Who's Mike?

Michael L. Cadorette (Mike) was born and raised in Biddeford. Mike always loved to ride and work on bicycles. Over the winters he would completely disassemble, overhaul, and paint his own bikes, restoring them to new condition. In the summer of 1972, he worked as a caddy at Cape Arundel Golf Club, riding his Schwinn Varsity 20 miles a day to get to work and back home to Biddeford.


Mike graduated from Biddeford High School in 1975. He attended SMVTI (now SMCC) for one year in the Electronics Technology program. He quickly realized that he was truly a “GearHead”, preferring mechanical technologies to electronics. While at school Mike tuned and repaired bikes for classmates. His electronic skills would become valuable later in his career.


In the summer of 1976, Mike began working for Bob Quinn at his bike shop in Old Orchard Beach. Mike built new bikes and maintained a large rental fleet of bikes and 4-wheeled surries. He finished that summer working in the new Biddeford shop. Mike loved working on bikes!


In the fall of 1976 Mike went to work at Shape, Inc. to build automation for 8-track tapes and audio cassettes. Mike loved that work too!


Mike married Anne Cote in August of 1977. Mike & Anne were high school sweethearts. Mike will joke that Anne married him because he was not a football player. Anne has 4 brothers who played football. Her father was Head Coach for Thornton Academy and St. Louis High School. Football games were always on TV, training films on the projector screen, football talk all ther time. Not at Mike's house!


In October of 1977 Mike went to work as a pipefitter at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. In 1981 he graduated with honors from the apprentice program, then worked 3 more years in the Navy Nuclear Power Program. Mike liked the money more than the work!


Mike knew there was a better way. While at PNS, Mike began going to college at USM to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Technology. That’s a lot of time and miles between Kittery and Portland, and Gorham after work!


In 1984 Mike returned to work at Shape, this time hired as a Lead Technician. In 1986 Mike was promoted to Mechanical Design Engineer. In 1987 he graduated from USM and began designing and building a machine to produce compact discs. That machine could make 15,000 CDs every day! In 1988, just as that machine was ready to sell, Mike was laid off when the machinery division closed. He immediately became a partner of First Light Technology. CD machine #2 was born just 16 weeks later. Mike loved that work!


In the late ‘80s Mike began riding mountain bikes. He rebuilt an old, low priced bike, adding more gears and some graphics. He also rebuilt several old bikes for family and friends. Soon people would find Mike to ask if he would repair and tune their bikes. Mike loved that work!


In 1994 Mike bought a new Diamondback mountain bike. It was one of the few with front suspension that anyone had seen around here. Soon Mike bought some new wheels to mount studded ice tires. Mountain biking is a year-round sport! Ask Mike for ice tires!!

 

12 years at FLT and a lot of CD and DVD machines later, Mike was again laid off in 2001 after First Light was sold to a company from Germany. Mike was immediately called by Sagoma Plastics, owned by a former owner of Shape. There he designed and built packaging automation for DVDs. He was again laid off in 2002 after the company failed to merge with its biggest customer.


After this layoff Mike approached Bob offering to buy his shop and building. Bob was not ready to sell.


After layoff #2, Mike decided to return to college. He worked as a sub-contractor for E-Media (another former owner of Shape) designing and building automation. At the end of that project, Mike became Quality Manager for Prescott Metal in Biddeford. There he wrote a Master's thesis on laser cutting systems. Prescott Metal is still the finest metal fabrication shop in New England!


In 2005 Mike earned another degree from USM. Master of Science - Manufacturing Systems . This was an attempt to bring new skills into the 21st century. It didn’t work, but Mike learned a lot about Quality.


Lesson #1: The only true “boss” is the customer.

Lesson #2: Always remember Lesson #1.


A few more jobs, a few more layoffs. All the companies Mike worked for either failed, closed, or moved out of Maine. Mike loved all that work, but the work stopped loving Mike!


Today, Mike & Anne have 2 beautiful daughters, Sarah and Holly. Sarah is studying to become a nurse, attending St. Joseph's College. Holly is now married to Bryan Carle and recently gave birth to Aiden Paul. A beautiful grandson!


After the final layoff in 2009, Mike again offered to buy Quinn’s Bike & Fitness. This time Bob agreed! As Mike learned in his Master’s program, the biggest job is to make customers happy enough to regard the business as the only place to go for the products and services they desire. Bob Quinn has done this so well for 48 years!


Returning to the bicycle business seemed only natural to Mike.


Bob Quinn has trained Mike very well. Mike worked for Bob in 1976, and again before buying the shop. Bob continues to provide guidance to Mike to this day. Mike wants to learn everything about bicycles and running a business!