PHOTOS: Local Leaders Tour Haverhill-Based Latino Businesses; Hear Wins, Causes of Concern

Several local and congressional leaders teamed with the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce last week in an effort to shine a spotlight on Latino and Latina-owned small businesses in Haverhill, touring seven locations to chat with proprietors about their experiences working in town. Joining Mayor James J. Fiorentini, Congresswoman Lori Trahan, Sen. Diana DiZoglio and State Rep. Andy Vargas was Chamber President and CEO Dougan Sherwood, who collaborated with Vargas on the idea in the hopes of diversifying the Chamber’s membership. In addition to Pollo Centro and The Compound gym, the group stopped by Railroad Square’s Salon Mii, where Trahan bonded with owner Marysol Cueto over their shared appreciation for vocational training. Representatives from the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission and Haverhill Latino Coalition looked on as Cueto said she felt “proud” to situate her second salon in the city’s downtown district. A few blocks away on Locust Street, Jacqueline Bodega co-owner Argenis Marte bent Fiorentini’s ear about the parking woes his family business faces as people from across the Merrimack Valley come to the bodega for the staple fried chicken, among other food items. “We’re crucial to the Latin community here in Haverhill and are bringing other people in the area together,” Marte told Fiorentini as he asked for improvements to the sidewalk outside the 13-year-old shop.

Former State Sen. O’Connor Ives Joins Newburyport-Based Law Firm

Former state Sen. Kathleen O’Connor Ives of Newburyport joined the law firm of Finneran and Nicholson at the beginning of the month. She joins principals Susan R. Finneran and Thomas G. Nicholson as a senior associate. The law firm, founded in 1984, has offices in Newburyport and Boston. In a statement Thursday, O’Connor Ives said, “Both established and new businesses are hungry for knowledgeable, reliable and responsive counsel to help them navigate complex systems so their businesses can succeed. The team at Finneran and Nicholson fulfills this criteria.”

“We are celebrating our 35th year in practice, and Katy brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the firm.

Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Donates $5K to Lawrence Boys and Girls Club

Game on—in style! The Jaffarian Volvo Toyota “Youth in Motion” fund has made a donation of $5,000 to the Lawrence Boys and Girls Club for the purchase of sneakers and other sports program equipment, the River Street dealership headed by Gary Jaffarian tells WHAV. The donation provides vital equipment for the Club, according to Executive Director Manny Ayala. “This fund enables our teens to receive sneakers to play basketball, our young people go to camp, among other important purchases that allow our kids to thrive in the sports and activities that they love.”

One participant in the program, a 15-year-old named John, shared that he was grateful for his new sneakers, “that help me improve my basketball skills — they have a great grip which allows me to move confidently on the court.”

Other sports equipment provided through the program includes prescription swim and basketball goggles, football, track and cheerleading equipment, Jaffarian said.

Haverhill’s Restaurant Week Returns for Second Year Aug. 23-29: See All the Deals!

Haverhill’s Restaurant Week, sponsored by the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce, returns for its second year from Aug. 23-29. During the week, two dozen local eateries plan to provide special deals, including $5 and $10 specials. The week begins with a kickoff event by L’Arche Boston North called The Longest Table, a dinner experience provided by multiple Haverhill restaurants. The kickoff event takes place on Wingate Street from 6-9 p.m. on Thursday, Aug.

Merrimack Valley Chamber Holds Networking Mixer in Haverhill Aug. 12

The Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce is preparing to hold a business networking mixer in the Galleria Banquet Room of Maria's Restaurant, 81 Essex St., Haverhill, on Monday, Aug. 12. From 5-7 p.m., local professionals can network, enjoy complementary appetizers and beverages, and partake in a business card drawing for door prizes. Tickets start at $10 and are available by calling 978-686-0900.

Pineau Sells Haverhill Yoga Tree Studio to Focus Full-Time on Marijuana Shop Stem

Caroline Pineau has officially passed the torch at her Washington Street studio The Yoga Tree to fellow Hillie Ally Vallieres ahead of the location’s nine-year anniversary to focus full-time on her downtown marijuana shop Stem, she tells WHAV. Calling June’s change in ownership “bittersweet,” Pineau said Haverhill Bank marketing specialist Vallieres was the only person she considered to become sole owner of the place she purchased at age 23. “She’s an amazingly strong female entrepreneur and she shares a very similar vision for The Yoga Tree and the future of the studio. I knew immediately that she was the right fit for the next phase of Yoga Tree,” Pineau said. A former spin instructor who completed Boston Yoga School-affiliated teacher training with Pineau’s guidance, Vallieres plans to make her official debut as studio owner during The Yoga Tree’s ninth anniversary celebration this weekend.

Haverhill Owned Coppola Bus Sold to North Reading Transport

The 46-year-old Haverhill bus company Coppola has officially been sold to North Reading Transport after the School Committee approved the transfer of contract at Thursday night’s meeting. Changes to daily function are planned to be minimal, as buses will continue to be housed in Haverhill, according to NRT owner John McCarthy, who addressed the Committee Thursday. When Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini asked McCarthy if local jobs would be impacted as a result of the sale, McCarthy used humor in his response. “With all due respect, Mayor, school bus drivers don’t grow on trees,” McCarthy said, when letting the Committee know all drivers’ positions would remain in tact. The motion to approve the transfer was made by committee member Scott W. Wood Jr. with a second from Attorney Richard J. Rosa.

Berkshire Hathaway Verani Merges with Ben Consoli Real Estate

A new development in the real estate world comes with the recently cemented merger between Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty and Ben Consoli Real Estate. With locations already in Somerville and North Andover, this is just the latest expansion of the growing Verani Realty group. The former Ben Consoli Bradford office remains open under the new Verani Realty name, with Verani agents joining the Consoli team. Charlie Zappala, Verani Realty’s Massachusetts regional manager, is thrilled to bring the agents together as one and is confident the Consoli team will be an asset to the Haverhill and Bradford customer base. “Adding their expertise shows our continued commitment to expand our Massachusetts base and presence.