John Campagnone, owner of Caserta Pizzeria on Federal Hill, knows pizza. We know small business.
We started here in 1981. We bought it from the former owner Paul Ronzio and we’ve had it now for the last 36 years. You know, I tell them the same dirt on the floor that we’ve had for 37 years, it’s still here, because we just like to have everybody feel comfortable, come in, have a good time. I don’t want it to be…I want you to feel comfortable, and that’s why I really think we do I good job. It’s all about, again, consistency. Just like the bank, they’re consistent! It’s changed but it hasn’t changed. More now, more credit cards. Before, more cash. But now, with the credit cards, we had to, you know, step it up. We had to take credit cards, so that’s how I ended up getting involved with the bank more, involved with the bank I should say. Back in 2008, things we’re as good as they had been, and we needed some working capital, so, you know, I needed to do something and I called the bank. I said, “Listen, I need a line of credit,” so we had already had note with them and they were, you know, gracious enough to say, “Okay, let’s do this.” And they gave me the line of credit and from there we were able to take care of what we needed to take care of and we just moved on. Personally, I like it because it’s a local bank, I like it because it’s a personal bank, and you get that personal service. You call, you get who you want. It’s not like, okay, I got to get, you have to go this one. It’s just, it’s personal. Hey, I’m John Campagnone, Jr. from Caserta Pizzeria and I’m a Coastway customer.
We visited recent U.S. Small Business Administration award winner, Jeff Nelson, of Brassworks Fine Home Details, to ask him how Coastway was able to help his business. His answer was simple: "Coastway had my back."
Brassworks was started here in Providence in 1981 as a brass fabrication company making brass beds and railings and things of that nature. We’ve evolved from a typical mom and pop stove shop servicing the retail customer to more of a design center focusing primarily on architects, designers, high end home builders. We’ve expanded our show room three or four times in that period. A second location in Newton, Mass, which was a undertaking, but that’s been open for a year now and it’s been a great success. So, I had this grand idea to buy the company from the founder, and I didn’t know where to start. So I got on the SBA’s website, found a list of their local lenders and started just calling every single bank I could get on the phone. Most of them wouldn’t even take my call. They didn’t take me seriously, they never returned my call, you know, it was just very hard to get the ball rolling. Until I met Coastway, Joe at Coastway, and from there he walked me through the steps and the procedures and what needed to be done, and the paperwork, the tons and tons of paperwork and made the process manageable. Joe always returned an email, always picked up the phone when I called and was willing to meet with me as many times as I needed to understand what I was doing. They’re in my town, Joe lives a town over from me, so he knows the area, he knows my clients. He knew of the business so it made it easy. Four years ago, last week, I purchased the company with the help of the SBA and Coastway and now most recently I was awarded with the Entrepreneurial Success Award for 2017 from the SBA, which is a pretty big honor. And without the help of Coastway and the SBA, I wouldn’t be where I am now. Hi I’m Jeff Nelson with Brassworks Fine Home Details and I’m a Coastway customer.
We visited with long-time customer Jim Hagan, President of Bald Hill Dodge Chrysler Jeep RAM, and Bald Hill Kia to learn about his business and find out how Coastway has played a role in helping it succeed.
Bald Hill was started back in the 40s. So we’ve been here for three generations, we’ve been here for close to 70 years, and it’s morphed into different businesses but this is what it is today. The industry is changing a lot, where there’s more and more corporate-owned dealerships and there centrally run out of a different location. We’re owned and operated right here at this location so it allows us to really be hands on with our customers, our employees, and we’re very, very aware of our reputation and we’re very concerned about how how we treat the customers and we want the customers to come back so it’s very important for us to have repeat business. When the difficult times of 2009-2010 hit, the big banks were not interested in lending money to a lot of small businesses. And then when the time came to change mortgages from a big bank to a small bank and then add some extra working capital, I went to Coastway and they were terrific. We were looking for some capital for a sewer project that we were doing, an addition on the back of our service department. We were looking for some money to renovate our Kia dealership and they were there for that and that was a great opportunity for them to restructure our loans, add some more capital, and it worked out great. Coastway’s people are just so easy to deal with. You can pick the phone up and talk to just about anybody in the bank. They respond to you quickly. They can’t do enough for us when we ask for something, so I’ve never heard “No” on a reasonable question or a reasonable request from Coastway. They’ve been really great to work with. Coastway being a locally owned and local Rhode Islanders was a huge benefit. They understood what business needs in the community versus banks that, you know, are corporately run from different states or different countries. So absolutely, Coastway was a big benefit. That local, community bank. I would never go back to a big bank. I’m Jim Hagan, President of Ball Hill Dodge Chrysler Jeep Kia in Warwick, a Coastway Community Bank customer.