#ShopFranklin Spotlight – The PC Handyman

For this week’s #ShopFranklin Spotlight, I sat down with Ed Szymanski, the PC Handyman!

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No matter what your computer needs happen to be, the PC Handyman can handle them. Ed named his business after the work he used to do as a home handyman, since his approach to computer work is similar; “it’s a little bit of everything that people need.” From repairs and parts replacement to installation and configuration, Ed serves individuals and small businesses in the Franklin area both on the road and from his home workshop. When you first contact Ed, he will discuss with you whether a house call or a workshop visit makes more sense, based on what you need. According to Ed, he can be “more efficient working here in the shop time-wise” for something like a virus removal, “which means more efficient with people’s money.”

Ed also specializes in “problems that aren’t easily solved,” even to the point where other businesses have tried and failed to fix the problem. Although difficult computer issues can sometimes take more time to solve than Ed is willing to charge his client for, he would rather put in the extra time to solve the problem than to give the computer back unfixed. While Ed’s background is in mechanical engineering, his computer skills were developed through years of maintaining the network at his former company and helping other users with their computer issues. In 2002, when his employer relocated, Ed worked on computer repairs “here and there” and eventually developed that skill into his own full-time business.

Ed loves working from home, not only because it gives him the flexibility to work with clients on the road when needed, but also because he can work around his outdoor schedule. Contrary to the popular perception that computer guys don’t ever go outside, Ed is an avid gardener and homesteader. Ed and his wife “started with a small garden and just grew and grew,” and at this point they “have no grass.” Ed’s front yard produces fruits, vegetables, berries, and flowers, and in the back he has twenty-five raised garden beds and other garden areas, including several nut trees. Ed and his wife grow a little bit of everything, and produce just about all of what they need. Ed also raises bees and chickens, and currently serves as the president of the Norfolk County Beekeepers’ Association. Ed’s advice for anyone interested in keeping backyard bees or chickens is to learn all you can about caring for them so that you can do a good job, since “it’s a lot more fun when everybody’s healthy.”

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Ed says that homesteaders tend to talk to each other and get to know each other, and share tips and advice at farmers’ markets and other local gatherings. Lately, that way of life has been spilling over into Ed’s business as well. As a small business owner, Ed has become increasingly involved in business networking groups and efforts like the #ShopFranklin initiative. “I didn’t know how much it would benefit a business like mine but it turns out that it really is because you’re reaching a lot more people,” Ed says. Word of mouth is one of the best ways to advertise, and Ed works hard to connect with others, not only to receive referrals but also to give them. “I believe that when you help other people with getting business and doing things for their business then they are going to help you in return.”

Since starting the PC Handyman, Ed has found that the Town of Franklin has been especially friendly to small businesses, and he appreciates that it has retained its community, small-town feeling despite its accessibility to the big cities. Franklin is large enough to have a thriving business community, but not so large that there are too many competing businesses; Ed can succeed here as the “computer guy that makes house calls,” and when clients come to Ed’s workshop, they get to know him on a more personal level. “When people see the regular guy things that I’m doing they tend to remember me and they come back, and to also add to that the fact that I actually can fix their computers… it all works.”

The PC Handyman is located at 529 Pleasant Street – check out Ed’s website here!

Fantasy Friday – Grenada

Yes, I’m still dreaming about a Caribbean vacation, so we’ll be traveling to Grenada for this week’s Fantasy Friday!

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In the true British tradition, many homes in Grenada have names, and this one is no exception.  Salida del Sol (“Sunrise”) is located at New Westerhall Point, on the southern coast of Grenada.  3 beds, 3 baths, and an amazing ocean view could be yours!  Inside, this home has been recently renovated with a sleek modern design; outside, enjoy the ocean breezes from your covered balcony and walkway.  Grenada supplies 20% of the world’s spices, so if you love to cook, this could be a fantastic vacation home for you.  Listed for $1,620,000 Eastern Caribbean Dollars, $600,000 U.S. could buy you paradise.

Throwback Thursday – 546 Fisher St., Walpole

For this week’s Throwback Thursday, we’re traveling to 1840…

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Listed for $659,000, 546 Fisher Street in Walpole is a 4 bed, 2 bath classic New England farmhouse which seamlessly blends 1840 and 2015.  Substantially renovated by its current owners, this home features an open first floor with a brand new updated kitchen with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances.  The family room looks out to Willett Pond, and the expansive, high-ceilinged living room with fireplace is wonderful for entertaining or just relaxing.  Completing the first floor, one bedroom with built-in cabinetry would make the perfect home office.  Upstairs, the large master bedroom also has a view of the pond.  This property is completed by a basement workshop, a wine cellar, and a 30×40 three-level barn, offering over 2500 square feet of space to use for anything you can imagine.  Do not miss this opportunity to own a beautifully updated piece of New England history!

Purr-fect Cat Shelter 2015 Fur Bowl

Have fun and help save homeless cats by joining Medway’s Purr-fect Cat Shelter on Sunday, March 1 for the 2015 Fur Bowl!

Purr-fect Cat Shelter Fur Bowl 2015

Hosted by Ryan Family Amusements in Millis, the Fur Bowl is an annual fundraiser for the Purr-fect Cat Shelter, our local non-profit, all volunteer organization devoted to “recycling homeless cats into lifetime pets.”  As a no-kill shelter, every cat accepted by Purr-fect will stay with the shelter until he or she finds a permanent home.

Why not spend your Sunday having fun bowling?  $20 per bowler gets you 2 games, shoe rental, refreshments, a chance to win a $25 gift card to Especially for Pets, and the satisfaction of knowing you’re helping the shelter give homeless cats a second chance.  For more information, call the shelter at 508-533-5855 or visit their website for the registration form.

Check-in starts at 4:00 PM on Sunday, March 1 and the fundraiser begins at 4:30.  Ryan Family Amusements is located at 1170 Main St. (Route 109) in Millis.

Condo Spotlight – 130 Stone Ridge Rd., Franklin

Did you know Franklin has an active condo market?  It’s true!

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Listed on February 20 for $279,900, 130 Stone Ridge Road is the perfect option if you want the independent feel of a single-family home with the low maintenance of a condo.  This end-unit townhouse has 2 beds, 2 1/2 baths, and an attached garage with direct entry into your home (perfect for avoiding winter weather!). Upgrades include replacement windows and slider to the deck, new heating and air conditioning systems, new granite counters and tile backsplash in the kitchen, and more.  Enjoy entertaining in your open concept living/dining area with a fireplace and a built-in bookcase, and use the finished third floor with skylights as a home office, playroom, or studio.  Make an offer and move in just in time to enjoy the spring on the large deck overlooking your private back yard!

New to Market – February 16-22, 2015

This week in Franklin, we have another beautiful colonial to share!

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Listed on February 19 for $459,900, 3 Edmunds Way has 3 beds, 2 1/2 baths, and so much to offer.  Located on a quiet cul-de-sac within easy reach of schools and the Town Common, this home has been meticulously maintained and upgraded throughout.  A new roof and new hot water heater will keep you comfortable, and you’ll enjoy the granite countertops in the kitchen, the updated bathrooms, and the brand new carpet in the living room and the finished basement.  Once the snow finally melts, enjoy the large deck overlooking your tiered patio and in-ground pool!  A professionally landscaped yard with an irrigation system will be yours to enjoy too.  Come check it out!

Come celebrate Franklin’s birthday!

Reblogged with permission from Steve Sherlock over at Franklin Matters:

The Franklin Historical Commission will celebrate our town’s birthday with a party at the Museum on Sunday March 1st.

The public is invited and encouraged to join the Commission for cake and refreshments as we commemorate the Town of Franklin’s 237th Birthday.

Originally to be named Exeter when the charter was filed on March 2, 1778, our town took the name Franklin after the famous diplomat and revolutionary, Benjamin Franklin.

Local residents who were born on March 2nd have received an invitation from Historical Commission Chairperson, Debbie Pellegri, inviting them to the museum to celebrate their shared birthday with the town.

From young children to seniors, as many as 88 town residents have a March 2nd birthday. All invitees in attendance born on March 2nd, will be entered in a free raffle for a $100 prize!

Sunday March 1st, 1:00PM, Franklin Historical Museum, 80 West Central Street, Franklin.