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The Yankee Express

Webster Dudley Business Alliance regroups, and looks ahead

Ericka Labonte of B.Kind Café and Dan Bennett of D.B.C. Solutions converse at the outset of the Webster Dudley Business Alliance’s first in-person gathering in months, at The Rose Room in Webste

The usual chatter accompanied the early portion of the proceedings. Ericka Labonte of B.Kind Café in Webster was telling Dan Bennett of N. Grosvernordale-based D.B.C. Solutions about recent thefts her restaurant has been subjected to, resulting in “a need for security.” Ms. Labonte added that she knows and admires Mr. Bennett’s work as a master carpenter and residential construction expert.
“He’s awesome, he did my deck,” she said.
COVID of course was a hot topic. For Mr. Bennett, orders for his company’s services “never slowed down, it got busier,” over the past year. He doesn’t believe a reoccurrence of the potentially deadly disease is imminent. “We’re about to start a job in Dayville,” he said. “A 30’ x 40’ barn, for storage. It will take about three to four weeks.”
Mr. Perzan said a prime goal of his Insation Technologies firm, which is housed in the Nipmuc Plaza on Thompson Road in Webster, is “to save people money for phone, Internet and TV.” Insation’s “Stream Live TV (7000+ channels),” he explained, is “TV with a fire stick, two TVs for twenty-five dollars a month, three TVs for $35 a month. We have several hundred customers all over the country.”
Each person in attendance was allocated one minute to say something about their business, with Mr. Perzan joking that if they exceed that time “we’ll throw forks at you.” This part of the meeting allowed Ms. Sabine to announce that The Rose Room was launching “full sit-down dinners at night” for the first time; and for Deb Horan of Booklovers’ Gourmet to talk up her busy shop. Throughout July, for instance, a display of Dudley mixed-media artist Lisa Kretchman’s work, entitled “At Peace in Nature,” will be on display at Booklovers’. A meet-and-greet with the artist will take place on Saturday, July 17 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.
With its stop at The Rose Room—home of seasonal fare showcasing local growers since November of 2018—the WBDA is eager to keep events like its networking session coming. Up next, Mr. Perzan and Ms. Sabine announced, would be an opportunity for members to volunteer for a few hours the following Saturday morning (June 26) at Tim Carroll’s “Farmer Tim’s” 92-acre historic property in Dudley.
Still ahead too, probably in September, is a visit to the new Samuel Slater Experience, a museum now being put together on Ray Street in Webster.
In briefing the WBDA on the progress of the endeavor to celebrate the life and contributions of Samuel Slater, Barbara Van Reed said the museum is using a “Slater’s Sheep Community Art Project” as a way to introduce the textile manufacturer to the public in a highly visible, fun way. The museum has acquired twenty-five life-sized sheep sculptures and is inviting local artists to get involved by painting creative images on the sheep. Local businesses, organizations and individuals are invited to support the initiative as sponsors. 
The sheep will be displayed at various locations in Webster and surrounding towns.
“Help us make a decorated sheep parade a reality,” the museum posts on its Facebook page.
Contact Rod Lee at [email protected] or 774-232-2999By Rod Lee
The scene that unfolded shortly after 5:00 p.m. on June 24 at The Rose Room Café and Tonic Bar in downtown Webster is the same one playing out across the country right now.
Organizations whose in-person activities had been grounded to a “virtual” halt by the pandemic are getting back into face-to-face meetings; without masks.
On the last Thursday evening of the month, the Webster Dudley Business Alliance (WDBA) became the latest to welcome its members to a live gathering. In the WDBA’s case, a resumption of near-normal operations took the form of a networking event hosted by Bill and Jess Sabine at The Rose Room on E. Main St. in Webster.
About twenty people attended. Represented were businesspersons from banking and finance, construction, technology, the arts, the media, property management, the salon industry—even the soon-to-open “Samuel Slater Experience” in the former National Guard Armory in Webster.
The mood was understandably upbeat as Deb Keefe, the WBDA’s treasurer, signed participants in, and Lucas Perzan, the WBDA’s new president, welcomed them.