“After success in other careers where I hired ad agencies, fired ad agencies, and sold to ad agencies, I decided to open one of my own. So 18 years ago, I started Bob Abbate Marketing (BAM) in a spare bedroom in my Trumbull home. I love this business, and I’m looking forward to our next growth phase. We have an amazing team of creatives, media experts and strategists here at BAM. I love when we kick ass and make magic happen for our clients.”
(InfoBPT): How did you hear about Downtown Bridgeport and what factors contributed to you deciding to locate to Downtown?
(Bob Abbate): BAM quickly outgrew that bedroom office. We relocated to Monroe, then to Trumbull Center. Then a growth spurt motivated me to start looking for some serious office space. I searched in Stamford, Norwalk, Stratford and Milford, and identified some nice spaces. Then a media contact invited me to meet him for lunch at Café Roma, the restaurant that was in the space now occupied by CanTiin here at Bijou Square. I enjoyed it so much that I came back that night for dinner. I was sitting at the bar, chatting with the owner. He asked about what I did and why I was there, and the conversation turned to my ongoing search for new office space in the surrounding towns. He quickly jumped in and said “why not downtown Bridgeport?” I must admit that I never even considered Bridgeport. There wasn’t much here. No Bijou Theatre, just a few startups and a bunch of boarded up buildings. He mentioned that there was space available right next door, and that the landlord was sitting three bar stools to my left. That’s how I met Phil Kuchma. The next day Phil and I were up on the top floor of his building, drawing chalk lines indicating where the walls would be for what would eventually become our new office space.
(InfoBPT): Tell us about your business.
(Bob Abbate): BAM is an advertising agency that specializes in developing innovative digital and traditional media strategies for small and medium size businesses. Business owners and marketing directors choose to work with us when they discover that they’re maxed out by all the time that they have to devote to marketing. They’re frustrated and unsure that they’re doing the best job they can, and they’re looking for a team of advertising experts with proven methods to boost sales. These are the things that keep them up at night. Our office is a cool space with lots of light, exposed ducts, bright colors and an interactive, open layout. There’s always music playing and ideas being shared.
(InfoBPT): What is your favorite place to eat or relax in Downtown Bridgeport?
(Bob Abbate): So many great places! Since we’re so busy, we usually bring in lunch from Fruta Juice or Bagel King. Had lunch at CanTiin last week, I was impressed and can’t wait to go back. Pasquale has nailed native Italian concept at Trattoria ‘A Vucchella, it’s simple fantastico! And Frank at Ralph ‘n’ Rich’s makes the best martini I’ve ever had.
(InfoBPT): What would you share with others who might be considering relocating their business (or home) to Bridgeport?
(Bob Abbate): Let’s talk. Seriously, if you’re thinking about relocating your business, give me a call. I sit on the boards of the Bridgeport Regional Business Council and the Bridgeport Chamber of Commerce, and I work closely with the Downtown Special Services District (DSSD). These organizations have considerable resources to help you navigate your way to putting down roots here in Bridgeport. This is a tightly knit business community that shares ideas and opportunities. It’s the place to be if you want to grow.
(InfoBPT): What would you like to see in the future for Bridgeport?
(Bob Abbate): Downtown Bridgeport is becoming the creative capital of the state. I know my friends at The Bananaland and MadisonMott followed us here for some of the same reasons we located here. There’s an energy, a vibe here that feeds our creativity and opens our minds. So I’d welcome more creative services firms to take a look at what we have to offer here in downtown Bridgeport. I’d like to see more digital services firms, photo studios, production spaces, recording studios, etc. move here. We have wonderful buildings with great bones, perfect for the creative class. I’d also like to see more mixed-use buildings with ground floor retail, apartments, maybe some condos, a small food market, a wine bar, a coffee café, and even more restaurants. And, maybe more space for BAM.