Mystic Chamber Member Profiles

Get to know your neighbors in community and business.

Diane de Mailly, DDM Metering Systems, Inc.

What do you do?

DDM Metering Systems, Inc. works with building owners and managers to manage their utility costs through submetering. We install individual electric, gas and water meters in condos, apartments and commercial buildings, using smart meter technology to measure and invoice the usage. Our systems provide an accurate allocation of utility costs.

How did you get into this business?

Totally unintended! I was working for an electrical engineer in L.A., preparing an electric usage study for Cedars Sinai Hospital; my expertise was data and excel spreadsheets. After that job was complete, I was introduced to an electrical contractor who had clients requesting submetering, so I developed that division for him, and learned the business. After 2 years I decided it was time to leave and one of my clients said, “If you start your own business, we’ll come with you.” It was a 6 building office campus, so, a good start. From there it was referrals. Managers and chief engineers would move from building to building and use us every time. When I look back I can see all the connections, and relationships; how we got to today. On February 1st we celebrated our 25th Anniversary!

What is your business plan for 2021?

We are expanding into the Northeast, which is part of why I’m here now. I’m looking forward to seeing what the needs and opportunities are in this community.

Why did you choose Mystic?

I live in Stonington now - my family has been here since the 1940s. I came here for the first time when I was 5 years old; it’s always been home.

One thing that no one knows about your business?

What’s surprising to our customers are the results of the submetering. When tenants see what they’ve actually used, and what it costs, we see usage go down 20% overnight. We are literally changing people’s behavior. Also, because we collect data, we can document regional trends in electricity usage. For instance, during the pandemic, electricity in commercial buildings went way down, and residential went way up. It’s just starting to come back now.

What is your favorite thing about Mystic?

The views of Fishers Island Sound, sailing, small historic communities with charm. I get excited when I see stone walls. We’ve had such a sad year, so all these things are uplifting and bring me joy. I walk down the Main Streets, and it’s all small businesses: there’s usually an owner that is active in the community.

What is your favorite Mystic business and why?

Mystic Salad on Cottrell St. – I’ve got a fabulous beef stew and butternut squash soup in my fridge right now. If Andy did call-in pick-up, he would triple his sales. Also Rob Rivers Salon, they’re great, and in Stonington Borough, Indigo Bleu and La Maison Bleu - fabulous clothing and house furnishings.

Maria, Margo, & Peg @ Mason's Island

Meet Maria Cerino, Seniors Helping Seniors

What do you do?

We provide non medical services for seniors in their homes to help them stay independent. For example: companionship, light house keeping, serving meals and cooking meals, personal care. I do most of the office stuff these days - recruit and interview seniors to work for us, payroll and invoicing, making sure our client schedules are properly covered, and keeping up with the industry.

How did you get into this business?

A family member needed help and I realized how hard it was and thought, there’s got to be something we could do so other people could get this kind of help. This is back in ‘07 when I started this, there wasn’t as many home- help organizations back then. The demographics grew into it, and now the services are everywhere.

Why did you choose Mystic?

I love the seashore, love this part of the state. We moved here from Wallingford and Colchester, when I found Lord’s Point, and my dream was to work here, too. So, that worked out!

What is something no one knows about your business?

People are surprised we have care providers who are not seniors. We need a different demographic for some services – like staying with a client overnight.

What is your favorite thing about Mystic?

The people. It seems that if you live in a beautiful area, maybe you’re less anxious and maybe a little happier in general....the people in this community are nicer than most!!

What would you be doing if you weren’t doing this?

I used to be in product development, I always enjoyed that so I'd probably be involved in developing and launching new products.

What is your favorite Mystic business besides your own, and why?

Mystic Salad (and Soup!) - Always something different and you know it's going to taste great.

Broadway Auto – They can fix anything

Gwenmor Marina and Marine Contracting - Great family business

Wehpittituck Farm on Cove Rd - Beautiful scenery AND grows food for the community

Sift Bake Shop - Great spot to sit and have a coffee. and a treat ! And it's right down the street from our office!

Olde Mistick Village - Great spot to take a walk and poke around the shops

Rochelle's - Beautiful things

If you want to be a senior Helping Seniors? Contact Marie or Peggy at 860-536-4767.

Anthony Caporale pours a drink over ice.

Meet Anthony Caporale, Lion's Cathedral Productions

What do you do?

I’m a theater producer, and a restaurant consultant. I produce "The Imbible" series of Off-Broadway series of musical comedies about the history of cocktails and spirits (https://imbible.com).

How did you get into this business?

I’ve been doing theater since I was very young, ran theater companies since my 20’s, and at the same time I was restaurant consulting; my talents came together 6 years ago in New York, when I was able to produce The Imbible Series. (https://imbible.com) It is educational musical theater, telling the story of cocktails and spirits throughout history. We call it “drink theater” instead of dinner theater, because you get to sample three drinks featured in the show.

Have you been able to work virtually?

We produced the Playbill Virtual Theater Festival shortly after we went into lockdown (https://vtf.live). We teamed up with Playbill to produce the first nationwide live-online theater festival for fully-produced shows with no pre-recorded elements. It ran over two evenings and featured 12 original productions chosen from nearly 150 submissions. On the third night we gave out a Judges' Choice Award and an Audience Choice Award, which provided each winner with $1,500 to help fund their work during the shutdown.

What is your business Plan for 2021?

I’m working on building relationships here in Mystic, and planning on taking The Imbible Series on a national tour. We can run these shows in restaurants, for fund raising events, and in small theaters, which are starting to open up and running now. Also we’re working on an outdoor version of the show “Rum and Pirates,” that we would love to produce in Mystic. It's the history of rum told by singing pirates, and we originally wrote it to perform on day cruises in New York Harbor so it's perfect for tourism season here.

Why did you choose Mystic for your business?

I absolutely love Mystic: it’s a beautiful, perfect mix of restaurants, arts, history, culture, and a robust tourism market which is critical for theater and performing arts. There’s a resident population that has a history of supporting the arts. The high end restaurant and bar scene; the location between Boston and New York. And the proximity to the water which is near to my heart. And the long agricultural tradition, the ethos that supports farm to table. Food here comes as much from the sea as it does from the land. Saltwater Vineyard is an amazing example of agriculture that grows right up to the water. All of the ingredients were here for me to mix together a life!

Who are your target customers?

Residents year round. It’s important to cultivate this audience and become a part of the community. Visitors as well, we want to contribute to the growth of tourism, become another attraction.

One thing that no one knows about your business:

People are always surprised how educational the shows are; they expect to be entertained but they learn; about history, about drinking as a pastime; also, the shows are acapella! We have return audiences because it inspires them to learn why we eat what we eat and drink.

What is your favorite Mystic business other than your own, and why?

The 85th Day Food Community (Oyster Club, Grass & Bone, Engine Room, Nana’s Pizza & Bakery, Stone Acres Farm); my girlfriend and I just love what they’re doing for the entire area. Also Sift and Shipwright’s Daughter. The Mystic beverage scene just consistently blows me away – Eventually I’d like to do a walking cocktail tour of Mystic…

What do you do?

I am an artist - oil painter - specializing in recreating historic yacht races and yachting scenes from American History.

How did you get into this business?

I’ve always made my living as an artist. At first, through newspaper and advertising agencies; but I always wanted to be a painter, I was always attracted to Marine art. But I didn’t start full time painting until I was in my early 40’s. In fact, I was inspired to start by my first trip to Mystic – I fell in love with it; all the wonderful Marine art and history represented, I decided I wanted to make a life for myself and my family here.

What is your business plan for 2021?

I’m really going to continue to do what I’m doing - which is unique - I think I found a niche. I would like to attract more foot traffic to my gallery.

What would you be doing if you were not doing this?

Sailing around the world counting my inheritance, which doesn’t exist!

What is your favorite thing about Mystic?

The family atmosphere; we raised our son Jack here; there’s a real spirit of community among the business owners; we just love it here. My wife volunteers – it’s easy to embed yourself in the community. Mystic retains its small town values while simultaneously appealing to big city tourists.

What is your favorite Mystic Business other than your own and why?

Finer Line Gallery, owned by Donna Williston for 36 years - she’s one of the hardest working people I know. She has two galleries in the building I’m in. She features regional artists, brings artists together; she deserves a spotlight more than me!

Visit Russ Kramer at the Russ Kramer Gallery in Downtown Mystic: 48 West Main Street, Mystic, 2nd Floor | (813) 748-6470 | www.russkramer.com

What do you do?
I sell insurance – life, auto, home, business. I am an independent agent so I don’t have to work behind a desk.

How did you get into this business?
I was a preschool teacher and was looking for something else. An insurance company head-hunted me and I thought I’d give it a try.

Why did you choose Mystic for your business?
I love Mystic, the community is great. Everywhere I walk into I know someone, I love that.

Who are your target customers?
Younger people, looking for the personal touch – the number you call is my cell phone and I take care of you.

One thing that no one knows about your business:
That it is always me on the other end of the phone call, not some random agent at a call center. Also, just about 75% of Mystic restaurants are insured with Swanson.

What would you be doing if you were not doing this?
Sailing!

What is your favorite thing about Mystic?
The people, the community!

What is your favorite Mystic business other than your own?
Angie’s Pizza – Where everybody knows your name! They’re like family. And they are insured with us!