LINCOLN, Maine — Eric Burpee looked at several locations, but in the end just couldn’t resist opening his State Farm Insurance and Financial Services office on West Broadway.
“It’s the only town [in Penobscot County] north of Bangor that has grown in the last 10 years, albeit in a very small way,” Burpee said Wednesday. “I like this location because there seems to be a lot of traffic coming through all the time.”
Burpee’s office opened in early June with clients from George Martin and Martin’s Millinocket State Farm office on Penobscot Avenue, which closed when Martin retired May 30. The West Broadway office is located adjacent to Label Shopper, a discount clothing chain of 21 stores in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, that opened at 284 West Broadway in early November.
The State Farm office carries more than 1,000 clients and, when fully licensed on Aug. 1, will employ four full-time employees, Burpee said.
It also will offer a full range of financial services, including retirement planning, auto loans, and help managing individual retirement and health insurance accounts, he said.
“To become a State Farm agent now, they don’t allow you just to sell insurance. There is a lot more to it,” Burpee said.
A Google search of Lincoln Wednesday revealed plenty of competition for State Farm, including FA Peabody Co. Insurance, Cross Insurance, Neal Associates, Weatherbee Insurance and Modern Woodmen of America.
Burpee’s store is the first to move into the former auto dealership building since Label Shopper. Now subdivided into three stores, the building is managed by Ellis Commercial Management of Bangor.
Ellis has received several inquiries on the slot adjacent to State Farm, but nothing solid yet, said Martin Allen, a real estate manager for the company.
Other recent businesses opening in Lincoln include:
• A subsidiary of Sargent Corp. of Stillwater, Sargent Materials purchased a ready-mix concrete plants of G.E. Goding, including four ready-mix plants in Lincoln, Millinocket, Woodland and East Machias, in late December or early January and opened on West Broadway in April.
• A new farmers market, selling fresh produce, at 5 Bagley Mountain Road, called Smith Brook Farms LLC.
• A Tim Hortons is also supposed to begin building a store on West Broadway. No construction date has been set.