Flip through catalogs for J.C. Penney, Restoration Hardware or Pottery Barn and you could see a braided rug for sale. You might assume that rug was made overseas, but there’s a good chance it was made in Pawtucket. As part of our on-going series, Made in Rhode Island, Catherine Welch visited Colonial Mills where thousands of braided rugs are shipped out of Pawtucket to major chain stores across the country.
We continue an ongoing series we call “Made in Rhode Island.” It’s a look at companies that have persevered in the Ocean State despite what many view as an unfriendly business climate. Rhode Island Public Radio’s Flo Jonic caught up with a Cranston businessman whose products make dreams come true.
When 25-year-old Ashley Hooks was named Miss Illinois USA last year the tiara placed on her head came from Dina, Inc. of Cranston.
PROVIDENCE, RI – A nondescript green warehouse in an industrial section of Newport doesn't seem to represent much of a link to the city's past. But inside, Brent Ryan sometimes does a little time-traveling in his mind's eye when he distills Thomas Tew Rum.
"I do like to think of the fact that I'm doing something here today that was being done in a bunch of places in Newport 250 years ago," he says.
Standing outside Vega Foods in western Cranston, even at a good distance from the door, you can smell peppers in the wind. Inside, the smell's even stronger. Owners Steve Christofaro and his brother Dennis are just steeped in it.
Steve Christofaro says both of their wives complain about them coming home smelling like peppers, "and they tell us that as soon as we get in the house, make sure you don't walk on my carpet with those shoes!'"
There are only three prosciutto makers in the United States and one of them is located in the rolling hills of northwestern Rhode Island. "Made in Rhode Island" takes an in depth look at Daniele Foods.
For the last century there has been a Maxson Automatic Machinery Company in Westerly. And for almost as long, a member of the Matthews family has worked there.
"Well it hasn't been a hundred, but it's been darn close," says company president Joe Matthews. His dad was the boss before him, and before that his granddad worked at Maxson. "My father joined the family firm in 1950, he retired in 2000," he says. "And I've been with the company since 1983."
PROVIDENCE, RI – The Ocean State's fishing industry has seen a contraction over the years. From 2005 to 2011 the Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation reported the local fleet declined by 16 percent. But there's a fishing net manufacture in Point Judith that refuses to quit. As RIRP continue our "Made in Rhode Island" series, Bradley Campbell visits Superior Trawl, a company that survives through invention, cooperation and sheer stubbornness.
PROVIDENCE, RI – All week we've been looking at manufacturing in the Ocean State in a series we're calling Made in Rhode Island. Submarine builder Electric Boat is the state's largest manufacturer with more than 2,200 workers. So Rhode Island Public Radio's Scott MacKay visited the Quonset facility and sat down with the man at Electric Boat who manages submarine production to find about what it takes to keep those good-paying defense jobs in Rhode Island.
PROVIDENCE, RI – Owen Johnson doesn't put much stock in doom and gloom talk about Rhode Island and the state's supposedly toxic business climate. The Virginia native and MIT grad thinks the Ocean State is a fertile place for new ventures.
Johnson nurtures other people's new ideas as a founder of a start-up business incubator called BetaSpring. But he wanted to pursue his love for beer and start up his own businesses. And that's how Revival Brewing took flight.