WATERVILLE — A Lawrence High School and Bates College graduate who founded a multibillion-dollar financial services company and left the industry to develop a sustainable agribusiness plans to buy Jorgensen’s Cafe next week.

Todd Robinson, former owner of LPL Financial, will buy Jorgensen’s for his nephew, Joe Giardello, who grew up in Albion and eventually will own and run the downtown cafe, according to Steven Black, managing director and chief operating officer of Greenfield Investments LLC. Greenfield, a Robinson-owned company based in Nashua, New Hampshire, will purchase Jorgensen’s.

Current Jorgensen’s owners Steve and Ginny Bolduc won’t disappear as a result of the sale; Ginny will manage Jorgensen’s and her husband will continue to do work around the cafe in addition to working at his full-time job at the Sappi paper mill in Skowhegan — at least for the foreseeable future.

Ginny said they love the patrons and employees, and while they no longer will own the business, they are happy to stick around.

“We’ve made some wonderful friends. It’s like family, and our employees are like family as well,” Ginny Bolduc said. “I feel like they’re all my kids.”

Black said no major changes will take place at the Main Street cafe right away as Giardello spends about three months learning the restaurant trade at one of Robinson’s several restaurants that are part of his California-based agribusiness, Belcampo Inc., a separate LLC, which includes an organic farm and cattle ranch, a meat processing plant, neighborhood butcher shops and eateries.

“Ginny was gracious enough to stay on as manager and continue to work for Jorgensen’s, and we’re very excited about that,” Black said.

The cafe, which sells coffee and sandwiches, as well as baked goods, celebrated its 25th anniversary last August. Robinson will be the fourth owner.

While no decisions have been made about changes to the restaurant, Black said they could include an expansion of the kitchen.

“I wanted to take the approach of not scaring people — literally sit back and come up with a big plan and have a grand reopening, hopefully in late fall,” he said. “Between June and October, there’s a lot we can learn, and we have experience building restaurants. You want to take your time in making change. You have to find that balance when you make the changes, and keep everybody in mind.”

Ginny Bolduc said she is excited to see what Giardello learns at Belcampo and what ideas he will bring to the downtown cafe. When she and her husband bought Jorgensen’s nearly nine years ago, neither had experience in the restaurant business and learned what they now know through hands-on experience.

“I am sure there are ways we’re doing things that we could do much differently, much more efficiently,” she said. “I’m excited about that.”

Belcampo has 30,000 acres in Shasta, California, a herd of thousands of grass-fed cattle and other animals. The company also has a humane butchery and processing operation as well as butcher shops and restaurants in San Francisco, Santa Monica, Los Angeles and other California locations. The Belcampo offices are in Oakland, California, and the company has a bed-and-breakfast and adjacent fishing lodge in Belize.

Over the next few months, Black and Giardello will become acclimated to how Jorgensen’s works and then decide what changes would help improve the business. They will start making changes in the fall, Black said.

“Our approach is, day one, day 120, we’re not making any changes,” Black said. “We’re going to learn how the restaurant operates and come up with a strong plan on how we should move forward with Ginny’s input and Joe’s Belcampo experience. Joe will observe for the first few months and we will decide what those changes will be.”

Black said Robinson read articles about ongoing plans by Colby College and the city to revitalize downtown and may own other businesses here in the future.

“We are potentially looking at other ventures in the city,” Black said.

Black said Robinson’s companies are philanthropic and Robinson, who is “so good to people,” believes strongly in giving back.

“We give back to the environment, the community. We have a charitable foundation that really is geared to the environment. We do a lot of environmental work. If the opportunity arises, we’d love to give back to the community.”

Black, who has worked for Robinson many years, said LPL Financial, which Robinson founded and grew, now is the fourth-largest brokerage firm in the country.

“I ran operations, was chief operating officer and risk manager, and I worked there 11 years,” Black said. “I retired six years ago. I moved to northern California and built a winery, in Sonoma.”

In January, Robinson asked Black to come back. He said Robinson continues to have offices in Nashua.

“Now he spends time all over the world, so I’m the eyes and hands of everything,” Black said.

The City Council on Tuesday approved a food license for Greenfield Investments, doing business as Jorgensen’s.

Steve Bolduc told councilors he and his wife have owned Jorgensen’s nearly nine years.

“It’s time to turn over the reins,” he said.

Black told the council that Robinson wanted to a buy a business that Giardello, a University of Maine graduate, could learn and move into. Robinson has other ties to the area. His mother, Hattie Robinson, lives in Winslow, next door to Robinson’s aunt. The family also owns several waterfront homes in Unity, according to Black.

Mayor Nick Isgro, at the meeting, thanked Black for coming to the city.

“Welcome to Waterville,” he said. “We appreciate the investment.”

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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