Is it impossible to think, in this economy, that a small business cannot succeed and expand? Absolutely not! At least not in the case of Ecologic Spray Foam Insulation (ESFI), that is. Co-owners John Peters and Tom Kelly are a perfect example of small business owners, who not only have managed to survive in a recession, but thrive.
ESFI started their spray foam insulation business in 2007, with the help of Coastway Community Bank (formerly Coastway Credit Union) through an $80,000 SBA Patriot Express Loan and a $15,000 micro loan from SEED (South Eastern Economic Development) Corporation. This financing package allowed the small business to lease shared warehouse space in North Kingstown, RI and begin operations.
As ESFI has grown over the past five years, Peters and Kelly made the decision to expand. To that end, in 2012, again with the help of Coastway Community Bank and SEED Corporation, they purchased a mixed-use property and relocated their business to 11 Hurst Lane in Tiverton, RI. This acquisition allows ESFI to operate more efficiently and be their own landlord.
ESFI’s focus is to improve the thermal efficiency of new and existing residential and commercial buildings by installing Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) insulation, fiberglass batt insulation and spray applied intumescent fire suppressant coatings. ESFI also offers thermal energy efficiency consultations. Their coverage area is wide and includes Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut.
ESFI has been featured in multiple nationally syndicated trade magazines (Spray Foam Magazine), construction-related television programs (A&E’s Flipping Boston), various local periodicals and also was the recipient of SEED Corporation’s ‘2010 Start-Up Business of the Year’ award. All-in-all, wonderful accolades for a small business that started right before the economic downturn and yet continued to increase revenue, create jobs and become property owners!
Co-owner John Peters is an active duty military veteran, serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. He graduated from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University with a B.S. in Aeronautics and went on to earn a M.B.A. with a concentration in Environmental Management from Salve Regina University. Prior to starting ESFI, John worked as a product manager and applications engineer for a Providence-based manufacturing company. He currently lives in Bristol, RI with his wife Alicia and dog Eli.
After graduating Magna Cum Laude from the University of Rhode Island with a B.S. in Accounting, co-owner Tom (TJ) Kelly worked for a Fortune 100 company reviewing and implementing financial and operational control procedures. During his accounting career, he successfully completed all four parts of the Uniform CPA Examination. TJ currently lives in Portsmouth, RI with his wife Erin, son Shea and dog Mason.