Mom and Pop Business Owners Day is a recognition of more than 30 million small businesses operating in the United States. Every year on March 29, the nation celebrates the vital role that small businesses play in the economy, providing nearly 70% of all new jobs.

Saunders College of Business would like to thank small businesses for the work they do to sustain themselves and their communities. Saunders' hospitality and tourism management department is thrilled to see so many local small businesses run by RIT and Saunders alumni who do exactly that:

1: ROAM Café
Drew Nye ’04 (business, management, marketing, and related support services) 

ROAM Café is a restaurant and bar offering Italian and American cuisine to Park Avenue. Drew Nye, Saunders alum and owner of the café, kept the ROAM name from its previous owner, made it his own through a complete renovation of the interior and the menu.


2: ROC Brewing Company
Chris Spinelli ’09 (MBA finance);  Nick Mesrobian ’08 (photographic illustration); Jonathan Mervine ’07 (international economics) 

Co-founded by three RIT alums, Nick Mesrobian, Chris Spinelli, and Jonathan Mervine, ROC Brewing Company began as a single brewing kit, bought by Spinelli’s mother to get him and his friends off the couch. Today, ROC Brewing beers are sold in over 15 local venues, including their fun and stylish brewhouse on Union Street.


3: Good Luck
Charles Cerankosky '03 (industrial design) 

 Good Luck restaurant and bar is one of four food-based businesses owned by Charles Cerankosky. Offering American and Italian fare in a smart-casual setting, Good Luck was named one of Esquire magazine’s 18 Best Bars in America in 2016. In the same year, Good Luck tied for 13th on Rochester Business Journal’s list of Fine-Dining Restaurants in the region.


4: The Angry Goat Pub
Kevin Barton ’04 (hospitality and tourism management) 

Saunders alum, Kevin Barton, owns The Angry Goat Pub: a restaurant and bar with an “urban country” vibe. Offering burgers, beer, and chocolate-covered bacon, The Angry Goat Pub resides on Clinton Avenue.


5: Blue Toad Cider
Scott Hallock ’02 (environmental management)

Starting its life in the blue-ridge mountains of West Virginia and working its way to Rochester, Scott Hallock co-created Blue Toad Cider to make the most authentic, responsibly produced cider he could. Blue Toad’s New York operations have gone through several iterations; from a tasting room in a train car, to a taproom in a historic building, Blue Toad is always reinventing itself.


6: Cure
Charles Cerankosky '03 (industrial design) 

Cure is an intimate French charcuterie owned by Charles Cerankosky. After four years of success with Good Luck, Cerankosky opened cure in 2012, designing it to offer a completely different experience from Good Luck. In this regard, Cure delivers through its intimate venue, focused menu, and characteristically French design philosophy.


7: Lock Stock Bar & Grill
Kevin Barton ’04 (hospitality and tourism management) 

Lock Stock Bar & Grill is Kevin Barton’s most recent business venture. Located next to Bristol Mountain Ski Resort, Barton sought to provide a year-round family-friendly restaurant and bar to the local families and winter sports enthusiasts.


8:The Old Stone Tavern
Marc Taranto ’92 (electrical engineering) & Jeffrey Wilczewski MS ’11 (electrical engineering) 

Engineers by day and restauranters by night, Marc Taranto and Jeffery Wilczewski came up with the idea for The Old Stone 10 years ago while they were working for Harris Corporation. Offering quality bar food at affordable prices, Taranto wanted to make a friendly local joint where regulars would come to eat multiple times a week.


9: Lucky's
Charles Cerankosky '03 (industrial design) 

Formerly the Wintonaire, Lucky’s is Charles Cerankosky’s latest endeavor. Opened in early 2020, Cerankosky and his business partners created a thriving “neighborhood joint” at the outset of a pandemic. Today, Lucky’s continues to offer casual diner food in a pleasant atmosphere.


10: Fifth Frame Brewing
Jonathan Mervine ’07 (international economics) 

After getting a taste for brewing when he co-founded the ROC Brewing Company, Saunders alum, Jonathan Mervine couldn’t get enough. He founded two more brew houses, with Fifth Frame Brewing being his most recent. Fifth Frame offers locally made micro brews in the heart of Downtown Rochester.


Read more about Saunders alumni success!

Do you want to learn how to manage your own business? Saunders might be right for you, check out our undergraduate hospitality and tourism management degree or our master of hospitality and tourism management program!