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Vineyard Haven, MA
Friday, May 26, 2017

What’s one business you thought would never get off the ground, but ended up succeeding wildly?

Send your answers to onisland@mvtimes.com with the subject line “MVSB Big Question.”

“People liked having them, but didn’t necessarily want them long-term. We thought, Hey, we might have a business here.”

—Pat McBride, oo-owner of Rhent-a-Flock, an on-Island chicken rental service.

“Our dad was renowned as a worker and a man that loved to talk to our customers. He was a one-man band until he could afford to hire us … Our reputation of being loyal to local businesses and customers keeps us viable, by impressing upon our customers that we care.”

—Dennis daRosa, of daRosa’s in Oak Bluffs, in business on Circuit Avenue since 1935

I have it: town signs! I’m going to make miniature town signs, you know, ‘Welcome to Edgartown,’ and make them out of gold.

— Margery Meltzer of CB Stark, remembering partner Cheryl Stark’s idea for the iconic charms.

To the town of Vineyard Haven, with the incredibly tireless and hardest-working shop owners I know, thank you for being there, being you, staying strong, and remaining open for business.

—Tamara Weiss, owner of Midnight Farm, which closed last week after nearly 20 years in business.

Back in the ’60s, Jeanne and I were asked by Clarissa Allen’s mother to open the Chilmark Store, which hadn’t been open for almost 15 years. It had been run by her uncle. People were asking us all the time, “Where can we stay up-Island?” And there weren’t many places to stay. So we thought it might be a fun idea to have an inn up here.

—Jeanne and Hugh Taylor, proprietors of the Outermost Inn for 27 years.

“You wear a lot of hats as a small business owner. I would like to recruit someone who can get our social media up and running, reach out and appeal to the next generation of buyers, and maybe take over someday.”

—Patricia Giumarra, owner of Vineyard Hearth, Patio and Spa, in business for 20 years.

“Probably one of the worst experiences I’ve had was when a skunk wandered into the store. I had no idea what to do. This was the first year we were in business. It would have ruined my entire stock.”

—Elaine Barse, founder and owner of the Green Room

When we came to the Vineyard, we expected to spend six months and head back to Vermont with a pocket full of money. A year later the house was built, the money was all gone (imagine that), but someone else had asked us to build another house, so we stayed. And that continued.

– John Abrams, founder and CEO of South Mountain, in business for 40 years

The work environment isn’t much different than any other boss/employee relationship. What’s challenging from time to time is keeping the store at the store and not bringing it home. We try not to talk about the store outside of work.

– Eddie Pacheco, son of Bob and Donna Pacheco. Eddie is the third generation of Pachecos to operate Reliable Market, on Circuit Ave., in Oak Bluffs.

I grew up working with my father. It was great. Working with my son is awesome. I’m glad he’s here. You feel like you’re teaching somebody. He definitely has more patience than I do. When it’s your own child, you’re proud that he takes an interest in your job.

— Louie Larsen, The Net Result, in business for 31 years.

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