Portlanders need go no farther than 199 West Commercial Street to buy this year’s Christmas Tree – beautiful, full trees that were trucked down from a tree farm in Aroostook County the day before Thanksgiving on an 18-wheeler. “They don’t get much fresher than this,” said Garrett FitzGerald as he sold tree after tree to customers who pulled off Commercial Street at the sign on the west end of Portland.
Garrett, his wife Tegan Curry and her business partner Kirsty Mogensen, received shipment of 500 fragrant oh so fragrant balsam fur trees in two parts – the last shipment arriving from a Van Buren tree farm yesterday. The apartment size trees have sold out, but some 6′ – 9′ trees are still available. If you need an apartment size tree, Garrett will “cut to fit” your room requirements and adjust the cost accordingly. The cost is $50. and upwards of that.
The sale of real trees has been brisk this year. Perhaps its because people are looking for somewhere outdoor to buy this year because of the restrictions on indoor shopping the pandemic has put on shopping. People are not traveling home to family this year because of the pandemic either. So for the first time young couples are looking for their own tree offered Garrett, a native of Prince Edward Island, as explanation for the brisk sales on the west end.
Some are so tired of being cooped up at home and working remotely in such unwanted isolation. So a chance to enjoy a family outing is paramount these days. Even as the rain started falling around mid-afternoon, people were still pulling over and purchasing a real tree for the holidays.
Via word-of-mouth craft vendors were invited to participate in the outdoor sale at no cost to them – on weekends only. About a dozen showed up and displayed their goods. A very busy vendor was “Cocktail Mary” – selling fantastic hot cider – spiked or unspiked. Isaac MacDougal’s business was brisk because people were looking for a way to warm up in the damp and sometimes rainy weather. It also tastes really good. “This is saving my ass,” said Isaac whose “Cocktail Mary” at 229 Congress Street has been hurt by pandemic restrictions.
Isaac’s (spiked or unspiked) cider is made with a secret ingredient that mhn was able to cajole him into naming; cranberries. Additionally, it is his unique treatment of cranberries unduplicated anywhere that gives it a tantalizing taste that begs for another. Isaac’s unique treatment of cranberries adds body and acidity to the cider. It is available on draft for your enjoyment at 199 West Commercial Street on weekends. Yum it is! For more information, email: email@example.com or go to his web page.
Mhn.com first met Garrett FitzGerald in 2013 when he opened his handsomely restored Portland & Rochester Public House, 118 Preble Street, Portland. After several years he decided to shut it down in order to focus on his Lobster Pound business in Bar Harbor. Coals Pizza now occupies that Preble Street location and is using much of the original furnishings installed by Garrett. Now he’s ready to return to Portland with his second Bar Harbor Lobster Co. next summer on the same location – 199 West Commercial Street.
“Tree Gull” is open seven days a week from 11:00 am – 7:00 pm. It will remain open until December 24th or until the trees are sold out.
“We’ll be back next year selling Christmas trees here. It’s really been fun,” Garret said. For information on the Portland & Rochester Public House, please visit post herein dated August 20, 2013.