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Slow Money Maine

Common Wealth Poultry is proud to partner with Slow Money Maine and is grateful for their support over the past 10 years.

 

Cultivator program prepares startup companies for second-level growth

Ryan Wilson was working for a farm and doing deliveries to restaurants, when he started asking chefs what they wanted that they couldn’t get.

“They said ‘duck,'” he recalls. “So I grew six ducks.”

Today, Wilson's Commonwealth Poultry Co., in Gardiner, processes 300,000 USDA-inspected, all-natural, additive-free, halal chickens, ducks, turkeys, rabbits and game fowl per year, works with commercial growers throughout New England and Pennsylvania, and employs about 30 people year-round.

Nevertheless, it’s been learn-as-you-go since the company started in 2010.

“I don’t have a business background. I’m just doing the best I can every day,” Wilson says. “I read everything I can. I work with the USDA. I have a system down that we repeat and repeat and repeat. And we’ve proved it to work over and over again.”

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Maine’s only USDA poultry facility keeps its eyes on the “local” niche

More than 80 percent of American chefs say that locally sourced meats is a top trend for 2015, according to the National Restaurant Association. Local sourcing tops the list of “hot trends” on American menus, besting grass-fed, free-range and low-sodium options.  A small but single-minded poultry company in Maine is making a name for itself as it fills that very need.