Posts tagged Blog
20 ?'s with Linda Brown of All Purpose Flowers

1. Describe your business in one sentence:

A full-service florist shop.

2. Why do you love what you do?

I am in love with all things floral & brightening people’s day with floral beauty.

3. Why did you join The Bridge?

To become more active in our community & introduce All Purpose Flowers to more people.

4. Besides work, what else are you passionate about and why?

Being a mom to my 4 year old girl & 1 1/2 year old son because that’s what moms do, & singing in a choir because I love music. 

5. What are a few of your favorite local business to visit and why?

I love The Avenue Beauty Bar because they make me feel pretty, Inspire Barre & Fitness because they make me feel healthy, The Cape Ann Brewery because their food is so good & it is a great family restaurant, & Pauline’s Gifts because she is a delight & has some great gift items available (I really could go on and on).

6. Do you have a nickname? How did you get it?

Little Linda from my father and brothers 

7. Any special talents (not work related)?

I’d say more mediocre than special at art, piano, and guitar

8. Name a favorite geographical spot on Cape Ann and why:

Coolidge Point Reservation/The Great Lawn because it’s one of the most beautiful places in the world.

9. Do you have pets? Who are they?

Not at this time, soon hopefully 

10. Any causes/charities that particularly move you?

St. Jude’s & Children’s Hospital

11. Favorite local event?

Fiesta, of course. 

12. Favorite Bridge event?

Strawberry & Fall Festivals 

13. Favorite seafood?


14. Name one thing that a tourist MUST do when visiting Cape Ann:

Go to the beach & eat seafood

15. Name one of your quirks:

I am constantly trying to not be messy 

16. Name one of your pet peeves:

Loud chewing

17. Name one of your superstitions:

Sign of cross every time I pass a church

18. What is tops on your bucket list?

Taking kids to Disney

19. Who plays you in “All Purpose Flowers: The Movie”?

The actress who plays Bernadette in Big Bang Theory (Editor’s Note: Melissa Rauch)

20. What do you want to tell your customers?

If you love flowers as much as I do, you’ll love All Purpose Flowers. 

Linda’s Contact Info/Social Media Handles:

Address: 29 Lexington Ave, Gloucester, MA 01930

Phone: (978) 526-1241




Twitter: @flowerspurpose


Kory CurcuruBlogComment
20 ?'s with Brandon Pratt of Cross Country Mortgage
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1.    Describe your business in one sentence: 

Helping Homeowners and Homebuyers get the best mortgage financing they can get.

2.    Why do you love what you do?

I love helping people and I love numbers, so it’s a natural fit.

3.    Why did you join The Bridge?

To become a bigger part of the Cape Ann business community. 

4.    Besides work, what else are you passionate about and why?

Golf, because it’s something that is so hard, that it brings me back consistently. 

5.    What are a few of your favorite local business to visit and why?

6.    Do you have a nickname? How did you get it? 

Yes, it’s Bunga. Growing up in Magnolia my nickname was Tonga. Then in high school playing for GHS freshman football I was Butch. A Magnolia buddy who also played football said the two names were confusing, so they were merged into Bunga. 

7.    Any special talents (not work related)?

I like to cook at home. Working in restaurants around Cape Ann in high school and college allowed me to learn how to cook and get paid for it. Also being around family and friends in Gloucester, there was a lot of cooking going on. 

8.    Name a favorite geographical spot on Cape Ann and why: 

Long Beach, another place that I went to a lot as a kid.  I still love going there today.

9.    Do you have pets? Who are they?

Owen is a 8 year old border collie mix of other dogs.  We also just got Evie the cat from Cape Ann Animal Aid. She is just over a year old.

10. Any causes/charities that particularly move you?

Anything to do with kids.  I was on the board of directors at HAWC, and now a member of the Gloucester Rotary. 

11. Favorite local event?

Memorial Day…unofficial start of summer.

12. Favorite Bridge event?

Looking forward to my first one!

13. Favorite seafood?

Ahi tuna.

14. Name one thing that a tourist MUST do when visiting Cape Ann:

Drive around the Cape on Route 127 through Manchester, Gloucester and Rockport. 

15. Name one of your quirks:

I can’t sit still very well.

16. Name one of your pet peeves: 

17. Name one of your superstitions:

Being positive all the time. 

18. What is tops on your bucket list?

Playing Augusta National, but most likely I will settle for Pebble Beach because I don’t know any August National members. 

19. Who plays you in “Cross Country Mortgage: The Movie”?

Michael Chiklis

20. What do you want to tell your customers?

That buying a house isn’t hard when you have the right people helping you.  Sitting down with me is free, and I can let anyone know their financial home buying situation.

Brandon’s Contact Info/Social Media Handles:
Address:  180 Main Street, Gloucester, MA 
Phone: 617.688.6891

Kory CurcuruBlogComment
20 ?'s with Justine Laurie, CPA

1.     Describe your business in one sentence.

I provide small businesses and families with peace of mind by helping them meet their financial goals.

2.     Why do you love what you do?

Taxes scare the crap out of people and I love knowing that I can make a difference in people’s lives by alleviating a lot of this fear and helping them keep more money in their pockets.

3.     Why did you join The Bridge?

When I lived on the other side of the country, I followed The Bridge to keep up with what was going on around here. When I came back, I wanted to join because I love the closeness to the community that The Bridge fosters.

4.     Besides work, what else are you passionate about?

It goes without saying that my family is number one – my world pretty much revolves around my kids. Otherwise, I love to lift heavy things and am currently training for my second bodybuilding show (NPC Bikini)

5.     What are a few of your favorite local businesses?

Cape Ann Coffee because their iced Americanos keep me fueled, and when I am allowed some more “fun” in my diet they have the best breakfast sandwiches. The Hair and Color Studio, because no one knows color like Catherine (and her personality doesn’t hurt!).

6.     Do you have a nickname? How did you get it?

Bean/Beanie… My parents started it when I was little and looked like a jellybean in my red bathing suit. And somehow my childhood friends ended up adopting it as well!

7.     Any special talents (not work related)?

Sewing. I used to make dresses for my now 6-year-old when she was a toddler. I am also a pretty decent cook, but I do NOT bake.

8.     Name a favorite geographical spot on Cape Ann:

Folly Cove. Something about that inlet feels like a far away place, and the sunsets there are just perfect.

9.     Do you have pets? Who are they?

I have two Dachshunds, Oscar and Ernie. Ernie we have had since he was a puppy in 2007, and we adopted Oscar from the Florida Dachshund Rescue in 2011.

10.  Any causes/charities that particularly move you?

Being the spouse of a disabled veteran, I’d have to go with the Wounded Warrior Project. They have taken a lot of heat in recent years but, being on the receiving end of their charity, I have seen first hand the difference they make for these veterans and helping them gain some normalcy in their lives after the transition out of the military.

11.  Favorite local event?

Waterfront Festival – I missed it this year and I am bummed!

12.  Favorite Bridge event?

Because I haven’t been back in the area too long, I have only been to the Strawberry Festival so far… so we can go with that!

13.  Favorite seafood?

Bluefin Tuna. I could eat tuna tartare every day for the rest of my life and die happy.

14.  Name one thing that a tourist MUST do when visiting Cape Ann:

Take a ride on the water shuttle – it gives a great view of the inner harbor!

15.  Name one of your quirks:

I hate cold drinking water – I like it at room temperature

16.  Name one of your pet peeves.

When you hold the door for someone and they walk right through it like it’s being magically held open.

17.  Name one of your superstitions:

I don’t like to step on cracks in pavement

18.  What is tops on your bucket list?

A cruise around the world

19.  Who plays you in “Justine Laurie, CPA: The Movie”?

I took a Buzzfeed quiz to answer this question, and survey says Emma Watson.

20.  What do you want to tell your customers?

I am continuously taking on new clients, both individuals and businesses. No business is too small to have a CPA on board from day one!

Justine’s Contact Info/Social Media Handles:

Phone: (978) 381-3024



Instagram: justineelaurie_cpa


Kory CurcuruBlogComment
Kory's Stories: The Week That Was

Hope you had a great weekend! Here’s what we’ve been up to:

Kory was recently featured in Boston Voyager Magazine, where he talked about the evolution of The Bridge. Read the article here:

We visited noted metal sculptor, Chris Williams, to begin video work showing the process of his latest piece: a dragon with a 12’ wingspan sitting atop a 15’ granite obelisk for the Convention Center in Boston. Stay tuned.

We snuck into The White Elephant Shop as it closed its doors for the last time. Owner Rick Grobe is keeping the famous antique store’s name and maintaining its online business. Here’s his goodbye:

We met with Joanne & Scott of Aberdeen Home Care in Essex to capture a glowing testimonial from Patti Wysocki of Cape Ann Auto Body. Wanna see?

The History of Gloucester’s American Legion Building that Kory produced for 1623 Studios did so well that a second episode has already been completed. Look for The History of Stage Fort Park soon. Did you miss it?

Our 6th Annual Fall Fest at Cape Ann’s Marina Resort is this Saturday, Oct 6 at Mile Marker One from 11am-3pm. FREE Parking! FREE Admission! Kid Zone with Bouncy Houses, Disney Characters, Sand Art Bar, Hula Hooping, Adoptable Puppies from Cape Ann Animal Aid, Farmers' Market & Alpacas, from Marshall's Farm Stand, Face Painting with Tabbi McKay, Vehicles from Gloucester Police & Fire, Food & Full Bar, Live Music with Pat & Fran, Cornbowl from Cape Ann Lanes, Sam Adams Beer, Tastings & Stein Hoisting contests, Local Vendors.

Our next Left Right Center Tournament to benefit the Elks Scholarship Fund is Friday, October 26, from 6:30-9ish. The Yellow Sub will be providing food for purchase! This event usually sells out, so please RSVP at

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Kory's Stories: The Week That Was

Hope you had a fun holiday weekend! Here’s what we’ve been up to:

We were at Pauline’s Gifts in West Gloucester to promote a donation drive for active female troops. Several women-owned businesses are collecting feminine products through Columbus Day weekend. See our video featuring local Purple Heart recipient Vee Chipperini here:

The Chamber of Commerce’s Low Number License Plates drive ended Labor Day evening. Last we heard, nearly $70,000 was bid, with funds getting distributed to local nonprofits.

Visited Eric Magers and a group of eager interns at Seaside Sustainability, where they were working on coastal cleanups & marine bullshit. Look for their story soon.

Win-It Wednesday produced more than 60 winners who shopped, dined, & were pampered throughout the weekend. New prizes included a session with pet photographer Cate Partridge & free registration for Northeast Flag Football (which recently had a group of local girls compete during halftime of the Patriots preseason game against Carolina at Gillette Stadium).

Among other shoots, this week we’re visiting The White Elephant Shop to promote a big sale & working on a short video describing the history of the American Legion building in Gloucester for 1623 Studios. Stay tuned!

Hard to believe, but our 6th Annual Fall Fest at Cape Ann’s Marina Resort is one month away. If you’re interested in being a vendor, email us at

And if you really like to plan ahead, our next Left Right Center Tournament to benefit the Elks Scholarship Fund is Friday, October 26, from 6:30-9ish. RSVP at

Kory CurcuruBlogComment
Kory's Stories: The Week That Was

Hi folks! Here's a quick recap of The Bridge's most recent visits & events:

Met with new Pier 23 owner Matt Faletra, who vowed not to change the recipe for their famous burgers. See our video here:
Went boating with Mike Duncan of Gloucester Boat Rental. Saw a dozens of seals frolic at Salvages & a minke whale a quarter-mile from Halibut Point. Our video from Crane's Beach:
Covered the Gloucester Rotary Club’s Annual Pancake Breakfast from Stage Fort Park live on our Facebook page. The weather cooperated, the turnout was great, & Pauline Bresnahan chatted up the attendees.
We were also live for the Chamber of Commerce’s Low Number License Plate Launch Party at Drift Café (3 Main St, Gloucester). You can bid on numbers 1-100 through September 3rd. Someone has already bid $25k for number 1. See the available plates here: 
Judged a Rum Cocktail Competition to benefit Action, Inc. at Mile Marker One. Eight local bartenders & four distilleries participated. 200 people sampled cocktails & apps all night. Had a blast!
Our restaurant visits this week included Lat 43, where Chef Joey showed off new local brews, plus Trio & Azorean, where the always-smiling Patricia & Chef Manny Lapa did double duty & announced weekend specials for both sister restaurants.
Our Win-It Wednesday giveaway produced 60 winners who will be shopping, dining, & getting pampered throughout the weekend thanks to over 40 local businesses. Play every Wednesday on Facebook. This week's winners:

We secured dates for the 6th Annual Fall Fest at Mile Marker (Saturday, Oct 6 - interested vendors please contact us ASAP) & Left Right Center at The Elks on Friday, Oct 26. RSVP here:
Next week we visit Seaside Sustainability, Cape Ann Museum, Tonno, & Cape Ann Artisans. See you in the neighborhood! - Kory

Kory CurcuruBlogComment
Our Biggest LRC Tournament Yet
Grand Prize Winner Katrina Dukette!

Grand Prize Winner Katrina Dukette!

Well that was fun. Our January Left Right Center Tournament at The Elks was the biggest yet. We had players from as far away as central New York vying for the big money prizes. Nearly 220 players made the bar busy and the function room cozy.  50/50 helped raise $1250 for The Elks Scholarship Fund!

Thanks to Brittany, Emily, and The Elks at Bass Rocks, DJ Scottie Mac for keeping the crowd entertained, Pier 23 Kitchen for the food, Audrey’s Flower Shop for the bouquet, Sunny Variety for the scratch tickets, Referee Rob Shea, Bridge associates Leneai Stuart and Caroline McBride, the Good Doctor Meredith Lockwood, and all of our players. Our next tournament should be sometime in April. In the meantime, we’re looking forward to the 3rd Annual Bridge Ball on Saturday, March 3rd at – where else – the Elks. Reserve your spots now:

To find out about future Bridge events, sign up for our newsletter at and follow our social media outlets. A list of the night’s winners is below. Bear with us on the name spellings. It’s chaos on the floor.

Round 1 Winners: Nick Curcuru, Marie Clayton, Brandi Bonds, Katrina Dukette, Alison Aiello, Andrew Murphy, Teresa Sadowski, Lesley Exama, John Penaloza, Sean Reardon, Jessica Quinn, Dale DeLuca, Eric Giordano, Barbara Halliday, Alana Horne, Brenda Leahy, Bob Cloutman, Elizabeth Osier, Rick White, Glenn Chesley, Leanne Merenda

Round 2 Winners: Loretta C., Kendall St. Peter, Peter Lane, Jamie Lane, Patrick Towns, Paula Foster, Maureen Cressey, Heather Dagle, Liz Sousa, Ed Muzio, Nick “The Greek”, Jolene Cary, Mandy Marino, Greg Potsner, Steve Bowles, Sara Roberts, Michelle Conklin, Darren Taylor, Nick DeCoste, Rachel Jackson, Kenny Stewart

Round 3 Winners: Kathleen Claypool, Alycia Gossom, Kathy Lundy, Marie Strauss, Dawn Carpenter, Jay Summerlin, Will Farley, Mike Camarro, Kathy O’Donnell, Jann Sonia, Lorenzo Burnham, Steve Sadowski, Craig Jonus, Heidi Fiahlo, Nick Scola, Eric MacWhinnie, Jackie Medico, John Hughes, Cathy Lawson, Michelle Burke

Final Results:

1st Place: Katrina Dukette ($600)

2nd Place: Greg Potsner ($400)

3rd Place: Jann Sonia ($200)

Audrey’s Bouquet & 50 Scratch Tickets Winner: Linda from Wilmington

Elks 50/50 Winner: Ana from Rye, New Hampshire

How things vibe out at Bridge events...

How things vibe out at Bridge events...

Looking Back, Looking Ahead

We want to thank everyone who made 2017 our best year yet at The Bridge. The love, support and encouragement we’ve received since our launch in 2012 continues to push us to new heights and work harder to better connect you to the people, uniqueness and beauty of Cape Ann. We worked with nearly 200 Cape Ann businesses, nonprofit organizations, and community groups, and look forward to adding more Bridge Buddies in 2018!

Most folks find and follow The Bridge through Facebook; our videos and Win-It Wednesday giveaways nearly doubled our audience in 2017. Seriously, Win-It Wednesday has taken on a life of its own. We’re routinely giving away more than 50 prizes a week, which means more than 50 winners are discovering or revisiting local businesses around the clock. We want our videos to be “virtual icebreakers” and help acquaint you with the business owners and community leaders that make Cape Ann so special. We’re also happy to say our followings on Instagram, and Twitter grew exponentially, not to mention our hub of all Bridge activity – Take a look if you haven’t already.

Truth be told, we really want people to equate The Bridge Cape Ann with fun, so we can’t wait to party with you in 2018. We’re adding new events to our calendar all the time. Our Left Right Center tournaments at The Elks have been a sweet surprise. (The next one is January 27th – RSVP now!) Then there’s the formal Bridge Ball on March 3rd (come hang out on the red carpet!) and of course, the family-friendly Strawberry & Fall festivals at Mile Marker (let’s hope we can match the weather from last year).

Keep your eyes open for more events at our favorite venues, like a Kentucky Derby Party at Riversbend! We have a few new venues and surprises, too, that we’ll share shortly…

Thanks again, everyone! As always, we’re easy to find and open to suggestions. See you in the neighborhood!

October Left Right Center Packs 'em In

We put a bow on our fourth Left Right Center Tournament of 2017 at The Elks on October 27th. Folks from as far as Worcester, Cape Cod, and New Hampshire made the trip and fought for parking spots during the Elks’ notoriously popular Meat Raffle! More than 190 players participated and we’re happy to announce that the 50/50 helped raise a ton of $$$ for The Elks Scholarship Fund!

Thanks to Emily Douglass and everyone at The Elks at Bass Rocks, DJ John Budrow for the tunes, Salty Frank’s Dogs for the grub, Celia’s Flower Studio for the bouquet, Referee Rob Shea, Bridge associate Leneai Stuart, the Good Doctor Meredith Lockwood, and all of our players. Next tournament is Saturday, January 27th, 2018 at The Elks. Reserve your spot here:

To find out about future Bridge events, sign up for our newsletter at A list of the night’s winners is below. Bear with us on the name spellings. It gets awfully confusing on the floor.

Round 1 Winners: Paula Foster, Corey Rabeau, Rita Budrow, Christine Mosher, Sandy Johnson, Janey Brancleone, Don Femm, Sydney Giordano, Elery LeBlanc, Mandy Marino, Mary Hubbard, Kristen Nicastro, Manny Nunes, Bob Murphy, Don Muniz, Mark Sylvain, Jamie Ferris, Nancy More

Round 2 Winners: Darlene Laffey, Kelly Brancleone, Nancy Kavanaugh, Amanda Michaels, Jacquelyn Rose, Carol Pratt, Rose LoPiccolo, Joanna Brancleone, Anne Porter, Karen Comeau, Tim Conklin, Kristie Muise, Beth Lanigan, Kathy Rowe, Liz Sousa, Barbara Cornell, Jay J Joyce, Nick Ciuluffo

Round 3 Winners: Heather Steadman, Arthur DiPaolo, Jamie Margiotta, Lisa Marino, Chris Phillips, Bob Orlando, Christine Leveille, Jack Kelley, Patricia Smith, Patty Hodgkins, Julie LaRocque, Anthony Giordano, Macny Sousa, Danielle Prat, Maria Davis, Jodi Cunningham, Jeannie Flaherty, Helder Silva

Final Results:

1st Place: Nancy More

2nd Place: Beth Lanigan

3rd Place: Julie LaRocque

Celia’s Flower Studio Raffle Winner: Tim Dudeman

Elks 50/50 Winner: Mandy Marino

Let's Play Left Right Center!

We’re having ourselves another Left Right Center Tournament on Friday, April 21 at The Elks. The first LRC Tournament was a surprising success. It was an inexpensive night out in the middle of winter, conveniently scheduled on a Saturday in late January when the Patriots didn't have a playoff matchup. It sold out fast (there were more attendees than the Bridge Ball!) and afterwards scores of people told us how they couldn't wait for the next one. So here we go.

Why LRC? (For a full explanation and rules, go to the bottom of this article.) For starters, it's a children's dice game that can be learned in 10 seconds. To win, all you need is dumb luck. I don't want to host an event where people can get unnecessarily competitive or weird about money and strategy. 

Figuring out how to run a tournament for hundreds of players and promoting local businesses was a challenge, but we solved that a couple different ways. We were also able to help The Elks raise $1000 towards their various scholarship funds and other community outreach efforts.

The Elks is a great place to hold the event, too. It sits atop Bass Rocks in Gloucester's Back Shore and offers awesome views. They've got a very roomy parking which is a big help since we get a lot of players from outside Cape Ann. There were a ton of folks from New Hampshire, I believe. The Elks also has great bartenders and extremely accommodating members. Whenever we work with The Elks, everybody wins.

So we're doing it again, as it happens, right after tax season closes (wink, wink). Round up your friends and reserve your spots now. It's frantic, fun and friendly. Make sure to follow The Bridge Cape Ann because we may add a fun wrinkle or two.

And yes, I know the official name of the game is Left Center Right, not Left Right Center but… Left Right Center sounds better. Plus, it makes way more sense. What do you do before crossing a street? You look left, then right, then walk straight ahead. If you looked left, then center, then right, you'd get smacked by a Mack truck, Frogger-style. Anyway, enough of that. Let’s roll some dice!

The Bridge Cape Ann's Left Right Center Tournament is Friday, April 21st at 6:30pm at the Gloucester Elks. RSVP here:

How to Play LRC

Each player receives 3 tokens (or coins, bills, scratch tickets, etc.). Players take turns rolling 3 six-sided dice. Each dice is marked with "L", "C", "R" on one side, & a dot on the three remaining sides. For each "L" or "R" thrown, the player must pass one token to the player to the immediate left or right. A "C" means a chip goes the center, or the pot, & stays there until it’s collected by the winner. A dot has no effect.

If you have fewer than three tokens left, you’re still alive but your number of tokens must be equal to the number of dice you roll, rather than rolling all three. If you're out of tokens, your turn is skipped, but here’s where it gets fun. As other players roll Rs or Ls, you may get their tokens & live to roll again. The winner is the last player with chips left & wins the center pot.