Bushel N Peck spreads to Westborough, tweaks the menu

For decades Bushel N Peck has maintained its perch among the city’s go-to sandwich shops. And now, 37 years after the Oliveri family opened the first store in Tatnuck Square and after new owner Michael Bartosiewicz added locations in Grafton and Clinton, Bushel N Peck is on the verge of opening its fifth storefront in Westborough.

So hungry you could eat a Horse Feast? Try deadhorse hill

Tasting menus the last few years have spread like an epidemic across the country — setting up uninitiated diners and amateur foodies for what can end up being an exhausting night of relentless dish shuffling, constant overselling of unheard-of ingredients by the waitstaff and a bill for dessert that leaves wallets as dry as a glass of Chablis.

In Worcester, though, tasting menus are still more hidden treasure than booby trap, even on a Friday night.

At deadhorse hill, the trendy, well-regarded downtown eatery, Chef Jared Forman’s tasting menu is one of breathtaking explorations into the American palate. Coupling a unique approach to seasonal items with a regular rotation of inspiring presentations, the tasting menu we recently sampled provided all sorts of surprises as the dishes seemed to transport us across the landscape of New England.

A Mother’s Journey: The shape of the city

Editor’s note: Since September 2015, Worcester Sun has chronicled the trials and triumphs of Sun contributor Giselle Rivera-Flores as she explores ways to help her daughter and other Worcester families find affordable educational support and assistance. We used to describe her as an aspiring business owner; now, she’s an inspiring one. During her journey to establish and grow her nonprofit tutoring collaborative she has, you could say, stepped beyond the walls of her dream.

Giselle Rivera-Flores

Browsing the Internet usually leaves you with a headache, a newfound anger for politics, a handful of Pinterest ideas you’ll never actually do, and with a profound feeling that you’re wasting your life away with every click.

But every once in a while, the Internet will surprise you with a few gems. Last week, while on my “downtime” – my new term for those times I find myself procrastinating – I stumbled across an interesting article about building a city, and of course, I instantly thought of Worcester. I wondered: Do they have a great master plan like this one?

In, “How to build a city from scratch: the handy step-by-step DIY guide,” an article written by Stuart Jeffries for The Guardian, the author compares building a city in real life to building a city in cyberspace, using games like Minecraft and Civilization to get his point across. Immediately, he notes there are obviously more challenges in real life to building a city, including “vainglorious dictators, pompous architects, bureaucratic impedimenta” and so forth, but after he clarifies the real-life challenges, he lays out a plan of action that is simply logical.

I mean, as an entrepreneur, I work off lists every day. I probably wouldn’t do well without my handy lists and overall plans.

Building a city with Jeffries means following an extensive outline of 20 steps, but I just want to focus on the top five:

Read Giselle’s previous chapter, The risk-taker’s lament, or scroll down to explore more of her story.

The Muse is inspired to remain a part of Worcester’s downtown revival

Coming to Federal Square during the much-ballyhooed “downtown renaissance,” The Muse owners John Rinaldo and Matt Kingman set forth to be a part of the bigger picture. Cultivating a brand based on the anticipated vibes of new visitors and returning friends with hip cocktails and craft beer, The Muse has added something flagrantly unique to the urban lifestyle trend.

A Mother’s Journey: The risk-taker’s lament

Editor’s note: Since September 2015, Worcester Sun has chronicled the trials and triumphs of Sun contributor Giselle Rivera-Flores as she explores ways to help her daughter and other Worcester families find affordable educational support and assistance. We used to describe her as an aspiring business owner; now, she’s an inspiring one. During her journey to establish and grow her nonprofit tutoring collaborative she has, you could say, stepped beyond the walls of her dream.

Giselle Rivera-Flores

Some of the top jobs in the United States in 2017, according to Glassdoor — based on job openings, salary and overall job satisfaction rating — include mechanical engineer (ranked No. 20), data scientist (No. 1) and a wide range of professions in between. For me, a listing like this gives readers a slightly slanted outlook on prospective careers.

In a ranking of 50 positions on the jobs and recruiting website, there was something missing — one job that matters greatly to a growing economy, but is treated like the stepchild of the workforce.

To no one’s surprise, the term “entrepreneur” doesn’t fit Glassdoor’s list. But for me, it truly is a job title, and one I think deserves more respect. The thing is, entrepreneurs are busy creating, launching and developing many of the jobs so in demand on Glassdoor.

I’ve said it before, and I will say it again: Entrepreneurs make the world turn, and without them, well, we wouldn’t be publishing this article in the Worcester Sun – a business created from scratch by two entrepreneurs.

Read Giselle’s previous chapter, The gentrification exasperation, or scroll down to explore more of her story.

Bushel N Peck spreads to Westborough, tweaks the menu

For decades, despite an ownership change in 2005, Bushel N Peck has maintained its perch among the city’s go-to sandwich shops, churning out classic, lunchtime favorites with an old-school American deli sensibility.

And now, 37 years after the Oliveri family opened the first store in Tatnuck Square and after new owner Michael Bartosiewicz added locations in Grafton (2013) and Clinton (2015), Bushel N Peck is on the verge of opening its fifth storefront in Westborough on a bustling stretch of Route 30.

(Then known as Elsa’s Bushel N Peck, the second shop opened in The Summit, on East Mountain Street, in 1990.)

“With the economy growing, we are trying to tap into those new customers,” said Bartosiewicz, a longtime employee of the Oliveri family who bought the business from Tom Sr. and Elsa in 2005. “We want to keep improving and we want to offer new exciting items to maintain our reputation in the community and stay up-to-date with the changing times.

Recalde’s Sidewalk Café is an unexpected slice of home

With salsa music playing in the background, the sounds of the Spanish language lingering in the air and the open-arms welcome from their employees, Recalde’s Sidewalk Café, open since February, is all about the Spanish culture. It’s an effort embracing and elevating the feeling of eating at abuela’s house.

A Mother’s Journey: The gentrification exasperation

Editor’s note: Since September 2015, Worcester Sun has chronicled the trials and triumphs of Sun contributor Giselle Rivera-Flores as she explores ways to help her daughter and other Worcester families find affordable educational support and assistance. We used to describe her as an aspiring business owner; now, she’s an inspiring one. During her journey to establish and grow her nonprofit tutoring collaborative she has, you could say, stepped beyond the walls of her dream.

Giselle Rivera-Flores

It seems obvious to me that when a city clusters industry-specific small businesses into an area of close proximity, the community experiences growth at a faster rate. It is the underlying strategy for increasing productivity, innovation and success.

Small businesses benefit from their neighbors in a relationship that promotes the exchange and sharing of marketing, skilled workforce and technologies. As cities grow, there should be an integrated strategy for the development of small businesses and not just an emphasis on larger developments, brands and infrastructure buildout.

In December 2012, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a report, “Smart Growth and Economic Success: Benefits for Real Estate Developers, Investors, Businesses, and Local Governments,” outlining the importance of smart growth development. The concept integrates “compact and walkable” with providing “a diverse range of choices in land uses, building types, transportation, homes, workplace locations and stores.”

The report states that “by locating businesses closer together, compact development can create a density of employment that increases economic productivity and attracts additional investment.” And of course, it makes logical sense to do so.

When I drive through high-density small-business areas, like those in Main South, I do not see the implementation of logical strategies such as that of compact development from city investment, but instead, I see it through the relationships among the existing businesses.

Read Giselle’s previous chapter, The gauntlet of transitions, or scroll down to explore more of her story.

The Muse is inspired to remain a part of Worcester’s downtown revival

Upon opening its doors two years ago, The Muse, 536 Main St., across the street from Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, intended to build upon the momentum of the city’s revitalization plans.

Coming to Federal Square during the much-ballyhooed “downtown renaissance,” The Muse owners John Rinaldo and Matt Kingman set forth to be a part of the bigger picture. Cultivating a brand based on the anticipated vibes of new visitors and returning friends with hip cocktails and craft beer, The Muse has added something flagrantly unique to the urban lifestyle trend in Worcester.

Coupled with its tight embrace of the city’s flourishing arts scene, The Muse quickly set itself apart from the typical Worcester bar.

With more than 30 years of hospitality experience and a hearty helping of inspiration from other forward-thinking business owners like Alec Lopez, owner of Armsby Abbey and The Dive, Rinaldo saw Worcester for what it truly is: a blank canvas.

A Mother’s Journey: The gauntlet of transitions

Editor’s note: Since September 2015, Worcester Sun has chronicled the trials and triumphs of Sun contributor Giselle Rivera-Flores as she explores ways to help her daughter and other Worcester families find affordable educational support and assistance. We used to describe her as an aspiring business owner; now, she’s an inspiring one. During her journey to establish and grow her nonprofit tutoring collaborative she has, you could say, stepped beyond the walls of her dream.

Giselle Rivera-Flores

“It’s in transition.” That phrase has become the (mostly) unwritten slogan of my life – both personally and professionally.

Buried in every crevice of growth is the undertone of transition. Its double-sided presence adheres to us as both confidence and anxiety — all while promising a better tomorrow.

Transition is the “process or a period of changing from one state to another,” and while the definition portrays an image of physical change, transition, for me, is truly internal. And it happens every second of the day.

It happens in the depths of chaos and in the bliss of growth. It happens through each human interaction, and lack thereof. Transition is a thin line in the world of entrepreneurship that makes us tiptoe across the tightrope of obstacles while juggling the rest of our lives and carrying what feels like the weight of the world on our shoulders.

As we approach our second year of homeschooling our daughters Brooklyn and Evian, we are accompanied by many transitions: new grade levels, new expectations, new schedules and new changes. Transition is the shadow that never leaves. Unless you have given up on the path of life you’ve chosen – and we have no intention of doing so.

Read Giselle’s previous chapter, The ‘Mini’ Series, or scroll down to explore more of her story.