Retail Director Steven Lonnemann (left), President and COO Matt Bigelow, and employee Lauren Weismanchester are joined by friends, family and locals at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Vermont Flannel Company store in downtown Freeport Wednesday evening. Maria Skillings / The Times Record

Mainers have a reputation for loving and wearing all things flannel, and now Freeport has a store that sells it to don from head to toe, including underwear.

Freeport residents lined the Main Street sidewalk Wednesday evening to welcome The Vermont Flannel Company, which opened its first Maine storefront. The flannel-centric clothing store is located at 47 Main St. in a brick building that had been vacant for a decade following the closure of the shoe store Clarks.

The Vermont Flannel Co. President and Chief Operating Officer Matt Bigelow said their products are different from other retailers because they are made with 100% GOTS-certified cotton and made in the U.S. (GOTS, or Global Organic Textile Standard, is a set of ecological and social criteria used to certify products as organic.) Bigelow said their flannel is also “double-brushed, to ensure the coziest flannel possible, inside and out.”

Vermont’s Secret “Vong,” a flannel thong made by The Vermont Flannel Company. Maria Skillings / The Times Record

The company was established in 1991 by Mark and Linda Baker who created an “ultra soft,” Bigelow said. Freeport is the company’s seventh location and the only one outside of Vermont. After scouting a few locations, Bigelow said they decided on Freeport because of the community support and his own childhood memories of taking annual family trips to the tourist hotspot.

“Today, it’s pretty incredible to see how the town has evolved into a year-round destination with events focused on quality clothing, amazing food and great music,” he said.

Retail Director Steven Lonnemann echoed Bigelow’s thoughts on the location and said he has been vacationing in Maine for years.


“Freeport was the perfect place to come,” Lonnemann said.

Bigelow said he’s unfazed by the massive competitor just down the road, L.L. Bean, which also carries a trove of flannel products.

“We’re happy just to be on the same street as the retail anchor of this town,” he said.

Store operating hours are Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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