CUTLER – From sawdust to seafood — what used to be Cutler Naval Base is now home to businesses in Washington County.
“This space hasn’t been used in over 17 years since the navy left and it was just sitting here vacant for that time,” said Adam Meyer, a creator at Crafted Downeast.
In 2002, the building was decommissioned. It remained vacant until the Washington County Development Authority took it over creating opportunities for businesses to grow..
“I also think it means we can control our own destiny,” said Denis Minihane, managing director of Bar Harbor Foods.
Crafted Downeast and Bar Harbor Foods are two businesses located at the former base.
Crafted Downeast began operating there in 2005. Meyer said moving into the base adds value to Washington County.
“It’s basically been created within,” Meyer said. “We’ve taken advantage of an opportunity to expand the businesses, to pool our resources and it may be for other people that want to come to the area too.”
Bar Harbor Foods employs 35 people but plans to expand the warehouse at the facility.
If the Washington County Development Authority does expand, they’ll double the size of the building they already have.
Bar Harbor Foods is one of the last operating seafood canning facilities in the state. They have been in the industry for 103 years.
“I think if you look at our plan to expand, you know, most certainly you’re looking at a significant number of jobs over the next number of years,” Minihane said.
Minihane says their focus at Bar Harbor Foods is driving development and investment.
Betsy Fitzgerald of the Washington County Development Authority said there are still spaces available to rent.