By ROD LEE
Danielle Desrosiers of The Green Plate has more reason than ever to look forward to this year’s Shop Small 01588 event, which begins on Saturday, November 26 in downtown Whitinsville and continues in and around Church St. all of the following week, through Saturday, December 3rd.
Other participating businesses are equally excited, as Shop Small 01588 organizers celebrate the start of another holiday gift-buying season. Among the new venues are the Neighborhood Kitchen, Koopman’s with a pop-up tent in the Crafty Nest, and Blue Zone Integrated Fitness. Also, Carr Funeral Home is hosting a drive-through drop off on the 26th.
Christine Guanipa of Little Man Handbags, Heather Glode of LuLu’s Jewelry & Gifts and Jessie Scotanus of Schotanus Design Center encourage residents to check out their Facebook page ShopSmall01588 and Instagram@shopsmall01588 for updates.
The Green Plate with its health-oriented Signature Bowls, Signature Pizzas, frozen heat-and-eat meals, wraps, bunless burgers, salads and wraps and sweet treats marked five years in business and expansion into an adjoining storefront on November 7th with a festive and well-attended ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“You have built quite a following,” Jeannie Hebert, president and CEO of the Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce, told Ms. Desrosiers, in congratulating her on the success of The Green Plate.
“To have thrived in a pandemic is quite an achievement,” Sen. Michael Moore of Millbury told her.
Sen. Ryan Fattman of Sutton added “most businesses, 90% of them don’t make it to five years.”
Rep. David Muradian Jr. of Grafton echoed these sentiments, telling Ms. Desrosiers “your commitment to make the community better is greatly appreciated.”
Northbridge Town Manager Adam Gaudette expressed what many in attendance were feeling, too, when he said “I look forward to ten years” for The Green Plate as well.
Not only is The Green Plate acquiring the storefront previously occupied by The Welcoming Lantern, next door, Ms. Desrosiers is now aiming to franchise.
“Own a Green Plate franchise!” are the words written on a postcard-like message she distributed. Ms. Desrosiers said franchisees will tap into a support system “with training, business operations and resources for success.”
Choking up as she addressed the gathering, Ms. Desrosiers said “five years comes so quick. Everything fell in place the way it needed to. The town, my customers, my team, so much around me, that’s why I’m growing” the business.
“Now you are franchising,” Ms. Hebert told her. “We will have Green Plates all over!”
Watching this, Ms. Desrosiers’ father said “she has done extraordinarily well. I’m very proud of her.”
Businesses planning to be a part of Shop Small 01588 this year are:
Barbara Connors Art Glass Studio; Blue Zone Integrated Fitness; Carr Funeral Home; Daily Grind Barbershop; Driven Self Defense; Family Karate Center; Furiends Gourmet Pet Treats; The Green Plate; Harbro Auto Sales; Katalina’s Boutique; Koopman Lumber; Little Man Handbags; LuLuRoe Kathy Bartlett; LuLu’s Jewelry & Gifts; Neighborhood Kitchen; Schotanus Design Center; The Crafty Nest; The Flower Shop; UniBank; Whitin Community Center; and Woodshop@933.
Shoppers can pick up a Shop Small 01588 Passport at any of these businesses and get it stamped to enjoy in-store specials, giveaways and holiday promotions.
American Express launched Shop Small Saturday in the midst of a recession in 2010. The inaugural event was a hit and has grown since. In 2020 alone, American Express notes, the company spent approximately $200 million on initiatives to support small business around the globe.