Business briefs: Manatee County companies expanding

January 10, 2014 

BRADENTON -- Rice's Appliance & TV recently launched a commercial services division dedicated to offering personalized service to area contractors and property management companies.

John Rice Jr. will lead this new branch of the business, offering onsite consultation and enhanced builder program pricing for contractors.

"By serving as a single point of contact and providing personalized job site and office visits, we will build a very strong partnership with our construction and property management customers," Rice said. "Additionally, we are working with our manufacturers' representatives to tailor a builder purchasing program that is competitive and rewarding for each commercial customer, creating a win-win for both homebuilders and homebuyers."

With Rice's new role established, Zach Miller, lead sales representative with nearly a decade of experience in major appliance and television sales, will assume retail manager responsibilities. John Rice, Sr. will continue to oversee all operations.

Rice's Appliance & TV commercial services division will serve Manatee and Sarasota counties, as well as portions of northern Charlotte and southern Pinellas and Hillsborough counties. Rice's Appliance & TV is at 6430 14th St. W.

IRISS to expand in Bradenton

BRADENTON -- IRISS, which specializes in electrical maintenance safety devices, has acquired New Jersey-based Delta T Engineering, a 25 year-old privately held company, which it plans to move to Bradenton.

Delta T Engineering predominately develops a wireless monitoring system designed to detect temperature increases and prevent electrical equipment failures within electrical enclosures caused by poor connections and overloaded circuits.

As part of IRISS's plans to move the company to its headquarters in Bradenton, it will hire up to five engineers and assemblers locally to accommodate additional product offering.

The Delta T technology effectively tracks electrical system temperatures and sends that data back to a computer hub for analysis and trending. If a critical issue arises, workers will know about it in time to take the appropriate corrective action, before costly damage occurs. Maintenance personnel, electricians and facility occupants will have an enormous safety advantage if warned, prior to any type of scheduled routine maintenance or troubleshooting of possible electrical anomalies prior to accessing electrical.

First Watch expanding to N.C.

BRADENTON -- First Watch, the Bradenton-based breakfast and lunch restaurant chain, has signed a multi-unit franchise agreement

with VIM Holdings to open five locations in the Raleigh-Durham market over the next four years.

VIM Holdings' Founder and President Robert Frame has more than 20 years of experience in the restaurant industry. Previously, he was COO of Apple Gold, an Applebee's franchise with more than 130 locations spanning 6 states and headquartered in Raleigh, N.C. He has also held executive-level operations positions with LongHorn Steakhouse and Waffle House. The first restaurant is expected to open in late 2014 in the Raleigh market. Each restaurant will employ approximately 25 people.

First Watch serves its entire menu from 7 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. daily. The restaurant also offers guests complimentary newspapers and free Wi-Fi Internet access.

-- Herald staff report

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