For Immediate Release - April 29, 2014

Grossman Tours Dorchester Lower Mills Restaurant Aided Through Loan Program

Ester Restaurant Received Start-up Capital Through Small Business Banking Partnership

Treasurer Steven Grossman today toured the recently opened ester restaurant in Dorchester Lower Mills, a recipient of a $656,000 loan made by Meetinghouse Bank leveraged through the Treasury’s Small Business Banking Partnership.

“All across the Commonwealth we are seeing successful businesses like ester put their entrepreneurial spirit to work through the Small Business Banking Partnership,” said Treasurer Grossman.  “By directing additional deposits into Massachusetts community banks and encouraging them to lend to Massachusetts small businesses, the Partnership puts the reserve resources of the Treasury to their optimal use, creating jobs, opportunity, and prosperity throughout the Commonwealth.”

The Small Business Banking Partnership moves Treasury cash reserve funds typically held by large national and international financial institutions and deposits them in amounts of up to $10 million in Massachusetts banks.  In exchange for the infusion of new deposits, the banks sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signaling their intent to enhance their loan portfolios to small credit-worthy Massachusetts businesses.  

ester is owned by five locally based partners, one of whom, Eleanor Arpino, serves as Managing Partner of the restaurant.  Opened for dinner service on April 3, the restaurant has experienced robust and enthusiastic crowds, and it expects to broaden its service to lunchtime crowds in the next several weeks.  ester presently employs approximately 30 people in a full and part-time capacity, and its owners expect to employ 45-50 people once the establishment is fully opened.

“As a longtime Lower Mills resident myself, it was a no brainer to utilize the Treasury’s Small Business Banking Partnership through Meetinghouse Bank right here in the Lower Mills community to get ester off the ground,” said ester Managing Partner, Eleanor Arpino.  “We are extremely grateful for the amazing support the Treasury and Meetinghouse has given us thus far, which has resulted in an opening exceeding our greatest expectations and we will constantly work to provide an outstanding dining experience to the local community to express our gratitude.”

Meetinghouse Bank, headquartered in Lower Mills just steps from ester, extended the loan to the restaurant to fund property acquisition and start-up costs associated with the new location.  The bank, which prides itself on community involvement and investments in local small business enterprises, has been in business since 1914.

“We are proud to be a part of the Small Business Partnership Program and to have been able to assist these local entrepreneurs in opening ester,” said Meetinghouse Bank President and CEO Tony Paciulli.  “ester is a great addition to our Lower Mills Community and we wish Eleanor and her team many happy years of operation.”

All deposits that the Treasury makes in these community banks are protected through either insurance or collateral, and the interest rate on the money is comparable to what the Commonwealth receives at out-of-state financial institutions.