FREEPORT, Maine — “We’re lucky that Maine has him…he’s just amazing.”
That’s how Freeport chocolate company Wilbur’s of Maine Chocolate Confections feels about Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah—a feeling much of Maine seems to share.
One of the company’s founders, Catherine Carty-Wilbur, came up with the idea to make a Dr. Shah-inspired chocolate bar. She also came up with the name: The Shah Bar.
“When we thought of it, we thought, ‘that’s so fun!’” Catherine said.
Catherine said she tried to reach out to Dr. Shah to make sure he was comfortable with the idea. In the end, Maine CDC spokesperson Robert Long gave them the go-ahead.
Catherine and her husband Tom were the original founders and owners of Wilbur’s of Maine Chocolate Confections, but her son Andy took over the family business in 2016. Andy and his wife Kristin Frazier, who also works at the company, ran with Cathy’s idea and created the Shah Bar.
The chocolate bars come in milk or dark chocolate and the wrapper is unmistakable with a photo of Dr. Shah and an outline of Maine with a heart on it.
The coolest part: the bars will sell for $2.25 with 10% of the proceed going to the Freeport Community Services Food Pantry. A pack of six bars is for sale on the Wilbur’s of Maine Chocolate Confections website for $13.50. Individual bars can be bought in either of the two stores.
Kristin said the general idea behind the bars was to show how much they appreciated everything Dr. Shah is doing to keep Maine communities and the state safe.
“I think [with] the respect that people have for him, it’s kind of a fun way to honor him,” Kristin said.
She explained they usually make candy bars that reflect different things that are happening in the world, and since the daily Maine CDC briefings have become such a regular part of people’s lives, a Dr. Shah-themed bar was fitting.
“[Dr. Shah] has been a big part of not only keeping Maine safe but also to convey a sense of warmth and caring for the people of Maine. He seems to really have a lot of compassion.”
“Like everyone else in the state we are in love with the guy,” Catherine said.
Kristin echoed Catherine’s sentiment, saying, “[Dr. Shah’s] doing a great job and we’re lucky to have him.”