EASTPORT — Raye’s Mustard Mill Museum of Eastport received significant boosts in recent days with notification that it has been awarded federal tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code. In addition, Eastern Maine Development Corporation has been awarded a $133,222 federal grant to provide technical assistance to businesses in Eastport; Raye’s Mustard Mill Museum is the ultimate recipient of that grant.
The Museum was created in 2017 to educate the public by preserving, displaying and demonstrating the authentic production process, physical plant and the history and cultural heritage of America’s last remaining traditional stone-ground mustard mill. It is a separate entity from J.W. Raye and Company, the 4th generation small family business that has produced mustard in Eastport since 1900.
The federal non-profit designation means that contributions to Raye’s Mustard Mill Museum are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law, and the Museum is eligible to apply for private foundation and government grants. This will broaden the Museum’s access to resources and strengthen its ability to preserve and educate the public about the historical significance of the mill.
“Being formally awarded 501(c)(3) status is a major milestone for Raye’s Mustard Mill Museum,” said Kevin Raye, who formally founded the museum along his wife Karen. “As we work to preserve the heritage of the nation’s only remaining traditional stone ground mustard mill, non-profit status for the Museum is a tremendous boost. It will allow us to expand fundraising activities and fully realize our goals as a charitable educational organization.”
The Museum received more good news when EMDC was notified that they had been awarded a USDA Rural Development Technical Assistance Grant. Raye’s Mustard Mill Museum and the City of Eastport benefit as the ultimate recipients of the grant. The grant will fund a feasibility analysis and economic research to measure and quantify the direct and indirect economic impact of the Museum. The analysis will also explore the impact of the mill expansion project in terms of jobs, wages, total economic output, and tax revenues to Eastport and the region, as well as fund planning activities including architectural and civil engineering work necessary for the project.
“EMDC is delighted to help create Raye’s Mustard Mill Museum in Eastport,” said EMDC’s President & CEO, Lee Umphrey. “It’s important for the community and the State of Maine to recognize and preserve this iconic Maine product and unique business. By promoting Raye’s traditional stone ground mustard mill process through technology and education, we celebrate the past while promoting its economic impact for the future.”
“These are exciting developments for Eastport and for Maine,” said Tessa Chaffey Ftorek, President of the Raye’s Mustard Mill Museum Board of Directors. “Raye’s Mustard Mill is a Maine treasure that has been an integral part of the fabric of Down East Maine for 118 years. It is also a vital anchor of tourism for Washington County visited by thousands of tourists every year from all 50 states and nations around the world.”
Last year, Raye’s Mustard was named by MaineBiz Magazine as one of the “Top 10 Iconic Maine Products”. Raye’s Mustard Mill is a past recipient of the Maine Tourism Association’s Down East and Acadia Regional Tourism Award, and a visit to the historic mill is ranked by tripadvisor.com as the #1 thing to do in Eastport, Maine. Donations can be mailed to Raye’s Mustard Mill Museum, P.O. Box 207, Eastport, ME 04631. For more information, please email email@example.com or call 207-952-2288.
Eastern Maine Development Corporation is a private, non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization. EMDC is proud to create economic development opportunities in Eastern Maine through community, business, and workforce development. For more information about the services EMDC provides, please visit www.emdc.org or call (207) 942-6389.