Stonebay of Orono Senior Living held a grand opening open house on Wednesday, Sept. 16 at their Kelley Parkway location. The senior living community officially opened its doors on July 15.

The open house featured tours, giveaways, free meal vouchers and homemade specialty hors d’oeuvres prepared in-house by Stonebay’s chef. During the event, staff and all visitors were required to wear masks, use hand sanitizer and have their temperature checked upon entering. According to Executive Director Jennifer Ensign, Stonebay has 30 current residents, but the building has capacity for 72 that includes 24 independent, 24 assisted living and 24 memory care rooms.

Independent living, assisted living and memory care options are available at Stonebay. The community features multiple gathering areas, a dining area with meals prepared in-house, an exercise room, a library and a theatre room available to residents whenever they’re in the mood for some big-screen entertainment.

The commercial kitchen allows the senior living community to provide three meals a day to their residents including all-day breakfast. Their head chef and sous chef shared some of their skills as plates of various treats were available for residents and guests during the event. Some of those treats included beef wellingtons, creamy reuben soup sliders, meatballs and watermelon mozzarella skewers.

“We’re getting a smoker on site so we’re going to be doing our own pastrami, bacon and barbecue,” Ensign said.

Residents are able to enjoy their time on the rooftop patio that features a fire table or on their own balcony or patio, which is included in every room. The rooms also feature a kitchen/dining area, living area, bathroom and bedroom. Residents can venture out to the facility’s speak easy that features a cupboard for each guest to store their own beverages. Signature Stonebay cocktail recipes are available as well.

“Happy hour is our biggest attended activity,” she said. “It’s kind of our advantage that we’re newer and don’t have a full community yet. It’s easier for us to plan activities and meals. It’s working out well,” she said.

Although Ensign has 20-years of experience, she began her position with Stonebay mid-February and began working remotely due to COVID-19 not too long after that.

“It’s one thing to open a brand new community, but to do it during all of this, it’s a lot of education, a lot of marketing from [the] digital side and just great communication,” she said.

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