All Posts By

Sam DaCosta

Building RI Businesses with Commercial Drywall & Construction Co., Inc.

By | business, Inside Rhody | No Comments

Among the historic buildings, restaurants, and shops of Newport’s stunning waterfront, a new building has risen to add to the scenery, and a local construction company has had a big hand in building it.

The Hammett’s Wharf Hotel is a brand new destination that opened just this summer, offering 84 luxurious rooms, a 4,000-square-foot waterfront restaurant, and 3,000 square feet of retail shopping space. Built on 3.4 acres of land, this beautiful hotel is an impressive feat of construction.

The building is stunning from the outside in – and the building’s interior beauty is largely thanks to the hard-working team at Commercial Drywall & Construction Co., Inc. As experts in drywall and commercial construction, this team is no stranger to working on incredible projects throughout New England.

Since it was founded in 2000, Commercial Drywall & Construction has been helping build businesses in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Hampshire. While drywall may be their specialty, their team of over 100 employees offers a wide variety of services.

Working closely with their sister company, Commercial Pro Painting, LLC, they have the manpower, experience, and capability of satisfying the needs of any commercial construction project.

Some of their other notable projects include Babson College, The Chocolate Factory Apartments, The Meditech Building in Foxboro, Harding Green in Worcester, and Benjamin and Nathan in Fall River. If you would like to learn more about Commercial Drywall & Construction Co., Inc. visit

AC4SA Sets Student-Athletes Up For Success!

By | business, Inside Rhody | No Comments

After a few months of studying online due to the COVID-19 crisis, school years are winding down. Unfortunately, many students are facing a lot of uncertainty and are unsure of what their school year will look like next fall. This is especially the case for student-athletes who work hard to balance academics with athletics.

Luckily, one New England-based business can help these student-athletes transition back into classes, no matter where or how those classes take place. While coaches work hard to help develop young athletes on the field, Academic Coaching for Student Athletes (AC4SA) is here to help them succeed in the classroom and in life.

AC4SA is an outsource service that works hand-in-hand with coaches and organizations to review transcripts, track classes for eligibility, and prepare students for academic success at the collegiate level. They are flexible and able to adjust their services to meet the needs of the organizations and students who rely on them.

AC4SA offers:

Eligibility & Tracking

AC4SA reviews transcripts for NCAA eligibility and provides an academic roadmap for the student-athlete. The organization can monitor courses and grades throughout high school.


AC4SA can design and deliver informational presentations to a wide variety of audiences including student-athletes, parents, coaches, athletic directors, guidance counselors, or any combination.

Academic Coaching

AC4SA works one-on-one with students to develop skills and create habits that will prepare them for success at the collegiate level and beyond. Academic coaches develop executive functioning skills to help students at the next level and in life.s.


AC4SA is available to meet individually or in small groups to answer questions and advise coaches and organizations on how to get their students on track for academic success.

If you would like to learn more about AC4SA and the amazing work they are doing to help student-athletes, visit

A Sip of Summer Brewed Right Here in RI – These are some of the best beers and breweries in RI

By | activities, business, Inside Rhody | No Comments

Patio weather is upon us and as the days continue to heat up, it’s easy to find yourself feeling thirsty. When you’re sitting on your porch feeling parched, you can always turn to a big-name beer from a large corporate brewery, but why not try something new? After all, our state is full of incredible breweries that need our help now more than ever.

A lot of these breweries have had to make big changes and are working incredibly hard to stay in business and continue brewing their top-notch beverages. That’s why we came up with this list of some of our favorite breweries and beers from each!

Whalers – South Kingstown

We recommend:
Rise – American Pale Ale
Day Tripper -Blonde Ale

Newport Craft – Newport

We recommend:
Rhode Trip – New England IPA
1639 Pale Ale

Proclamation Ale Company – Warwick

We recommend:
(In)Significance – Triple IPA
Derivative | Citralaxy – Pale Ale

Buttonwoods Brewery – Cranston

We recommend:
The World Is Yours – Double IPA
Smoked Helles Smoked Beer

Crooked Current – Pawtucket

We recommend:
White Stout – American Stout
Neopolitan – American Brown Ale

Grey Sail Brewing – Westerly

We recommend:
Captain’s Daughter – Double IPA
Hazy Day – Belgian Wit

Smug Brewing Company – Pawtucket

We recommend:
Driving Miss Hazy – New England IPA
Nemesis – American IPA

Linesider – East Greenwich

We recommend:
Happy Camper – S’mores Stout
VII Stripes – New England Double IPA

Foolproof Brewing Company – Pawtucket

We recommend:
The Grotto – American IPA
Raincloud – Robust Porter

Tilted Barn Brewery – Exeter

We recommend:
The Chosen One – Double IPA
Peeptoad – American Pale Ale

Providence Brewing Company – North Providence

We recommend:
It Ain’t Fair – Sour IPA
Sailing Shoes – Hefeweizen

Trinity Brewhouse – Providence

We recommend:
White Electric Coffee Stout – American Imperial Stout
Captain America – Pale Ale

This list encompasses some of our favorite breweries, but there are so many more incredible breweries in Rhode Island that could use your support. We strongly encourage you to support RI breweries and other local businesses as our state continues to battle and rebuild after the COVID-19 pandemic. For a full list of breweries that belong to the Rhode Island Brewer’s Guild, visit!

Enjoy a waterfront dining experience in RI

By | food, Inside Rhody, restaurant | No Comments

With the recent changes to the lockdown regulations in Rhode Island, locals are now able to get out of the house and enjoy outdoor dining in the Ocean State! Now is the time to provide support to businesses who need it the most. Although the seating arrangement may be a little different, the food is still delicious! Here are just a few of our favorite places to visit:

BLU On The Water | East Greenwich

For waterfront dining on Greenwich Bay, it’s hard to beat BLU On The Water. With fresh, local seafood delivered daily, a variety of non-seafood options, and lots of delicious cocktails, it’s hard to leave BLU feeling blue! Not only does BLU On The Water offer a great dining experience, but the atmosphere is fantastic. They have deck seating sitting right on a bustling marina as well as glass fire pits, tornado torches and of course, amazing views!

Matunuck Oyster Bar | South Kingstown

This Rhode Island classic takes the phrase “from farm to table” to another level, offering “pond to plate dining.” Matunuck Oyster Bar grows its very own oysters in Potter Pond right in front of their waterfront patio! Many of the vegetables and herbs they serve are grown in their own vegetable garden as well. These efforts to serve locally-sourced and incredibly-fresh foods create an amazing dining experience with fantastic food. Their raw bar is one of the most famous in Rhode Island. If you are looking for a dining experience with exceptional service and incredible food, consider this!

Coast Guard House | Narragansett

This beautiful stone building serves up more than just scenic views of Narragansett Bay but offers incredible dining and service. After a recent refresh due to Super Storm Sandy, this popular Rhode Island destination has added an updated and upscale look while still honoring the building’s history that dates back to the 1800s. For locally harvested seafood cooked to perfection paired with an outstanding overall experience, the Coast Guard House is a great choice for your next big night out.

Chelo’s Waterfront Bar & Grille | Warwick

Chelo’s Waterfront offers great food and waterfront views at affordable prices. Chelo’s is famous for its chowder and desserts and it’s a great place to take the whole family. They often feature live entertainment on the weekends! Offering a raw bar and a good selection of seafood, Chelo’s waterfront is a great place to go for a more affordable waterfront dining experience.

Great Places to Hike in RI

By | activities, fitness, Inside Rhody, outdoors | No Comments

Whether you’re looking for some exercise with a view, or you’re just looking to get out and enjoy nature, hiking is a great way to explore the world around you. Luckily, you don’t have to travel far to experience beautiful scenery – you can enjoy these great places to hike right here in Little Rhody!

Arcadia Management Area – Richmond

With over 14,000 acres of forested land in Richmond, Exeter, Hopkinton, and West Greenwich, this stunning recreation area has miles and miles of trails to explore. Offering both gravel roads and well-marked wooded trails, it’s easy to find the right trail no matter what type of experience you are looking for. RI’s largest recreational area covers enough ground to keep hikers coming back to explore more and more of the beautifully-wooded terrain. While the park is shared by hikers, hunters, fishermen, mountain bikers, horseback riders, campers, and boaters alike, multi-use safety regulations are in place to keep the experience safe and enjoyable for everyone.

Burlingame State Park – Charlestown

Burlingame State Park offers beautiful trails and hiking around Charlestown’s Watchaug Pond. With 3,100 acres of rocky woodland, there is so much to explore that you may want to stay for a few days. Luckily enough, Burlingame State Park also features 20 rustic cabins and almost 700 standard campsites that you can rent out. While the campsites are closed until at least June 15, 2020, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, this site’s opening date is worth keeping an eye on.

George B. Parker Woodland Wildlife Refuge – Coventry

Managed by the Audobon Society of Rhode Island, the George B. Parker Wildlife Refuge is a great place for bird-watching and possibly catching a glimpse of foxes, mink, deer, and other wildlife. While this 860-acre property may be smaller than some of the others on our list, it offers 7 miles of trails ranging from boardwalks over streams and brooks to Revolutionary War-era carriage roads and rocky trails through hilly terrain.

Long Pond Woods Wildlife Refuge – Hopkinton

If you’re looking for a more challenging trail with beautiful views, you will love Long Pond Woods Trail. While it is the smallest destination on our list with 2 miles of trails through 220 acres of land, it offers lots of steep, heavily-wooded, and rocky terrain leading to a breathtaking view of Long Pond. If you keep a close eye on the water below, you may even see an otter!

How to Choose the Right Hiking Shoe

By | fitness, health, Inside Rhody | No Comments

When trying any new activity, it’s easy to get ahead of yourself and hiking is no different! Spring has sprung and for many people, the great outdoors are calling.

After spending so much time inside, tons of hikers will be hitting the trails for a little fresh air. But with rocky terrain and uneven surfaces comes the potential for foot and ankle injuries. The first step towards preventing these injuries is making sure you wear the right shoes. That’s why we created this handy guide to choosing the right hiking boots for you.

Don’t Overdo the Shoe!

With so many options to choose from, it’s easy to pick the wrong type of shoe for the job! These tips will get you started in the right direction.

Trail running shoes or supportive sneakers are perfectly fine for short and simple hikes with even terrain and smooth trails.

Low-cut hiking shoes with a flexible mid-sole are the perfect fit for day trips with light packs or no packs at all. They are a good choice when dealing with moderate rockiness and uneven terrain.

Day hiking boots offer more support than low cut shoes to deal with unstable ground and rougher terrain. If you plan on carrying a lighter backpack and going for a day trip, these are likely the best shoe for you.

Backpacking boots are the way to go if you plan on hiking with a heavy load on a multi-day trip into the wilderness.

Materials matter

For hiking shoes and boots, different materials offer different benefits. These tips from will help you make the right choice.

Synthetics are often light and breathable but less durable than other materials. They dry quickly when they’re wet, but they’re not very water-resistant.

Split-Grain Leather boots and shoes are a good middle ground as they are partially made of leather and partially made of synthetic materials. Split-grain leather boots are often more durable than synthetic shoes but less breathable. At the same time, these boots are often more breathable than full-grain leather but less durable.

Full-grain leather boots are typically the most durable and the most waterproof. However, they are often less breathable and heavier.

Remember that accidents can still happen – even if you’re wearing the perfect shoes. If you find yourself with an injured ankle after slipping while hiking, you need to consult the experts! The Foot & Ankle Institute of New England is here to mend injuries across all of Rhode Island- there’s nothing below the knee they can’t handle! For more information on their services call (401) 738-7750 or visit

Safe Road Services is a New England company that is making a difference for the environment

By | automotive, business, Inside Rhody | No Comments

You’ve probably noticed the incredible amount of road salt it takes for Rhode Islanders to get through icy winters without sliding into accidents. From November through March, it seems like the salt is everywhere. It coats your shoes. It covers your car. It can even makes its way into your home. While it may be annoying, it is a necessity for keeping drivers safe.

Unfortunately, the heavy use of road salt is more than just an inconvenience from an environmental perspective. It can be downright dangerous as chloride ions from salt can impact soil, vegetation, aquatic life, wildlife, pets, and humans according to the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services. It can even erode infrastructure such as roads, bridges, and expensive equipment.

That’s where Kevin Barrett, founder of Safe Road Services, is hoping to make a big impact. Using calcium chloride and a forestry byproduct of the paper-pulping process called lignin, he developed Safe Melt.

Safe Melt is a de-icing product that can be used to reduce the amount of harmful chloride ions introduced to the environment from road salt by as much as 50%. It passes some of the toughest environmental safety tests in the country and is even safe enough to eat as demonstrated on WGME CBS News in Portland, Maine.

While it may not make for an appetizing meal, it provides public works departments with a great alternative to traditional ice melters, allowing them to use 33-50% less salt and sand.

But Safe Road Services doesn’t only help the environment in the winter as the company also produces Safe Bind, an environmentally-friendly road stabilizer that prevents erosion and other deterioration of dirt and gravel roads.

Using lignin’s natural adhesive properties, Safe Bind packs the fine particles in these roads closer together to form a stronger surface. This leads to less grading and raking for public works departments, saving them time and money while cutting back on carbon emissions due to fewer hours spent running equipment.

On top of that, Safe Bind is significantly less corrosive than calcium chloride or magnesium chloride brines. In fact, it is less corrosive than water! The product’s highly-organic formula is approved by the U.S. Forest Service Administration and General Service Administration as well as local and regional government agencies.

If you would like to learn more about the road maintenance product company that is making a difference, visit

How To Support RI Businesses During The Coronavirus Outbreak

By | business, Inside Rhody, restaurant, shopping | One Comment

As the United States and the rest of the world are taking precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, local businesses are at risk. While staying inside and social distancing are necessary to keep us healthy and safe, this is already affecting the Rhode Island businesses that make our state so special.

While customers may not be visiting stores, gyms, studios, and restaurants, the bills are going to keep coming for these businesses. Federal and local governments are working on relief efforts but this may not be enough to help your favorite local businesses keep their doors open. These businesses and their employees need all the help they can get.

Here are a few things that you can do to help support RI businesses at a time when they desperately need it.

Buy a gift card

Purchasing a gift card is a great way to provide a business with the money it needs when it needs it the most. You can spend it later when things go back to normal.

Ask about alternatives

Don’t just assume that the businesses you love are closed or can’t provide you with the products and services you need. Contact them and find out if they are making small changes to stay in business. Maybe your favorite local craft store is offering deliveries, or maybe your favorite restaurant is still serving takeout.

Spread the word

If you see that a business is working hard to make adjustments and stay open, let others know! Whether it’s by sharing posts on social media or by texting your friends, the free publicity could go a long way for these businesses. Even sharing local restaurant take out menus could make a big difference.

Buy online, LOCALLY

If you’re looking to buy products while avoiding the crowd, don’t just buy straight from large companies like Amazon. Check to see if any local stores are offering online orders first.

Try not to cancel

If you have a membership, subscription, or pre-paid reservation, do your best not to cancel. Times are tough and we understand that this may not be an option for everyone. But, if you can afford it, try to continue paying for gym memberships or subscriptions – even if businesses can no longer provide services to you. These types of businesses depend on regular income to pay the bills and their employees.

Show some love

If you can’t continue to pay for subscriptions, leave positive reviews for the businesses you love on Google and Yelp. Unfortunately, some businesses will have to close temporarily but leaving positive reviews could help drive traffic to businesses once they open back up.

Support a local restaurant

This list from Eat Drink RI is a great resource with information on which RI restaurants are still open for take out.

At a time where a lot seems to be out of our control, there is so much we can do as a community to help our local businesses survive this pandemic. These RI businesses are working hard to stay afloat and now it’s time to do your part!