Megan Siegenthaler correctly identified Hope General Store in our “How Well Do You Know Midcoast Maine?” photo contest. Megan gets The White Hot Spotlight this month and she chose to profile Sogno Salon, The Color Authority, where she works with her mother, and the salon’s owner, Nancy Mason-Allen. Sogno Salon has only been open on Main Street in Rockland since April, but Nancy has had more than 35 years of experience in hair styling, has owned a few salons in the Midcoast and elevates a simple hair cut into an art form.
Q: Your mother is an artist, went back to college later in life for her art degree and views hair as an artistic vehicle. Explain for us how a haircut is not just a haircut, but is so much more.
A: For Nancy, a haircut is an experience, not a just a cut. It’s a vision that caters to meet each person’s desire. It's about precision and design. This is not just a job to Nancy; it's a passion.
Q: The salon's tagline is "Experience The Dream." Is this a dream business Nancy has always wanted to open? If so, what did she do in the mean time to make that happen?
A: This is Nancy’s dream, which is how she came up with the name. Sogno means dream in Italian. She has prepared for this vision through education, research, and 35 years of experience.
Q: Megan, what are your creative outlets both on and off the job?
A: I am never really off the job because I’m always looking for creative outlets to bring back to the salon. Everything I do on or off the job, whether it’s volunteering or coming up with catchy designs for an advertisement. I always have my mind open to new ideas and feel that is the only way to grow creatively.
Q: Your business is all about the art of pampering and making people look and feel good. What are the psychological benefits to that?
A: If you look good, you feel good. It is amazing to watch people leave Sogno with a new attitude and outlook because they feel better about themselves. Recently, we teamed up with Rheal Day Spa for an Ambush Makeover. A woman got to nominate a person in her life whom she felt deserved a makeover. Her friend received a day of beauty and was able to remember the self-confidence she forgot she had.
Ladies, it’s that time. In preparation for Wedding Season, which usually kicks off around May, it’s never too early to begin putting together some planning tools for your Wedding checklists. Don’t let the word “Hussey’s” paired with “weddings” and “shotguns” put you off as you begin planning for your Big Day.
Your wedding should be perfect - in every way. Whether you are committing your eternal love for the very first time, or the fifth, here in Maine, you will find the inspiration you are looking for in the dappled woodlands, beside a dazzling harbor and among the mounted stuffed deer heads in the smoking room of an Elks Club.
First, wedding dresses. Hussey’s General Store, located in Windsor, ME, has been helping brides find their perfect dress for that special day since 1955. Their bridal department is wildly popular and sells hundreds of gowns each year with top designer lines and affordable formalwear that can be ordered in any size or color. (www.husseysgeneralstore.com)
Hussey’s carries all of your bridal accessories as well. No fairytale extravaganza is complete without his and hers firearms. As Hussey’s advertises, “Here, you will find a large selection of rifles, shotguns, and handguns for hunting or just for fun.” Because other than hunting or self-protection, handguns should be just for fun! While the menfolk have an entire sporting goods department to choose from, the ladies aren’t left out. Pictured here is the Charter Arms “Pink Lady.” This 38 Special Undercover Lite is made of aircraft grade aluminum and weighs only 12 oz. Compact enough to conceal in a wedding garter, inside a Diaper Genie or under a La-Z-Boy couch cushion. Looks like somebody isn’t going to weasel out of doing his share of the wedding invitations now is he?
As you work down your “to-do” list of cake top ornaments and bird seed bags, don’t forget the Sabre Red Maximum Strength Pepper Spray, also located in Sporting Goods. This nice little spray, of which a portion of sales are donated to fight breast cancer, allows the user to deploy continuously from any angle, even upside down! This can be also in tandem with Coon Urine, which masks human scent. Honeymoon trousseau—check.
Lastly, be sure to start your Wedding Gift Registry early. At Hussey’s, which advertises itself as your “bridal one-stop shopping experience,” no need to waste time trying to figure out what your new home needs at Bed, Bath & Beyond. This Horn Mount Kit in pink, which also fights breast cancer, is premier addition to your living room. This priceless gift is a reminder to your betrothed not only can you bring home a 12-point buck, drive it home on the minivan, but when you remove the antlers and skull cap with a bone saw all by yourself —never, ever, ever let him forget he’s the man.
So Brides, it’s time to lock and load. . . and start picking off those checklists in anticipation of your Big Special Day.
This is a random collection of things, ideas, trends and just weird stuff that Midcoast Maine has to offer. Obviously, this is subjective and can’t include everybody, or else it would be called…the phone book.
If you’re the kind of person who gets up at 5:30 every morning to put on a cup of tea and listen to NPR, you’re pretty much a “breakfast” person. But if you’re the kind who wakes up on his friends’ dog-hair covered couch at 10:30 am with no idea what day it is or why one shoe is missing, you’d be more of the “brunch” variety. This list was generated from the precise scientific method of asking around to see who has the best brunch in the area.
The Damariscotta River Grill
55 Main Street
Damariscotta, Maine 04543
Brunch: 10 am - 3 pm every Sunday
The best part of brunch at the Grill is the complimentary homemade baked goods served to every table. They offer an open cup of coffee made with freshly ground beans for all the best brunch coffee drinks and serve Ghiradelli Hot Chocolate with fresh whipped cream. All menu items are homemade and prepared fresh to order, and brunch at the Grill is a la carte, so it’s affordable. Kick it off with one of their signature cocktails, the House Mimosa or the Bellini made with Prosecco and fresh peach nectar ($5.30-$7.49).
Chef Rick Hirsch's customers seem to favor the traditional Eggs Benedict: focaccia, apple-wood smoked bacon, poached eggs, fresh Hollandaise sauce and home fries ($8.44); the wildly popular Quinoa Cakes Benedict: pan-fried cakes, poached eggs and Hollandaise sauce with home fries ($8.44) along with the Smoked Salmon & Egg Scramble: Ducktrap smoked salmon and three egg scramble, potato pancakes
Point Lookout Resort-- The Summit
67 Atlantic Highway
Northport, ME 04849
Brunch: 10:30 am until 1:00 pm on the first Sunday of every month.
Executive Chef Shawn Wilcox has been experimenting with a new brunch menu at The Summit, located at the top of Ducktrap Mountain. With spectacular views overlooking the islands of the Midcoast archipelago, their brunch menu is served buffet-style and uses seasonal ingredients that change every month. Last month, the theme revolved around “Southern Favorites” in which they offered Blackened Haddock with Pepper Jack Grits, Pulled Pork Sliders with Haystack Onions, Seared Chicken Breast stuffed with Andouille and Maine Goat Cheese, Kale and White Bean Soup with homemade Green Chili Sausage, and breakfast entrees like Scrambled Eggs, Maple French Toast Casserole, sliced fruits, breakfast pastries and desserts. Brunch is served prix fixe at $29 per guest and $15 per child ages 6 to 12.
Samoset Resort “Marcel’s”
220 Warrenton Street,
Rockport, ME 04856
Brunch: 11:30am - 2:00 pm every Sunday until November 28
The Samoset’s famous continental brunch is one of the most elaborate spreads around, but you better get in there quick because they’ll be closed for the season at the end of November and reopening in the spring. So, you only have a couple more Sundays to catch their chef-manned carving and omelet station with prime rib and pastry-wrapped salmon. Or you might dig into their home-made Lobster Ravioli, Duck Trap smoked seafood display or their famous Lobster Corn Chowder. All that and you get a classical piano player throughout brunch. Adults- $21.95, which includes one glass of champagne.
Bayview Lobster Restaurant
2 Bayview Landing
Camden, ME 04843
Brunch: 10 am – 3:00 pm every Sunday
Perhaps the word lobster attracts the tourists in the summer, but this restaurant with the best harbor views around, is under new management and is gearing up to be more affordable and more attractive to the locals. A brand new brunch menu will roll out November 21 developed by Fitzpatrick’s former chef, Bob, who still makes Fitzy’s famous homemade Irish corned beef hash. The three top faves on their brunch menu will include: Seafood crepes- Maine shrimp and lobster with a creamy Newburg Sauce ($9.99); Stuffed French Toast with cream cheese stuffing and either raspberry or blueberry sauce ($7.99); and traditional Eggs Benedict, with two poached eggs and Canadian bacon topped with Hollandaise sauce and home fries ($7.99) or topped with crab cakes ($9.99)
Cappy’s Chowder House
1 Main St
Camden, ME 04843
Here’s another long-standing Camden restaurant where you don’t normally associate “chowder” with brunch, but nonetheless the place Trip Advisor calls “the funky bar and grill” just unveiled a revamped brunch menu. The three top faves include their Layered Blueberry French Toast ($9.99); the Fish Cakes Benedict, with two fish cakes, poached eggs and Hollandaise sauce ($9.99); and their Lobster Quiche with small side salad ($12.99). All brunch menu items come with a fresh fruit cup and a bottomless cup of coffee.
Brunch: 8 am - 1 pm every Sunday.
People who don’t realize this is a vegetarian restaurant often seemed surprised how filling and satisfying their meat-free dishes can be. Cool bonus is the farmer’s market they offer in the back and all the cheese/homemade bread and cookies you can stand at the checkout counter. In order of Chase’s Daily’s top faves: Pancakes of the Day: ask for cornmeal cakes, if they have them, with or without blueberries. Served with real maple syrup ($7.00); Breakfast Burritos: black beans, potatoes, cheddar and homemade salsa on whole wheat or corn tortillas. Depending on how you build yours with scrambled eggs or tofu, definitely get it with the steamed swiss chard. ($7.00 to $9.00); Three Egg Omelet or Scramble, your choice of four fillings (some of which include mushrooms, peppers, garlic, feta, swiss cheese or gorgonzola), served with breakfast potatoes and your choice of toast from three to four different kinds of homemade bread ($8.50).
“Breakfast All Day” Honorable Mentions
If it’s not Sunday, yet you’re desperately craving Eggs Benny at 1 pm, don’t pop a stitch. These two hometown favorites keep the breakfast coming all day long.
Boynton-McKay Food Co.
30 Main Street
Camden, ME 04843-1704
The fact that Boynton McKay is always crowded ought to tell you something. Starting with their fair trade organic coffees, this is one of the only places around that makes a genuine espresso, cappuccino, latte, and mocha. With an eclectic menu of Asian, Mexican and Italian (plus their “Soon To Be Famous” granola,) the top three breakfast sellers are: The Wavos Rancheros: a piping hot skillet of poached eggs, cilantro-infused refried beans, topped with melted jack cheese and served with a warm tortilla ($6.75); Blueberry Pancakes: fresh buttermilk pancakes with Maine blueberries and real maple syrup ($7.00) and Skillet Breakfast #2: two eggs, chorizo, onions with home fries and melted jack cheese ($6.75).
Home Kitchen Café
650 Main Street
Rockland, ME 04841-3338
James and Susan Hatch are artists, craftspeople and restaurateurs whose one and only goal has been to serve “good, fresh, hearty, satisfying food” to a primarily local crowd. They only use fresh, seasonal ingredients along with locally roasted coffee. The fact that they serve seven different styles of Eggs Benedict, all covered with home-style Hollandaise and served on hearty toast is enough to keep the crankiest brunch seeker happy as a fat tick on a dog. The top three customer favorites are: Huevos Rancheros: two salsa poached eggs over savory black beans on a handmade corn tortilla ($8.95); Lobster Benedict: two poached eggs on grilled homemade toast points or polenta with Maine lobster ($14.95); and Home On The Range: Homemade corned beef hash grilled, served with two poached eggs and homemade
The Killer Convo
This blog is a is a killer roundup of all arts, entertainment, brewery & distillery, food trucks, happy hour happenings in the Midcoast Maine. Feel free to email me anything about Midcoast arts, entertainment & the creative economy.