Carolyn Rafaelian, Founder of Alex & Ani, continues to grow her footprint in Newport, RI.

According to What’sUpNewp sources, the entrepreneur has purchased 282 Thames Street, a building that currently houses one of her Teas & Javas locations.

The property was formerly known as People’s Cafe and served as People’s Credit Union.

The property was sold by Vod Prop Mgmt LLC to Thames Newport LLC for $2,982,000 on November 9th, according to published and public real estate records. Besides the first floor commercial space, the property includes a penthouse and office space.

It is unknown what the plan is with the building or location at this time.

Some wonder if Alex & Ani will move from Bowen’s Wharf to Thames Street. According to a source, Alex & Ani recently signed a long-term lease for their current location at 1 Bowen’s Wharf in Newport.

Besides Alex & Ani and Teas & Javas, Carolyn also owns Sakonnet Vineyards and Beclourt Castle.

Teas & Javas

Teas and Javas has been closed since Monday, October 21st due to a small fire.

Teas and Javas opened its third location in Newport in the spring of 2013.

The company recently closed its location at Chapel Terrace in Cranston and still operates its location in Wayland Square in Providence, RI.

Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here -

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at and 401-662-1653.

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