BLUE HILL — Perseverance and commitment have led to the 35th anniversary of Mainescape Garden Shop on South Street, which grew from a landscaping business into a sprawling garden center.
Don Paine started the business right after graduating from college with a degree in landscape architecture.
“It takes commitment and perseverance to survive in Downeast Maine,” Paine said. “I don’t care what you’re doing.”
Paine has seen many small businesses open and close during his time in Blue Hill and thinks people don’t realize the commitment it takes to keep a business going.
Paine said he lived “like a pauper” for years.
“I always kept rolling my money back into the business,” he said.
Mainescape still offers landscaping service in addition to its garden center, which is much more than a nursery.
“We’ve diversified our product mix so much,” Paine said.
The business sells a line of made-in-Maine products and holiday mail-order wreaths as well as food for people and pets.
“We always have fresh baked goods made for us every day,” Paine said.
The offerings include sandwiches from Barncastle and ice cream from Brooklin’s Ice Cream Lady, plus gourmet cheese, meat and crabmeat from various sources.
Mainescape also has fresh produce, which has been part of the business for years.
“We were really the only organic farmstand in Blue Hill 20 years ago,” Paine said.
“We just do a lot of things,” he said. “It’s that diversity that’s allowed us” to survive the highs and lows.
Althea Paine, Don’s wife, added, “We evolve as we go.”