Something New

ELECTRIC BIKES: Tyler Justin is the owner of Providence-based Mission Electric, a shop selling and maintaining electric bicycles. E-bikes can be used on the street or bike trails but can be switched into electric mode on uphill climbs.
 / PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

A mission to sell electric bikes

Electric bikes are starting to become more visible in Rhode Island, and Providence now has a shop devoted to them. Begun in June by spouses...
FERTILE GROUND: Kenny Hsieh started his own solar-panel installation company after he realized Rhode Island is fertile ground for solar-energy businesses.
 / COURTESY KENNY HSIEH

Incentives spur Ocean State Clean Energy business

Kenny Hsieh hopes to cash in on Rhode Island’s burgeoning clean-energy industry. So far, he’s making a go of it, with some help from...

Pranzi tent grows with new venture

After 21 years in the local catering industry, Lisa Mattiello, owner of Pranzi Inc., launched a new business – Pranzi Tents and Events in...
CONSUMPTION COUNTS: Saroj Bhandari, left, and Lanna Nawa founded Impact Everything to help make retail purchases produce a greater social good, such as having the purchase price go toward the cost of planting a tree. 
 / PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

Socially responsible retailing on College Hill

Every time someone buys a product at a new Providence retail store, something good is happening across the globe. The concept behind Impact Everything LLC,...
GIVING BACK: Rodney Galvao, left, program director of SquashBusters Providence, and Vania Pereira, center, alumna and volunteer, gather with SquashBusters players during the Urban Individual Nationals competition at Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., in June.
 / COURTESY SQUASHBUSTERS PROVIDENCE

Kids learn squash and much more

SquashBusters is a nonprofit that connects youths with low incomes with squash, academic support and college preparation. Founded in Boston in 1996 by Greg Zaff,...
FRESH snacks: Lauren Ruggiero holds her chihuahua, Maui. Ruggiero launched Buppy Pets out of Hope & Main in Warren a year ago to produce made-from-scratch, healthy dog treats.
 / PBN PHOTO/RUPERT WHITELEY

Healthy treats pets will eat

After watching multiple Netflix documentaries about the harmful impacts of too much sugar, fat and low-quality food in her and her husband’s diets, Lauren...
BRINGING JOY: What Cheer Flower Farm distributes bouquets to residents of nursing homes, elderly day centers and other institutional customers. From left, co-founders Marian Purviance and Shelby Doggett.
 / PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

Hope grows where debris flourished

An urban farm isn’t easy to pull off, but the founders of What Cheer Flower Farm transformed a debris-filled lot in Providence to a...
PERSONAL TOUCH: Tyler Wentworth, president, and Erin Pavane, career coach, launched The Hire, a Pawtucket-based corporate staffing agency, in December 2017 to offer clients a more personal relationship with recruiters.
 / PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

Getting invested in recruiting

Tired of the culture at their corporate staffing agency, recruiting veterans Tyler Wentworth and Erin Pavane wanted to carve their own path in the...
EXCESS FOOD: Eva Agudelo launched Hope’s Harvest Rhode Island in February, a nonprofit that works with farms and food-service organizations to identify excess food and transport it to organizations that serve it to those in need.
 / PBN PHOTO/RUPERT WHITELEY

Hope’s Harvest promotes equality with food

Eva Agudelo’s childhood was one marked by food ­insecurity. “There were times would skip meals, so I had enough money to eat. That’s a...
STEADY SELLER: Erika Lamb is the owner and CEO of SecondsFirst, which creates fish cakes for sale to food banks and institutional customers. She sells between 3,000 and 5,000 fish cakes a month. / PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

Protein-rich fish cakes a bargain for food banks

Misshaped vegetables and fish that lack a local market are the key ingredients in the fish cakes produced by a new company, SecondsFirst LLC. The...

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