Jody and Zoltan Matolcsy have long shared an interest in gems and geology. They even spent part of their honeymoon at the famed Herkimer Diamond Mines in upstate New York, where visitors can dig for the area’s famed beautiful double-terminated quartz crystals.
Inspired by the Herkimer’s success in luring families and fellow collectors for tours and prospecting expeditions, the Matolcsys decided to pool their passion and knowledge with some partners to launch a similar operation near their home in southwestern Maine, an area with a rich mineral history of its own. While many aspiring entrepreneurs can look to similar types of businesses as guides, the couple's start-up needs were, in a word, unique. There were issues with gaining access to the long-dormant gem mines, long-term cash flow considerations given the seasonal variations in revenue, and marketing the wonders of mineral prospecting to prospective visitors.
Maine Mineral Adventures invites visitors to search for — and keep — gems and other stones found at its facility; it also hosts field trips to local gem mines.
To learn more about Maine Mineral Adventures, visit digmainegems.com.
Jody knew that SCORE provided help with preparing business plans, so she contacted the Portland chapter for help in creating what would become Maine Mineral Adventures.