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12 01, 2021

Get in the Habit! Longtime Southie boutique keeps neighborhood fashionable

2021-01-12T16:22:07-05:00January 12th, 2021|Categories: Business, Featured, Lifestyle|Comments Off on Get in the Habit! Longtime Southie boutique keeps neighborhood fashionable

By Ginger DeShaney When Pam Santorelli opened her boutique Habit at 703 E. Broadway almost 15 years ago, she received amazing support from the neighborhood.  “There was a lot of positive energy. We had a successful opening,” Pam said. “We got such a great response from the neighborhood. It pushed us to move forward.” That support remains strong today. When COVID-19 forced Habit, a women's clothing, accessories, and gift boutique, to close its doors for two and half months, right at the start of the busy season, the tight-knit Southie community was there for Pam. “We’re hanging in there,” she said. “We had a great response from the neighborhood. People want to shop small, which is so appreciated.” Christmas sales were good, again thanks to [...]

8 01, 2021

The Art of Giving: Local Woman Uses Her Talent to Help Others 

2021-01-08T21:56:21-05:00January 8th, 2021|Categories: Business, Featured, Lifestyle|Comments Off on The Art of Giving: Local Woman Uses Her Talent to Help Others 

By Ginger DeShaney Erica Hagler Erica Hagler uses her superpowers for good.  The South Boston artist has a passion for employing her talent to give back to the community. “If you have a talent, you should share it with people,” she said. “It feels really good to give back.” Erica’s mom instilled in her family the importance of giving back. The family fed the homeless every Thanksgiving; they donated toys to families in need; they saved extra toiletries to give out to people in need.  So it’s no surprise that Erica is involved in charitable giving every chance she gets. In November and December, Erica organized “The Art of Giving.” This project was born when Erica was sitting in her kitchen thinking, “I [...]

31 12, 2020

Island Treasure: Pandemic Doesn’t Stop Sully’s from Serving Great Food

2020-12-31T16:54:49-05:00December 31st, 2020|Categories: Business, Featured, Lifestyle|Comments Off on Island Treasure: Pandemic Doesn’t Stop Sully’s from Serving Great Food

By Ginger DeShaney Kizito Paganini When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, management at Sullivan’s at Castle Island rallied to keep serving its loyal customers. “It’s been pretty good for a bad year,” said Kizito Paganini, director of operations for Sullivan’s, a South Boston institution. “We made the best of a bad time.” Paganini started with Sullivan’s in January 2020. The restaurant opened in February as usual but by March 13had to shut its doors because of the pandemic.  “We needed time to close down and rearrange how we do business,” Paganini said. Management discussed safety measures, social distancing, flow, and new ways of doing things.  That creative process came up with: A new way to order in person; Online ordering; Catering services. Sully’s opened [...]

26 12, 2020

At your convenience: Crossroads Mart delivers on customer service

2020-12-26T18:25:45-05:00December 26th, 2020|Categories: Business, Featured|Comments Off on At your convenience: Crossroads Mart delivers on customer service

By Ginger DeShaney Before August, Prabin Dhar had never worked behind a register. Now he’s working a register almost every day at his new convenience store, Crossroads Mart, at 673 East Broadway (the site of a former 7-Eleven). The store is open from 6 a.m. to midnight every day. After 12 years as a dog walker and trainer with his business, Canine Superstars, Dhar was ready for a new challenge and jumped into the retail market. (Dhar’s Canine Superstars is still in business with a friend taking care of the dogs.) “I had been looking for a good business,” he said. “I was looking for the right opportunity.”  Sandesh Prajapati, now his business partner, called him one day out of the blue and let him [...]

19 12, 2020

But first, coffee! Olga’s Kafe owner brings her love of java to West Broadway

2020-12-19T20:26:10-05:00December 19th, 2020|Categories: Business, Featured|Comments Off on But first, coffee! Olga’s Kafe owner brings her love of java to West Broadway

By Ginger DeShaney Olga Markos still remembers the coffee percolator her mom had so many years ago. She can envision it sitting on the stove. It had a glass knob so she could see the magic brewing inside. Her mom would let young Olga take sips of coffee. “I love coffee,” Olga said. “I’ve always loved coffee.” In her late teens, she attended a bridal shower and had her first flavored coffee: chocolate raspberry decaf. From that point on, “I was in love with flavored coffee.” Olga turned that passion for coffee into a successful business in Boston’s Financial District, where Olga’s Kafe thrived for 23 years at 99 Summer Street, before the building’s owner wanted to go in a new direction. That shop closed [...]

17 12, 2020

Popping up! Camden Hydes owner organizes local shopping events

2020-12-17T17:49:53-05:00December 17th, 2020|Categories: Business, Featured|Comments Off on Popping up! Camden Hydes owner organizes local shopping events

By Ginger DeShaney When Colleen Howard was starting out with her business, Camden Hydes, she was welcomed by other women-owned small businesses in South Boston, the holiday pop-ups being a particular favorite. Now, she’s returning the favor. “It’s nice to do the same for other women-owned small businesses,” she said. Colleen has organized several pop-ups this year but has had to get creative because of COVID-19. “I’m trying to make the best of a difficult situation,” she said. “Normally, we’d have so many opportunities for people to shop in person at local pop-ups.” The group couldn’t plan on the usual indoor pop-ups as in years past inside local restaurants or function spaces, so Colleen had to think outside the box. She reached out to the [...]

10 12, 2020

Scenes from the Holiday Spree

2020-12-10T21:00:30-05:00December 10th, 2020|Categories: Business, Featured, Happenings|Comments Off on Scenes from the Holiday Spree

Southie businesses offered discounts and promotions during the second South Boston Chamber of Commerce's Thursday Holiday Spree. Festive backdrops were set up at the library and the West Broadway Municipal Parking lot for selfies. The backdrops will be up again next Thursday, Dec. 17, for the third Holiday Spree. Remember to shop locally! (PHOTOS BY GINGER DeSHANEY) Lisa Urban poses in front of the Santa backdrop at the library with a goodie bag for people who stop by.   Karen and Tanner enjoyed having their photo snapped.   Noah checks out the Frozen backdrop at the West Broadway parking lot.   Roza Lyons is decked out for the holidays.   Pam Santorelli of Habit mans the [...]

7 12, 2020

In good taste: OTTO tips program benefits local nonprofits

2020-12-07T16:51:39-05:00December 7th, 2020|Categories: Business, Featured|Comments Off on In good taste: OTTO tips program benefits local nonprofits

By Ginger DeShaney When Sean Ryan and Troy Sproul wrote the business plan for their OTTO Pizza location in South Boston, a big piece of it involved giving back to the community. “Any business has to have a connection to the community,” said Sean. For some, having a community-based initiative is an afterthought. “But we wrote it into our plan,” Troy said.  “It’s important for any business -- a moral obligation -- to come into a new market and ... give back,” said Troy. “We are grateful we can give back to the community.” Sean and Troy brainstormed how they could impact the most people. “At the end of the day, it’s the right thing to do,” Sean said. Their Tips for Kids program ensures [...]

4 12, 2020

Chamber urges residents to shop locally

2020-12-05T15:34:26-05:00December 4th, 2020|Categories: Business, Featured, Happenings|Comments Off on Chamber urges residents to shop locally

Support system in place By Ginger DeShaney Karen Stanley Donna Brown Donna Brown and Karen Stanley take the South Boston Chamber of Commerce’s mission very seriously: to be the unified voice of the entire South Boston Business Community. Donna, the executive director of the South Boston Neighborhood Development Corporation, and Karen, the event planner for the Chamber and a former business owner, work relentlessly to support local businesses and encourage people to shop in the neighborhood.  And this year, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, they are working even harder as they have to adapt to the times while supporting neighborhood shops. “Our goal is to promote businesses and get people to shop locally,” said Donna. “Support local businesses,” Karen stressed. “Support your [...]

29 11, 2020

From the heart: Stephie Chic creates handmade gifts

2020-11-29T16:57:10-05:00November 29th, 2020|Categories: Business, Featured|Comments Off on From the heart: Stephie Chic creates handmade gifts

By Ginger DeShaney Gemstones and bracelets. That’s how it started. Stephanie Greenstein was looking to buy a bunch of bracelets from a shop. But they were $45 each, which got her to thinking, “I could do that.” So she did. She made herself bracelets, and her friends noticed them. They wanted her to make them bracelets, too, so Stephanie made them for free. “I was making pieces for friends, then those friends told their friends,” Stephanie said. And people were willing to pay.  “It started as a hobby and shifted to an actual business.” She opened her e-commerce website -- https://stephiechic.com/ -- in June 2019. Stephie Chic features Stephanie’s beautiful handmade creations: bracelets, earrings, necklaces, tie-dye clothing, masks, and hair accessories. Stephanie took her passion [...]

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