Open House April 20

Maine Maker's Society brings new ideas to old space

Prepared foods, deli, art gallery and retail space
By Fran Gonzalez | Apr 12, 2019
Photo by: Fran Gonzalez Sun streams in to the Maine Maker's Society sitting area April 7. The building, previously Montville's 10-4 General Store, will now offer prepared locally sourced and organic food, retail space and an art gallery.

Montville — When Kimba Cseh became aware the old 10-4 store on Route 3 was up for lease, her curiosity was piqued. Cseh has signed a long-term lease for the store and attached dance hall space from owner Dean Bartlett, with the idea of creating a new gallery and retail space for herself, and for the community.

Cseh's Maine Maker's Society will be a platform for small businesses and craftspeople to display their work without a brick-and-mortar investment. The store will also sell prepared and bulk foods and grains, and will have a deli featuring locally sourced and organic items. She plans to also have "pay it forward" menu items for people who might need help.

She envisions a large kids' play area with a stage for performances — musical instruments will be on hand — and also hopes to have musicians performing outside once the weather warms up. Silverton Foods and BBQ Bar, a traveling food truck, will be at the store Tuesdays and Wednesdays, along with other rotating food trucks on Saturday market days.

"There's a lot going on here," an animated Cseh said.

While the outside of the building shows few signs of renovation beyond sawhorses, a ladder and two new picnic tables, the inside has been transformed with new flooring and seating areas, and natural light streams in through several large street-facing windows.

The former dance hall will house an artisan and craftsman work area, as well as a gallery.

"Every month we will have an exhibit in the art gallery" featuring local artists, she said.

Cseh and boyfriend Jordan Slomkowski have been busy getting the building ready for a planned open house Saturday, April 20, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

She said Slomkowski has been an important part of the renovations.

"We invite anyone to stop in and say hello, and come see how they can get involved! Drinks and snacks will be provided," she said. "The community is welcome to come and see how their small business can fit."

Cseh said they first considered calling the store "The Left Shoe" after a story Bartlett told them of the history of the building. One previous owner would buy wholesale lots of shoes, "but they would be just left or right pairs," she said, "and you would usually find the owner with shoes strewn across the store, trying to find pairs that would match."

Originally from Connecticut, Cseh traveled extensively throughout the country before eventually settling in Palermo. She said she picked Maine because "it forced me to go somewhere nice every year."

"We bought some land and built a house," and are putting down roots, she said.

Cseh describes herself and Slomkowski as "wire workers" making high-end jewelry, and said "it's great to have a place to display" their work.

According to a Facebook post, Maine Maker's Society is looking for "amazing artists, musicians, small business owners and culinary gods to join our forces," adding she is "working around the clock to plan some really great community events throughout the year!"

The official opening is May 1, with expected hours to be Thursday through Monday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The contact email is MaineMakersSociety@gmail.com and people can find them on both Instagram and Facebook @MaineMakersSociety.

Jordan Slomkowski and Kimba Cseh take a break from preparing Maine Maker's Society for an open house April 20. According to store owner Cseh, the business is a "platform for small businesses and craftspeople" to work and sell their goods. (Photo by: Fran Gonzalez)
The inside of the store has plenty of space and sunlight and comes with a wall of refrigerators and two smaller freezers, shown here April 7. Maine Maker's Society will feature an art gallery and retail space along with regionally sourced prepared foods. (Photo by: Fran Gonzalez)
A manual typewriter is available for visitors to leave their thoughts or create a message to share at the Maine Maker's Society. (Photo by: Fran Gonzalez)
An eating area at Maine Maker's Society, previously 10-4 General Store, shown here April 7. (Photo by: Fran Gonzalez)
Accoutrements found at Maine Maker's Society on Route 3 in Montville, shown here April 7. (Photo by: Fran Gonzalez)
The large parking lot of Maine Maker's Society will accommodate Silverton Foods and BBQ Bar, a traveling food truck, on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and also feature rotating food vendors on Saturday market days. Outside music performances are also envisioned once the weather warms up. (Photo by: Fran Gonzalez)
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