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ON A ROLL: Muhammad Choudhry has built BK House of Cigars Inc. into a business that he says has helped him live the American dream after years of struggle. 

‘Struggling days’ sparked his desire to venture out

(Editor’s note: This is the 34th installment in a monthly series speaking with minority business owners and leaders. Each will be asked their views...
PICTURE ­PERFECT: Brandi Morgan Raupp, right, owner of East Coast Capture LLC, and her crew set up a photo shoot at a preschool in Cranston. From left are photographers Kayla Oliveira and Olivia Lace. 

Her kid-focused studio is capturing the market

Remember school photo day? The cookie-cutter headshots, the weird lighting, each kid’s chin tilted in the exact same direction, all of which led to...
Yahaira “Jay” Placencia

The building of Hispanic wealth in R.I.

Every year at this time – Hispanic Heritage Month – we collectively celebrate the economic, cultural and social contributions of the Hispanic-Latino community to...
UNIQUE OFFERING: Harmony Oschefski is co-owner of The Bodhi Spa LLC, with locations in Newport and Providence, where she and her sister Cedar Hwang offer clients what they call the Water Journey, a sauna session followed by a plunge in cold water. / PBN PHOTO/­ELIZABETH GRAHAM

Oschefski’s spa venture picking up a lot of steam

The Bodhi Spa LLC co-owner Harmony Oschefski has built her business around family memories full of free-spirited living and simple, sustainable habits with hydrotherapy...

Entrepreneurship is on the Menu at JWU

Johnson & Wales University’s first Food Entrepreneur in Residence, acclaimed Food Network star Tyler Florence, is bringing nearly 25 years of culinary, business and...
CREATIVE COMMUNITY: Manya Rubinstein, CEO of Industrious Spirit Co., a distillery in Providence, says she was drawn to the city and the closeness and collaborative nature among its artisans. / PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

Creative collaborations make her spirits soar

New York City native Manya Rubinstein is CEO of a Rhode Island distillery, leading a like-minded team at Industrious Spirit Co. and creating sustainably...
STOCKED UP: Susan Mocarski, owner and principal designer of Cleverhood LLC, checks the inventory in the company’s Providence retail store. / PBN PHOTO/ELIZABETH GRAHAM

Mocarski built apparel company to weather everything

A theme emerges when you speak with Susan Mocarski, owner and principal designer of rain apparel company Cleverhood LLC. The very ideals she has...
Jack Martin

Library aiming to help build businesses

Providence Public Library was founded 145 years ago during a period that is now referred to as the Long Depression. Starting with the Panic...
Beth Carter last September became executive director of the Rhode Island Business Competition, a nonprofit that provides resources to entrepreneurs. She’s also founder of Carter Consultants Ltd., and Beth Carter Enterprises. / PBN PHOTO/RUPERT WHITELEY

Get in the trenches

Beth Carter | Rhode Island Business Competition executive director When I started my first company, in 1991, our nation was facing a major economic downturn....
GROWING SALES: David Urban, owner of the Secret Garden, a small floral shop with a garden center in Jamestown, says he tripled sales since he purchased the business by expanding the list of local suppliers and stocking more. / PBN PHOTO/TRACY JENKINS

Hardy variety of retailer

In 2008, David Urban, who’d just earned a degree in horticulture from the University of Rhode Island, had one specific desire while in the...
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