Business Success Stories
Ken Kramer is living the dream. He and his wife have hustled for years to keep a roof over their heads and to put food on the table for their four children. After years of baking masterful cakes in his kitchen for friends and family, Ken caught a break when a friend invited him to rent a retail space that recently became available. Ken’s passion for supporting his family through his creative baking talents is now a reality.
His knack for creating exotic and custom cakes is catching the eyes of cake lovers throughout the region. Signature cake pops, cupcakes and ice cream products round out the sweet shop offerings.
With support from friends and family, Woonsocket Mayor Lisa Baldelli- Hunt made the Grand Opening official on September 24, 2016. The community’s familiarity with the location as a source of ice cream has helped Kentastic Cakes get off to a great start. Word of mouth, local advertising and an aggressive social media campaign has enabled the business to build a loyal clientele. Ken says of the RISBDC, “My experience with the RISBDC was very good. It allowed me to discover what I was lacking in my plan and renegotiate my own ideas of what I wanted and how I would get there.”
People who support small business and have a sweet tooth are betting on his success for a long time to come.
362 Harris Avenue
Reymond’s Brother Tailor Shop & Laundromat
Cranston entrepreneurs Ruben Ogando & Alba Baez grew their business with support from the RISBDC.
They arrived in Rhode Island over 10 years ago in pursuit of the American Dream; he from the Dominican Republic and she from Puerto Rico. Ruben and his brother started Reymond’s Brother Tailor Shop in 1990. After his brother passed away in 2012, he continued with the tailor shop. Alba started working part time with him (she is a full time nurse) and moved the shop to its current location on Cranston Street.
Ruben and Alba were presented with the opportunity to expand their tailor shop by buying the adjacent laundromat. They came to the RISBDC for help in developing a business plan and financial projections to secure financing for their acquisition.
With help from Manuel Batlle, RISBDC bilingual business counselor, the clients were able to secure a loan from the Providence Economic Development Partnership to purchase the laundromat and expand their business. Ruben and Alba are also investing personal funds to acquire additional washers and dryers to support the growing needs of the local rental community. The business raised $45,000 in capital and created 3 jobs.
“We are extremely satisfied with the help from the SBDC. It was smooth sailing from start to finish!”
—Ruben Ogando —Alba Baez
Reymond’s Brother Tailor Shop & Laundromat
211 Cranston Street
Providence, RI 02907j
School of Rock - Attleboro
Bono, the leader of one of the world’s greatest rock bands said, “Music can change the world because it can change people.” Dave LaSalle of the School of Rock has taken that quote to heart. With music kids learn life’s lessons with every note, practice and performance. Dave’s commitment to music, since age 6, helped him build a skill set that includes team building, leadership and discipline. These skills will be important tools as a variety of challenges and career choices unfold.
The School’s grand opening is Sunday, February 21, 2016 from noon to 4:00 PM. Check out ABC6 video report here. And read the Valley Breeze newspaper story here.
As an entrepreneur Dave capitalized on his lessons and experience when he co-founded a medical device company that grew to 80 employees over a fifteen year period. Throughout his medical device career he never forgot about his great passion for music. His commitment to creating and performing music has paid dividends over a lifetime. By the age of 14 he was playing professionally.
The school of Rock provides young people with a creative classroom guided by professional musicians. Students enroll in individual instruction and assemble with other young musicians to blend the sounds of the program theme. Musical themes may include The British Invasion, Reggae, Motown, Funk and others.
The School of Rock is a franchise with over 150 outlets around the world. The company has grown because of a successful structure that produces results. Besides the life skills learned by the students the success of the School of Rock franchise has been seen by the increased self-esteem and improved social skills of the young people.
While in the medical device industry Dave joined the Taunton Area School to Career Board. As the treasurer he became involved with mentoring students to appropriate career paths. He derived great satisfaction from helping kids make choices and directing them to resources. From this experience he began to see how the benefits derived from the music industry could guide students as they grow.
Dave is betting his own money that the success of this franchise will resonate with local families. Although based in Attleboro the music school will serve kids in both Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
Contact Dave for details at Attleboro.schoolofrock.com or by telephone: 508-761-5300.
Like them on https://www.facebook.com/SchoolOfRockAttleboro