While Lisa Wardwell has owned Lisa's Restaurant and Catering on Bangor Street in Augusta for the past 11 years, she has extensive experience in the field. With 25 years in the restaurant field, she has worked at the restaurant she has owned since 2005 for 18 years, running the place for seven years, before taking over as owner.

Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as being open 365 days a year, Lisa's strives to be a central part of the fabric of Augusta, with live music and other events, such as paint nites.

Lisa has put a lot of hard work into her business, but she has also had some help along the way. When the previous owner of the restaurant approached her about buying the business, he told Lisa that he would help her by making "a great deal" for her to buy the restaurant and he would work with her to help her get her feet on the ground.

Still, it was a tough start for Lisa, as she said she had to work for free for the first year to make sure all of the restaurant's old debts were taken care of. "I had to take care of everybody," she said.

Looking back, she said if she could offer one tip to anyone looking to start their own Central Maine business, she would tell them to have a realistic picture of how much time it will take out of their lives. She said owing a  successful business is a huge commitment. "That's one of the big misconceptions that a business owner can go off and do whatever they want and have all the free time they want," she said. "I'm literally married to my business."


Here's Lisa's story:

Reported by Renee Nelson


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