Lily Miller makes a chicken salad sandwich Saturday at Harvest Moon Deli, which opened last week at 295 Kennedy Memorial Drive in Waterville. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

WATERVILLE — A business that focuses on fresh food and offering its workers competitive wages has opened at the Penny Hill Park plaza on Kennedy Memorial Drive.

Harvest Moon Deli, which now has seven locations in Maine, offers homemade soups, sandwiches, paninis, salads and other fare, as well as catering and pickup and delivery services.

“I think people love the fact that we are 100% committed to the freshest food possible, with the highest quality ingredients we can get our hands on and the best price we can offer,” said co-owner Zack Richardson, who owns the business with Keith Manaker, who founded it in 2007. “I think they love the service they receive at our delis.”

The 1,400-square-foot eatery, which opened last week at 295 Kennedy Memorial Drive, has seating for about 30, with a staff of about a dozen, according to Richardson, who said he and Manaker hope to open a second Waterville location on Main Street, near Exit 130 of Interstate 95.

The Waterville eatery is open every day from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

“We’d like to be on that main strip, right off 130 if we can find space,” he said. “That’s always the key. If we can find the space, I wouldn’t be shocked to see a second location in 2023.”


Manaker and Richardson own Harvest Moon Delis in Bangor, Brewer, Newport, Orono and now Waterville, as well as the restaurant Tacorita! in Orono.

Richardson said he grew up in Winthrop and is familiar with the Waterville area. He and Manaker had been looking at the Penny Hill Park space for a few years and talking on and off with owner Bill Mitchell. The COVID-19 pandemic delayed a move, but this was the year, according to Richardson.

“We love Waterville,” Richardson said. “It’s a great community.”

Harvest Moon has been popular in the Bangor area since opening 15 years ago, and young people, including college-age patrons, flock to the Orono deli and to Tacorita!, he said.

The company employs about 85 people at all of its locations, Richardson said, and the staff is trained well and compensated at the highest rates possible, with paid time off and a pension plan.

“We really care about our staff, and we do everything in our power to make sure our full-time staff are compensated,” Richardson said. “If your career is with Harvest Moon Deli, we’re going to ensure that you’re living — and not in a struggling situation.”

Harvest Moon Deli now has seven locations, with the newest opening last week at 295 Kennedy Memorial Drive in Waterville. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

Richardson said employees at the Waterville location were in training for several weeks before the deli opened.

“Things have been gloriously smooth,” he said.

The biggest message Richardson said he wants to impart is the business cares about its communities, and offers support for fundraising efforts through in-kind donations and other means.

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