The Green Door Reopens
The announcement came on The Green Door’s Facebook page: “We are very excited to announce that we will be re-opening on Friday, June 4th, at 10 a.m. We can’t wait to see all of your smiling faces!”
When The Green Door shut down a year ago March, owner Susan Swanson didn’t expect it would be quite so long before reopening. But the more she considered, the more impossible it seemed to reopen safely during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The shop, at 130 Main Street, is a series of small rooms packed with goods. Social distancing would have allowed only a customer or two at a time, and early on it was all about disinfecting surfaces. That would have been a near-impossible task with all the beautiful merchandise everywhere.
So Swanson took an extended what she calls “creative sabbatical.”
As difficult as the pandemic was, Swanson used the time away from the store to recharge her creative energies. The result? Two new lines of merchandise she created herself: hand-painted seashells of varying sizes and, with her husband’s woodworking skills, painted wooden hearts, butterflies, dragonflies, fish and seashells to decorate doors and walls, indoors and out. Each piece is truly one-of-a-kind, she said.
“I got to explore different things I’d never been able to do before,” she said of her experience.
The shop will be open six days a week (closed Sundays) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The women who worked there before the pandemic will be back, too.
“Everybody’s back,” Swanson said. “Everyone’s vaccinated and raring to go.”
Chase Bank Opens
Chase just opened its first ever branch in East Greenwich at 1000 Division Street (at the site of the former Ruby Tuesdays). The team, led by branch manager Adel Hallak, is staffed by eight bankers who live locally and are working to support the financial needs of customers and small businesses.
The new branch includes meeting spaces, a free digital access area and when safety protocols allow, regular Chase Chats which are financial health workshops focusing on topics like financial fitness, budgeting and saving, and paths to homeownership. Find out more at their website HERE.
Farewell Allegra Printing
Allegra Printing on Rocky Hollow Road closed its doors in February, when owner Stanley Reuter sold the business to Allegra Printing Providence. Reuter opened the shop in 1990 and built it from scratch, but he put it on the market three years ago with an eye to retirement. The sale to Allegra in Providence included longtime employees Molly and Kim moving to the Waterman Avenue shop. Customers can have their work picked up and delivered, just as with the EG Allegra store.
Reuter, who lives in East Greenwich, said he’s getting used to retirement, laughing about not being able to remember what day of the week it is often. “I’m starting to get into other things. I want to do some volunteer work. I would like to help someone in business if I could – I’ve got a lot of experience,” he said. “And I would also like to get into racial equality.”
And, he’s picked up a new hobby thanks to one of his grandkids – Legos. Reuter is enjoying building intricate Lego villages.
“I feel much much less pressure on me,” he said. “It was a good run. Allegra was good to me. I miss the customers but you have to move on.”
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