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A week before the coronavirus pandemic hit Maine hard in March, the corporation that employed Jennifer DeChant decided to eliminate her position in government relations.
Actually, she was given a choice: She could keep her job on the condition that she relocate to upstate New York. She declined.
DeChant took stock of her situation and her options. All around her, restaurants and shops were closing. People were being furloughed or laid off. One of her two sons had a health scare.
All of it caused her to evaluate her priorities. She wanted to continue working, but closer to home. She wanted something that would involve her family and, as the former executive director of Bath’s Chocolate Church Arts Center and a former Maine legislator, “something that works with my deep love and affection for the city of Bath.”
Which is how, in late June, she found herself signing papers to take ownership of the Bath Sweet Shoppe on Centre Street.
“Opening a candy store in a pandemic is kind of a crazy idea,” she said. “But the other part of this is that candy and chocolates are, for some of us, a coping mechanism.”
Starting any kind of business …
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