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About The Author


Ray Routhier

Portland Press Herald staff writer Ray Routhier will try anything. Once. During 20 years at the Press Herald he’s been equally attracted to stories that are unusually quirky and seemingly mundane. He’s taken rides on garbage trucks, sought out the mother of two rock stars, dug clams, raked blueberries, and spent time with the family of bedridden man who finds strength in music. Nothing too dangerous mind you, just adventurous enough to find the stories of real Mainers doing real cool things.

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Posted: November 14, 2017

From Marden’s to Amato’s, your favorite Maine chains

Written by: Ray Routhier

Think for a minute about the true meaning of Aretha Franklin’s timeless lyric: “Chain, chain, chain. Chain of fools.”

What the Queen of Soul is saying, of course, is that it’s foolish to disdain and ignore all retail chains. Some of Maine’s coolest, hippest, most local, most beloved retail establishments are chains. Some are family-owned, some have just two or three locations, but all are vital parts of their communities.

Some have helped build whole industries, like the brewpubs that are a big part of Maine’s robust beer scene. At least one, Bull Moose, was instrumental in creating a national holiday, Record Store Day.

So the next time you think about buying or eating or drinking local, maybe as the holidays approach, think about the Maine chains that make it easier for you to buy local in more than one location.

Here’s a list of some Maine chains, to get you started.






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