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August 20, 2018 Class of 2018

40 Under Forty: Erica Grinkis, 32

Photo | Erika Sidor Winners of the WBJ 2018 40 Under Forty (left to right): Nicholas Pelletier, Erica Grinkis, Allison Beckler and Ryan Matson.


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.

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