Author: John McKinnon, BSU student
Jeff McKinnon is the sole owner of J McKinnon Company Inc., a hardscape, landscape, and excavation company that operates out of Hanson, MA. Soon after graduating from South Shore Vocational Technical School in 2007, Jeff decided to start his own landscaping business. Strictly because he wanted to be his own boss. “I wanted to work for myself. I wanted to be able to make money based upon how hard I worked and how much time I put into something.”
Of course, running a business at such a young age was not easy. Many challenges arose as he was attempting to grow his business. “Acquiring employees”. Jeff stated, as was one of the many challenges he had in the attempt to grow. It was not always easy finding someone with a similar amount of work ethic as Jeff had. There were money issues in the early stages. Jeff explained, “Trying to run a business with limited money was difficult. I wrote a check for $1500 to a company when I only had $800 in my account.” He has always worked at a very fast pace. He mentioned that there were a lot of lessons to be learned starting a company at such a young age. Jeff explained, “I would’ve put more thought into the structure. I would’ve had a business plan. 2-year, 5-year, 10-year. The most difficult challenge was saving money and maintaining cash flow to reinvest in the business.”
It’s easy to dwell on past mistakes within a small business. But Jeff takes those lessons and implements them into his everyday decisions. Jeff explained that running a business in Massachusetts is one of the challenges while running his business in 2020. There are many rules and regulations especially involving excavation. Not only does J McKinnon Company Inc. offer outstanding work…they have also implemented a new design software that allows potential clients to see a 3-dimensional layout of the finished product. Jeff stated, “Definitely our design services that we offer are not common in the industry which I believe puts us in a whole new level. We have great infrastructure everything we do is in house we do not subtract. We also have the experience. I have a great crew of seasoned veterans, who go above and beyond for the customers. We offer more value and again, the experience.” 12 years’ experience to be exact. While some of the work force has even more years under their belt than Jeff.
Interesting fact, J McKinnon Company Inc. has spent virtually no money on advertising while being in business. All of his work comes from referrals, which is extremely impressive. When Jeff and I spoke about the companies 6-12-month goals, his expectations seemed very high in regard to increasing revenue and dialing in on the design software. Jeff said, “I think we need our design team to be full time. I’d like to continue to work on our infrastructure and tightening up our financials and have some sort of cost analysis. We have to refocus on the foundation of the business. We would like to grow the business by 15-20% in 2020. Proportional growth. We want to make sure our profit margins are greater, and I would like to Increase all of our aspects by 15%.” I asked Jeff whether he wanted to run this business until he retired. Jeff explained, “Ideally, I would like to sell my current business in the distant future and start another business. I would like to invest in property specifically commercial or industrial.” Jeff also began to state that it is not an easy decision to sell his company. He worked an outstanding number of hours to build it to what it is today. From starting with a dream, a one-man crew, and a single trailer to now owning 12 trucks, 4 dump trucks, 4 excavators, and 3 bobcats. It would not be an easy situation to step away from. In the meantime, his current focus is to build the company as large as he can and create and execute projects better than the competition.
Author: Charles Souza, BSU student
If you have lived on the South Shore for some time there is a chance you have seen some of her signs in front of a house here and there. Carolyn Cleveland is a local South Shore woman running a small real estate business and also a single mother of two. In a constantly changing economy the real estate market has taken all kinds of turns and she has survived all of them.
Carolyn is a South Shore native, she grew up in the small town of Rockland, as a young adult she moved away for 20 years to Cape Cod then Rhode Island and returned to the South Shore in 2000. I asked Carolyn why she decided to go into this line of business:
“I enjoy the business, I love working with and meeting new people and the challenges that come along with it. I got into this line of work after I left a management job because I wanted a new exciting challenge and a career that would allow me to have a more flexible schedule so I could make sure I was around for my two sons when they needed me to be”
When did you decide to start this business and why?
“We opened Compass Realty Brokerage Services in March 2006 in Hanover MA. After working as an agent for 9 years I decided it was time I should try to start my own. My business partner and I decided to open the company after we had both worked for other companies for several years. Real estate can be very cut throat, and we wanted a company with a culture of personal service, and a team of agents that would support and encourage each other, while delivering a high level of service to our clients.”
What was the toughest thing you went through and what inspired you to keep going and not give up?
“The first couple of years we had a great team of agents and the market was very active. The toughest part was in 2008, when the great recession affected property values. Many people, even if they had put 20% down, were underwater. Their homes had lost more value than what they owed on their mortgage. In the event of a job loss, death, divorce, or other unfortunate event people who needed to sell their home, couldn't sell it for what they owed. This of course resulted in people either short selling their home, letting it go into foreclosure, or having to bring money to the table to pay off the mortgage when they sold it for less than what they owed. It resulted in fewer sales and income for the company and agents, and many of the sales were for hardship reasons. I was inspired to keep going because even though we made less money than before, it was still our career choice and we knew eventually the economy had to turn around again.”
I then asked Carolyn that when someone is looking to purchase or sell a home, why should they choose your company over so many others in the area that offer the same services. What makes you company different?
“Myself and the agents in my office come with many years of experience and offer a very high level of personal service. We do keep up on the latest technology, such as electronic signing of documents, etc., but are still willing to meet personally with older clients that don't even have email. We all have good reputations and are respected by the other agents, which make them want to work with us. We are also experienced negotiators.”
After my talk with Carolyn I feel confident in my choice to work with her anytime I'm in need for the services her business offers and I hope that the readers of this article will consider contacting her for any of your real estate needs.
Author: Ryan LaPaglia, BSU student
I sat down & interviewed with Maxwell Ditondo, a South Shore native born and bred on the baseball fields of Marshfield. Highly recruited out of High School as a Center Fielder for the graduating class of 2012; Max joined the Franklin Pierce Ravens where he would go onto to earn himself many titles & accolades. He graduated from Franklin Pierce in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance.
As Max was achieving these milestones throughout the years, both him & his father, Frank Ditondo (Co-Owner), remained very active in the south shore baseball community. In 2007, Frank opened the doors for ‘BaseballPlus’, a local baseball/softball facility on Rt 139 in Marshfield. The facility was on old garage warehouse that was modified into a training powerhouse for some of the best local talent. Equipped with five batting cages, spacious turf, & some of the best training technology for baseball/softball at the time; ‘BaseballPlus’, with the help of the overwhelming support of the community that surrounded them, would outgrow itself and adapt over the years to become known now as Atlantic Sports Performance out of Hanover, MA.
Frank was the true pioneer behind the business model and the financial capital to execute it, seeing how Max was just in 8th grade in 2007. Frank started this business out of true passion for baseball & his family. It was a way for Frank to be closer to his family & spread the love for the game. He accomplished both overtime & was eventually able to share the business within the family. Max became a co-owner of the Atlantic Sports Performance in 2016 and has helped the business grow even more today.
Since Max has Joined, Atlantic Sports Performance has moved to a much larger facility in Hanover. What was once the home of Building 19’s furniture section, now sits a two story 20,000 sq./ft elite level sports performance training facility that offers hybrid strength & conditioning training across multiple sports.
What ways have you had to adapt your business in recent years to stay competitive in your market?
“We are in a market that’s rapidly evolving, there is always new studies and information on health and fitness that comes out, so we are constantly learning as we go and implanting some of those best health and training practices into our programs. We are constantly updating are programs to fit the personal needs of our athletes. We understand every individual is different and we believe we have the most up-to date and best training techniques in our programs. We also implemented a strong online presence and created and very useful interactive app. These are two tools that have helped push our business forward and stay relevant. Having the app has been huge. We are able to interact with clients from anywhere and closely monitor their progress in our programs. The analytics that we receive because of this technology helps us give elite level feed back to our clients. Another thing would be our equipment. We have updated our facilities tremendously and invested in the best lifting and training technology in the field today.”
What has been the most exciting part of running a business?
“Probably just coming to work everyday and being inside a gym is the best. To see others grow around me, only pushes myself to grow both personally and professionally. Being surrounded by something I love everyday is just a blessing and its exciting everyday to come in here and pass on the knowledge I have to these guys and see results.”
What is the toughest part about running a business in 2020?
“I guess the toughest part would just be overall running the business. Making sure everything is scheduled correctly, making sure we are adapting our programs to our clients needs, keeping an eye on finances... stuff like that. I don’t necessarily find anything tough; it certainly keeps me busy though”
If a customer was to choose between your business and 3 others just like it why would you suggest they at least give you a try ﬁrst? What makes you stand out?
“Why they should invest in us and because we will invest in you. We personalize & tailor our programs to your goals as an athlete. We have elite level training where you are pushed to you highest potential by certified professionals, and some actual professional athletes in the MLB. We create an atmosphere that leaves you wanting more.”
What is the number 1 way you currently bring in new customers?
“At the moment, mostly word of mouth and Facebook/Instagram. Being local and having been established in the baseball community around here for quite sometime now we find ourselves having clients bringing in friends directly or reaching out to us through Facebook/Instagram. We don’t do too much advertising directly online because we have a healthy flow of happy and recurring clients and we have are happy with the size of our business right now.”
If you had to look 6 months to a year into the future where would you like to see your business be?
“So we are actually implanting a new sport into our training facility on the second floor. We just recently installed wrestling mats and are going to start implementing some of the training techniques in our program. So it would be cool to see more wrestlers come to us for training within the next year. I think we can offer them elite level training overtime and it would help our business grow even more. Within the next year I just hope we are in a healthy place as a business with loyal clients who believe just as much as we do in what we do.”
Visit Atlantic Sports Performance at:
389 Columbia Road, Suite 25, Hanover, MA
Contact them via:
Author: Tracy Trotto, BSU student
Question: So, let’s start with are you from this local area?
Answer: My family and my wife's family are all from East Bridgewater and they all have had businesses in town.
Q: Why did you start this line of business?
A: I started the business because I had been infatuated with coffee for years and tired of not having great coffee around this area. I had the opportunity to do it and I jumped on it and have been running since getting it started.
Q: When did this business start?
A: The business started just over 2 years ago, and it started as a mobile espresso cart popup in 2018.
Question: What has been the toughest thing when opening?
Answer: The toughest part of business has definitely been finding great locations and hiring the perfect staff. I know the area needs a great product like what we offer, and people have really been embracing the shop and wanting to be a part of it.
Q: If you had to start over from day 1, what would you have done differently?
A: I am very happy with the steps I have taken since day 1. I am a researcher and I love to learn and over think things, so I really put the effort in before making any decisions with the business. I also have a fantastic wife to bounce ideas off of and she isn't afraid to tell me if I’m being too crazy.
Q: What is the toughest part about having a business in 2020?
A: The toughest part of business in 2020 is getting the chance to get people in the door. Everyone is in such a hurry and drive-thrus with bad coffee is easier than stopping and getting people out of their cars and into our shop. We will never have a drive thru and we have to put the effort in to get people to change the way they get coffee. We pride ourselves with great food and drinks along with great attitudes and personalities and love forming relationships with customers.
Q: If a customer was to choose between your business and 3 others just like it why would you suggest they at least give you a try ﬁrst? What makes you stand out?
A: When building a business, you can't just do things ok you need to knock everything out of the park now a days. We have fantastic products. Fantastic employees. Fantastic branding and vibe.
Q: What is the number 1 way you currently bring in new customers?
A: Word of mouth is huge. Yes you can make your online presents looks amazing but without someone coming in and experiencing it and telling their friends and family then you are just pretty pictures.
Q: Has internet technology (website, online ads, social media, etc) played a big part in your growth and making your company more successful?
A: We use Instagram more than any other social media. We try to show what its like inside the shops and the personality of the employees.
Q: Do you feel that internet technology could play a bigger role in your business if you had the
A: Internet technology for sure could play a bigger role and 2020 will the year for that to present to get bigger.
Q: If you had to look 5 months to a year into the future, where would like to see your business be?
A: In 6 months I hope to be opening a 3rd shop.
Author: Saleena Meas
Sheyla Aponte saw an opportunity to open her own business in Medical Billing and she took it.
I had asked her to tell me about her business and why she had took the line of business she is in. “I had been working in the medical field for over 20 years and I wanted to do something different but stay in the same industry,” Sheyla had said. She has been working in the medical field so long that she became to realize medical billing is her interest. Her cousin also had his own similar business where he dealt with medical billing as well and he was the one who pushed Sheyla into the medical billing business. Sheyla had experience as a practice manager working in the medical field and dealing with patients medical billing. She stuck to what she knows and opened her own medical billing services in the South Shore.
South Shore Billing Services opened on March 1st, 2019. This is a new billing company that had entered the South Shore area. According to one patient review, the company is “Extremely competent and knowledgeable staff. Their in-depth knowledge of OBGYN billing is exemplary!”
We all know that wanting to open our own business is difficult but there is always something that inspires us to open our dreams and open up that business.
The toughest thing Sheyla went through when opening her own business was being able to create a proposal and presenting the proposal to her clients. Sheyla ‘s first client is her previous job the Commonwealth of OBGYN. The proposal had to offer something she would be able to do that other billing services couldn’t. She had to create a proposal that would work for her and her clients as well as being able to present her company to patients new and old.
What inspired Sheyla to keep going as she was getting the business off the ground was the pay and the flexibility of being able to create her own schedule. She also wanted to be able to work for herself other than working for someone else. She always dreamed about being her own CEO.
There are couple obstacles about having your own business , such as how much money is needed to run a business, how much employee can you afford, and what to do to keep the business up and running.
I had asked Sheyla what she would do differently if she had the chance to start over from day 1. She had no change because the business is running great. But, the most difficult challenge she faced was understanding the accounting piece of opening up a business; learning how to financially run a business for the first time and learning the tax-off aspects of the company. What part of the business can be written off for taxes as well as being able to keep the business running smoothly and bring in money every day. The toughest part about having in business in 2020 for Sheyla is that it is still brand new because South Shore Billing Services had just opened up in 2019. But the wonderful thing about the business is that it is still up and running.
In the South Shore Billing Services the patients do not have an option to select a billing service because the doctor’s office they go to work with her billing services. But if they had an option, there is exceptional services provided. In this case, new patients are brought up by referrals from Sheyla’s clients. Sheyla hopes into 6 months to a year in the future she would like to see her business be able to gain another client or contract and to hire an assistant. As of right now she is working the business by herself. The business right now as of work is balanced not too busy or not too slow where she is not overworked or underworked.
Sheyla personally wants her business to have the opportunity to grow successfully and to be able to achieve financial success. Sheyla has been very passionate about her services she provides for her patient and clients. She has the satisfaction of when she is able to do something on her own.
Being your own boss and opening a new business alone takes a lot of courage and hard work because it is about doing something that you love and have passion about.
You can contact South Shore Billing Services via:
Mail: PO BOX 850862 Braintree, MA 02184
Phone Number: 781-428-3955
Author: John Kamande, BSU student
Throughout Bridgewater, East Bridgewater, and West Bridgewater where Star Pizza exclusively offers delivery, you can find at least one pizza lover in every household. Unfortunately for the pizza and pizzeria lovers in these areas, many have not heard of the hidden gem called “Star Pizza”. Star Pizza is a family run pizzeria that was established in 2014 by Atef Henin. Atef, unlike many owners is usually if not always the first face that you see upon entering his restaurant. He always has a smile on his face as he welcomes you in and gives off a very friendly aura as does his pizzeria, Atef originally from Egypt where he worked as an EMT immigrated to the United States in 2005 where he began to work for various food restaurants and pizza shops. In just a short span of time Atef became a manager in the restaurants that he was working in, effectively managing two restaurants at once. In his managerial positions Atef began to learn more about the everyday operations that kept a business running from food orders, to bills, to overhead and more which would give him great experience for the future. In 2014 just about 10 years after arriving to the United States in hopes for a better life for him and his family, Atef had purchased a beautiful location located in a little plaza at 43 N Main St, in West Bridgewater, Ma. After the opening of his first location one of the toughest problems that Atef was quickly faced with was the issue of not only attracting new customers but of also convincing customers of the previous establishment to give his business a try. Even though Atef was faced with some adversity and challenges he had the wellbeing of his family motivating him to push through and persevere through any challenges that he faced. Within one to two months Atef began to see many new faces coming through the store, after asking a couple people how they had heard of Star Pizza Atef was pleased to learn that his company was doing great on online review sites such as Yelp, Google as well as Facebook. Due to this more and more customers began giving Star Pizza a try and according to Atef “many if not all always came back.”
After overcoming the initial challenge of getting new customers through the door “Star pizza is doing great” according to Ate. He attributes most of his success to his high reviews online, because of them he gets new customers daily and in his own words at that point “It is up to us to make them come back”. When I asked Atef if he would do anything over from when he began in 2014 he took a very long pause and gave a resounding “no” when it came to the food and menu. He did state however he wishes he looked at larger locations so that he could do a little more with the store which he states “is still a possibility”. When you enter Star Pizza you may notice that the workers seem very close and like they work well together, this is because Atef takes the opportunity to employ some of his family members as well. Atef states he does this for a couple reasons. The first reason is what we are all thinking he is a great guy that is taking care of his family by giving them opportunities to work in the United States. Also being the smart businessman he is, Atef realized that he could easily combat turnover rates and bad moral from workers by simply hiring family members that he knows have his best interest at heart. Because of this Atef is able to elude what he believes is the toughest part about having a business in 2020 which is in his own words “finding good and reliable labor”. Atef attributes Star Pizza’s success wholly to the quality of food that he produces and also the quality of ingredients that he uses to make the food. Because of this he believes customers will continue to come back, and more and more customers will be compelled to give his Pizzeria a high score on Yelp, Facebook, and other social media platforms. Because of this when I asked Atef “Has internet technology played a role in making your business more successful” he responded very carefully that “Yes the great customers who leave good feedback on the internet and my website have brought me some traffic but it would not be possible if we weren’t giving them good food”. He also states laughingly that “If I was to give them food that didn’t taste good, they could go on the same internet and ruin my business”. In the short time that Star Pizza has been in this location Atef and his family are extremely happy with the success and reception they have received from their customers so far, they hope to renovate the location, for example with new flatscreen tv’s where the menus will be displayed while also expanding the menu as well to bring in some new and younger customers.
Before agreeing to the interview, Atef jokingly let me know that he expects new business from this interview which I sincerely hope is the outcome of this article. Just to give a bit of an idea of how great the management at Star Pizza is, I will share a quick personal experience that I had with Atef and the workers at Star. I first came in contact with Atef while I began a new job at Metro PCS in the same little plaza that Star Pizza was located, he walked in the door and immediately asked for my coworker as if he knew him, because I was new I was a little confused and let him know that I was the only one in at the time. At this point Atef walked in and began to ask me all types of questions “How do you like it” “When did you start” “Where are you from” etc. If I remember correctly we spoke for about 10-15 minutes getting to know each other and Atef never mentioned he owned the pizza store next door which in hindsight meant a lot to me that he was genuinely having a conversation with me not trying to gain a new customer. Before he left Atef jokingly asked me do I ever eat at lunch since he had not seen me come in next door, I let him know that I usually didn’t eat on break or I would bring in a snack, he laughed and told me “that was not enough” and if I needed lunch to stop in next door. My next shift I took him up on his offer and he demanded I take my slice of pizza for free ever since then If I was the slightest bit hungry I was going next door and giving Atef and the rest of the guys at Star Pizza my business. To this day months after I left my job next door to Atef’s I still order and I choose to drive in to say hi to the guys and Atef. When asked “where do you see Star Pizza in 6 months to a year” Atef humbly stated he only hopes that he “continues to have success and to see growth”. If you are in the Bridgewater area don’t forget to stop by 43 North Main St West Bridgewater, MA and give Star a try!
Author: Perprika Valcin, BSU student
Wash-A-Rama are a small chain of local laundromats that pride themselves in friendly service and rigorous efficiency. Wash-A-Rama features both self and drop off services, along with a dry cleaning service. The drop off features are perfect for those who do not have the time or prefer it to be expertly prepared.
Established by Mr. Rigal Saint Felix, in 2006, Wash-A-Rama started out as a small laundromat with big ambitions. Over the years it has expanded into the quirky chain of establishments that it is today. Mr. Felix currently, owns and operates 3 laundromats locating in Brockton, Hyde Park and Dorchester. Throughout the interview, Mr. Felix expressed pride and joy towards the success of his establishments, viewing his adversities, as opportunities to grow and learn. For this interview I spoke with Mr. Felix, in an effort to understand his business.
Q: Good morning Mr. Felix, thank you for taking the time out of your day to speak with me. For starters, why made you choose this line of business?
A: I’m someone who’s always looking for something. I started off working in construction for about 10 years. Working in the construction industry, I always looked for an opportunity to get out. Reason being is that construction requires a lot of time energy in which you need to put in. Not only that, it’s a risky job. Working tall story buildings, such as 20 stories for example, it start to take a toll on your body. Worst of all, it’s always a competition to keep your job. It’s the next man up. You don’t show up, you don’t get the job. You have to be there, regardless the cold or heat. These are some of the reason why I wanted to find a way out of construction. I wanted to work for myself, where I didn’t have to show up every day to a jobsite on someone else’s schedule. So therefore, when the opportunity opened up for me, I went for it. I required the knowledge and the necessary fund needed in order to open my first laundromat.
Q: What was the toughest thing you went through when first opening your laundromat?
A: The toughest thing for me when opening my first laundromat was, keeping the machines in good maintenance when they break down. At the beginning, I always had to call a company to come in and fix them, which ended up costing me quite a lot of money to do so. With that being said, I took it upon myself to go to school for six months in order to learn how to fix these machines myself, which in turn helped me to minimizing my costs.
Q: What inspired you to keep going as you were getting the business off the ground?
A: The thing that really inspired me to keep going, was the flexibility. The flexibility that I have to do what I want to do with the business, and still be a father to my kids. With my flexibility I’m able to bring my kids to school and pick them up. My flexibility gives me the opportunity for me to spend more time with my family. So in a sense, this was my main drive for continuing.
Q: If you had to start over from day 1, what would you have done differently? Or what was your most difficult challenge?
A: I would have to say promoting the business. In the beginning, I didn’t promote my business the way that I should. That’s one thing I definitely look forward into doing; finding ways to advertise and put my business on the map, so people will know that the businesses there. Before, it took me too long to realize that I needed to promote my business. If I could start from day one, promoting my business would be my main goal.
Q: What is the toughest part about having a business in 2020?
A: Taxes. Although taxes differs from different cities and towns, they make it difficult for you to open a business with all those regulations; sometimes it can be a challenge to overcome them. At certain times you have issues where you want to open your door to operate, but you can’t. For instance you plan on opening in February; now you have to wait a month or two months later to open your doors. Next thing you know, you’re losing income. What’s even worse, regardless if your doors are closed for business, you’re still required to pay your rent for that month. It can be a lot sometimes.
Q: If a customer was to choose between your business and 3 others just like it, why would you suggest they at least give you a try ﬁrst? What makes you stand out?
A: the key focus to my business would have to be the customer service. The second thing is the tidiness of the store. That way when someone shows up, they don’t only notice that the store is clean, but there someone at the door waiting to greet and help them if needed. One other thing that makes me stand out for my competitors, would have to be the word of mouth from the customers; they take notice of how they’re treated and how they were helped.
Visit Wash-A-Rama at the following locations:
884 Washington St., Norwood, MA
691 Warren Ave, Brockton, MA
Also visit Clean Getaway at 546 Centre St., Jamaica Plain, MA
Author: Haley Burbank, BSU student
A/C Unlimited is a family owned Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning System service and installation business. For over 27 years the husband and wife duo; Scott and Tina Gallagher, have been providing South Shore Massachusetts residents with exceptional certified service for all their HVAC needs. While Scott and Tina have been in the business of HVAC for nearly three decades, HVAC has been a lifelong family business for Scott. His father started his own HVAC business and Scott began helping him at the age of 13. Over the years as he watched his father work, he decided this was the career he would dedicate his life to. He went on to become a Certified Refrigerant Technician and earn a Master Sheet Metal license. Once he became licensed and certified he teamed up with his wife Tina to start A/C Unlimited.
The pair run A/C Unlimited from their home in Carver Massachusetts. While they may not have a traditional brick and mortar business, it does not hinder them in way; in fact, Tina considers it to have always been an advantage. Scott and Tina have 4 children, so it was easier to manage parenting and running the business inside of the home when the children were small. While starting out when their children were small, they focused more on providing HVAC services to businesses in the South Shore area. Scott would go out on consultations and repairs while Tina stayed home and handled the finances and bookkeeping, which she says was the hardest part when first starting the business, as she had to do all the accounting and bookkeeping by hand since they did not have accounting software. Over the last couple of years, they’ve shifted more towards offering their services to homes all over the South Shore area, especially in Carver, Plymouth, and Kingston. Tina has also begun to take a more hand on approach to the business by accompanying Scott on the job to give estimates and experience the business from a new perspective.
When asked about what makes their business stand out against the competitors, Tina noted a few ways A/C Unlimited stands out. One way that her and Scott tend to stand out in the eyes of their customers is that they genuinely care about the work they are providing. They understand that HVAC services in the home are vital to having a comfortable and safe environment. Oftentimes HVAC businesses have set business hours, but she can’t consciously let a family go cold in the middle of a winter night when their heating appliances malfunction. Therefore, they’ve decided on working all days of the week. Their customer’s safety and comfortability are their top priority. Another way that A/C Unlimited stands out is their honesty and integrity. Tina and Scott like to explain diagnostics as straightforward as they can with their customers and want to make sure their customers understand everything at a step by step process because HVAC systems involve a lot of different services and repairs. Some of the components that go into HVAC systems involve plumbing and electrical, and they are honest about what they can and cannot do when diagnostics go beyond what Scott is licensed to fix. Lastly, they receive many referrals which speaks to how well they do their job. So many of their customers appreciate the work they’ve done for them and notice how well done their work is, so they have a lot of customers spreading word of mouth about their business across Massachusetts.
Currently they are at a very comfortable place in their business endeavors. When asked about any future plans for the business over the next six months, Tina said that she thinks that A/C Unlimited is exactly where It should be right now and wouldn’t really want to change anything for the time being, other than possibly expanding their social media presence.
Author: Therissa Toussaint, BSU student
There are many restaurants in Brockton, Massachusetts. Each restaurant has an interesting way of bringing new and authentic food to people that are open to tasting delicious cooked meals. At 364 North Main St. is a bakery name Boulangerie Saint Antoine that cooks mouthwatering and fulling Haitian meals. The owner of Saint Antoine is Richard Poteau and his wife. Both started this business together on March 1995. The three main reasons they were driven to have their own business is mainly because they didn't want to work for someone else. They wanted to be their own boss. Also, when both lived in Haiti, they originally had a bakery. So, they had prior knowledge on how to run a restaurant. Lastly, when Richard Poteau and his wife arrived in 1995 there wasn’t a lot of Haitian food that reflected the culture. This means that there wasn't a lot of competition for them. When I asked the daughter of the owner of Boulangerie Saint Antoine the toughest thing her family’s restaurant went through when opening she said, “language barrier, getting a permit, and of course to be able to have financial support.” However, since some of their customers were Haitians, they were able to navigate towards an understatement. Both loved the thought of being their own boss and cooking for those who weren't able to have access to home cooked meals or those who wanted to try Haitian cuisines but wasn't able to.
The variety of options they provided their customers helped their business to grow. The love Richard Poteau and his family share with their customer kept the business running. Before they actually started their business, they had to find the right destination that would bring the customer to them. When asked about the toughest part about having a business in 2020. They said “that it was not like 1995 anymore. That means there is always a new compaction rising. So, that’s what continues to happen. Brockton is starting to be filled with flavorful restaurants. This doesn’t entirely hurt our business but help us to continue to think about the future. A lot of things modify and change when comparing 1995 to 2020.” First off, technology has vastly expanded, and it demands for it to be used, because everyone is on it. However, although they do use Facebook it’s difficult to rule out that’s how they obtain most of their customers. They are confident that word to word had connected them to most of their customers. People of younger generation prefer to use technology and older generations most likely heard it from a friend, family member, or an event. Boulangerie Saint Antoine future plans are mostly to renovate, modernize the building and expanding more in social media because they want to make sure they are continuing to stay up to date and adapt while the future continues to change. So, the younger generation and older generation can have many ways to access their delightful home cooked Haitian meal.
Visit Boulangerie Saint Antoine at 364 North Main Street, Brockton, MA
Contact them via telephone: 508-583-9068