Sunday, November 28, 2021



LOCAL FLAVOR: Roger Lapierre is the founder, owner and key principal of Li’l General convenience stores. Lapierre started with one store in 1970 in Woonsocket and has evolved the business to six franchise locations throughout northern Rhode Island. / PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

Local convenience store brand has staying power

The first night he came home after opening his first Li’l General store, having invested much of his money in the venture as a...
LEAP OF FAITH: Hoping to take advantage of what they saw as an untapped market, John Heelan and his wife, Beth, in 2015 opened Ripples Swim School, an aquatic operation providing swimming instruction for young children, with facilities in Bristol and West Warwick.  / PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

Heelans see waves of success after diving in to create swim...

The Heelan family dove into the swim school business while seeking a suitable swimming program for their three young children. It took John Heelan and...
KEEPING TABS: Victor Nunes, founder and principal owner of QMed Innovations Inc. in Middletown, showcases the company’s Quest tracking product, which uses internet-connected technology to provide location data so manufacturers can keep track of their surgical kits that are used in orthopedic procedures. / PBN PHOTO/KATE WHITNEY LUCEY

QMed tech device allows manufacturers to keep track of surgical kits

Real-time analytics and tracking of surgical kits used in orthopedic procedures is what QMed Innovations Inc. has become known for. The business, based in...
MAJOR GROWTH: From left, juicing company Fully Rooted Inc. co-owners Benjamin Aalvik, Angelo Mollis and Amanda Repose in their production space in Pawtucket. Although the retail store had to close and farmers market sales were cut in half during the COVID-19 pandemic, delivery across Rhode Island and Massachusetts grew exponentially. / PBN PHOTO/ELIZABETH GRAHAM

Trio juiced to provide healthy drinks

A small, handheld juicer resting on a set of wire shelves in the headquarters of Fully Rooted Inc. offers an ever-present reminder of the...
TRAVEL COMPANION: Paul Fleming is the owner of marketing communications firm Fleming and Co. in Newport. The firm also designs and sells products, including the Flight Companion that Fleming is holding, which is a kit he designed for people who travel infrequently and don’t have an established packing routine for carry-on items. / PBN PHOTO/TRACY JENKINS

After learning to sail, Fleming dove into sales

Sales and sailing have always been a part of Paul Fleming’s life. The son of an emigrant who moved from Ireland, Fleming learned to sail...
LINGUISTS: Be Moore Interpreting LLC co-founders and owners Zoila Bernal, left, and Shirley Moore stand outside of their office in Pawtucket. Moore, who often accompanied her parents and other adults on their visits to doctors, insurance companies and government offices to act as an interpreter, said the business was started to provide adult interpreters and translators so children wouldn’t have to take on that responsibility. / PBN PHOTO/ELIZABETH GRAHAM

Helping people be understood

Shirley Moore opened her language interpretation and translation business in 2016, with a friend, Zoila Bernal. But Moore really started that work in childhood,...
FAMILY MOLD: Francis H. Curren IV, right, vice president of Pease & Curren Inc., a family-owned precious-metal refinement company in Warwick that works with jewelers, pawn brokers, medical offices and recyclers, watches as David Silva, manager/operator, pours molten metal into a mold. / PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

Curren ensures metal refining family business in capable hands

It’s hard to sum up Pease & Curren Inc.’s business in a single word. Much of the 40,000-square-foot building in Warwick suggests manufacturing: unfinished, concrete...
CHRONICLING LIVES: Joe Rocco, left, and Ted Canova are the founders of Tributes, which offers people the opportunity to share their life stories on video. / PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

Duo’s venture memorializes people’s lives through tribute videos

Ted Canova was struck by an idea he kept a secret for 20 years for fear of being thought crazy for thinking of it. The...
EXPANDED SPACE: Adam Ramsey, CEO of Advanced Production and Design LLC, in the company’s new North Kingstown location. The events planning business was first launched in Warwick in 2011 and the new, expanded location will allow it to grow as needed and has enough space for its new equipment. / PBN PHOTO/ELIZABETH GRAHAM

With return of in-person events, online option still in demand by...

The event planning and management business went online for most of the past year. But the forced departure from in-person events created new opportunities,...
FOCUS SHIFT: Jeanine Lantini, who with her husband bought J. & K. Electrical Supply Co. in Johnston in 1973, has transitioned the company from electrical work to a lighting, design and home decor business. / PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

Lantini family keeps J. & K. Electrical Supply burning bright

Jeanine Lantini embodies the classic American immigrant story. A native of France whose accent gives away her Marseilles upbringing, she came to Rhode Island as...

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