned the six sold locations, opened the first Leadbetter’s location on Hammond Street 30 years ago with his father Ted, and over the decades expanded the chain to eight stores.

“Over the years we have added locations and family members to our portfolio, and we have worked very hard to operate our sites and take care of our employees. We are excited to enjoy retirement and to take on new projects,” he said.

“We have a longstanding relationship and partnership with Jeff, Tim and Scott Leadbetter and we are honored that they sold these sites to our family company,” said Katie Foster, R.H. Foster’s executive manager.

R.H. Foster, originally founded in 1959 in Machias and in its third generation of ownership by the Foster family, operates 17 Freshies convenience stores and delis across eastern and northern Maine. It is also a heating fuel delivery business, with locations in Penobscot, Hancock and Washington counties.

In 2021, the company purchased Tri-City Pizza, the long-running pizza takeout establishment on Broadway in Bangor, and since taking it over has changed virtually nothing with its menu or operations. It also owns 96 State St. in Bangor, at the corner of State Street and Broadway, the former site of a long-running convenience store, which the company closed and demolished. It has not yet announced plans for the vacant site.

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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.