Colby College and The Robin’s Nest, a full-service florist, announced today that The Robin’s Nest will relocate its flourishing floral design and retail business to 173 Main Street. Located on the ground floor of the former Waterville Savings Bank building, The Robin’s Nest is expected to open the doors of its new shop to the public in early February 2022, just in time for Valentine’s Day.
The Robin’s Nest’s new space at 173 Main Street is four times larger than the previous location, allowing for expanded offerings, including a larger selection of fresh-cut flowers, plants, and gifts, as well as a daily selection of fresh bouquets, seasonal wreaths, and custom floral arrangements for any event or occasion.
“We quickly outgrew our current shop and were literally working in nearly every empty corner for the last three years, so finding more space was critical to our continued growth,”said owner Robin Samalus-Getchell. “Leaving the Hathaway Creative Center is bittersweet but knowing that we will be part of the transformational downtown revitalization is exciting. My team and I can hardly wait for The Nest’s next chapter to begin at 173 Main Street early next year.” The prime location, centered in the heart of Waterville’s historic business district, will also provide Samalus-Getchell and her team with a larger workspace to welcome wedding clients and host design workshops.
“The addition of The Robin’s Nest to Main Street will add to the vibrant mix of small businesses that make downtown Waterville a destination for shopping,” said Brian Clark, vice president of planning at Colby. “It’s another great example of how small businesses are at the forefront of the city’s resurgence and how important it is that we continue to support them, including on November 27, which is Small Business Saturday.”
While Covid-19 has had a devastating effect on many small businesses across the country, the family-owned floristry finds itself in a position where it’s ready to scale up. “The Robin’s Nest opened in 2018 prior to a trying time and not only survived but thrived,” said Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Kimberly Lindlof. “Robin was innovative during the pandemic and has systematically grown her business. Her design creativity, hard work, and perseverance have brought her to this point where it is time to expand her floor plan. Mid-Maine Chamber is thrilled to welcome her to Main Street in downtown Waterville and looks forward to seeing how she beautifies this space.”
The Robin’s Nest’s expansion is the most recent example of Waterville’s revitalization efforts, highlighting the economic vibrancy of an increasingly pedestrian-friendly downtown. The florist will join Portland Pie Co., technology firm CGI Group, and Colby College offices at 173 Main Street, marking the first time in nearly a half-century that it has been fully leased and occupied. The building was purchased by Colby in 2015, and after a complete renovation reopened in 2017.
Bixby Chocolate, a chocolate-confections manufacturer, had originally planned to open in the renovated space prior to Covid-19 but recently announced they would instead open an artisan café in the Paul J. Schupf Art Center, allowing The Robin’s Nest to move its business to 173 Main Street.
Adding to Main Street’s retail mix is an important component of the downtown revitalization strategy developed by community partners. These businesses join other initiatives that are helping to reinvigorate the city, including the newly opened Greene Block + Studios, a one-of-a-kind space for artistic creation, innovation, and community interaction; the Lockwood Hotel and its acclaimed restaurant, Front & Main; the Bill & Joan Alfond Main Street Commons; and the Paul J. Schupf Art Center, where members of the community gathered to celebrate the topping-out ceremony earlier this month, and which is expected to be completed in late 2022. Additional improvements underway include upgrades to streetscape and traffic movements throughout downtown and the redevelopment of the former Lockwood Mills as workforce and market-rate housing.
Robin Samalus-Getchell has worked as a floral designer in Central Maine for more than 25 years. She opened her brick-and-mortar location in Waterville’s Hathaway Creative Center in 2018, the culmination of a dream that began when she was 12 years old. The full-service floral business prides itself on its high-level customer service, fresh inventory, competitive prices, and keen attention to detail. More information about The Robin’s Nest can be found at therobinsnestflowers.com.