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GOING SOLO: Phil Mazza says he started the Providence School of Music because he wasn’t satisfied with how he and other teachers were treated as employees of different music schools around the city, where he’s taught off and on since 2002. / PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

Music school strikes a chord with students

When the COVID-19 pandemic came to Rhode Island, Phil Mazza feared it could be the end of the music business he established in 2017...
FASHION ON DISPLAY: Leather bags and suitcases surround former Lotuff Leather executives Lindy McDonough, left, and Ellen McNulty-Brown in this photo taken in 2016. / PBN FILE PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

Lotuff Leather

(published Dec. 16, 2016) YEAR ESTABLISHED: 2011 TYPE OF BUSINESS: Leather goods THEN: OWNERS: Joe and Rick Lotuff LOCATION: 1 Sims Ave., Providence EMPLOYEES: 18 ANNUAL SALES: WND NOW: OWNERS: Joe...
SERIOUS WORK: For Michael Mancini, owner of American Muscle Car Restorations in North Kingstown, pictured here in 2018, restoring cars began as a family hobby that has turned into a full-time career.
/ PBN FILE PHOTO/RUPERT WHITELEY

American Muscle Car Restorations Inc.

(published July 20, 2018) YEAR ESTABLISHED: 2010 TYPE OF BUSINESS: Vintage car restoration THEN: OWNER: Michael Mancini LOCATION: 65 Foliage Drive, North Kingstown EMPLOYEES: 17 ANNUAL SALES: $2 million NOW: OWNER:...
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...
SCOURING THE GLOBE: Cousins Liana Buonanno and Paul Fede, co-owners of Gooseneck Vineyards, work with farmers in six countries to source the grapes for their classic, budget-friendly wines, which they sell in their North Kingstown vineyard shop.  PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

Duo seeks best grapes to make classic, budget-friendly wines

From the hills of the Treviso in Italy to the stony Wairau Valley river flats in Marlborough, New Zealand, Liana Buonanno and Paul Fede...
BUSINESS IS BOOMING: Rob Cagnetta, owner of Heritage Restoration Inc. in Providence, and Marguerite Keyes, finishing specialist, work on restoring some windows. Cagnetta said Heritage is as busy as ever despite the COVID-19 pandemic because people are home more and discovering things they don’t like or that need to be fixed. / PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

Residential restorations keep long-running contractor busy

If it still works, keep it. If it doesn’t work, fix it. That’s the principle behind historic preservation of family homes and other residential...
DECORATIONS IN DEMAND: While those hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic may be scaling back their holiday displays this year, Chris Beneduce, owner of Impressions Holiday Lighting and Decor in Warwick, says many people have expressed continued interest in decorating this season. / PBN PHOTO/ELIZABETH GRAHAM

Serial entrepreneur enjoys making spirits bright for clients each year

Chris Beneduce by no means identifies as a Christmas fanatic. But as owner of Holiday Impressions Lighting and Decor, he spends the last two months...
UNIQUE RIDE: Matthew Haynes, owner of La Gondola Providence Inc., loves to share his knowledge of and passion for Venice and Venetian culture and history with his passengers while guiding them along the Providence and Woonasquatucket rivers. / PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

La Gondola Providence adds Venetian flavor

Matthew Haynes does not have a drop of Italian in his blood. But that hasn’t deterred him from donning the persona of a Venetian...
ORDER PREP: Crave Food Systems Corp. is a platform that connects local farms, artisans and other vendors to consumers. CEO Matt Tortora, left, with Lisa Kellogg, vendor lead, and Andy Tran, operations specialist, checks out some of the Knead Donuts orders that are ready for delivery. / PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

Crave reimagines the food system

Matt Tortora can remember as a young boy standing on a stool at his grandmother’s kitchen counter so he could watch her cook for...
UP IN ARMS: Despite an anticipated 40% increase in annual sales due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dean Chapman, owner of gun stores Pheasant Ridge Inc. in Seekonk and River Street Tactical Inc. in Woonsocket, was not happy when he was forced to close his Seekonk store after initial stay-at-home orders in Massachusetts did not deem gun stores as essential ­businesses. / PBN PHOTO/NANCY LAVIN

Pandemic triggers a boom for Seekonk gun store

A gun can’t kill a virus, but that hasn’t stopped customers from swarming Pheasant Ridge Inc. amid the new coronavirus. In his 30-plus years in...

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