Find True Relief from Your Chronic Illness at Med Matrix in North Bridgton, ME

Med Matrix - Your Partner in Vitality

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Functional Medicine in North Bridgton, ME

Have you ever been to a primary care doctor and wondered why they focus on treating symptoms instead of addressing the root cause of your illness? Rather than take a patient-centered approach to address questions like, "Why are you ill?" they prescribe medications that alleviate symptoms but don't do much to solve the underlying issue that's causing you to be sick.

When you have a cough, you're handed a cough suppressant. When you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, you're prescribed a pill that masks the issue. The truth is that this approach only masks symptoms and can even make them exponentially worse. Medication never treats the root cause; your body's dysfunction isn't due to a deficiency of the medication you're taking.

That begs the question: Wouldn't you prefer to deal with the underlying cause of the problem making you feel bad? At Med Matrix, we take a functional approach to medicine instead of simply treating the symptoms our patients have.

We ask questions like:

  • Why is your body making more cholesterol?
  • Why are you obese?
  • Why is your blood pressure higher than ever before?
Functional Medicine Practice North Bridgton, ME

Med Matrix: Taking a Functional Approach to Healthcare

At Med Matrix, we delve deep to uncover the fundamental reasons behind your persistent health issues, offering you a path to lasting relief. Our team consists of knowledgeable doctors and skilled functional medicine experts who create caring environments focused on patient needs. We prioritize a holistic healing approach that looks beyond symptom management and aims to uncover and solve the core causes of your conditions for sustained wellness.

Are you:

  • Fed up with prescription after prescription and the side effects that come with them?
  • Seeking clear answers to complex health issues?
  • Craving a proactive role in improving your health?
  • Looking for a supportive, compassionate healthcare team in North Bridgton?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above or cannot get relief through conventional methods, functional medicine in North Bridgton, ME, is for you.

What is Functional Medicine from Med Matrix?

The functional medicine model of care offers a patient-centered approach to managing chronic diseases. It aims to answer the question, "Why are you ill?" so that you can receive personalized and effective care tailored to your needs.

Functional medicine providers in North Bridgton, like Med Matrix, take the time to listen to you and gather your medical history. This information helps us identify the root cause(s) of the illness, including triggers such as:

  • Poor Nutrition
  • Stress
  • Allergens
  • Toxins
  • Genetics
  • Microbiome (the bacteria living in and on your body)

Once we identify the triggers, we can create a customized plan that helps you lead a healthy life. Your plan will address various aspects of your life, including physical needs such as nutrition, exercise, and sleep, as well as mental and emotional stressors related to social, work, and community life.

 Functional Medicine Meal Plan North Bridgton, ME

The Med Matrix Difference

 Functional Medicine Testing North Bridgton, ME

At our functional health center, we provide a full spectrum of services and cutting-edge technologies to support your path to optimal health. Our team is skilled in a variety of practices including functional medicine, health coaching, hormone therapy, ozone therapy, and nutrition. Unlike some clinics that prioritize profits, we use diagnostic tools such as genetic testing and comprehensive laboratory evaluations to obtain a deeper understanding of your health conditions. In short, we take the time to get to know you, your body, your needs, and your goals. That way, we can provide the most effective, longest lasting care possible.

We also introduce innovative treatments and therapies like regenerative medicine, IV nutrient therapy, detoxification programs, PEMF mat, peptides, exosomes, and more. By integrating the most effective elements of conventional and functional medicine, we offer a comprehensive approach to health care that is tailored to you - not someone with a similar body type, age, and chronic illnesses.

Our Philosophy

Med Matrix was founded on the notion that patients deserve personalized, comprehensive care and unwavering commitment. Our philosophy also includes:

Above Beyond
Going Above & Beyond

Conventional medicine primarily aims to label diseases and prescribe medications for specific symptoms. At Med Matrix, we believe in a more holistic approach. Functional medicine - our chosen path - perceives the body as a harmonious. We view it as an interconnected system rather than a mere collection of isolated organs. In essence, we treat your entire system by delving into the root causes of your symptoms rather than trying to alleviate them on their own.

Working Together
Working Together

At Med Matrix, we consider patients to be more than visitors. We believe they're valued partners on the path to optimal health. Our cohesive team of seasoned physicians, devoted nurses, and expert nutritionists has an unwavering commitment to steering every patient towards health and happiness - a state we affectionately term "Health Actualization." Our functional medicine clinic is your comprehensive destination for wellbeing, and healing that propels you toward a life full of energy and vitality.

Advanced Testing
Advanced Testing

We seamlessly blend time-honored Western medical practices with cutting-edge functional medicine diagnostics conducted within our state-of-the-art, in-house laboratory. We understand that every patient has unique health needs and goals. Our diagnostic testing helps uncover the underlying issues you're dealing with so they can be addressed effectively. We do so through individualized treatment plans and custom treatments, not generalized care. Whether your path to wellness includes supplements, botanical medicines, prescription medications, therapeutic diets, detox regimens, or stress-reduction strategies, we're dedicated to your health.

Patients First
Patients First

Our core philosophy revolves around patient-centered care. Our practitioners take the time to listen, truly understand your unique story, and make you an integral part of the discovery process. We firmly believe that there's no one-size-fits-all solution in healthcare. That's why we're dedicated to delivering the highest quality functional medicine in North Bridgton, ME. Our approach to Health Actualization isn't solely about the absence of disease; it's about fostering vitality and overall wellbeing. Together, let's collaborate to achieve your path to Health Actualization.

Functional Medicine Memberships from Med Matrix

Our functional medical memberships are designed to optimize your health and prevent diseases from interrupting your wellbeing. These 12-month memberships feature the following core components and timeline:

Advanced Testing.png

Advanced Testing

Our advanced diagnostic testing takes into account more than 100 biomarkers, which helps us identify and ultimately address the underlying problems causing you to be sick.

Functional Medicine

Functional MedicineReview

We'll set up a one-hour meeting where you'll meet with an IFM-certified provider. During this meeting, your provider will get a better sense of who you are and the goals you have for your body and overall wellness.

Healthcare Plan

Personalized Healthcare Plan

Your healthcare plan is customized to your body and your goals and can include guidance on lifestyle optimization, diet optimization, supplement optimization, and hormone optimization.

Quarterly Testing

Quarterly Testing and Review

Once a quarter, you'll meet with a health coach from Med Matrix who will check on you and where you're at with your health goals.

Other benefits of signing up for a functional medicine membership include IV vitamin credits, access to a professional health coach, and discounted pricing on stem cell therapy.

Top 6 Reasons to Consider Functional Medicine in North Bridgton, ME

One of the most popular questions we get from new patients at Med Matrix is why they should even consider functional medical services over those at conventional medical centers. We get it - if you've only known the traditional side of medicine, exploring treatment from a functional medical doctor might seem unnecessary or uncomfortable. Before you retreat back into your comfort zone, take these points into consideration.

 Functional Medicine Consults North Bridgton, ME

Comprehensive Treatment Options

Unlike conventional doctors, who must work in a narrow scope of treatment, functional medicine opens the doorway to a wealth of therapies and treatments. For instance, at Med Matrix, when a patient presents with symptoms of depression, we don't simply consider which prescription medication to prescribe.

We thoroughly assess omega-3 levels, vitamin D levels, hormones, thyroid imbalances, gut issues, and inflammatory markers. Our goal is to identify the root cause of your depression. We seek to understand WHY your depression is happening. Some common functional medicine treatment options can include the following:

  • Health Coaching
  • Lifestyle Changes
  • Diet Optimization
  • Holistic Treatments and Therapies
  • Hormone Balancing
  • IV Vitamin Therapy
  • Med Spa Services
  • Peptide Therapy
Healthcare-and-Wellness

Healthcare and Wellness Services Catered to You

Functional medicine recognizes that each person is unique, so their treatment should be personalized. We all have different genetics, upbringings, diets, stress levels, and backgrounds. As functional medicine providers, we aim to understand each patient's life story from birth and create a plan that is tailored to them. Common sense says that conversation could take some time, and you'd be correct. An initial consultation with a functional medicine provider from Med Matrix can last an hour or more. But that allows us to provide you with focused, one-on-one attention.

This approach is in stark contrast to an appointment with a primary care physician, which only lasts a few minutes and can make you feel like you're just a number. It's challenging to have a meaningful conversation and provide a comprehensive solution in such a short time. Doctors who practice functional medicine in North Bridgton, ME, often see fewer patients per day, and for good reason - they're able to devote more time and energy to you, not processing transactions.

Education-that-Empowers

Education that Empowers

The primary objective of functional medicine is to equip and empower the patient to take charge of their health and enhance their quality of life. Since you can't visit a Med Matrix doctor every day, it's important that we continue your healing process using guidance provided by your functional medicine provider.

This guidance will cover important topics relating to your individual health, and may include protocols for optimizing your diet, lifestyle, exercise, stress, and supplements intake. We couple that guidance with advanced lab testing, condition diagnosis, and medication management. We understand that can be a lot to process in one or two meetings. As such, we may recommend health coaching and other services to help.

System-Based-Treatment-Protocols

System-Based Treatment Protocols

Functional medicine believes in treating the person, not just the disease or the symptoms. Most conventional medicine models prioritize prescription medications that match up to specific symptoms. In the world of functional medicine, that's a short-sided approach. Instead, providers at Med Matrix take a systems-based approach to care.

For instance, if you're concerned about enduring too much stress, we want to know that's due to inflammation, malfunctioning adrenals, G.I. problems, or something else entirely. To find out, we check the functionality of your kidneys, heart, gut, liver, thyroid, hormones, and even your vitamin D levels. The more we know, the better understanding we have of the systems we need to address.

functional-medicine-appointment

Uncover the Root Cause

Many people struggle to find answers to their medical conditions because they are passed around from doctor to specialist and back again. This happens frequently. Numerous patients have told us that they were informed, "it's all in your head" and "your labs look normal," despite experiencing severe symptoms indicating that something was wrong.

When you come to Med Matrix for a functional medicine appointment, it's almost like you're hiring a medical detective to uncover the root cause of your symptoms. Our doctors thrive on difficult cases and won't stop investigating until a solution is uncovered.

Preventative-medicine

Cost-Effective Treatment, Long-Lasting Results

Functional medicine goes by many names, such as integrative, holistic, personalized, and preventative. Preventative medicine is the most cost-effective form of healthcare. By preventing or slowing down diseases, you can save future healthcare costs that would have been incurred if a preventative approach wasn't taken.

For instance, let's consider Type II Diabetes. Patients who visit a functional medicine provider are proactive and start addressing blood sugar concerns well before conventional medicine does. Functional medicine providers monitor blood sugar levels even before they reach conventional pre-diabetes levels. When patients are informed and educated about diet and lifestyle before the onset of a disease, much better results are achieved in disease prevention. Once someone has a diagnosis or disease, it becomes more challenging and expensive to correct.

Essential Vitamins and Minerals for Maintaining Your Health

One of the major hallmarks of functional medicine in North Bridgton, ME, is to stay healthy year-round by eating a healthy diet and exercising. While diet and exercise are crucial for wellness, many Americans don't get the necessary amounts of vitamins and nutrients in their diets. Whether you're working with a health coach or you're simply looking for diet tips, keep these important supplements in mind as you work towards a healthy life.

 Functional Medicine Treatment Center North Bridgton, ME

Two words that send shivers down the spines of every man are "erectile dysfunction." Unfortunately, when your T levels are lower than they should be, this is one of the most common symptoms that men must endure. Being unable to get it up isn't just embarrassing - it can be downright depressing and lead to issues with mental health. It's a hard topic to discuss, but a personalized TRT plan from Med Matrix can help.

Natural sources of vitamin D include:

  • Sunlight
  • Fatty Fishes
  • Dairy Products
Functional Medicine Practice North Bridgton, ME

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a crucial nutrient for supporting the immune system and overall health. In addition to its well-known role in preventing scurvy, vitamin C is essential for collagen synthesis, wound healing, and combating infections. It also acts as a powerful antioxidant, protecting cells from damage caused by free radicals. Including vitamin C-rich foods in your diet or taking supplements can help ensure that your body has an adequate supply of this vital nutrient.

Natural sources of vitamin C include:

  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Citrus Fruits
  • Cauliflower
  • Tomatoes
  • Cruciferous Veggies
 Functional Medicine Meal Plan North Bridgton, ME

Anemia is a condition that affects millions of Americans, resulting from various factors including iron deficiency, which is one of the most common national deficiencies. Iron is crucial for maintaining healthy blood. It plays a key role in supporting the production of hemoglobin, a protein found in red blood cells that is responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body.

Natural sources of iron include:

  • Seafood
  • Poultry
  • Meat
 Functional Medicine Testing North Bridgton, ME

Functional Medicine in North Bridgton, ME: A Root-Cause Focus from Med Matrix

As a catalyst in the evolution of healthcare, functional medicine adopts a holistic approach to promoting health and wellbeing. It delves into the underlying causes of diseases and aims to restore optimal bodily function through a personalized and patient-centric approach. This approach complements conventional medicine and serves as a crucial partner in the overall healthcare landscape.

If you're sick and tired of relying on traditional models that push pills and prescriptions down your throat, it's time to make a change. At Med Matrix, we look beyond symptom management. We're focused on being proactive, not reactive. Our doctors of functional medicine are trained and fully equipped to help you reimagine what it's like to live a happy, healthy life.

If you're ready to take the first step toward true wellbeing, we're here to help. Contact our office today to learn more about our comprehensive functional medicine program.

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Latest News in North Bridgton, ME

Tree turned into Art — Chainsaw sculptor Josh Landry’s work draws plenty of interest & praise

June 23rd, 2023Staff WriterWhen David Raines had Q-Team cut the top off a massive tree on his front lawn, unlike most people, he decided to save the remaining 20-foot trunk for a better purpose than firewood.He called Josh Landry — chainsaw sculptor.For 11 days, the North Anson artist transformed the towering tree trunk into an eye-catching, highly-detailed nature scene which includes bears, an owl and an eagle.“When people hear chainsaw carving, they automatically think rough....

June 23rd, 2023

Staff Writer

When David Raines had Q-Team cut the top off a massive tree on his front lawn, unlike most people, he decided to save the remaining 20-foot trunk for a better purpose than firewood.

He called Josh Landry — chainsaw sculptor.

For 11 days, the North Anson artist transformed the towering tree trunk into an eye-catching, highly-detailed nature scene which includes bears, an owl and an eagle.

“When people hear chainsaw carving, they automatically think rough. They don’t think like I do. I am all about detail, flow, movement — the pieces feeling like they are alive,” he said.

Artistic as a kid, Josh was always drawing.

“I loved art class. I didn’t like anything else in school. When I was 15, I saw a guy in my town, a local chainsaw carver. It was like, I want to do this. When I saw I could carve things better than I imagined, I was really addicted to it. I started carving and I didn’t want to stop,” he said. “I could carve even better than I could draw. I was hooked. I wanted to get better and better. So, I practiced, a lot.”

For about 20 years now, Josh has studied wildlife and perfected his skills using a chainsaw as his chisel.

“I look at photos of animals all the time — see how they move, see their gestures,” he said. “I also really enjoy working with different clients, finding out what they really want and how to tell that story with the carvings.”

When Josh spoke with Dave and Val Raines, he learned that the tree had been down a while, so he expected some rot inside the trunk.

“So, my plan was to work with the tree. I knew there might be some bad spots. There’s still a lot of strength left in the tree. I drilled into it and put some preservatives in to prolong the longevity of the tree. It’s really been a fun project. Everyone in the town has been great. Awesome,” said Josh who spent 11 days here, his first visit to Bridgton and the Lake Region. “Everybody is very welcoming and have been enjoying watching the process. As I was carving a few feathers, a couple of kids came by with their parents. One of the things I really like is me, my wife and son, we travel together and constantly meet new people, nice people. Bridgton is fantastic.”

Josh says he makes the saw do things it’s not supposed to. “They are not meant to do such graceful, beautiful things. They’re aggressive. They’re a serious power tool. You have to respect them,” he noted.

Josh takes pride in the amount of detail that he can get with only using a chainsaw.

“I can carve a piece that almost looks sanded and like it’s been chiseled — and I’ve only used the saw. That’s from hours and hours, days and years of practice and muscle memory, having that saw being an extension of my hands carving,” said Josh, who likes to listen to classical music when he is either trying to figure out a cut or needing to pay close attention to a specific detail. “It’s more than a carving. I want everything to look like it’s moving and lifelike with expression — be it a bear having a little grin or an eagle having a serious, majestic look. I just try to personalize each of the animals and give them their own character. I also want it to tell a story. I see myself as a preservationist. I see myself preserving people’s stories in nature.”

Trees been around some people for generations. When it comes time to take them down, it can be upsetting, Josh says. He looks to bring that tree back to life and bring joy back to it.

“I hear people say, ‘I hate to see that tree come down.’ What better way to give life back to it and pay tribute than to do a nice sculpture out of it,” Josh said. “Hopefully, people will see this and when they’re getting ready to cut down trees, they think of me.”

Earlier this week, Josh planned to return to airbrush the sculpture with a stain and go over that with a wood finish. He likes to check on carvings every year or two to be sure they are standing up to the test of time and weather.

“I’m very happy with the end result. It turned out to be a beautiful piece. I really liked the flow and twisting the tree has, it’s not just a straight tree. Like it almost has kind of a whimsical look,” Josh added.

Josh has done work across the state, including at the Bangor home of Stephen and Tabitha King. There was a dead ash tree in the front yard, and Tabitha had an idea to turn it into a sculpture featuring books and animals. Josh and his chainsaws brought that vision to life.

“If they (a client) say I don’t believe you can do it in wood, challenge accepted,” Josh said. “I can’t wait. I want these carvings to last generations.”

For more about Josh Landry, go to his website at joshlandry.com

Rotary Good Citizen, Olivia Pearson

May 12th, 2023Olivia Pearson of North Bridgton has been selected as the Bridgton-Lake Region Rotary Club’s “Citizen of the Month” for April.Each month, the Rotary Club recognizes a Lake Region High School student who displays good citizenship and contributes to the school community. The recipient is honored at a Rotary breakfast meeting and is presented a monetary gift.Parents: Kim and Eric Pearson BedfordActivities: Volleyball, Dance (pointe, ballet and tap).Hobbies: Bak...

May 12th, 2023

Olivia Pearson of North Bridgton has been selected as the Bridgton-Lake Region Rotary Club’s “Citizen of the Month” for April.

Each month, the Rotary Club recognizes a Lake Region High School student who displays good citizenship and contributes to the school community. The recipient is honored at a Rotary breakfast meeting and is presented a monetary gift.

Parents: Kim and Eric Pearson Bedford

Activities: Volleyball, Dance (pointe, ballet and tap).

Hobbies: Baking, decorating, listening to audible books, hiking and camping

Future plans: I will be going to college and continuing with volleyball. I would like to travel to different parts of the world.

Q. What do you believe are three keys to being a good citizen? Give back to your community whether through donating or helping with the food pantries, etc. Having compassion for people and trying to understand and help when you can.

Lastly, keeping our earth clean and free of trash. When you’re out on a walk, lend a hand and pick up what you see!

Q. What piece of advice that you have received that has made a difference in your life?“The thing about trains… It doesn’t matter where they’re going. What matters is deciding to get on.” This quote is from the Polar Express. To me, this reminds me to take every opportunity to try something new even if it feels scary. Take that jump, you never know where it might lead you.

Q. Who is your favorite teacher? My favorite teacher is Mr. Porter. He has helped me so much in school since my sophomore year. He always figures out the best way to help and finds your best learning tactics to help you improve. Thank you, Mr. Porter for all your help.

Q. How have you tried to make your school/community a better place? I think that it can make somebody’s day a little bit brighter with a smile and a thoughtful greeting. It can go a long way to make someone feel special. I believe that cheering on our sports teams with all the hard work they do means a lot!

Q. What accomplishment are you most proud of? I am very proud that I became varsity captain of volleyball! I was also chosen to receive the Laker Pride award a couple of times this year. It feels good to be recognized for the work I’ve accomplished.

Despite claims of ‘robust coverage,’ Lakes Region residents struggle to get connected

BRIDGTON — When a couple of town employees tested positive for COVID-19 late last year and town offices closed for 2 1/2 weeks, Linda LaCroix could not simply “work from home.”Her would-be internet service provider, Spectrum, is one of a number of providers that claim to have 95% to 100% connectivity in Bridgton, according to the website BroadbandNow, which collects data about broadband service availability, speed and pricing from internet providers and the Federal Communications Commission.While LaCroix strug...

BRIDGTON — When a couple of town employees tested positive for COVID-19 late last year and town offices closed for 2 1/2 weeks, Linda LaCroix could not simply “work from home.”

Her would-be internet service provider, Spectrum, is one of a number of providers that claim to have 95% to 100% connectivity in Bridgton, according to the website BroadbandNow, which collects data about broadband service availability, speed and pricing from internet providers and the Federal Communications Commission.

While LaCroix struggles to get her own home connected, she and a number of other local officials in the Lakes Region have been working to bring better broadband access to rural areas in Cumberland and Oxford counties through state-funded opportunities.

To apply for grants from the state’s ConnectMaine Authority, towns must demonstrate their need. But data from internet providers, such as is the case in Bridgton, and other publicly available maps misrepresent the full picture, claiming high-speed connectivity in areas that lack the proper infrastructure, Rep. Walter Riseman, I-Harrison, said.

State Rep. Walter Riseman of Harrison says maps erroneously claiming high-speed internet service in certain areas are hurting local efforts to enhance service to businesses and homeowners.

“We have situations where out on the street, there is broadband service connected on the pole. But once you go off a side street and you don’t meet the (internet providers’) criteria” for population density, Riseman said, “they won’t extend the service at their costs.”

Bridgton has “robust coverage (in the 90% range of households served), which is contrary to experience and puts us out of reach of available grants that could help cover costs for expanding broadband in the town,” read a post from the town on its Facebook page.

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“If people want to get together and pay for it, that’s up to them. But it’s a very expensive proposition there,” Riseman said.

LaCroix compared broadband access to the rural electrification efforts of the 1930s. “(It’s) a justice issue for me, just like when electric power was in the city of Chicago but not in rural Vermont,” she said.

That disparity may be because federal law requires that only one household within a census block — which could be 15 homes along a stretch of road — has download speeds of at least 25 megabits per second (mbps) and upload speeds of three mbps to be considered “served.”

Riseman has proposed a bill that would standardize the terms used to describe service availability.

Officials in Bridgton, Harrison and more than 20 other towns in the region are collecting their own data via internet speed tests and consumer surveys and hope to find regional solutions by working with neighboring communities.

Not only will this ease the financial burden on individual stakeholders but it will give communities the strength in numbers needed because, as Sebago Town Manager Michele Bukoveckas put it recently: “Being rural adds a whole new level of difficulty because some providers don’t want to go to rural areas.”

Mia Purcell of Community Concepts Finance Corp. in South Paris is helping coordinate many of these efforts. Purcell, along with Mike Wilson of the Northern Forest Center in South Portland, led a six-month “Broadband Bootcamp” that brought local administrators up to speed on the issue.

Being the “lone ranger” who manages economic development for 27 towns in northern Oxford County, “I couldn’t think of anything that could have a broader impact within the county at the residential, business level, than improving broadband,” Purcell said.

Purcell said reports of booming internet use during the pandemic proves her assessment was “spot on.”

That sentiment was echoed by state Sen. Rick Bennett, R-Oxford, who said the pandemic has “underscored for everybody how critically important” broadband is, and “how this is truly a public utility.”

He’s also proposed legislation focused on broadband. One piece is a $100 million bond for infrastructure that Bennett said is just one part of the estimated $600 million needed to expand broadband access.

Another would beef up ConnectMaine, which is housed under the Department of Economic and Community Development and has two full-time employees.

“My vision is that we adopt this big, hairy, audacious, bipartisan goal of 98% high-speed, reliable, broadband coverage across all of Maine,” Bennett said.

Trail grooming takes neighbors on a journey

February 19th, 2021By Dawn De BuskStaff WriterRob Knowles and Roger Lowell are as excited as two children on Christmas Eve as they talk about the snow that this week’s nor’easter will bring.The two Bridgton men groom the nordic ski trails that intersect woodlands and fields off Highland Ridge in North Bridgton.The trails, which are located on privately owned land, are free to the public. Usually, the trail system is visited by approximately 50 carloads of peopl...

February 19th, 2021

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

Rob Knowles and Roger Lowell are as excited as two children on Christmas Eve as they talk about the snow that this week’s nor’easter will bring.

The two Bridgton men groom the nordic ski trails that intersect woodlands and fields off Highland Ridge in North Bridgton.

The trails, which are located on privately owned land, are free to the public. Usually, the trail system is visited by approximately 50 carloads of people in the course of one weekend.

Alas, this isn’t a usual winter. That’s because there hasn’t been much snow.

So it was no surprise that last Saturday, the two volunteer trail-groomers started the conversation with the snowstorm that was being predicted. They talked about how much the trails will benefit from a nice foundation of snow.

“Just being able to get out in the woods and doing some grooming. This will be the first time this season that we have groomed a lot of the trails,” Lowell said. “We’re excited, especially Rob. He’s just chomping at the bit.”

Knowles agreed that he was looking forward to grooming again.

“I haven’t been able to drag in the woods this winter,” Knowles said, adding that he hopes for at least a half-foot of snow to make a good base.

Knowles used to ski and snowshoe but physically he cannot do it anymore because of wear and tear on his ankles.

“The only thing that motivates me is you go along at 7 miles an hour, and you see deer every once in a while, and you run into people who are enjoying themselves. Mostly, you just look back and you go, “That’s a damn nice-looking track,’ ” Knowles said. “It is something that I enjoy doing.”

“In the woods, the part I do, I have three drags. And Roger has at least two or three kinds of drags. They are about 42 inches wide. So, we do two passes so you end up with a maybe 6-foot-wide trails,” Knowles said, adding this allows both skiers and snowshoers to share the trails.

Since the mid-1970’s, Knowles and Lowell have been grooming wintertime trails in two separateareas on Highland Ridge. About 20 years ago, the two men realized they had a common goal. As the years have gone on, the trails have gotten wider and more miles have been added.

Both men have been involved in a whole lot of skiing during their lifetime.

In fact, Lowell was hired by the high school in Bridgton to start up a downhill ski team. A year later, he established a nordic ski team. Eventually, he would go on to become the principal of Lake Region High School, a job he maintained for 16 years until his retirement in 2010.

Lowell talked about the reasons he loves skiing.

“Getting outside and exploring. Trails are fun but I like to go off up some mountain, do a swamp or someplace new. The other big thing is seeing people having a good time using the trails,” Lowell said.

He said it is lot of fun to get other people hooked on this winter-time activity that he enjoys so much.

“You try to do it when the conditions are good. You don’t want to take someone out for their first skiing experience while it’s icy. You want the conditions to be good,” he said.

“The other day four people tried skiing for first time. The two little boys kept bugging the parents about coming back again. That is as good as it gets,” he said.

Lowell loans out skis for free. This allows people to test out the sport before they invest in new skis.

Considering that he has about 100 pairs of skis — chances are good someone will find a ski boot that fits.

“I keep a good supply on hand so that I can outfit anybody. The intent is to have it here. So that people can find something that fits If they really like it, they can buy their own,” he said.

All people have to do is e-mail him at roglowell@gmail.comThe important information people should provide is their shoe size and what day they want to ski.

He has been collecting skis for 50 years, since his children were little. Whenever his children outgrow a pair, he would buy new ones They would grow out of a pair, and he would keep the old ones. Oddly enough, he acquired many almost new sets of skis at the local dump and he suspects people purchased them new and then never really got into skiing.

The website, Maine by Foot, which lists eight trail systems in Bridgton, has helped to spread the popularity of Highland Ridge Nordic Trails. So, has word of mouth.

Along with the number of users, the number of trails have grown, too. Making new trails is something Lowell enjoys in the off season.

“It is fun to go into areas that don’t have any trails and walk around and find some pretty places and find a trail. Cutting it is hard work, but it is fun,” he said.

The men guessed that there are 16 miles of trails. About five miles of new trails were completed during the past summer. The previous year, three miles of trails were added.

Knowles said he expects a rebound in the number of people who use the trails — once it snows.

“It is going to take a while to get it back to where we were. But it’s going to happen because it’s free and people like that,” he said.

Stella’s on the Square, where community will be celebrated

February 5th, 2021Staff WriterSince he was a little boy, cooking has been in Nicholas Orgo’s blood.“I grew up in a Greek and Italian family and food was important to us. It was the focal point at our large family gatherings. I watched my grandmothers do most of the cooking, and I thought it was great that they would make such delicious meals,” Nick remembers. “I started helping with them at a young age, mostly doing things like rolling meatballs or kneading dough.”Ni...

February 5th, 2021

Staff Writer

Since he was a little boy, cooking has been in Nicholas Orgo’s blood.

“I grew up in a Greek and Italian family and food was important to us. It was the focal point at our large family gatherings. I watched my grandmothers do most of the cooking, and I thought it was great that they would make such delicious meals,” Nick remembers. “I started helping with them at a young age, mostly doing things like rolling meatballs or kneading dough.”

Nick’s parents owned a couple of diners in New Jersey.

Today, he carries on the family tradition. Nick runs a very successful catering business — M.A.N.E Catering — and will soon embark on an expansion, launching Stella’s on the Square after purchasing the historic Tom’s Homestead Restaurant on North High Street in Bridgton. Nick closed the deal in December with long-time chef and restaurateur Tom Doviak, who called the Homestead both his business and family home for 40 years.

“My wife (Jessica) and I decided to purchase Tom’s Homestead because we love the town of Bridgton and wanted to cement our roots here for years to come,” Nick said. “Additionally, my business was growing and I was out growing my current space in Gray. When looking for my next space, we knew I wanted to be in Bridgton. We are both already so involved with the town in so many other aspects it just seemed like the next logical step. Our heart is in Bridgton, now our business is too!”

The plan is to use the commercial kitchen as the heart of the catering business, while renovating the former restaurant space into dining space for special events. The Homestead will be renamed Stella’s on the Square — named after the Orgo’s daughter.

“Initially, Stella’s on the Square will be a special events space and will be offering take-out and delivery, with a rotating menu of scratch made food. By special events, I mean we will be offering many opportunities for the town to join us and take part in what we have to offer. We will be offering farm-to-table dinners, charity events, private dinner parties for groups as little as six, wine dinners, cooking classes, cooking clubs, cooking themed birthday parties for kids and adults, cocktail parties in the garden, corporate lunches, annual event gatherings, holiday parties, anniversary dinners, rehearsal dinners, celebrations of life, baby showers and much, much more,” he said. “We want Stella’s on the Square to be the place the community loves to come to. The place that brings people together, feeds them amazing food, pours them a great drink, and creates a sense of joy that last a lifetime!”

Bridgton selectmen welcomed Nick “to the neighborhood” — Town Manager Bob Peabody lives a stone’s throw from the Orgo’s new venture — Tuesday night during their virtual board meeting, which they approved a liquor and special amusement permit. During his quick overview of planned activities at Stella’s, Nick envisions outdoor events, some of which could occasionally include two or three-piece musicians. Mainly, he looks to create a place with community in mind. Nick is no stranger to community involvement. As he mentioned to selectmen, he and his wife are involved in several town groups, including the Chamber of Commerce. Nick can often be found whipping up a dish or two for Community Kettles held at the Bridgton Community Center as a member of the Rotary Club.

Nick and Jessica strive to be fully immersed in their community. Stella’s on the Square will certainly an extension of that desire.

Moving north

Nick’s move to Bridgton came in 2017.

He is originally from Nutley, N.J., which is about three miles from Manhattan. He is the youngest of three children — he has a sister, Demetria and brother, Steven. His connection to Maine came early on.

“Some of my fondest memories are my childhood, where we spent summers at Camp Ellis Beach in Saco. I moved to Maine full-time when I was 22, in August 2004,” he said.

Nick graduated from the University of Southern Maine, and met Jessica in Portland in 2007.

“I love cooking, skiing, traveling, spending time with family and friends and helping my community,” he said.

Yes, he truly loves to cook.

“I love feeding people good food. I love to see people happy and full of joy that a meal can bring. I love to bring people together and nothing does that better than food,” he said. “Food preparation is super fun and exciting to me, as it is always progressing with new foods, new flavors, new techniques, etc. I am learning new things often and that keeps my passion burning.”

Nick says his cooking skills have improved through years of practice, continually trying new recipes and techniques, some with success and some with failure.

“My specialty is cooking all of our food from scratch. This best allows us to control the quality of our dishes, adapt them as I want, and it allows me the ability to best adjust the recipes based on my clients’ preferences,” he said. “Complete flexibility is our specialty and providing clients with a dish/meal/event the way they want it.”

Nick decided to open a catering business instead of a restaurant because the hours are more conducive to family life.

“My family is my number one priority,” he noted.

M.A.N.E. Catering has been in business for six years. M.A.N.E. is an acronym for Nick’s nieces and nephews — Madison, Alexander, Nicholas and Eleni.

“As I said before, I am family man first. I named all of my businesses after my family. Stella’s on the Square is named after my daughter and Jazzy Jeanne’s Jersey Dog, a hot dog cart, named after my mother,” he said.

Catering presents a range of challenges.

“Every event is unique, and every client’s needs are different. Some of the biggest challenges we face are the working with those different clients at different locations, using different equipment, navigating different terrain and creating menus and events to meet those challenges. Knowing my abilities and limitation at each unique venue and with each client, is the key to a successful event,” Nick said. “Normally, our biggest challenge is staffing. The hours are long and require a lot of hands-on work. The biggest challenge my business faces is Covid-19 and if we will still be allowed to have gatherings. So, I guess my biggest challenge is learning how to best adapt to the current circumstances with having little control over the outcome.”

On the cooking side, when asked if he has a favorite dish to prepare, Nick said, “Believe it or not, I do not have a favorite dish. My favorite thing to cook is something new. I love to continuously trying new foods, dishes and recipes. I get bored very easily, so it the different flavors, textures and aromas that drive my passion.”

While Stella’s on the Square will not be like its predecessor — a restaurant — it will look to create a warm atmosphere where the community can gather for special occasions or charitable events or special meetings, relax and enjoy incredible food dishes.

Nick has been busy working on the Homestead, making improvements and changes with a hopeful eye for better things to come in 2021. Like his cooking and all things Bridgton that they do, Nick and Jessica are putting their hearts and souls into this next adventure.

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