WINSLOW — A Waterville-based specialty food maker that’s seeing its products sold in a growing number of stores is modifying a manufacturing space in Winslow so that it can consolidate operations there.

The new location for the Maine Crisp, which makes gluten-free, artisanal snacks, is the former home of Allsco USA Building Products at 20 Lithgow St. in Winslow. The property was purchased for approximately $460,000 by an investor as part of a company build-out. Maine Crisp uses the space through a long-term lease with the investor.

Maine Crisp was started by Karen Getz and her husband Steven Getz in their Waterville home in 2014, after moving to the city earlier that year. They moved the company to its current location at 10 Railroad Square in Waterville three years later.

Claire Getz, production manager at Maine Crisp, packages outgoing orders March 29 at the Maine Crisp building located at 20 Lithgow St. in Winslow. Maine Crisp produces a hand-crafted crackers using naturally gluten-free buckwheat grown in Aroostook County. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

“I love to bake and love to see people happy with what I make,” said Karen Getz, who’s company president. She says gluten-free products “should be just as good, if not better than products that use gluten.”

If the company’s sales are any indication, customers are finding its snacks to be a tasty option. Revenue has more than doubled from last year.

As part of her process for creating the crackers, Getz looked for a wheat alternative that would taste as good as wheat-based options. She came across buckwheat, which happens to be grown in Aroostook County.

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The Bouchard Family Farm in Fort Kent provides Maine Crisp with its buckwheat, where it is also milled into flour.

Getz asked herself, “What’s in our agricultural neighborhood that I can make something with?” This lead to the creation of the company’s wild blueberry walnut crisps.

Other flavors include cranberry almond, cinnamon maple, and savory fig and thyme, with more being planned. The crisps are mini loaves of bread that are sliced and made with nuts, dried fruits and other ingredients.

“They’re a great healthy snack, or they pair really well with cheese,” Getz said.

Moving to the larger space in Winslow will allow the company to conduct manufacturing, packaging and warehousing in one spot. The hope is to have the move completed by August. The 17,500-square-foot facility will allow the company to increase production in order to meet the demands of its deal with Whole Foods — providing crisps to 46 of the grocery chain’s locations.

Maine Crisp products are available in over 500 locations across the country, primarily along the East Coast. Orders can be made through Amazon and Maine Crisp’s website.

The company will be opening a retail outlet at the Lithgow Street facility. The entire building will be certified as gluten-free, meaning there will be no gluten on the premises at all.

Steve Getz of Maine Crisp points March 29 to improvements that are being made to the Maine Crisp building at 20 Lithgow St. in Winslow. The work is part of a build-out of Maine Crisp’s new Winslow manufacturing facility. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

“We’re thrilled to find a space so close to our current space,” Getz said.

Maine Crisp has about 10 employees and Getz said moving the company location just a few miles away allowed it to retain staff. The intention is to triple the number of employees in the coming years.

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