Services that bring themselves to you — so you don’t need to go to them — have been increasing everywhere, including on the Vineyard. Many entrepreneurs are adding mobile options and/or foregoing brick-and-mortar stores for businesses that operate out of trucks, trailers, vans, or buses. The appeal of mobile businesses for entrepreneurs is their minimal investment, as well as leaving a memorable impression on customers. Here are a few mobile businesses flourishing today on Martha’s Vineyard.
While there are several chefs who have left traditional restaurant kitchens for kitchens in private homes, Gavin Smith believes he brings even more value to his customer via the educational component of his business. He spends a lot of time with local farmers, fishermen, and other food producers, and as a result has a lot of knowledge about the agrarian and fishing cultures on the Island, and the voices of the people behind them. Smith makes a point of sharing that ingredient-sourcing story with every one of his customers; his passion has evolved to include writing for local periodicals and delivering podcasts, as an extension of his mission to share excellent food that is locally sourced and responsibly raised. “Not only do my guests get a well-prepared meal, but they also get to learn about farming, foraging, and fishing on the Island. It is an experience, rather than just a meal,” Smith says. For more information on Smith’s services, visit foodmindedfellow.com.
Since 2006, Dr. Dave Tuminaro’s Caring for Animals RV has been a familiar sight on the Island as he drives to his latest client. Though the work can be physically and emotionally demanding, the veterinarian has spent the past 14 years “truly caring for animals,” as one client puts it. He regularly makes the trip from Katama to Aquinnah (more easily in the winter than the summer), and covers all types of visits, since his RV is outfitted to store vaccines, medications, and other medical equipment for exams and surgeries. Tuminaro says his practice is made up of a third who are Vineyard visitors, a third met while on call (Island veterinarians share emergency calls) and a third who use him repeatedly for their animals, mostly dogs and cats, but sometimes birds and smaller animals. He enjoys being able take time off to tinker, ride a bike, or go fishing. Tuminaro has a Facebook page, and can be reached via email at email@example.com.
Mobile massage therapist
Katherine Wilson is one of several traveling massage providers on the Island. She also has a brick-and-mortar office, which allows her to control the environment more than in another person’s home. But to recreate that serene and healthful experience for her clients in their own spaces, she often travels with around 50 pounds of equipment. Her business has continued to increase over the past decade, and she recently hired another massage therapist to help her with the volume. A native Islander, she began her business after training in Costa Rica, and typically makes house calls for clients who are unable to travel, or who have a massage room set up at their home or rental. Wilson accepts credit cards, and does her very best to create a calm and relaxing environment for her service in each and every place she visits. Appointments can be booked via her website, purelifemassage.com or by calling Wilson directly at 508-951-9133.
Michael Noel has been in the mobile repair business since 2005 on Martha’s Vineyard, and since 1998 off-Island. He considers himself a pioneer, and his business has increased to the point that he has several people handling phone calls for him, and an additional full-time mechanic to support the ever-increasing service requests from commercial fleets and residential customers. His services include diagnostics, preventive maintenance, brakes, suspension, steering, hydraulics and more for on- or offroad vehicles. Michael prides himself on being fairly priced, and bases his charges only on billable hours for labor. He asserts that he can do this because he and his staff are experienced, and it takes them less time to diagnose and complete repairs. He also says his business is completely based on repeat customers and their referrals, and expects to continue growing, thanks to his attention to quality of service. Onsite Mobile Repair, Inc., may be reached at 508-687-9792, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at the website, onsitemv.com.