Do you have what it takes to be the next food entrepreneur at the Revolving Test Kitchen!

Do you have what it takes to be the next food entrepreneur at the Revolving Test Kitchen!

Sustainable entrepreneurship and economic growth go hand in hand. Lupoli Companies continues to support local entrepreneurs in a number ways. We believe in investing with a long-term focus on making a positive impact that enrich lives, strengthen business and build a more optimistic future. By supporting local entrepreneurs we help our community move forward.

 

10 months ago, the Revolving Test Kitchen (RTK) was launched in the heart of downtown Lawrence as an incubator and pop-up restaurant. The objective of the RTK is to provide restaurant entrepreneurs with a trial run of their ventures and also contribute to Lawrence’s economic success. This collaboration between Lupoli Companies, the city of Lawrence, The Lawrence Partnership and Northern Essex Community College (NECC) is a pilot program that has already helped one local food entrepreneur get the jump start he needed.

 

In less than one year, Ray Gonzalez has transformed Coco Ray’s, a former local restaurant food truck venture, into a brick and mortar destination for many throughout the city of Lawrence. Ray was able to expand his business and plan for long-term growth due in part to the guidance and support he received along the way. Ray is now ready to transition Coco Ray’s to a more permanent location in Lawrence’s downtown area. Through a continued collaborative effort, Ray is receiving advice and guidance on next steps that include: site selection, a working business plan, lease negotiations, hiring staff and planning for the future.  

 

 “The success of the Revolving Test Kitchen is an indication of the entrepreneurial energy that is alive in the Merrimack Valley,” said Sal Lupoli, President and CEO of Lupoli Companies. “Ray’s enthusiasm and drive have greatly contributed to the success of this pilot program.”

 

RTK is launching a new search for Lawrence’s next budding food entrepreneur who will occupy the Common Street location and expand upon the success Coco Ray’s has established. If you’re a food entrepreneur with a vision and passion to grow your business please follow this link – apply now!

Entrepreneurs, Changing the way we Live, Work and Play

Entrepreneurs, Changing the way we Live, Work and Play

Being involved in leasing commercial real estate lends itself to meeting and interacting with all types of entrepreneurs. The most exciting entrepreneurs are challenging and changing the way we will live, work and play. They play a key role in our economy and help shape a new and emerging business landscape. If successful, their innovations may improve our standard of living. In short, in addition to creating wealth from their entrepreneurial ventures, they also create jobs and the conditions for a prosperous society.

Entrepreneurs are frequently thought of as national assets to be cultivated, motivated and remunerated to the greatest possible extent. On Friday, January 20, 2017 an entrepreneur became President of the United States further solidifying the importance and impact entrepreneurs have on the economy and society. They boost economic growth by advancing new and innovative technologies, developing new products and introducing new services. Fostering entrepreneurship is an important part of economic growth on both local and national levels. Entrepreneurs help build communities in ways such as providing jobs, conducting business locally, creating and participating in entrepreneurial networks, investing in community projects and giving to local charities.

Many entrepreneurs get their start as small business owners with big plans.

Lupoli Companies has been on the forefront of cultivating relationships with entrepreneurs realizing that the value in relationships is the best investment towards success. Lupoli Companies mixed-use developments blend residential, commercial and retail spaces providing a springboard for innovative, growth and creativity. “If you want to build a community you need to work with and support the small entrepreneur”, said Sal Lupoli, CEO of Lupoli Companies. Sal was a small entrepreneur who got his start in 1990 and never looked back. Today, he actively seeks and mentors small business entrepreneurs because “the successful ones will add significant value to the lives and economy of the communities where we live, work and play”. So go out there and be a part of something small – it just may lead to something big!

Downtime – Make it Your Time

Downtime – Make it Your Time

Some afternoons, usually around 2PM, the strong urge to re-caffeinate seems to take hold like my early morning espresso that has somehow lost its punch. It doesn’t matter if I begin my day with an intense workout that leaves me feeling alert and ready to take on the day. Suddenly, I’m reading the same word, the same sentence and looking at the same letter over and over again. It’s the moment my brain is telling me to stop, slow down – you’ve become a victim of information overload!

Who has the time to take a break or to enjoy any real downtime when our lives are defined by all the busyness we experience. We’re always plugged in – whether it’s the phone, computer, work or family demanding our time. Our brains and bodies are hurt by constant stress.

Despite being no expert on meditation, or relaxation in general, I’ve learned that personal downtime is as individual as your DNA.  Taking time for yourself, gives your brain a chance to reboot, improves concentration, increases productivity, helps you discover (or rediscover) your own voice, gives you a chance to think deeply, and helps you problem-solve more effectively.

So what is the best way to get that much needed brain rest? Personally, it’s a long bike ride on a warm, sunny day, an early morning walk with my dog, testing out a new recipe, or a hike with family and friends in New Hampshire’s beautiful White Mountains, and of course with the warmer weather approaching, a long, lazy day at the beach.  Also,  you can’t underestimate the importance of an actual vacation. Taking longer periods of time and being away from your routine gives you a chance to look at life from a different perspective and feel refreshed.

Hopefully, you can take time for yourself today – whether it’s a quick walk during your work break, 10 minutes of reflection and meditation or a long pause at the end of the day – it could be the start of something life changing.

The Top 3 Benefits of Social Media Marketing

The Top 3 Benefits of Social Media Marketing

Social media establishes your brand and sets you apart from your competitors. If your goal is to attract and engagement with millennials or entrepreneurs, social media needs to be a top priority in your marketing plan. Here are 3 reasons why:

1 – Makes a Strong First Impression

Social media might be the first contact your customers have with your company. How do you want to be perceived? A strong social media presence will help you communicate better with prospects, help you come off more professional, and help prospects relate with your visions and goals. Social media channels are just another way for your brand’s voice to be heard and to increase your recognition.

2 – Improves Customer Experiences

Social media has become a main source of communication for many people, especially younger generations. Each time you communicate with a follower, it improves your relationships with them and increases your validity. It’s time to look at social media as a personal experience that let’s your customers feel like an individual when interacting with your company.

3 – Higher Conversion Rates

Each post you make to social media has the opportunity to become a conversion. As Forbes explained, “Every blog post, image, video, or comment you share is a chance for someone to react, and every reaction could lead to a site visit, and eventually a conversion.” Not every post you make will go viral, but you have a much higher chance when you’re posting frequently for your followers to see.

When social media is done right, it can lead to more customers, conversations and conversions. Give social media the respect, time and budget it deserves to boost your presence across all platforms. If you aren’t sure where to begin, keep a close eye on our accounts for tips and tricks!

Focused on the Future

Focused on the Future

Stewardship refers to the perspective of seeing the ownership of a family business as a responsibility to the next generation, and to employees, and to the community – rather than simply as a financial investment. Family business owners are typically driven by the importance of the stewardship of their business. It begins with a willingness and commitment to be accountable to something larger than themselves. Whether that is the team, organization or community, family business owners seek to manage their assets for generations to come. This stewardship in business is key to success and is about service to something greater. Steward leaders take action that is characterized by a number of fundamental attributes such as leading with impact, fostering long-term growth for the future, and driving social good. By creating a clear sense of purpose, family business owners create positive value and a strong culture. This is the stewardship benefit that many family business owners bring to the table.

I work with a corporate leader who defines the values and attributes of a family business that is focused on community, takes into account the needs of its employees and leads through a commitment in stewardship. Sal Lupoli, CEO and Founder of Lupoli Companies believes in the powerful connection between steward leadership and the importance of a shared vision. Sal works with community leaders to have an impact on today and lay the groundwork for tomorrow. “Visions of company heads are important - we work tirelessly in pursuit of new growth opportunities with customers always at the forefront - if we work together and help each other, our communities will thrive, our organizations will thrive and our families will thrive”, said Sal Lupoli. Sal’s definition of family extends into his organization “We may not share the same DNA but we are family – we hold each other to a high standard because the success of the company is for the success of each individual”.

Steward leaders need to chart their organizations path based on their own values and culture, so they can exert a positive influence towards the longer term and a more impactful outcome. Sal Lupoli is driven by a desire to enrich the lives of others through a determination to cause change that positively impacts the economic and social landscape in the community at large. These values and beliefs are the framework behind Lupoli Companies culture and optimistic approach to sustained growth and civic responsibility.

Why Here

Why Here

Lupoli Companies CEO & Founder Sal Lupoli, looks at buying real estate as part businessman/part family man. He asks himself, “Would I live here, would I shop here, will I be helping the community here?” Every decision to Sal is always equal parts head and heart. From his first purchase of a turn of the century mill building Riverwalk Mills in Lawrence MA to current acquisitions in Andover, Lowell and Haverhill, Sal looks at these opportunities as not just short-term business investments, but long-term legacies. According to Sal, a good real estate developer “has the vision to see around the corner.” Certainly, his initial purchase in Lawrence of the Riverwalk Mills supports that idea of vision. In 2003, these mills were dilapidated, run-down and sources of blight. In a scant 14 years, these mills, now known as Riverwalk, are bustling with over 200 companies, 5,000 people employed and some of the most exciting businesses in the Merrimack Valley. This type of thinking has led Sal to some of the most promising development opportunities outside of Boston. 

A year ago, the former Comfort Furniture Mill in Lowell was just another run-down mill, but Sal saw its potential being right off a major roadway and connected to the Gallagher Transportation Center. Today, this mill is under redevelopment by Lupoli Companies and by fall of 2017 Thorndike Exchange will be a mixed-use marvel, with an exciting combination of high-end retail, residential and commercial space.

Upcoming projects in Haverhill and Andover MA are also part of Sal’s vision.  Downtown Haverhill is starting to experience its own renaissance and Lupoli Companies sees that vision and wants to be part of this exciting revitalization.  The Dascomb Road Project in Andover is another development opportunity that has tremendous potential for Lupoli Companies. The land and location are perfect for innovative concepts and an exciting future. Providing opportunities for economic growth and job creation are what Sal consistently see’s around the corner.   

Smart Growth Developments Support Economic Stimulation

Smart Growth Developments Support Economic Stimulation

Smart Growth, as defined by Smart Growth America, is an approach to development that encourages a mix of building types and uses, diverse housing and transportation options, development within existing neighborhoods, and community engagement. Lupoli Companies has been on the forefront of Smart Growth Neighborhoods since 2003 when Sal Lupoli purchased his first mill building at Riverwalk and continues today with the redevelopment of Thorndike Exchange.

Riverwalk sits on 46-acres along the Merrimack River in Lawrence, MA. Nicknamed the “Immigrant City” and once a leading producer of textiles, Lawrence struggled to fill the abandoned mills that dotted the Merrimack River. By 2000, poverty in Lawrence was more than double the statewide average. But in 2003, entrepreneur Sal Lupoli, who was looking for a commissary for his successful pizza franchise, saw the potential in the Worsted Mill Complex – now known as Riverwalk. With the support of allies at the state and local levels, Lupoli purchased the complex and has since steadily transformed the 3.6 million square feet site into a thriving mixed use community. When others gave up on Lawrence, Sal doubled down by strategically targeting small businesses, offering high-quality, affordable space at Riverwalk. Focusing on renewable energy resources like solar and geothermal, Riverwalk takes advantage of energy efficiency and continues to invest in state-of-the-art technology. There are now more than 200 businesses and 200 residential apartments located at Riverwalk. What was once an eyesore is now one of the city’s most treasured assets.

Lupoli Companies has recently started the restoration of Thorndike Exchange in Lowell, MA which will undoubtedly be one of the largest revitalization projects in Lowell second only to The University of Massachusetts. Thorndike Exchange is at the forefront of a historic transformation of this turn of the century mill building into the leader in boutique urban living.  Much like the forward-thinking vision of its past, Thorndike Exchange will offer an inspired environment where innovation will flourish and history will be made as we create a dynamic place to live, work and play. When completed Thorndike Exchange will be home to a thriving mix of new businesses, entrepreneurs, retail, restaurants and café’s and will create 300+ new jobs, thus providing an enormous stimulus to economic growth in this Gateway City. The project will also consist of 118 new luxury, urban-chic market rate apartments creating housing opportunities for the community at large.

Accessibility and transportation options are an important factor to smart growth developments.  Riverwalk sits directly across the street from the McGovern Transportation Center that includes an MBTA commuter rail stop with direct access to Rtes. 495, 93 and 128. Thorndike is connected directly to the MBTA Commuter Rail through an elevated, covered walkway right to the train. Access to I-495, and Route 3 is just a football field away. Both sites also transform the structures original characteristics by breathing new life into the old buildings, while conserving resources and historic value.

Lupoli Companies transformation of old mills into thriving, sustainable mixed use urban developments is the definition of a smart growth that supports economic stimulation, strong communities and environmental health through its unique live-work-play environments that enriches the lives of its residents and community.

 

What happened to the “American Dream”?

What happened to the “American Dream”?

The “American Dream” is a phrase that was coined during the Great Depression. In general, it was the ideal that every US citizen should have an equal opportunity to achieve success and prosperity through hard work, determination, and initiative. The premise of this ideal gave young men and women hope that they would achieve a higher standard of living than that of their parents.

Notice that this concept never pointed to the importance of education. In 1930, education was not a requirement in achieving the “American Dream”.  Many Americans simply had to roll up their sleeves and get to work.  Fast forward twenty years to 1950, and my grandmother who today is a young 96 years old, did exactly that. She rolled up her sleeves and went to work to support her family so they could have a better life. She was one of 10 children born into a second-generation Italian/American family. Things were different when she was born in 1920 when schooling was not important.  Despite having very little education my grandmother set off to find work and with four children, a sick husband and no driver’s license she managed to land a job at Western Electric, one of the largest employers in the region.  Imagine, being a woman today with little more than a middle school education and securing a job at one of the largest employer’s in the region?  In today’s world, it would never happen. My grandmother was one of few women in the neighborhood who worked car-pooling to work every single morning, leaving her house at 6:00 AM regardless of how she felt. In the end, she became one of the many loyal employees who ended up retiring from Western Electric after nearly three decades. She wanted to provide her family with the “American Dream”. I often think about how hard it must have been for her. She had none of the luxuries that we have today, yet managed to juggle work and family. During her working years, she would provide homecooked meals for her family every evening, cleaning the dishes by hand, because she had no dishwasher. There was no such thing as a pre-cooked meal from your local market or fast casual restaurant chain in the 50’s.  She lived in a time when she had no cell phone, no computer or any other lifeline to the outside world during her long work day.

However, she did have an opportunity to move her family out of a three-tenement apartment in one of the poorest cities in the state and into a nice country home. She balanced work and family with a smile, expecting nothing in return. She was grateful for her job and the life she could provide for her children.  In her mind, she was capable of achieving “the American Dream”.