In 1962 the late Lionel R. Plante Sr. moved to Peaks Island in an attempt at early retirement. Entrepreneurial by nature, Lionel soon discovered he wasn’t suited for a relaxed lifestyle and turned his focus toward identifying a service he could provide to islanders. The most popular request was a laundromat, as one was unavailable on Peaks Island. He began his small company by opening the first and only laundromat on Peaks Island. To this day that laundromat maintains its status as the oldest continuously operating business on the island. Today, Lionel’s wife, Catherine, her two brothers, Terry and Coley Mulkern, and sister, Bridget Kinner, continue to identify services needed in the bay. Through hard work and innovation they create a means to meet those needs. This multi-faceted and multi-generational family business has grown to be the major supplier of a diverse array of services to make islanders’ lives a bit less difficult.
LPA’s dedication and focus on islanders’ needs has been rewarded by overwhelming support from the customers they serve. This continued support has allowed the company to expand into a variety of businesses and services and grow their area of operation to include the entire coast of Maine and coastal New Hampshire. From its base on Peaks Island, the company still operates the laundromat as well as a gas and diesel station, a marina, an excavation business and a marine transportation company.
The company has a long history of meeting coastal transportation needs, beginning with a barging operation in 1967. In 1978 the family opened the first dedicated water taxi service in Casco Bay. Today the business offers first class transportation between the mainland and the islands aboard its founder’s namesake, The Lionel Plante Sr. This state-of-the-art landing craft is LPA’s fifth vessel. Its unique design was custom generated by more than three decades of island transportation experience. It was built locally by Washburn & Doughty in East Boothbay, Maine.
The Lionel Plante Sr.’s shallow draft and bow ramp design allows the family to bring their excavation experience and equipment to almost any shore along the coast. The vessel is routinely employed as an efficient and economical means of transporting lumber, concrete, aggregates, fuels, modular homes and just about any other product an islander requests.
Cathy Plante and her sibling partners utilize their knowledge of construction and marine experience to further develop LPA’s unique focus on increasing the quality of island life. The company’s ability to install modern septic systems, drilled wells, rock seawalls and the cleanup of dumpsites are all examples of quality improvements these islanders offer to their neighbors.