Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Bryant University SIFE Team win Regional Competition for the New Hope Diner Project

Bryant students are SIFE regional champs
By Susan A. Baird PBN Web Editor

SMITHFIELD – Bryant University’s Students in Free Enterprise community outreach team will advance to the national contest for the sixth time in seven years, after again placing as a champion in the SIFE USA Regional Competition.
The team was awarded $1,500 for winning the regional contest, and another $1,000 for placing as a finalist in the GE Consumer Products Program Sustainability Competition.

“This achievement represents the validation of all the projects Bryant SIFE has completed this year,” Matthew Veves, a Bryant sophomore from Hudson, N.H., and a presenter with the school’s SIFE team, said in a statement today. The team also included executive board members Julie Wentzell, president; Daniel Caulfield, vice president; Brittany Aiesi, project coordinator; Stephen Balkam, treasurer; Amanda Dunne, PR coordinator; Robert Taylor, presentation coordinator; and Kathryn Rzasa, secretary.
SIFE teams complete projects focusing on market economics, entrepreneurship, personal financial skills or business ethics, then prepare a written report. At the competition, each student team has 24 minutes to give its audio-visual presentation before a panel of business leaders, then 5 minutes to field questions from the panelists.
The Bryant team – with Sam Walton Fellow and faculty adviser David Greenan – organized 19 projects this academic year, including a Technology for the Elderly program that helped local residents learn how to use digital cameras, shop on eBay and stay in touch with their families via e-mail. “It’s a different kind of competition from anything else I’ve been a part of,” Veves said. “It’s not solely about winning; it’s about seeing all the good that each SIFE chapter has done for the community.”

The regional contest, sponsored by CVS/pharmacy, was held April 1 at the Crowne Plaza at the Crossings in Warwick. Bryant tied with the University of Southern Maine, in Portland, for the League 2 championship, while the University of Massachusetts–Dartmouth took first runner-up and Lehigh Valley College of Center Valley, Pa., was second runner-up. Salve Regina University of Newport was second runner-up in League 1, placing behind Boston College and Maine Maritime Academy, the league champ, but ahead of Boston’s Wentworth Institute of Technology.
Champions from the regional contests will advance to the 2008 SIFE USA National Exposition, to be held in Chicago May 13 to 15. National winners will go on to vie for the SIFE World Cup.
Students in Free Enterprise is an international nonprofit organization that works with businesses and educational institutions to encourage students to use their classroom knowledge to address real-world issues. Their outreach projects are showcased at annual competitions in which regional winners advance to the national contest and national winners vie for the SIFE World Cup. To learn more, visit http://www.sife.org/.

Congratulations to all our friends on Bryant University SIFE Team for their hard work and dedication to all their projects, but especially the New Hope Diner Project! A special thank you to David Greenan, Bryant Professor and Samuel Walton Fellow SIFE Team Advisor for the inspiration and leadership he provides to his students.

The Bryant University SIFE Team also enters its community projects into competitions against other SIFE Teams from around the world. It is our pleasure to announce that Bryant University won the SIFE Regional today at the Crowne Plaza. The next competition is the 2008 SIFE USA National Exposition on May 13-15, 2008 in Chicago, IL at the McCormick Place Convention Center.

Last year, while on their summer retreat, Bryant's SIFE Executive Board agreed to work with us on the New Hope Diner Project. The SIFE Team agreed to work with us to develop a marketing plan for New Hope Brand Coffee and he development of a business plan for Mike's Diner. Mike’s Diner is a vintage mobile eatery and was a downtown Providence, Rhode Island landmark for more than 25 years from the mid 1960’s to the mid 1990’s.

Students in Free Enterprise is a global non-profit organization active in more than 40 countries. SIFE is funded by financial contributions from corporations, entrepreneurs, foundations, government agencies and individuals. Working in partnership with business and higher education, SIFE establishes student teams on university campuses. Teams are led by faculty advisors and are challenged to develop community outreach projects that reach SIFE's five educational topics:
Market Economics
Success Skills
Financial Literacy
Business Ethics

Angelo’s Civita Farnese is U.S. family business of year

Angelo’s Civita Farnese is U.S. family business of year

PROVIDENCE – Angelo’s Civita Farnese on Atwells Avenue in Providence is the longest-operating family-owned restaurant in Rhode Island, a fact that was recognized today by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Steve Preston, the SBA’s national administrator, presented the 2008 National Jeffrey H. Butland Family-Owned Business of the Year award to owner and operator Robert Antignano during a luncheon gathering at the Federal Hill restaurant, attended by Rhode Island dignitaries including Gov. Donald L. Carcieri, Mayor David N. Cicilline and U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, among others.

Antignano is the third-generation family member to own and operate Angelo’s, which opened in its existing location in 1924 and still features the original white marble tables that have seated customers for more than 80 years. He has tripled the number of employees and increased revenue by more than 300 percent since taking over the business in 1988.

“Robert Antignano epitomizes the hard work, risk-taking and the creativity that are characteristics of successful American entrepreneurs,” Preston said.

“Family-owned small businesses are a vital segment of our economy because they provide the continuity and long-term benefits that are so important to their customers, their employees and their communities,” said Sandy Blitz, the SBA’s New England regional administrator, based in Boston, who also was present for today’s event.

Antignano told the Providence Business News that he was “very honored” and “very surprised” by the award, recounting how exciting it has been to first win the SBA award on the state level, then the regional level and now, the national.

His grandfather through marriage, Angelo Mastrodicasa, opened the restaurant, naming it for himself and Farnese, a small village 12 miles west of Rome where he came from, Antignano said. (“Civita” means community.)

Mastrodicasa in the 1920s envisioned a restaurant for the working people of Federal Hill, an ideal Antignano pursues to this day, the SBA said, by keeping prices affordable and maintaining the integrity of the food and service.

Antignano said he still works in the kitchen “every day, seven days a week,” whenever he is needed and his wife, Rosalie Antigano, does the paperwork.

“It’s a fun place to work,” said waitress Katie Howard, who has been at Angelo’s for three years. “He’s a family guy,” she said of the owner and “it’s basically because of him” that Angelo’s has become such a Rhode Island tradition. He is a good boss, she said, citing as an example the way he arranged for parking spaces for employees in a nearby church lot.

Antignano will officially receive the award in Washington, D.C., on April 23, during the national Small Business Week celebration. Today’s gathering was arranged because Preston was in the area, visiting small business throughout Rhode Island.

For information about the U.S. Small Business Administration and its programs, call the SBA’s Rhode Island office at 528-4561 or visit www.sba.gov.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

The restoration of Sherwood's Diner - Worcester Diner #755

Above & below: The original floor plan for Sherwood's Diner showing the design of the diner by the Worcester Lunch Car Co. from the archives of the American Diner Museum .

History of Sherwood's Diner

Worcester Diner #755 represents a standard barrel roof design available from the Worcester Lunch Car Company during the 1930s through the 1940s. According to surviving company production records, Diner #755, measuring 14’6” x 28’, was built for Treadway L. Sherwood of Brooklyn, New York. It was constructed at the factory, 4 Quinsigamond Avenue, Worcester, Massachusetts from October 1939 to February 1940. Following the completion, it was delivered to its original location in Medford, Massachusetts by Arthur LaFleur Trucking.

Diner #755 was repossessed by the company sometime during 1941 and returned to Worcester, Massachusetts. Ernest Ryan purchased Sherwood’s Diner in 1942 to replace his Foster Diner (56 Foster Street) on the corner of Foster Street and Commercial Street in Worcester. Ernest Ryan operated Sherwood’s Diner until his death in 1969. Mrs. Mae Ryan and her children attempted to keep the business going but decided to sell in 1971 when the city of Worcester offered to purchase the property for redevelopment.

Sherwood’s was moved twice before it was semi permanently placed on Route 12 in Auburn, Massachusetts. The diner was converted to an ice cream stand and operated there only for a few years before closing. The diner was left to the mercy of vandals and the forces of nature. The beauty of the diner was fading as parts were stripped for souvenirs and salvage.

In the fall of 1994, the owner of the property donated the Worcester #755 to the American Diner Museum. It was immediately boarded up and secured from further vandalism. Members of the Museum tracked down missing exterior porcelain panels, booths and tables, stools and other elements for a diner exhibition at the Rhode Island Historical Society in 1995. Following the exhibit all recovered parts were placed in storage. We would like to thank John Tighe for if it was not for his donation of this diner to the American Diner Museum it would most likely no longer exist.

Additional Information on this project click here.

Above : Sherwood's Diner just prior to the lift off of it's foundation.
Hydraulic Jacks were used to left Sherwood's Diner off the ground so it could be placed on a flatbed truck.

These photos show Sherwood's Diner as it

sat abandoned in Auburn, Ma.

Photos above: These photographs show Sherwood's Diner as it was found in Auburn, Ma. after an attempt was made to use the diner as an ice cream stand failed and Sherwood's Diner was left abandoned. The American Diner Museum rescued the diner from further damage and today the diner is one of three diners built by the Worcester Lunch Car Co. being restored by the New Hope Diner Restoration Project.

Right: An original interior photo of the diner.

Above:Volunteers brace the interior front wall of Sherwood's Diner
for continued interior restoration.

The above photo from the American Diner Museum archives shows the diner at it's 2nd location at Foster & Commercial St's in Worcester, MA. Sherwood's Diner original location was Medford, MA.
Sherwood's was delivered to Medford, MA. in February of 1940

The following article from May 1999 highlights the donation and rescue by volunteers from demolition of two vintage diners including Sherwood's Diner.

2008 Heritage Harbor Museum and Library update: Heritage Harbor Museum


May 20, 1999 Section: LOCAL NEWS Page: B1 By Gerard F. Russell

AUBURN - Hop on a stool for a spin into history. The Dairy Doll diner rolled away yesterday, bound for a museum that preserves these remnants of Americana dotting the nation's roadsides. A landmark here since the early 1970s, the dusty diner was lifted from its Southbridge Street foundation for its trip to Rhode Island.

The former ice cream and hamburger joint, between Cantwell Hardware and Colony Package Store, was donated to The American Diner Museum of Providence by owner John P. Tighe of Dayville, Conn.


It joined another unfinished diner that rolled out of a Worcester garage Tuesday and headed south. Francis Van Slett, of Van Slett Advertising on Park Avenue, donated that diner.

Manufactured in 1940 by the Worcester Lunch Car Co., the Auburn diner first opened for business in Medford as Sherwood's Diner. About 10 years later, it was moved to Commercial and Foster streets in Worcester. Later, it was moved to make way for the Centrum and ended up in a local salvage yard.

Tighe said he bought the diner for $500 in 1972 and named it the Dairy Doll, but a sugar shortage in the early 1970s soured the ice cream business.
Yesterday, it cost a lot more to move it. Moving costs run about $20,000, museum Director Daniel A. Zilka said yesterday, and thousands more will be spent to restore the diner to its original condition.


Amid a light mist, Zilka stood and watched workers jack up the diner before it was lowered onto a flatbed trailer truck. It took several hours for a crew of workers from O.B. Hill of Boston to get the diner on the road, a relatively small moving job for the professional moving company.

A historic preservationist, Zilka said he has restored a couple of dozen diners around the country. In their heyday, about 6,000 diners were in use nationwide. Some survived the challenges of time and fast-food chains; about 2,500 are left, he said. While the Auburn diner survived, it needs a lot of work. It sat vacant for many years between its various points of service.

Wooden slats on an outside wall are rotted and will have to be replaced. Patches of rust dot the diner's skin. Inside, a ceramic tile floor is dusty, but in good shape. The counter is still intact. Interior furnishings were removed several years ago for safekeeping.

Tighe circled the diner with a camera yesterday, taking shots at different angles as workers maneuvered wooden blocks and jacks under the diner's rusted beams.

"There are worse ones," said Tighe, commenting on the diner's condition. When he bought the diner, it was done with nostalgia. Tighe, a former Auburn resident, said he used to be a bricklayer and frequently ate in diners. In its new life, the diner will again serve customers, but at the museum. It will take about eight months to restore it, Zilka estimated.

The Worcester diner donated this week by Van Slett was a partly assembled Worcester Deluxe Diner. Van Slett bought the diner and what was left of the Worcester Lunch Car Co. in the early 1960s. Discovered inside that diner was an old journal of sketches, specifications and other information about diners made at the Worcester Lunch Car Co., Zilka said.

The American Diner Museum of Providence is one of 12 historical and cultural museums in the Heritage Harbor Museum and Library, located in a former power plant donated by Narragansett Electric Co.

Visitors will be able to learn the history of American diners through a reference library of manufacturers' records, a registry of diners, and a collection of photographs and artifacts, Zilka said. The museum is a nonprofit organization established in 1996.

American Diner Museum

P.O.Box 6022 Providence, Rhode Island 02940, United States
WWW.AMERICANDINERMUSEUM.ORG - American Diner Museum a member of the New Hope Alliance is a Federally recognized 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation and all donations may be tax deductible. The Museum will provide the necessary documentation for tax purposes. However, an appraisal of non monetary gifts will be the responsibility of the donor.