Public voting open until March 27

Bixby & Co. named semi-finalist in LaunchPad competition

Mar 17, 2014
Bixby & Co. has been selected as a semi-finalist in Gorham Savings Bank's LaunchPad competition. If selected as a finalist, owner Kate McAleer, right, has the opportunity to showcase her product to a panel of judges with the winner receiving $30,000.

Rockland — Kate McAleer, 26, founder and owner of Bixby & Co., found out March 11 that she has been named a semi-finalist in the annual Gorham Savings Bank competition LaunchPad.

The winner will receive a $30,000 grant to be used toward the advancement of the applicant’s company.

In order to receive this grant, McAleer needs help from her fans, supporters and the midcoast community.

Voting begins this Tuesday, March 18 and will only last for nine days. How many votes she receives, will determine whether or not she moves on to the next round of the competition; which will be narrowed down to only five competitors.

McAleer recently announced the exciting news that she is moving Bixby & Co. to downtown Rockland and opening a chocolate factory there, to produce her Bixby Bars.

Bixby Bars are a unique combination of organic chocolates, dried fruit, nuts, organic brown rice crisps, and selected spices. Since opening her company in 2011, with the help of her two parents who both assist her with production, Bixby Bars have grown in popularity and now Bixby & Co. has outgrown their present location in Belfast.

With this new factory, McAleer plans on expanding production of Bixby Bars, establishing herself as a chocolate manufacturer in Midcoast Maine, and hopes to open a future tasting room that the public can visit.

With the help of the LaunchPad grant, she will be able to scale-up production and grow her company to accommodate more business. She will use the funds to purchase new machinery — upgrading her production process, making it more efficient. McAleer hopes that, with future growth, she will also be able to create more jobs and re-establish Rockland as an attractive location to manufacture local products.

Please support McAleer and this Maine-made business by visiting the Gorham Savings Bank’s LaunchPad website: launchpad.gorhamsavingsbank.com. Voting begins on March 17 and ends at 11:59 p.m. March 27.

As a result of the voting, five finalists will be selected for presenting their applications before a panel of judges. The winner, selected from the five presenting finalists, will win $30,000.

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