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Getting down to Bizʽnessʼ on Dudley’s main drag

By Rod Lee

A word of advice that Arvind Basil gives his children is “it doesn’t matter what career path you choose, but do it with sincerity.” Owner of Biz Imprints, a one-stop customized-products store located at 185 W. Main St. in Dudley, Mr. Basil—an infectiously positive and industrious man—has lived that philosophy himself. “Back in India,” he said the afternoon of March 26th, “I was a builder for nineteen years. I developed the first plant in India for water purification. I was a factory manager in a paper mill.” He is also now the incoming president of the Oxford Lions Club, set to assume that position on May 7th. “I love challenges!” he said. Mr. Basil’s approach to life has been passed on to he and wife Anita’s children; their twin daughters are doctors and their son, who will be graduating from Shepherd Hill, is looking at pursuing law as a profession. As for Biz Imprints, the company is a reflection of Mr. Basil’s belief in offering an unlimited range of services to the public. To that end, he is bringing in six new pieces of “state-of-the-art” equipment that will broaden the scope of an already-impressive list of jobs Biz Imprints is able to perform for the store’s customers (he likes to think of his store as “the one place in town that covers all your needs).” DTG (for direct-to-garment printing, in which the ink “gets blended right into the fabric”), for instance; laser engraving (on any surface, including leather and wood); screen printing (involving up to six colors); rhinestone and spangle decorations; engineering drawings; trophies and awards; embroidery; lamination; book binding; gift items “from fifty cents to five hundred dollars;” business cards; posters; fliers; banners; decals; stickers; car wraps; envelopes—“A to Z,” he says. Also, he pointed out, picking up an example, “borderless printing. No one can do borderless printing in this area.” Oh, by the way, Mr. Basil said, “I do watch repairs; and instant passport photos.”

 

Ceramic Pro way to go, Lavallee says

It makes sense that Jonathan Lavallee’s shop, East Coast Auto Spa, on Court St. in Whitinsville (behind Depot Car Wash), is by all appearances as spotless as an operating room. “This place was an absolute disaster, a nightmare,” Mr. Lavallee said the morning of March 26th. A year later, the two bays in which he and Davin Wesinger ply their trade—interior detailing, headlight restoration, fabric and paint protection, stain removal, leather conditioning—is a showpiece. Evidence of Mr. Lavallee’s attention to having his space look sharp with the addition of nifty touches to accent a welcoming atmosphere can be found in the many flags that he purchases at the Big E, which are smartly hung for effect (like the Celtics’ championship banners from the rafters of the TD Garden) and an impressive collection of miniature “hot wheels” that are neatly displayed on an opposite wall. He has come far since beginning operations out of his parents John and Rhonda Lavallee’s garage at Plummer’s Corner in 2008. Back then, he had to wash cars outside year-round and could only do one car per day. Now he can do two or three. Recently, Mr. Lavallee took another step forward with the introduction of “Ceramic Pro,” a revolutionary ceramic coating treatment based on nanotechnology that can be used in the automotive, marine, aviation and other industries. Mr. Lavallee describes Ceramic Pro as “unreal. It is scratch and water resistant,” undamaged by such contaminants as bird droppings and “you’ll never have to wax again. I am the only shop offering Ceramic Pro in probably a fifty-mile radius.” Ceramic Pro, he said, comes in small vials and is applied by hand. It is available for purchase in packages; “my (Grand Cherokee) has the silver package which comes with a five-year warranty,” he said. “You can wax or paint-seal your car, but this will take over the industry,” he said. “I think of it as an investment service.”

A big wheel at the Expo

His title, “Director of Audience Engagement,” seems to be a perfect fit for Devon Kurtz of the Blackstone Heritage Corridor Inc. It certainly was on March 3rd, when Mr. Kurtz set up as an exhibitor at the Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce’s 11th annual Home & Business Expo at Northbridge High School in order to talk to people about bicycle safety for kids. The hour hand of the clock had barely moved past the morning start time when people began stopping to chat with him. He was hard to miss, dressed as he was in a uniform like the ones identified with the Massachusetts Bicycle Club in the 1880’s when Worcester, he said, had seven such clubs—each with their own unique garb. The bicycle on display at his booth—a reproduction bicycle from the same period—was an eye catcher too. “Today it’s called a bi-wheel, ordinary, or penny farthing,” Mr. Kurtz said. “It’s typical of what was being manufactured in the Worcester area in the 1880’s.” A longtime bicycle enthusiast and advocate for the new, still-under-development bike path (and Visitor Center) that runs south along the Blackstone River from Worcester, he could not help mentioning “Wee Willie Windle” of Millbury who, he said, “manufactured bike parts before he got into textiles. According to stories he was a terror on the racetrack.”

Ms. Haskell’s ʽhistoric’ pushback

A town-appointed body’s efforts to expand the bounds of a historic district in Uxbridge that was established by vote of residents in 2004 and implemented in 2005 has hit a bump in the road; put there, ironically, by one of its own members. Melissa Haskell, who already stood in opposition to an article submitted for Town Meeting on May 8th by the Uxbridge Historic District Commission (UHDC) that would amend the original bylaw, recently filed complaints with the town manager, town clerk and attorney general’s office—according to fellow members of the Commission. Her assertion: the UHDC is in violation of the state’s Open Meeting Law on several counts. Ms. Haskell apparently wants the article removed from the warrant. Asked for elaboration, she responded by email “as the complaints have been filed but not yet adjudicated by the state, I prefer to withhold comment.” UHDC Chair Faye McCloskey is taking the challenge in stride. “In the end the people have the vote,” she said. “We think we have done the right thing.”

Contact Rod Lee at [email protected] or 774-232-2999.