'We have come a long way in the last 7 years.'

The board of directors of the Retail Association of Maine named Rockland-based Loyal Biscuit the 2017 Retailer of the Year. The award will be presented at the Retail Association of Maine’s 80th annual meeting on Nov. 2 at O’Maine Studios in Portland.

The Retailer of the Year Award has three main criteria: continued growth in employees or sales, commitment of company resources to community projects, and creation of a positive work environment for all employees. Loyal Biscuit was chosen for its reputation as a growing family business; impressive growth; social, ethical and environmental responsibility; and staff development procedures, according to a press release.

When Heidi and Joel Neal first purchased Loyal Biscuit in 2010, it was a single surviving retail location in Rockland and Heidi Neal was the sole employee. The company has expanded to four additional locations (Belfast in 2011, Camden in 2012, Waterville in 2014 and Brewer in 2017). It now has 21 employees.

The retail association’s board, made up of fellow retail businesses owners, recognized the impressive growth and commitment to giving back to the community which supports them. Curtis Picard, CEO of the Retail Association of Maine, said, “This is a prestigious award and Loyal Biscuit Co. is a very deserving company. Heidi is an amazing businesswoman and the growth of the business has been incredible. We were particularly impressed with how much they give back to the community.”

“It is a true honor for our company to be named as Retailer of the Year,” said co-owner, Heidi Neal. “We have come a long way in the last seven years, from a staff of one, to our current Loyal Biscuit family of 21. Our team works hard to make sure our customers receive the best products and knowledge, and to ensure that we are able to give so much back to the communities that support us. Receiving this award is truly an honor, and one that we share with our team and our communities."

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