WATERVILLE — Sandra Compton loves finding bargains, especially on items she can pass on to others at reasonable prices.

Compton, 78, also loves vintage goods, antiques, handmade items and artwork, all of which she expects to begin selling Friday at her shop, New Beginnings 2, at the former Ken-A-Set building at 1 College Ave. in downtown Waterville.

“I do welding, so I do a lot of metal art, and I do woodworking,” she said. “I make birdhouses and I paint landscapes. We have scrapbooking materials, furniture, clothing, shoes, hats — just about anything you can think of.”

Compton said she worked for years in the vintage and antique business in New Hampshire, but moved to Maine last year to be closer to her brother and to retire. In her travels in Waterville, she discovered the vacant Ken-A-Set building and deemed it a perfect space in which to resume her passion.

“At 78, everybody said, ‘You’re crazy, you’re crazy,'” she said. “I love what I do. I love dealing with vintage, antiques. I like looking for bargains that I can pass on to people. They can come in, and they don’t have to buy anything. They can browse, look at stuff. I want it to be a place the community feels comfortable coming.”

New Beginnings 2 is scheduled to open Friday at the former Ken-A-Set building at 1 College Ave. in downtown Waterville. Sandra Compton, the store’s owner, says she plans to offer vintage goods, antiques, furniture, clothing, handmade items, artwork and “just about anything you can think of.” Scott Monroe/Morning Sentinel

Built in 1900, the building is located where College Avenue turns into Main Street. It formerly housed a Studebaker dealership and had a bowling alley on the second floor. The building has 6,500 square feet on the first floor, 5,000 square feet on the second and about 7,000 square feet in the basement. The shop will be on the first floor and store items in the basement.


For many years, the two-story brick building next to Central Fire Station housed a thrift store that closed in February 2015 and relocated to Pittsfield. It was run by Skills Inc. of St. Albans, a nonprofit organization that helps adults with intellectual disabilities and other challenges. The Ervin Center day program, also run by Skills Inc., also moved out in 2015.

Mark McLeod of Wilmington, Massachusetts, bought the building in 2016, intending to find a partner and transform it into a microbrewery, sports bar and restaurant on the first floor and a nightclub on the second floor. The plans never materialized.

Compton said she is leasing the space from McLeod and has an option to buy it.

She said she has painted the walls and floors and added required fire safety features. She is now spending many hours each week organizing inventory.

A camera and welded items made by owner Sandra Compton are displayed Saturday on a shelf at New Beginnings 2, which is scheduled to open Friday at 1 College Ave. in downtown Waterville. Anna Chadwick/Morning Sentinel

“I’ve got two 26-foot trucks scheduled to come up in March,” Compton said. “Since I’ve been here, I’ve been working in the community, buying stuff from different people and from houses being cleaned out, estate sales.”

She said she also buys good, solid, older furniture that will last.


“I won’t put anything in the shop that is broken or destroyed,” said Compton, who often refurbishes furniture.

The Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce plans to hold a public ribbon-cutting event at New Beginnings 2 at 3:30 p.m. on March 21.

Kimberly N. Lindlof, the chamber’s president and CEO, said Friday the chamber is pleased to welcome Compton and her business to downtown Waterville.

“It’s so wonderful to see life breathed into that building, which sits at such a vital intersection allowing New Beginnings 2 to receive some fantastic exposure,” she said.

Dan Bradstreet, Waterville’s director of code enforcement, said Friday that Compton has received a business license from the city and a certificate of occupancy from his office.

Compton said she expects the store will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, with public parking on Main Street and seven or eight spaces behind the store.

She said she named the business New Beginnings 2 because she initially wanted to name it New Beginnings, but there were other area businesses with “New Beginnings” in their names.

Editor’s note: The story was updated to reflect the ribbon cutting was scheduled for March 21. 

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