So she wanted to find a way to buy the business and make it her own. That's when Lorenzo consulted with Raquel D'Ambrosi, 31, president of the Graniteville-based Roc Fundung Group -- a company that funds small businesses -- where Lorenzo also works ...
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Throughout high school and college, Dina Lorenzo, 28, worked for a costume company, dressing up as different characters and entertaining kids at birthday parties.
While she liked entertaining kids back then, she enjoys it even more now as the mother of a 1-year-old.
"I get so into it now on a whole other level," said Lorenzo. "Your child is your client."
When the company Lorenzo was working for was about to go out of business, she was disappointed her days of dressing up as furry friends and storm troopers was over.
So she wanted to find a way to buy the business and make it her own. That's when Lorenzo consulted with Raquel D'Ambrosi, 31, president of the Graniteville-based Roc Fundung Group -- a company that funds small businesses -- where Lorenzo also works as an administrator.
"I knew Raquel was an entrepreneur so we decided to open it together," said Lorenzo.
The result is a new party planning business called Party Bliss LLC, that provides everything from candy carts and displays in the shape of a Ferris wheel filled with sweets, to photo booths, costume characters and face painting for parties.
"Monday through Friday we are helping finance small businesses and on the weekend we make parties," said Lorenzo of the partnership.
But the pair wanted to take the business one step further.
"We wanted to have a storefront where people could come to book parties, but take it up a notch. So we created the Lollipop, Shop where they could also come for sweet treats," said Lorenzo.
They chose a storefront on Amboy Road in Tottenville -- across from the public library, and in proximity to three schools -- to open the Lollipop Shop.
There's nothing bitter about walking into the Lollipop Shop. The all-white storefront gleams with shelves stocked with a variety of candy -- including many of the old-fashioned kinds, like Mary Janes. There's also candy apples, cupcakes and so much more.Â
Dina Lorenzo & Raquel D'Ambrosi, owners
Party Bliss LLC & The Lollipop Shop
Address: 7427 Amboy Rd., Tottenville
Website:www.partyblissllc.com/ Telling trait: "We are warm, welcoming and personable," said D'Ambrosi.
Candy is sold by the pound. Kids can fill up a small can of candy, and when they bring it back, they get 50 cents off, said Lorenzo.
Their strategy? Attract kids and their parents will follow.
"What better way to catch kids' eyes than candy," said D'Ambrosi. "I loved Willy Wonka growing up. If you go into a regular deli you don't see any of this stuff. We wanted to create a boutique store that is more personal."
The owners will soon be adding a peanut- and gluten-free section of the store, noted Lorenzo, who suffers from a peanut allergy herself.
Passersby can purchase candy with no obligation to book a party, and vice versa. Anyone who stops into the store can book all their party needs on the spot, said Lorenzo.
If you have a new business on Staten Island, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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