Dairy farm, brewery in northern Rhode Island recognized with small business of the year awards


BURRILLVILLE/NORTH SMITHFIELD – The U.S. Small Business Administration has announced the 2023 Small Business Week award winners in Rhode Island, with one business in North Smithfield and another in Burrillville named among the 13 recipients.

Christopher Mishoe, owner of Bravo Brewing Company in Pascoag, was named Rhode Island Veteran-Owned Small Business of the Year. Mishoe, originally from Maine, opened the business in 2019, at 75-81 Main St. An Air Force veteran, Mishoe has participated in community initiative and expanded the successful brewery several times during its years in the village.

Winning Rhode Island and New England Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year are Wright’s Dairy Farm co-owners Ellen Puccetti, Jennifer Ann Roberts and Elizabeth Dulude. The North Smithfield farm, a fifth-generation family business, now has more than 80 full and part time employees and more than 150 cows. In addition to high-quality milk, the farm produces cheeses, ice cream, baked goods and more.

The two are among thirteen Rhode Island small businesses and advocates named by the SBA this month, with Wright’s one of only two also named New England regional winners. The group will be recognized at the Rhode Island Salute to Small Business Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, May 3 at the Quidnessett Country Club in North Kingstown. Co-sponsored by the SBA and the Rhode Island Society of Certified Public Accountants, the awards ceremony will be the featured event in Rhode Island during National Small Business Week April 30 through May 6.

“Over the past two years, America has had a record-breaking 10.5 million people apply to start businesses nationally and 332,000 across New England. I’m thrilled to recognize the strong, resilient, and innovative small business award winners leading the way from across Rhode Island,” said Mike Vlacich, SBA New England regional administrator. “Small businesses like these are the reason we are emerging from the pandemic stronger.  I congratulate them on their achievements and their role in creating jobs and powering our nation’s historic economic comeback. “

“I congratulate all our winners and commend them for all the hard work they do as small business owners in keeping our economy going.  This is without a doubt one of the strongest groups of winners we have ever had in Rhode Island,” said SBA District Director Mark S. Hayward.  “I applaud our two regional winners, Wright’s Dairy Farm and The Backyard Food Company, for beating out some tough competition in their categories from the other New England states.  I am also elated that Craig will be representing the Ocean State for the national awards ceremony in Washington DC later this spring,” he added.

Below is the list of additional award winners.

Rhode Island Small Business Person of the Year

  • Craig Pickell, President & CEO
  • Bullard Abrasives, Inc.
  • Lincoln

Rhode Island and New England Small Business Manufacturer of the Year

  • Loubnen Sukkar, CEO
  • The Backyard Food Company
  • Warwick

Rhode Island Small Business Exporter of the Year

  • Ellis Waldman, President & CEO
  • Walco Electric Company
  • Providence

Rhode Island Minority-Owned Small Business of the Year

  • Tony Phouaykoumpha, Owner
  • Latte Love Coffee House
  • Cranston

Rhode Island Jeffrey Butland Family-Owned Small Business of the Year

  • Debbie Martitz, Owner
  • Hope Cleaners
  • East Providence

Rhode Island Microenterprise of the Year
Miriam A. Ross, Partner/ Owner

Miriam Ross & Associates, LLC

Rhode Island Homebased Small Business of the Year
Gloria Chacón, President & Owner
Green View Tree Service, LLC

Rhode Island Young Entrepreneur of the Year
Vincent Pezzullo, Owner & President
My Cousin Vinny’s Rentals, LLC

Rhode Island Financial Services Champion of the Year
Jon Richmond
VP, Banking & Commercial Lender Officer


Rhode Island Joseph G.E. Knight Award For Entrepreneurial Excellence
Dr. Kristina McAteer, MD, FACEP, Owner
Oceanside Medical – Aesthetics, LLC

Rhode Island District Director Award
Melody Weeks, Executive Vice President

Rhode Island Commerce Corporation

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