40 Under Forty: Erica Grinkis, 32



The GazBar Sports Grill, Leominster

Lives: Leominster

Birthplace: Fitchburg

College: Worcester State University

Six years ago, Grinkis took the infamous and downtrodden Lidio's Restaurant in Leominster and created the GazBar Sports Grill, increasing sales every year since 2012. Her favorite accomplishment in the business is retaining all her staff since the first day of opening, and she attributes much of her success to them. Every year, her company hosts Rock The GazBar 5K, a fundraising event initially earmarked for local athletes and now focusing on helping breast cancer patients, as her aunt is a survivor. The 2017 version of the road race had 250 participants and raised more than $11,000 for cancer patients and families through the Health Alliance Cancer Center in Fitchburg. The GazBar donates food and staff time to local food shows like the Taste of Leominster and The Speakeasy event to benefit UMass Memorial – Health Alliance Hospital in Leominster. In November, she plans to open her second business, a coffee shop and cupcakery in Leominster called Central Cup.

From 40 Under Forty judge Milka Njoroge: “Erica is a successful business owner who is committed to giving back to the community through support of charitable organizations.”

Were you a straight-A student? No, I was too busy thinking of my next steps in life to keep my head in a book. No regrets because I had fun while doing it!

If you could go on a road trip with any four people, who would it be? My son Louie because we never fully met. My mom and dad because I owe it all to them, and my husband Jared because he's been my No. 1 supporter!

Whose career would you most like to emulate? Dad. He has been a hardworking business owner his whole life. His employees have always been very important to him, and he is well liked everywhere we go.
Read about the entire 2018 Class of 40 Under Forty
Michael Alden - Ascentria Care Alliance
Che Anderson - City of Worcester
Victor M. Archila - VMA Electric Inc.
Allison Beckler, DO - YOU, Inc.
Sam Bitar - Webster Five
Mark A. Borenstein - Seder & Chandler LLP
Kate D. Campanale - Massachusetts House of Representatives
Derek Canton - paerpay
Ryan Canuel - Petricore, Inc.
Jennifer Caron - Body Therapeutics
Danielle J. Clark - Clark Career Coaching
Heidi Cooper - Cooper’s Hilltop Farm
Matthew M. Copeland, P.E. - Copeland Building Envelope Consulting
Pat Davis - The DAVIS Cos.
Efua T. Dufu, MSW, LCSW - Ellite Event Planning
Grace Elton - Tower Hill Botanic Garden
Ursula Furi-Perry, J.D. - Becker College
Jared E. Gentilucci - Nitsch Engineering
David Gilchrist, MD, MBA - UMass Memorial Health Care
Alvara Gjylapi - Santander Bank
Erica Grinkis - The GazBar Sports Grill
Meredith Harris - Marlborough Economic Development Corp.
Erin Jansky - Worcester Housing Authority
Ben Jones - Boston Scientific Corp
Alexis Kelleher - Crust Bakeshop; North Main Provisions
Bert LaValley - Sustainable Comfort, Inc.; deadhorse hill & simjang restaurants
Jennifer Leger - Fidelity Bank
Brian Lemerise - Quiet Logistics, Inc.
Tom Lubelczyk - The Worcester Jazz Collective
Laura Marotta - Creative Hub Worcester
Ryan Matson - Small Business Insurance Agency
Michael P. McDonough, CPA - McDonough, McDonough & Corsini, LLP
Madeline Mendoza - NewVue Communities
Jessica Morris - MCPHS University
Nathan Oriol - Oakdale Rehabilitation & Skilled Nursing Center (Oriol Health Care)
Nicholas Pelletier - Pelletier Properties at Keller Williams North Central
Courtney E. Pelley - Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center
Lilian Radke - Unic Pro Inc.
Blaine Schnare - Harrington HealthCare System
Bonnie J. Walker - Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Learn how the winners were picked on our judges' page.