2019 "Build a Better Mousetrap" Awards presented to 17 Cape & Islands Small Business Owners selected by their respective Chambers of Commerce
SCORE's "Build a Better Mousetrap" Award honors companies that survive the critical first five years and appear to be headed for long-term success. All Chambers of Commerce on the Cape & Islands are invited to participate by selecting one of their member companies for recognition. In 2019 SCORE's "Build a Better Mousetrap" Awards go to 17 deserving companies. The winners, all listed below, received their awards at SCORE's annual awards breakfast, May 8th at the Hyannis Golf Course.
Scroll down to read about winners - listed alphabetically by Chamber of Commerce
Pictures show winners receiving plaques and "better mousetrap" awards from Bill Simpson, SCORE Chairman. Several winners also received honorary certificates from their state legislators
Brewster Chamber of Commerce honors:
Jim Baskin - Baskin ACE Hardware
Jim Baskin has the hardware store business in his blood. As a kid, he and his twin sister would be delivered by the school bus to their parent’s store in Orleans rather than their home. His mother set up a special corner in her office where they would be out of the way but that didn’t keep the children from exploring every corner of the store.
The Baskins started Baskin’s Hardware in Orleans in the 1980’s, and gradually added stores in Harwich, Dennis and Brewster. It is no surprise that Jim would eventually work in each of these stores. Yet when his parents retired, Jim became the owner of the Brewster store because he liked its hometown feel.
That laid-back atmosphere can be deceiving, though, as the Brewster store boasts an inventory of over 30,000 skus, a staff of four full-time year-round employees supported by six to seven part-timers, and a sophisticated point-of-sale system to manage the transactions. But at the end of the day, it is the feel-good customer service delivered by Jim and his team that makes Baskin ACE Hardware the success it is today.
Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce honors:
Morrison - RideAway Adventures
Mike Morrison and RideAway Adventures exemplifies a famous quote from Benjamin Franklin: Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn. RideAway isn’t just a company, it is a concept. It is a network of people looking to make a difference in their community, in Cape Cod, and in the world. This is done through education, social responsibility and hard work. This concept became a reality in July 2008 when RideAway opened its doors and delivered its first kayak. Since that day, Mike and his dedicated team have educated thousands of tourists and residents about the unique ecosystem of Cape Cod by getting them on the water and experiencing it firsthand. Besides the environment, Mike and his team pride themselves on making a difference in kid’s lives that need a helping hand and are avid supporters of the For Kids’ Sake Foundation. Through kayaking, biking and paddleboarding, thousands of people are “learning” about the urgency of sustainability and conservation on Cape Cod, and preservation for future generations. But don’t tell them that because they just thought they were just having fun.
Cape Cod Canal Region Chamber of Commerce honors:
Morgan & Meghan Muratore - Crayon College at Bourne
Lucinda (Cindy) Morgan began her career as a Kindergarten teacher, quickly moving to the role of director in her early 20’s and eventually a regional director for a larger corporation managing multiple locations. Despite all of this success and experience, Cindy realized she missed the intimacy of smaller centers. That is where her dream of Crayon College started. Crayon College believes that children learn and develop best when in a secure, loving environment. Crayon College’s focus is on the holistic child and aims to balance their development in all areas: social, emotional, physical and intellectual. The teachers are dedicated to helping the children grow at their natural pace by building their self-confidence, strengths and skills.
Cindy now owns three successful centers with the Bourne location being the newest. Her invaluable experience is evident in the success of Crayon College as Cindy invests as much time in her teachers as she does with the children and families. Crayon College teachers are encouraged to grow and gain experience while designing their own curriculum that fosters growth and development – for both the teachers and their pupils.
Chatham Chamber of Commerce honors:
Gorman, Becky and Brian Voelkel - Mahi Gold
Mahi Gold offers stylishly classic yet comfortable “attire” that goes from the boat to the beach to the dock to the bar – and it was the inspiration of brother and sister team, Mike Gorman and Becky Voelkel. It all began with a trunk show on their grandparent’s lawn that they advertised by walking in the 2008 Chatham 4th of July Parade.
Things moved quickly for Mahi Gold since those humble beginnings with the opening of their flagship retail store in 2014 in Chatham, MA . A second store quickly followed in 2015 in Edgartown, MA while their newest location was opened in Boston’s Seaport district in May of 2018. As if that isn’t enough, their nautically inspired prints can be found in over 250 locations along the East Coast; from Texas to California; the Islands;
Canada and beyond...
It never occurred to Mike and Becky to have their manufacturing done anywhere than right here at home - in the U.S.A. Mahi Gold is proud to work with partners from Massachusetts, to Ohio, to California in order to produce the finest garments, by the finest individuals, for the finest customers. To quote Mike and Becky “MAHI GOLD is our American Dream - inspired by everything Americana.”
Dennis Chamber of Commerce honors:
Christine Carr - Good Friends Cafe
83 School Street West Dennis, MA 02670
508-760-2727 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Chrissy Carr has been the proud owner of Good Friends Cafe since 2009, when she took on a long history of meals shared at this very location under different names. What was once a seasonal spot open only for the summer, Good Friends is now a thriving heart of the community serving breakfast everyday - except Christmas. Customers rave about the generous portions, perfectly crisp bacon and unique offerings like Oreo French Toast.
Over the last ten years, Chrissy has been part of positive changes in her West Dennis community. Her cafe has become a gathering spot for the West Dennis Women’s Group and other community members. It is a safe haven during power outages since it has a generator. And it is a gathering spot after running errands with kids and dogs in the summer or the West Dennis Village Stroll at Christmas. Chrissy owns four of the seven units at the current location and is looking to expand the seating capacity. And her commitment to her community ensures that Good Friends Café will continue to be West Dennis’s very own version of Cheers – where everyone knows your name.
Falmouth Chamber of Commerce honors:
Rachel & Jamie Markarian - H2o Kitchen & Bath Design Center
Jamie has been a Construction Supervisor/Designer with over 30 years of experience in the industry and Rachel has a background in business and marketing – both great resumes for running a successful kitchen and bath contractor business. However, just about three years ago Rachel and Jamie decided that it was time to expand. The missing piece of their puzzle was the H2o Kitchen and Bath Design Center and they worked diligently to see it happen in March of 2017. Their new showroom offers a selection of products that are exclusive to this area and, although it is ever evolving, all of the kitchen and bath items are derived around value and quality. Their focus is always on customer service and total satisfaction as they strive to be the first and only option for kitchen and bath design.
Their team is complemented by passionate and imaginative designers Lynne Devaney and Meg Hovsepian, as well as their experienced, licensed & insured subcontractors. Jamie and Rachel are not sitting back on their laurels, though, as they have some exciting developments in the works while continuing to bring more exclusive items to Cape Cod.
Harwich Chamber of Commerce honors:
Dan O'Leary - O'Leary Landscaping
O’Leary Landscaping has been in business since 1980, and committed to one simple principle: To provide each customer with high quality personalized service. Father and son team of Dan and Sean O’Leary pride themselves and their team for achieving this mission every day and on every project. This attention to service has made them one of Cape Cod’s top residential and commercial landscapers, as well as the largest in Harwich.
O’Leary’s is more than just a lawn-mowing service as they are certified by both the Massachusetts Landscapers Association and the Irrigation Associations of America. Technology and training are an integral part of their business strategy as all of their trucks are certified by MA DOT, and all of their staff is OSHA trained.
Word of mouth and recommendations are critical to the success of any business, but when you are a small family-owned business, it’s even more so. Supporting other local businesses and establishing partnerships is a key strategy for success. So much so, that O’Leary’s has proudly announced that they have recently merged with Lower Cape Irrigation to expand their offerings and ensure their long-term success.
Greater Hyannis Chamber of Commerce honors:
Stacey Greaves - GOat Green Cape Cod
The genesis of GOat Green Cape Cod was in 2014 when Stacey Greaves rescued four goats from Western Mass and brought them home to Cape Cod. One year later, Stacey launched her business in earnest and has never looked back. Stacey is on the forefront of an innovative movement that uses goats as an alternative to herbicides to restore a healthy ecosystem. Her “goat boys” love cleaning up any area and will eat a vast number of invasive plants including the scourge of Cape Cod – poison ivy. While eating through all of these leaves, brush and weeds, the goats are also fertilizing the property as they go. Clearly a win-win.
GOat Green now employs a herd of 12 goats and has made a believer out of many people and organizations on Cape Cod that have seen the goats in action and their results. Stacey is actively researching additional opportunities to leverage her goats while continuing to offer a healthy, chemical-free option for managing unwanted vegetation and preserving the beauty of Cape Cod for future generations.
Martha’s Vineyard Chamber of Commerce honors:
Igor "Iggy" Vukoje - Vineyard Wash
Convenience and choices are two important options consumers consider when selecting a service. Iggy Vukojje understood this right from the beginning when he started Vineyard Wash in 2015. Vineyard Wash was quickly recognized for its high level of quality and professionalism with a great team of skilled folks.
It was no surprise that things quickly evolved for Iggy as the next step was to offer mobile detailing services with Vineyard Wash coming directly to the consumer’s driveway. No sooner had that become a success when Vineyard Wash made the leap to the next logical option – boat detailing. And it doesn’t stop there as Iggy and his team also provide personalized services based on a clients’ unique needs.
Iggy has worked tirelessly to deepen Vineyard Wash’s ties within the community, the Chamber of Commerce and among their fellow businesses. Word of mouth and a shiny car – or boat – is the best form of advertising on a small island like Martha’s Vineyard. Iggy understands this and is looking forward to continued growth and being a mainstay in the Vineyard community.
Mashpee Chamber of Commerce honors:
Roy McKenzie - Botello Lumber
26 Bowdoin Road, Mashpee, MA 02649
Botello Lumber has been a fixture in Mashpee for over 40 years, well before HGTV and social media made home improvement a craze rather than a necessity. It was started because Paul Botello was frustrated with what the Cape had to offer contractors and building professionals. Today, under the guidance of Paul’s son, Stephen, Botello Lumber has become a full service home center expanding over ten acres with lumber, hardware, and many home improvement items.
Botello’s has seen many changes in the competitive landscape since the 1970’s but have endured and succeeded with fundamental business strategies - offering quality products, employing talented and knowledgeable employees, and dedicating themselves to customer service. Today they provide an award winning kitchen and bathroom design center as well as an inventory and services to satisfy the first-time DIYer to the professional contractor.
Stephen and his team take great pride in their ability to give back to the community that has supported them all of these many years. From a new kitchen for Tommy’s Place to supporting the A.L.S. Family Charitable Foundation team in the Falmouth Road Race, Botello’s is invested in the future of Cape Cod.
Nantucket Island Chamber of Commerce honors:
Rachel Afshari & Darya Afshari - Lemon Press
Rachel and Darya profess that Lemon Press is about encompassment which Merriam Webster defines as “inclusion; comprehension”. This is evident in their mission which is to simply give the community access to healthy, informational, and nutritional tools in order bbto unlock their full potential. While fostering an ideology of balance and non-extremism, Lemon Press ensures their dedication and passion towards the greenest practices.
Since their opening in 2015, Lemon Press as They have recently expanded to have a full restaurant with breakfast, lunch, dinner, grab & go, and more and covering more areas of dietary needs than most other places on Nantucket. From their cocktails to their cold-pressed juices to their cuisine, they source organic, local, and with Mother Earth in mind. They show their mission in not only their food and drinks but also in their community practices.
Orleans Chamber of Commerce honors:
Julie Eitelbach - Wireless Zone
169 Rt 6A, Orleans, MA 02653
Tel. 508-255-5557 - Wz224@wireless-zone.com
Mobile technology is more than a way to communicate, making it a necessity in our daily lives. But the release of new products and new technology on – what seems like – a daily basis can be overwhelming. Julie Eitelbach is the owner of Wireless Zone of Orleans which is the local Premium Authorized retailer for Verizon Wireless.
Wireless Zone is dedicated to finding the right device for their customers whether it is a big family or a small Cape Cod business. Julie has a team of patient, friendly and knowledgeable staff who can take the stress and confusion out of buying a new device. But as a Verizon Authorized Retailer, Wireless Zone is supported by the power of Verizon, which has been ranked by Forbes as one of the World’s Most Valuable Brands.
Wireless Zone offers the best of both worlds, the caliber of a respected corporation with the small town familiarity of Cape Cod.
Provincetown Chamber of Commerce honors:
Irv Morgan - Bayside Betsy's Restaurant
Irv Morgan first fell in love with Provincetown in 1982 while on a long-weekend trip. Twenty-plus years later, in 2005, he left his restaurant operations job in Washington DC and decided it was time to fully enjoy the town he so loved and spend his summers immersed in the community.
But the restaurant business was in his DNA and Provincetown was a haven for a potential buyer. Irv was happy to bide his time bartending while looking for the right opportunity. Which did materialize when he bought the Burger Queen Restaurant and operated it with great joy for eight years.
In 2014, Irv and his partner decided to move on and purchased Bayside Betsy's Restaurant - an ongoing concern located at 177 Commercial Street. Things moved very quickly and they were signing the final papers just a few days before the hectic Memorial Day weekend. But it all came together and they have been serving breakfast, lunch and dinner ever since thanks to their many great staff and customers. For Irv, Bayside Betsy’s represents all that he treasures: Beautiful Views, Good Food and Nice People
Sandwich Chamber of Commerce honors:
Lauren and Caroline Grainger - Grainger Pottery Sandwich
Grainger Pottery Sandwich, located on Cape Cod, is a small, sister-owned business that creates handmade ceramic fish for decorative purposes. But if the over 100 different species seem realistic it is because they are derived from real fish.
Lauren and Caroline employ a unique process which starts with a plaster mold made from a real fish giving each piece lifelike texture and proportions. Clay is hand-pressed into the molds making a replica of the fish. Then the fun part starts when each fish is hand-painted with an accurate depiction of their coloring and markings. Lastly, the fish are fired in their kilns and are ready to be hung either indoors or out. Naturally, the focus of their artwork is on the major New England species but Grainger Pottery provides a variety of southern,
tropical and freshwater fish plus shells and lobsters.
The sisters’ inspiration and mentors was their uncle and aunt, Geoff and Karilon Grainger, who started the first Grainger Pottery shop in Marion, Mass. Lauren and Caroline saw the logical transition of this artwork to Cape Cod where there is a historic love and appreciation for both marine wildlife and art.
Truro Chamber of Commerce honors:
Ellery Althause & Claire Adams - Salty Market
Salty Market is Truro’s one and only year round deli, grocery, and liquor store. Although located in the iconic century-old Dutra’s Market, this mom n’ pop shop has been completely renovated and would appeal to even the most discerning millennial.
Ellery and Claire understand that convenience and selection are what both the summer and year-round crowd demand. Not only is the store close-by but Salty Market entices patrons with grocery necessities, gourmet goodies, delicious and fresh sandwiches and baked goods, and the best craft liquor, beer, and wine. They even have the occasional souvenir for those tourists that want to remember their summer in Truro.
Being the local market in a small town on Cape Cod is more than just a brick-and-mortar location; it is a commitment to the community. Ellery and Claire recognize this and have expressed their desire on their website: Our hope is that by offering competitively priced goods, delicious and fresh food, and a friendly, warm environment that Salty Market can cultivate a sense of community here and become a staple of Truro life.
Wellfleet Chamber of Commerce honors:
Myya Beck-Baum - Heart Core Fitness Studio
Myya Beck, owner and instructor at HeartCore Fitness & Wellness Studio, opened up shop in 2009 - and the Outer Cape has never looked back. A native of Provincetown, Myya returned to Cape Cod after graduating from college and traveling extensively in the U.S., Caribbean Islands, Europe and Asia.
Through her life experiences and travels Myya recognized a gap in the fitness center genre – simply put, they were impersonal and sterile. She wanted to build an experience that incorporated all aspects of strength training and welcomed, responded to, and encouraged individuals. Thus creating a sense of community with an environment that fosters health and healing.
Myya is passionate about educating, motivating and inspiring others to change their lives with fitness and “eating real foods” diet. HeartCore Studio was born out of her dream of developing and practicing a holistic approach to physical fitness and nutrition. Myya pushes her clients to be their best by setting an example both in and out of the studio and practicing what she preaches.
Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce honors:
Kathy Gianno and Kevin Richards - The Loft Restaurant and Bar at the Cove
Kathy Gianno and Kevin Richards are both long-time Cape Cod residents with impressive experience in corporate America and the hospitality industry. In addition, they have owned and operated two seasonal restaurants on Cape Cod. But the Loft Restaurant and Bar at the Cove leverages all of their professional experiences with their dream to own a full-service restaurant in their hometown – with a bit of a twist.
Kathy and Kevin remember the days of the iconic Cape Cod establishments that offered a night of music and dancing. But the gastronomic offerings were very limited - and that is the niche that they quickly recognized. The Loft offers a great culinary experience with a menu derived from fresh, local ingredients, combined with an incredible line up of live music from the 60s through the 90s in a friendly, inviting environment. The music is cross-generational, high-energy and everyone will “party like it is 1999”.
The essence of a successful small business is to know your market and give them what they desire. For Kathy and Kevin that is good food, good music and good times.