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

2 Local Small Business Owners | 2 Best Friends

By | automotive, Inside Rhody

From first grade to now, Ronnie Morency and Steve Filippou have shared everything, from holiday meals to tips & secrets on how to run a small business in Rhode Island. Although their businesses are in different industries, Ronnie owning Ronnie’s Professional Services and Steve owning Twisted Pizza, these two entrepreneurs continue to share the same love for friendships, family, hobbies and cars.

On their unusual time off from running their businesses you can find Ronnie in his 2006 Mustang GT Convertible and Steve in his 2005 Mustang GT Convertible going out for a cruise with their families. Ronnie’s 2006 Mustang has been completely customized, including methanol injection, a Saleen supercharger, performance cams, coil packs and more. The car is pushing about 675 HP at the crank and about 460 HP at the rear wheels. This Mustang has about 13,000 original miles from when Ronnie bought the car from Flood Ford. Steve’s 2005 Mustang has a Vortech Supercharger, a water intercooler, ported heads, headers, methanol injection, GT500 suspension and more. The engine is actually a 5.0 liter stroker. For power, this Mustang is making about 800 HP from the motor, and about 675 to the rear wheels. Steve bought the car pre-owned with about 14,000 miles, and the car only has 19,000 miles on it now. This car was also originally from Flood Ford. While our team was interviewing both Steve and Ronnie, it was easy to hear and see their passion for these two cars. Their dedication to their sport translates into running a successful business in a small state.

The smaller the market the bigger the competition… and with Rhode Island being the smallest state, both businesses have faced individual growing pains that not many other states have to face. Like their cars, they put every piece of what they’ve got into making sure their customers are satisfied. 

Aside from keeping their current customers happy, they gain new ones mostly by word-of-mouth and recommendations. “Your business succeeds based on who you know.” Fortunately, since Ronnie and Steve are such good friends and not in competition, they are able to share a network of loyal Rhode Island customers.

Running an entire business is not your typical 9-5 job, but somehow they make it work, and they do it while juggling their busy lives back at home. They have formed a friendship over the years that you don’t see often. From going camping with their wives and kids to spending their weekends together, they are lucky to have each other as a support system throughout all their milestones in life. They are also lucky to count on one another when they want to go for a ride in their Mustang’s!

To learn more about Twisted Pizza, visit

To learn more about Ronnie’s Professional Services, visit

We would also like to say a special thank you to Flood Ford in East Greenwich for letting us use their facility while performing the front cover shoot and gathering the article information. Flood Ford is a strong supporter of small business in the Ocean State, as well

as a strong supporter of incredible, custom cars like  these two Mustangs.

Photography provided by Michelle Lee Photography

Flood Ford Invited Us To Drive The 2019 Ford Ranger Lariat

By | automotive, Inside Rhody

When the Ford Ranger was first introduced in 1983, Ford made it clear that they wanted an alternative option to the higher priced, full-sized truck offerings. They also wanted a truck that would be practical and fun to drive. The Ranger kept in this mindset, and it lasted for three generations until Ford decided to halt production on the Ranger in 2012. During this time, Ford began to realize that the mid-size truck segment was growing rapidly.

While many other automakers rushed to join the mid-size truck segment over the last 5 years, either through new model offerings, or complete redesigns, Ford did the opposite. They took their time, knowing that this truck would be willing to do things a little differently than the rest of the competition.

After learning of the new features that the Ranger has to offer, I decided to take a journey down to Flood Ford of East Greenwich, and test one out for myself. As a previous Ford Ranger owner, I was aware of the history that this truck name would have to live up to. From the moment that I arrived at the dealership, I could see the enthusiasm that the Flood Ford team had for this all-new truck. Sales Manager David Cathey introduced me to Robert Bell, a long-time Sales Consultant, and Ford Enthusiast. Before I was even able to gather camera, Robert already had picked out a black Crew Cab Lariat, with the tan leather interior and the optional FX4 Off-Road Package. This was a night and day difference from any Ranger that I had ever seen in my past, and Robert certainly came prepared to explain to me the significant features about this truck, and what separates it from the competition.

For starters, it is available with two cab configurations: extended cab with a 6-foot bed or a crew cab with a 5-foot bed. There are also three trim levels: XL, XLT, and Lariat. All Rangers are equipped with an EcoBoost (turbocharged) 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine (270 hp, 310 pound-feet of torque) paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. Now, for those of you that hear 4-cylinder in a mid-size truck, hang on for a moment. This is not your typical 4-cylinder engine. From the muscular grunt to the push- back in your seat power, this truck feels like a motor that should be double its actual liter size. Even better, this Ranger is one of the segment leaders in towing capacity, at right around 7500 pounds.

In terms of technology and features, the Lariat that I drove also included all of the XLT’s equipment plus 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and taillights, power-adjustable and heated front seats, leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, an 8-inch center touchscreen with Ford’s Sync 3 interface, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, and a sound system by Bang & Olufsen, which by the way, was as loud and crisp as any high end luxury car system that I have listed to in a long time.

As far as handling and overall driving experience, this new Ranger was more than capable of on-road or off-road demands, but yet, always felt comfortable and easy to drive. If you are looking for a mid-size truck and would like to look at a new innovative design, come check out the new 2019 Ranger at Flood Ford of East Greenwich or Narragansett.