Who we are

Portland Buy Local is led by the incredible energy of an active Board of Directors, Advisory Board, and Ambassador.

Our Board of Directors:

tonyforwebTONY COX, Owner, Casco Bay Frames & Gallery; President, Portland Buy Local

My Portland is Creative, Friendly, and Delicious.

How did you get here? My wife and I had the opportunity to purchase her families business in Portland 10 years ago. We both are from Maine and instantly fell in love with Portland.

Why do YOU buy local? For the great personalized service I receive.


danielleDANIELLE SARMIR, Sr. Program Associate, Sustainable Economies Program, Manomet; Vice President, Portland Buy Local

My Portland is Creative, Community, Energetic.

How did you get here? I grew up in a working in a family business in Pennsylvania, so I’ve always appreciated the hard work and commitment it takes to run your own business.  When I moved to Maine about 6 years ago, I was so impressed with all of the blue and black Portland Buy Local stickers in the windows and on the bumpers of cars that I decided that Portland Buy Local was something I had to get involved with.  I love being able to support all of the locally owned and independent organizations that we have here!

Why do YOU buy local? Variety is the spice of life!  There are so many unique places in the world and I want to keep Portland as one of them!


normanNORMAN PATRY, Owner, Summer Feet Cycling; Treasurer, Portland Buy Local

My Portland is Unique, Vibrant, Beautiful

How did you get here? I grew up in Lewiston and moved away for college and work. In my early 30’s I decided that I wanted to move back to Maine and settled in Portland.

Why do YOU buy local? Being a small business owner, i think it is important to support other local businesses and keep as money as possible in the local economy.


elliottforwebELLIOTT TEEL, Owner, Maine Photo Works; Owner, Teel Law Office; Marketing Committee Co-Chair, Portland Buy Local

My Portland is Beautiful, Friendly, and Fun.

How did you get here? I came to Portland after living in Washington, D.C. for a decade.  I had been coming to Maine in the summer all my life in, so when I was ready for a change from D.C., I knew Portland would be the place to go.  I became involved with Buy Local after deciding to pursue self-employment full-time.

Why do YOU buy local? To keep Portland the unique and special place that brought me here.



CAITLIN CAMERON, Urban Planner, City of Portland

My Portland is historical, picturesque and windy

How did you get here?  I came to Portland for an unparalleled career opportunity.

Why do YOU buy local?   I buy local because I believe in quality of life.  Local businesses add character and individuality to Portland.  Local businesses create real economic development and good quality jobs.  Local businesses also allow me to keep my car-free lifestyle by shopping in my own neighborhood.



eliseforwebELISE LOSCHIAVO, Realtor, Vitalius Real Estate

My Portland is Vibrant, Creative, and Special.

How did you get here? On a January weekend in 2002 and I was whisked away to Portland by some college friends from Maine. Coming from the mid-Atlantic, somehow I’d never been in the state before so Portland was a completely unknown quantity to me.  Despite being introduced to the city during a bonafide hurricane, my then-19-year-old self fell head over heels in love with Portland (and got the tattoo to prove it)! Three years later I graduated college in Boston, hightailed it to Maine, and I never plan to leave.

Why do YOU buy local? In my former job as PR and Events manager for Portland’s Downtown District, I saw firsthand the way our locally owned independent businesses cared for and invested back into our surrounding community. Our local businesses are the lifeblood of our town, and a huge reason Portland is as wonderful and unique as it is. I buy local because I want Portland to continue to thrive!


Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 3.47.19 PMJOSH DICKSON, Owner, The People’s Geek

My Portland is Fun, Exciting, & Cultural

How did you get here?  Mary Marsh from the Marsh Agency invited me & I love this City!

Why do YOU buy local?  You vote with your dollar; so try out your local merchants… You won’t regret it!



profile picHANNAH WOLKEN, Director of Market Development, Unum

My Portland is Outdoorsy, Scrumptious, Unique

How did you get here?  I spent most of my adulthood in large urban areas because I loved the access to culture, food, diversity, and creativity.  After living in some phenomenal cities around the world, I moved back to NY and after four years in NYC, I hit a wall.  I was spending almost every weekend trying to get out, often more time in the car than at the destination. In 2008 I was visiting one of my best friends and made some comment to the effect of, “Wouldn’t it be nice if I could actually find a job in Portland?”  She responded, “Have you ever even looked?” I went home, got on the internet and four months later had a job in Portland.  Its been love ever since!

Why do YOU Buy Local?  I buy local because I believe in supporting and growing my community in as many ways as possible. Portland is my adopted home and I love being a part of and helping the community grow.  And selfishly, I find shopping local often brings better quality, more interesting products, and I love being able to interact and learn about the people providing my goods, foods, and services.



COLLEEN YOUNG, Manager, The Fish and Bone


My Portland is Community based, Dog Loving, and Accepting


How did you get here? I moved to Portland 2 years ago to live in a sober house as I was struggling with alcoholism.  I told myself it’s just six months and then you can go back home to Boston.  I had never been to Portland and the idea of moving somewhere knowing no one was terrifying.  I also didn’t know what to expect, I had my own preconceived notions of what “Maine” was all about.  I was pleasantly surprised and as the months ticked by I found I had a harder time imagining myself leaving and living anywhere but Portland.  I had started working part time at The Fish and Bone when I moved up here and when I decided to stay it was logical to stay working there.  I was introduced to a great downtown community and found myself trying to get more involved.  That’s where Buy Local fit in, I fell in love with Portland because of the local spirit.  I want it to keep it that way and am happy to be a part of Buy Local.


Why do YOU Buy Local? I buy local for a number of different reasons.  The first and foremost is because I believe in independent, locally owned businesses.  I value feeling like a person and not a number.  I also buy local because I love my community and want to keep it the way it is.  Buying local means supporting my neighbors and putting money back into the area I care about.


Head Shot

KAI SMITH, Owner, Buoy Local

My Portland is Authentic, Progressive, and Tasty

How did you get here? I grew up in Portland’s Oakdale neighborhood (near King Middle School). I left Portland for college in 2004, but moved back here after graduating and decided it was the best place for me to be. Since returning, I’ve done as much as I can to immerse myself in the community I grew up in. This includes attending Graduate School at USM, coaching soccer at PHS, and even starting my own business. I am happy and thankful to live in this awesome community.

Why do YOU buy local? Portland has a unique character that is unlike any other place in the country. Thankfully, I believe this is due in large part to our thriving local businesses, and I want to do as much as I can to help protect and support our city’s small business culture.



TOM GANGEWER, Owner, Local Economy

My Portland is: lived in, approachable, and welcoming.

How did you get here?  I moved to Portland in 1998. I was working for the Seattle Times when they purchased the Portland Press Herald, and I became Controller of the Press Herald when the purchase was finalized.

Why do YOU buy local?

Because I want my money to stay in my community.

Because I want to support small business owners who take huge risks when they give up employer-paid insurance and regular pay checks to follow their dreams, but in doing so make our city the special place that it is.

Because when I walk into big box stores and see miles and miles of fast-fashion and miscellaneous merchandise it makes me wonder where it came from and where it will end up.


1619557_775725273466_979383661_n-2CHRISTI RAZZI, Assistant Director of Development and Director of Institutional Giving , Portland Museum of Art


My Portland is creative, entrepreneurial, and welcoming.


How did you get here? I grew up in the greater Philadelphia region and made many treks to Maine on summer family vacations – long, eight hour drives with my brother and me fighting in the back seat. While I was in college, my family moved to Fryeburg fulfilling my mother’s lifelong dream to live here. She had been coming to Maine since her early 20’s – something about this place just drew her in. She passed away in 2007 after a two-year battle with cervical cancer, and I moved up in 2009 so I could fall in love with Maine just as she had. Portland has since become my home – I met my fiance here, am inspired by the city’s culture and artistic heritage daily, and love the people who comprise the unique fabric of our city.

Why do YOU buy local?I grew up surrounded by big chain stores. When I got here, it was the breath of fresh air I never knew I needed. Businesses here are unique, determined, and community-minded. Supporting them is vital to our thriving community.



My Portland is Vibrant, Welcoming, Innovative

How did you get here? I was one of those people that had “live in either Portland” on my bucket list, and after school in Chicago, Maine was closer to my family in PA than the West Coast was. My first job in Portland was at Coffee By Design, so I was introduced to Portland Buy Local early on, and the overwhelming local support for independently owned businesses played a huge role in my growing love for the area. Now, as a board member, I’m excited to learn even more about all that’s happening in Portland.

Why do YOU buy local? I think everyone has a dream of their ideal job, or what they’d do with their time if they could do anything. There are so many people in Portland who turn that dream into a reality by opening their own business, and they’re what make our community the incredible place that it is. Buying local helps these types of businesses to thrive, and helps local people continue to bring their dreams to life.


20161019_112914CHRIS BETTERA

My Portland is: accessible, quirky, and progressive

How did you get here?  I was looking for an intimate city with a vibrant cultural scene, and Portland felt like home immediately.

Why do YOU buy local? I’m a third generation small business owner and the importance of buying local was instilled at a young age. The benefits to the community have always been visible, as was the impact of big business.


adam-nyhan-headshot-close-upADAM NYHAN

My Portland is: Multiracial, international and booming


How did you get here? I’m a boomeranger: I grew up in the Portland area, lived for years in DC, New York City and Los Angeles, and moved back with my fiancee when I realized Maine was the right place for me. It helps that I have family here. But I’d be happy to be here even if I didn’t.


Why do YOU buy local? Local businesses often have their ears closest to the ground and understand really well what their customers want and how to deliver it. And local businesses aren’t just “the woman who designed my website” or “the guy who sold me a bagel yesterday.” They’re literally my friends, my neighbors, and in some cases they’re my clients. Local business is a network of symbiotic relationships. It’s important to keep those relationships strong.


Our Advisory Board:


MARY ALLEN LINDEMANN, Co-Owner, Coffee By Design; A Founding Member, Portland Buy Local


Our Executive Director:

photo-10JENN THOMPSON, Executive Director; Portland Buy Local 


My Portland is Historic, Adventurous, & Ocean Air

How did you get here? After seven years of adventures in Appalachian Ohio, Chicago, Boston, and Arizona, I moved back to Maine to accept a position with the Portland Farmers’ Market. I was then lucky enough to discover Buy Local, and am so excited to be a part of an organization that does so much for our wonderful city!

Why do YOU Buy Local? I buy local to support what I love: Portland’s independence!

Thank you sustaining members!

Aikido of Maine   /   Allagash Brewing Co.   /   Andrew and Debra Tenenbaum   /   angela adams   /   BENCHMARK Residential & Investment Real Estate   /   The Brand Company   /   Bull Feeney's   /   Caravan Beads   /   Casco Bay EyeCare   /   Casco Bay Frames & Gallery   /   Coffee By Design   /   CornerStone Building & Restoration   /   The Fish & Bone   /   Goodwill Industries of Northern New England   /   Green Clean Maine   /   Joan Leitzer   /   Teel Law Office   /   Liquid Riot   /   Longfellow Books   /   Marsh Agency   /   Nine Stones   /   Nomads   /   OTTO   /   Peter Metsch   /   Philip Spalding   /   Old Port Magazine   /   Port Property Management   /   Portland Downtown   /   Portland Farmers’ Market   /   Renys Department Store   /   Sebago Brewing Company   /   Supreme Clean   /   The SunriseGuide   /   The West End News   /   Tsunami Tattoo   /   University Credit Union   /   Vervacious   /   XPress Copy

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