Small business owners take many leaps of faith in the course of running their business. Eileen O’Connor Kaminski took that leap, and landed in the heart of a local treasure. While her title says owner, Eileen feels like she shares LaSalle Market and Deli in Collinsville, CT, with the entire community, including her husband, four children and their growing families. But you don’t need to be a relative of the Kaminski’s to feel like part of the family at LaSalle Market. Every day, neighbors meet to enjoy a cup of coffee and a homemade meal, and each month, they gather for the LaSalle Give Back Series, a night of music and goodwill that supports a specific community need. When Eileen sat down with Union Savings Bank to discuss how to best leverage the Market’s assets for the future and create a business plan, she was supported by the same commitment to community that she has brought to LaSalle’s. Her first leap of faith now nine years behind her, Eileen can continue to serve up good food and local flavor for many years to come.
To be a small business owner, you have to want to do it, you have to have pride in it, and you have to be happy with it. My name is Eileen O’Connor Kaminski, and I happen to be the owner of LaSalle Market. I feel like I don’t really own it, I feel like everybody owns it, and we’re all part of it. People come here because it’s a different atmosphere than most restaurants. They feel very free to move around, to change chairs, to bring in their kids, and enjoy some of our board games – everybody comes in here, all walks of life. On the last Saturday of the month, we have The Give Back Series. People come together for a person who is in need. They could be an individual, it can be an organization, it could be a tree that fell on someone’s house and they don’t have money to get it off. All the money collected goes to that person or organization. I was really supported by Union Savings Bank. We all sat down, we had a business plan put together, and it worked. Going into Union Savings Bank as their customer, you feel like they know you. They ask you how you are, they know you by name, and you feel very safe and secure. They have been a great help to me with my business, and they’ve allowed me to move forward in my life. I don’t really think that Union knows how many lives they touch because they have supported me.