BURRILLVILLE – The couple behind a creative enterprise that’s been operating in Harrisville for the past year is now set to launch a new, complimentary business, with “Redux Rovers,” soon ready to offer high-end mechanical restoration and customization services for classic Land Rovers in a space behind Niko’s Pizza.
David & Kathi Baker, along with business partner Khaldoun Atassi, plan to open up shop at 218 Harrisville Main St., in a space on the back side of the building that was once service center for Midway Chevrolet. The project went before the Burrillville Redevelopment Agency for approval in September, and was deemed consistent with overall plans for the Stillwater Redevelopment District.
The Bakers, who live in Cumberland, moved their business, known as Baker’s Boffins, into a nearby space in the district last year. The business offers services including design and fabrication of hard to find and discontinued auto parts, with prototyping and classic car mechanics, along with the creation and sale of custom gifts, with laser cutting and engraving of art, signs, jewelry and other home products.
The business is a collaboration of several creative industries with the name itself aiming to capture the couple’s unique skill set. A boffin, by definition, is, “a person engaged in scientific or technical research,” or, “a person with knowledge or a skill considered to be complex or arcane,” notes the business’s website.
David focuses on specialty services for high-end classic and antique vehicles, including the prototype and manufacture of impossible to find parts. He trained as a mechanical engineer at Worcester Polytechnic Institute has focused primarily on consumer goods and medical device development. But the work encompasses, “a little bit of everything,” from complex instrumentation for the surgical robotics industry, to product lines for major retailers, and custom one-off electric race motorcycles, the boffins note.
Kathi Baker is a transplant from the Pacific northwest who holds a master’s degree in counseling from Providence College. She is the artist and maker behind the, “Firelight,” line of goods produced by Baker’s Boffins, which includes jewelry, woodworking, home goods and more, and sells both online, and in local shops including A Touch of Magick in Uxbridge, Mass.
“We will draw on our extensive background to provide our clients with precise solutions, innovative products and designs, and inspired artistry,” a write up on the business notes.
“Both businesses are doing well,” said Jim Langlois, chairman of the Redevelopment Agency, of the Bakers’ products.
And Redux Rovers, it seems, is a new endeavor for both the Bakers and Atassi.
“It’s a complimentary business,” Langlois explained. “This is going to be a bit bigger of a venture for them.”
The group will be leasing the space at 218 Harrisville Main St. owned by STN, LLC out of Douglas, Mass., the real estate rental company owned by Nikolaos Chalkiadakis of Niko’s Pizza. The new business will specialize in classic Land Rovers including design & development of classic parts and accessories, with plans to also host small meet ups such as, “cars and coffee”-type events.
“We approved their original request, and we approved this request for two reasons,” Langlois said.
First, the BRA chairman said, “we don’t like to see empty buildings.” And secondly, he noted that the Baker’s current operations are a, “low impact business,” with servicing of classic automobiles by appointment only.
“You don’t see piles of vehicles hanging around in some disassembled state,” he said. Plus, he added, “Some pretty cool cars come in and out of that place.”