Wellesley Business Buzz: Vanguard Renewables bought out for $700M; Ke-NO for now; Stay Fashion opens nearby


Our roundup of the latest Wellesley, Mass., business news:

Vanguard Renewables bought out for $700M, reporting making Weston move

Vanguard Renewables, a Wellesley-based firm whose products convert food and animal waste into natural gas, has been acquired for $700M by BlackRock Real Assets.

In a press release that weirdly skips over the price, the company says the deal will “drive its next phase of growth, including its plans to commission more than 100 anaerobic digesters to produce renewable natural gas across the country by 2026.” The company works with farms to convert organic matter to fuel.

The deal technically involved an acquisition of Vanguard from Vision Ridge Partners.

A Boston Globe report on the deal states that the company is planning to move its headquarters this fall from Walnut Street in Wellesley to a bigger office in Weston.

KeNo for now

The Wellesley Select Board this week heard a request for a Keno gaming license by the owner of the Shell gas station and convenience store at 987 Worcester St., on Rte. 9. Keno is a lottery-like gambling game more often seen at bars than gas stations or convenience stores around here.

Shell station owner Sami Hamze already offers a no-frills version of the game called Keno to Go, but is looking for a more full-blown version that includes a monitor. The Massachusetts State Lottery grants licenses for Keno, but Hamze was seeking the town’s permission to install a monitor and possibly seating for it. The addition would mean more foot traffic and revenue for his business, he says, plus more revenue for the town.

Wellesley Executive Director Meghan Jop said that under the town’s zoning bylaw, there’s been a rule since 1996 preventing the streaming of games of chance. “It would be challenging to approve it,” she said.

Hamze said he is aware of two local businesses that have or have had such monitors, and understood that such monitors might only be allowed if a business is a restaurant with an alcohol license. Regardless of whether this is true (and it could be worth the town investigating), it wouldn’t be justification for Hamze’s plan to be approved by the Board.

Select Board member Ann-Mara Lanza suggested Hamze might consider filing a citizen’s petition to get the bylaw changed. “I have no idea if Town Meeting would be receptive or not,” she said.

Board Chair Tom Ulfelder assured Hamze the group does not want to stand in the way of an opportunity for the business.

The Board denied the license, but it has added an item to its July 26 meeting agenda to discuss and vote on sending Keno zoning for review by the Planning Board.

Stay Fashion Boutique opens on Rte. 135 in Natick

We had the pleasure of meeting Regiane de Araujo upon noticing a new women and girls clothing shop called Stay Fashion Boutique in Natick. Learn more about this store, which plans to expand beyond its initially Brazilian-inspired merchandise.

Stay Fashion Natick

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