221013ind dentist

Dr. Austin Labbe, right, and his staff, Deb Tibbetts, left, Christina Pannone, Lindsey Durante and Tina McDonald are pictured in an exam room at Labbe’s new practice, Signature Dental, in South County Commons on Tuesday afternoon.  Not pictured is staff member Gina Sutcliffe.

SOUTH KINGSTOWN — Dr. Justin Labbe is living the dream — his professional dream of owning a dental practice. On August 1, he assumed ownership of Dutchman Dental and changed the name to Signature Dental at the 26 South County Commons Way office to put his stamp on it.

It’s time to plant roots in his own business and practice, he said. “The idea is to have that long-term relationship with patients. Every time you see them you want them to feel good about coming,” said the North Kingstown native who now lives in East Greenwich.

It’s also a job that brings satisfaction to another relationship, the one with his fiancé, Olivia Handy, 28, to whom on he became engaged last month. She likes this kind of a career for him, the 29-year-old dentist said.

Labbe is a professional who admits to perfectionism in his work, so much that he will even ask a patient to step into the sunlight when adjusting the tint in natural light for a crown.

“It can really make a difference and you and they want it just right,” he said in a recent interview about the practice he assumed in August. He had worked there previously before buying it.

Dentistry is a field he knew from his youth, said this 2011 North Kingstown High School graduate, he wanted to pursue.

“I want to help people and I knew this rather than medicine was it. In medicine you often are diagnosing and treating where in dentistry you can actually fix something like a broken tooth, putting on a crown or putting in an implant,” he said.

“I am a guy who likes to work with his hands,” Labbe added. In addition to the art of dentistry, he also liked the atmosphere of a dentist’s office.

“The biggest attraction to the field was my relationship I had with my dentist when I was younger. It seemed like just such a nice job to go into every day,” he said.

His hours are Monday through Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. He plans after January 1 to open Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Labbe said that he is accepting new patients.

South Kingstown

In other South Kingstown business news, the Southern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony during Jeka Wellness Center’s grand opening at its newly opened center located at 512 Main St., Wakefield.

Owners Katherine Lang and Jen Wokoske live in Wakefield and have more than two decades combined in massage therapy and fitness/nutrition.  

They said that their vision in opening Jeka was to make wellness a part of everyday life for the community. They said they recognize and admire the community’s focus on healthy living and want to help as many people as possible through their first-rate, hands-on, holistic health and wellness therapies all in one location.

Jeka Wellness Center’s services include massage therapy, fitness, nutrition/wellness coaching, physical therapy, mindfulness, esthetics, permanent makeup, reiki, reflexology and acupuncture.

  • Pullman and Comley, LLC, has opened an office at 336 Main St., Wakefield. This is the first Rhode Island office for the full-service law firm, founded in Bridgeport, CT, in 1919. Pullman & Comley serves public and private companies of all sizes, financial and educational institutions, automotive dealers, manufacturers, towns and other government entities, non-profit organizations, and emerging growth businesses.

“Pullman and Comley’s new office in Wakefield offers us the opportunity to work more closely with our Rhode Island-based clients and those regional clients with locations and business in the state,” said Joshua Hawks-Ladds, an attorney from the firm.

  • Sun Star Healing and Myofascial recently held an open house at its new office at 10 High St., Suite H9, Wakefield.

Owner Margot Jones is an occupational therapist with more than 32 years of experience working with both adults and children within health and educational settings. She graduated from the University of New England with a bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy.

Jones said that she is passionate about educating her clients about myofascial release and sees a benefit to daily and lifestyle activities imposed on people due to pain and immobility.

Additionally, she said that she has seen positive results using this therapeutic approach with individuals suffering from emotional trauma. 

  • South County Bread Company participated in Bakes for Breast Cancer Rhode Island — returning for its ninth year to help raise funds and awareness for breast cancer research. Bakeries, cafés, pastry shops and restaurants throughout Rhode Island participated during this year’s fundraiser from October 7 through today.

South County Bread Company dedicated 100% of its sales from one of their signature desserts back to Bakes for Breast Cancer Rhode Island.

Bakes for Breast Cancer Rhode Island raises funds for breast cancer research and care by having restaurants, bakeries, cafés and retail shops throughout the state designate all sales of one specific dessert, or fifty percent of proceeds from their entire dessert menu.

North Kingstown

The North Kingstown Chamber of Commerce continues to be a leader of a consortium of education, training, and business partners dedicated to designing and implementing a strategic, demand-driven career pathway training system, WindWinRI, that meets the employment needs of Rhode Island businesses.

NKCC’s innovative system for capacity building has made available professional credentials for local students and incumbent workers for long-lasting placements within the offshore wind energy industry.

Through a Real Jobs RI grant, the chamber’s WindWinRI program offers Society of Professional Rope Access Technicians (SPRAT) Level 1 training in working at heights and with rope access.

SPRAT is an organization that advances the safe use of rope access through education, standards, development, and certification administration.

The week-long classes include the SPRAT training modules such as, evaluation, equipment use, and inspection of requirements for safe work practices, duties, and responsibilities, ascending and descending deviations, long and short rebelay, rope-to-rope transfer, rescue pick-offs, and evaluation.

These trainings provide adults an advantage in entering the offshore wind industry. As the first class filled quickly, there are three remaining SPRAT classes available during the month of October and early next year. If interested in learning more and applying for a SPRAT class, please visit www.windwinri.com or contact info@northkingstown.com.

  • Ocean State Job Lot (OSJL), with 150 stores across the region, is pleased to announce that it has been honored with a 2022 Sustainability Leadership Award from the Business Intelligence Group.

The Sustainability Awards honors those people, teams and organizations who have made sustainability an integral part of their business practice or overall mission.

In 2018, to lower its carbon footprint, OSJL made a $2 million investment to install new lights in its distribution center and a $12 million investment to replace the lighting in all of its store locations.

As a direct result of energy modernization and a complete LED rollout, OSJL reduced its overall energy consumption by 17.4 million kWh in just one year. It also instituted a successful recycling program across all offices, facilities, and stores, which generated $1.14 million in revenue in 2021 and made OSJL a Net Zero Waste company. 

  • Boom Local, a consumer-facing directory designed to connect customers with the small businesses in the cities and towns they live in, has announced its partnership with North Kingstown, to create a user-friendly directory of the diverse businesses throughout the municipality.

The directory is designed to help residents and visitors of the region discover and visit small businesses in the tight-knit New England town of Narragansett Bay. North Kingstown is home to the historic Village of Wickford and surrounding small business districts known for their many mom & pop shops spanning retail, restaurants, art galleries, private contractors and craftsmen, and so many more.

Boom Local offers a platform for users to search via keywords related to restaurants, retail stores, service providers and more; it also allows users to search for specific types of businesses, such as veteran-owned, female-owned and minority-owned businesses. From a small business owner perspective, the platform is easily customizable and allows owners to update information, social channels, product categories and other helpful resources.

“The Town of North Kingstown is excited to begin our partnership with Boom Local,” said Nicole LaFontaine, director of Planning and Development at North Kingstown. “We believe a business directory will not only be a great resource for residents and businesses, but will also be intrinsic in helping small businesses thrive.”

Around South County

  • Save One Soul Animal Rescue League will be holding its annual Bark & Buy Fall Auction from November 11-27th. The league is looking for raffle donations (gift certificates, baskets, a product, etc.). No minimum value is required. Businesses and individuals interested in donating should email dev@sosarl.org.
  • Go above and beyond for Animal Rescue Rhode Island’s pets and join their Go Beyond! online auction. 100% of the proceeds support the animals at ARRI! The online auction has many great packages this year, such as hotel stays, restaurant packages, fun outings, and fashion and jewelry pieces. There is something for everyone with varying price ranges
  • To celebrate the opening of Thundermist South County Pediatrics, Thundermist will host an open house for patients, parents, and the community on Saturday, October 15 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.  It will feature storytime, games, balloon animals, crafts, and snacks. Meet members of the Thundermist South County Pediatrics care team and tour the facility. This event is free and open to the public.

Dates to Check Out

  • 10/12-10/13 - Food Safety Managers Course @ PHIL’S Main Street Grille
  • 10/15 - Ice Dyed T-Shirt Workshop @ Fayerweather Craft Guild
  • 10/15 - Wakefield Oktoberfest @ Downtown Wakefield
  • 10/16 - Pickleball Charitable Challenge @ SK Recreation Center
  • 10/20 - All Media Open Juried II @ South County Art Association
  • 10/12-10/13 - Food Safety Managers Course @ PHIL’S Main Street Grille
  • 10/15 - Ice Dyed T-Shirt Workshop @ Fayerweather Craft Guild
  • 10/15 - Wakefield Oktoberfest @ Downtown Wakefield
  • 10/16 - Pickleball Charitable Challenge @ SK Recreation Center
  • 10/20 - All Media Open Juried II @ South County Art Association
  • 10/20 - Smartphone Photography Class @ Finishing Touch Picture Framing
  • 10/22 - SOSARL Adoption Event @ SOS reTail
  • 10/22 - Spooktacular Kids Craft Day & Craft Fair @ Fayerweather Craft Guild
  • 10/22 - Spooky Zoo @ Roger Williams Park Zoo
  • 10/22 - TranscenDance - Movement to Release & Restore w/ A Creative Healing Place
  • 10/22-10/23 - South Kingstown 300th Anniversary Town-Wide Bulb Planting
  • 10/26 - Black Begonia Pumpkin Centerpiece Workshop @ Fayerweather Craft
  • 10/27 - Joanna The Psychic Medium @ Tapped Apple Cidery & Winery
  • 10/29 - Howloween Spooktacular @ SOS reTail
  • 10/20 - Smartphone Photography Class @ Finishing Touch Picture Framing
  • 10/22 - SOSARL Adoption Event @ SOS reTail
  • 10/22 - Spooktacular Kids Craft Day & Craft Fair @ Fayerweather Craft Guild
  • 10/22 - Spooky Zoo @ Roger Williams Park Zoo
  • 10/22 - TranscenDance - Movement to Release & Restore w/ A Creative Healing Place
  • 10/22-10/23 - South Kingstown 300th Anniversary Town-Wide Bulb Planting
  • 10/26 - Black Begonia Pumpkin Centerpiece Workshop @ Fayerweather Craft
  • 10/27 - Joanna The Psychic Medium @ Tapped Apple Cidery & Winery
  • 10/29 - Howloween Spooktacular @ SOS reTail

Write to Bill Seymour, freelance writer covering news and feature stories, at independent.southcountylife@gmail.com.

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