Above: Civil’s owner Guido Silvestri, left, talks with SBA’s Mark Haywood, Sen. Jack Reed, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, and Rep. Jim Langevin.
They visited to promote Small Business Saturday
This is an-only-on-Main-Street-East-Greenwich kind of thing: all four members of our congressional delegation went shopping on our main drag on Tuesday. They were there to highlight the importance of small businesses to the Rhode Island economy and Small Business Saturday (Nov. 27) in particular.
This was no stuffy affair.
“Let me begin with the obvious: I love all things small,” joked Sen. Jack Reed, outside of Graze on Main, a small charcuterie provisions shop at 58 Main St. that opened during the pandemic. Owners Elyse Paré and Geza Tanner turned that to their advantage: offering beautiful charcuterie platters for people to enjoy at home.
Sens. Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, Reps. David Cicilline and James Langevin, along with EG Chamber of Commerce head Steve Lombardi, Small Business Administration head Mark Haywood, and Dale Venturini from R.I. Hospitality Association all left Graze with sample charcuterie cups to fortify them for the shopping excursion ahead.
Next stop: Civil, the skate and snowboard shop, where owner Guido Silvestri said his shop was in pretty good shape for the holidays after slight supply chain hiccups earlier. “Business is good,” he said. “We’ve been very fortunate through everything because the stuff we do sell are individual sports. When team sports were cancelled and any groups things, we had a lot of families coming in and saying, they wanted to get their kids into skateboarding or snowboarding.”
The group then stopped in at the Troll Shop right next door. That was SBA’s Haywood’s pick – he’d been a week earlier and bought a Christmas troll. Make no mistake, these are not the trolls of your or your parents’ childhood, with the hair that sticks straight up. Rather, the trolls for sale here are classic woodland types from Europe. The store has plenty of other items as well, including jewelry and other perfect gift items.
The group ambled over to Bone Appetit, a store dedicated to healthy foods for dogs and cats, and the Green Door, that Main Street gift store mainstay, before winding up their tour at Rasa, where they were treated to samples of cauliflower and chicken and mango lassi.
Noting Rhode Island’s heavy reliance on small businesses, SBA’s Haywood issued the watch words for this holiday season: “Shop small, dine small.”
Small Business Saturday takes place Nov. 27, but our small local stores will be open throughout the holidays. Let us know which local stores are your favorites and why – email firstname.lastname@example.org.