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SMALL BUSINESS OF THE YEAR 2011/12 - The Grove

SMALL BUSINESS OF THE YEAR 2011/12 - The Grove

From The Grove flows a ‘river’ of innovation and collaboration

The times certainly are a-changin’, and the way we view and conduct business is, too.

Whether it’s the evolving outlook of newer generations, rapidly expanding technologies, or the effects of an ongoing economic slump, people are looking for new ways to work, thrive and succeed without relying on old models that for many have failed.

Photo: The Grove’s Ballard (left) and Janke: Leveraging a ‘new way’ of working independently — but cooperatively.

Meanwhile, social networking is a pervasive aspect of the culture and has extended itself beyond simply staying in touch with friends to an effective business tool.

A system of sharing information and knowledge, tapping others for input and finding creative processes is the new way.

At that nexus grows The Grove.

CREATIVE CAPITALISTS - The Spaceman Cometh

CREATIVE CAPITALISTS - The Spaceman Cometh

It wouldn’t have crossed the mind  Steve Rodgers ten years ago that The Space, his then-do-it-yourself music venue for friends and area musicians in a tucked-away Hamden industrial park, would become what it is now: a multi-stage hotspot for independent music in southern Connecticut.

Rodgers, 38, is a veteran musician, having spent the majority of the decade following his 1992 graduation from Hamden High School living in a camper to tour across the country and back with band Mighty Purple.

Bespoke To Go Moroccan

NEW HAVEN — Bespoke Restaurant and Lounge, the popular College Street eatery known for its French-inspired cuisine and long-running property dispute with Yale University, closed its doors February 4 as the restaurant’s owner begins renovations to open under a new name.

The six-year-old Bespoke will reopen as Moroccan-style venue called Gilt, which will employ Bespoke’s current chefs and staff members. Lauren Kendzierski, Bespoke’s owner, told the Yale Daily News that she was looking to change the restaurant’s concept to better fit the nightlife model that she thought prospective patrons were seeking.

“After being open five years, we just want to change it up and do something different — less of the stark, dramatic modern that’s kind of drifting past in the architectural scene,” Kendzierski told the YDN. “It’s going to be a remarkable change.”

Kendzierski acquired Bespoke in 2010 from previous owners and original founders Arturo Camacho and Suzette Franco-Camacho. The married couple, who earlier founded the popular Chapel Street eatery Roomba, left New Haven following a lengthy and costly legal dispute with the Yale over a strip of walkway that connected the rear of the restaurant to a back lot.

MINORITY BUSINESSPERSON OF THE YEAR 2011/12 - Roberta Hoskie

MINORITY BUSINESSPERSON OF THE YEAR 2011/12 - Roberta Hoskie

From a single modest real-estate deal Roberta Hoskie has built a thriving multifaceted business

Everything ties together. And you could say it was a few fateful decisions and an entrepreneurial spirit that has helped Roberta Hoskie get where she is today.

Hoskie started her property management firm Outreach Property Management along with her sister Tameka Hoskie-Robinson from her home in 2004, and has since expanded her business to include bus tours, community events and even a real-estate school.

It was 15 years ago that Hoskie, then an 18-year-old single mother, bought her first house — a four-family on Norton Street — to move up the economic ladder from subsidized housing. She didn’t realize at the time it would plant a seed out of which grew a passion for real estate.

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