Regional Business Roundup: Fusion, Farming and More

A smattering of business news from the region.

Foxborough Selectmen Support Invensys Tax Break; Will Recommend Approval at Town Meeting



Invensys took a significant step Tuesday towards investing approximately $33 million into its existing buildings to stay in Foxborough as the town's Board of Selectmen unanimously agreed to recommend the company's Tax Increment Financing (TIF) proposal to voters at Town Meeting on May 13.

The proposal calls for a 15-year TIF agreement between Invensys and the town that would save the company approximately $1.8 million while producing roughly $7.6 million in additional tax revenue over that timeframe. If approved, the town would exempt Invensys completely from new tax payments in years 1-4 of the agreement.

Foxborough's TIF negotiating committee met "three to four times" prior to sitting down with Invensys at the negotiating table, according to Town Manager Kevin Paicos. Following those prep meetings, Paicos said the committee met with Invensys representatives twice and after several hours of discussion reached an agreement.

That agreement was presented to selectmen Tuesday in the form of a recommendation to accept Invensys' proposal and recommend the TIF program to voters at Town Meeting.

For many town officials, the decision was relatively simple - even though Tuesday's discussion lasted over one-and-a-half-hours.

"This just made huge economical sense," Paicos said. ... "Any community would do anything it could to attract a business like this. We’ve got one and so it simply makes no intelligent sense to roll the dice and lose them. It makes no sense."

Selectmen agreed.





Barber Zone 2 in Mansfield a True Guys Spot

Jonathan Todaro has been working in and managing the Barber Zone 2 in Mansfield since it opened in November, and it’s the culmination of a dream of days gone by for him.

“I was actually really inspired by the 1950 vintage barber shop,” he said. “You know, the classic hot towel shaves, the traditional men’s tapered haircuts, it was the old school styles.”

Todaro said the Barber Zone 2, a second location for Taunton’s Barber Zone, ties to be exactly that. He said he wanted the shop to be a place of comradery for his customers, to come in, layback and just be guys.

“I think there’s been a lack of traditional family barber shops catered towards the modern man,” he said. “Guys can come in and be themselves. It definitely has that kind of Man Cave feeling.”




Sophies Pizza Place in Easton a True Family Business




Sophie Devaney said she and her family have been working on pizza since she was 13, and she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Shortly after college I was working at a bank, and it was a kind of sit down job in customer service like we’re doing here,” she said. “I wanted to try something different, as I grew up in this business. I found myself coming back to it.”

Devaney said she just wanted something with a quicker pace, and found it again at Sophie’s Pizza.

“I just love the atmosphere, the running around and the fast-paced environment,” she said.

Sophie’s Pizza Place opened in April in 2008 in Easton, but Devaney said her family had owned a pizza place in Norwood for 23 years.




Fiesta Restaurant Brings Mexico to Norton


The Ramirez family just opened their newest Fiesta location in Norton, and Zoel Ramirez says it’s a treat to share Mexican cuisine with the community for the first time.


Fiesta now has three locations, including Somerset and East Bridgewater. Ramirez said all the recipes are traditional Mexican dishes. He said his father and mother are originally from Guadalajara, Mexico, and brought their expertise to the states.


Click here to read more.



_Fusion: 'The Best Venue for Live Music in Foxborough'_

Jim McLaughlin has been in the music business for nearly 20 years as a promoter and shows no signs of stopping anytime soon.

“It’s always been a side project,” he said. “It’s got to the point where it’s almost a full time job.”

McLaughlin said he started organizing music shows at the Norton Legion and said it was the most satisfying experience he’s ever had.

“Just kind of looking back and knowing that you put that together,” he said. “Looking at the packed house and knowing you organized that. It’s something you believe in and actually worked to achieve. There’s satisfaction in there as well as a deep love for music.”

After the first show at the Legion, Mcloughlin moved on to many other venues.

_Click here to read more.



_Aleco Deli a True Word of Mouth Success_


Peter Khoury took over Aleco Deli in Attleboro almost 10 years ago and he says it's the best thing he could have ever done.

"One of the things you get from this kind of job and business is freedom," he said. "When you work for yourself, it's hard to go back."

Khoury said he arrived in the United States from Lebanon in 1986, and worked in many different restaurants and jobs for other people. Now that he is his own boss, Khoury enjoys the independence. 

"Nobody will tell you what to do or ask, 'Hey, why are you sitting down?'" he said. "You don't have to take orders from anybody."

Khoury works strictly on word of mouth to promote his business; he's tried to do advertising in the past, but the results weren't as successful as he'd hoped.

_Click here to read more._

Bloomin' Barn in Swansea Getting in the Dirt for over 25 Years

George Parent and his wife have been running the Bloomin’ Barn in Swansea for more than 25 years, but he says it hasn’t felt that long.

“This isn’t work for me,” he said.

Parent said he originally opened the barn 25 years ago, but said he has been in the growing business since he was a kid as a farmer.

“I always had farming, even when I was a kid,” he said. “I planted four or five acres of corn. I also took up cow farming. I always had farming, even when I was a kid.”

Parent said he went to Bristol Agricultural College and worked on the Chase Farm in Swansea, but he ended up going into the construction, tool making and carpentry business.

Originally, his wife ran a garden center up the road, selling flowers and pants, while he did construction, Parent said, adding that he continued that for about 10 years, and after moving to the current location, the business took off so well they could both do it full time.

Click here to read more.


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