A round-up of openings, closings, and different information about West Hartford companies.
By Ronni Newton
I do know it is a native publication, however what occurred on the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday is one thing that impacts each single considered one of us. I am fully perplexed to specific the horror, anger, disappointment, disappointment, terror, disbelief, and so many different emotions I skilled as I watched insurgents storm into the Capitol.
Nothing I say can be sturdy sufficient, but it surely’s not sufficient to say nothing in any respect.
The summer time between my junior and senior yr of faculty I labored on Capitol Hill as an intern for my congressman. Our workplaces have been in Cannon Home Workplace Constructing, and for a portion of the summer time I lived on East Capitol Road.
I walked the brief six blocks to work every morning with the Capitol constructing for my part your complete time. It was a long time in the past, however I can by no means and can always remember the awe I felt as I gazed forward at that marble edifice, that embodiment of our democracy. As a scholar of political science and economics, to me the Capitol was THE heart of what I believed was an important place on the earth, the place the place selections have been made that formed not solely our nation’s future however had a serious impression on a world scale.
For greater than a decade, till I moved to West Hartford in 1998, I labored in Washington, DC, only a few blocks from the White Home. It’s was a really totally different place than it was again then.
As a member of the media, I’ve all the time felt that I may very well be secure, that my press cross would shield me as somebody who’s reporting the reality in an goal and neutral manner. After seeing, listening to, and studying about what occurred to members of the media masking the Capitol, that confidence is gone. Whereas I’m not likely frightened about masking occasions in West Hartford, I’ll positively be extra cautious.
To say I hope nothing like Wednesday ever occurs once more sounds trite. I feel again to my research of the social contract years in the past, to Martin Luther King’s teachings about civil disobedience. A line was positively crossed Wednesday, and I hope the power of our democracy – and the leaders we elect together with “we the individuals” – will rebuild it and that the respect most of us have for the tenets of our democracy will prevail.
On Wednesday, Jan. 13 at 6 p.m., John Lyons and I’ll maintain a Fb Dwell roundtable dialogue that includes Prof. Matt Warshauer targeted on constitutional points, with subjects to impeachment, censure, and invocation of the twenty fifth Modification. We’ve invited a authorized knowledgeable to affix us as nicely. Look ahead to data on the We-Ha.com Fb web page.
This week’s transient private notes: I used to be so excited when my daughter despatched me a photograph of her holding her Vaccination File Card. She bought the Moderna vaccine on Tuesday. My dad, who resides in a nursing dwelling in Florida, was additionally vaccinated this previous week.
On the COVID-19 entrance, that offers me trigger for hope.
We’re making an attempt arduous to not repeat locations and on the similar time get three individuals to agree on what they need to eat, so for this week’s restaurant go to, Ted, Sam, and I ordered from Joey’s Pizza Pie – which glad Ted’s want for a calzone, Sam’s longing for pasta, and my want to have one thing comparatively mild after having carried out a “white out” cleanse final week (eliminating all sugar, white flour, dairy, added salt, and alcohol).
Whereas Ted ate that total calzone, Sam might solely eat half of his linguini with Bolognese, and I’ve greater than half of the rooster pesto pizza left over.
All very yummy!
Preserving it within the Neighborhood
As we speak’s Preserving it within the Neighborhood characteristic doesn’t highlight a specific enterprise, however quite sheds mild on most of the challenges and considerations that our native restaurant have been going through.
On Friday, the Chamber of Commerce and City of West Hartford Financial Growth Division, with which I collaborate for the weekly tip and highlight, hosted a roundtable discussion board that included three restaurant homeowners, Connecticut’s two U.S. senators, and all 4 members of the city’s delegation to the state legislature, in addition to Mayor Shari Cantor.
Chip Kohn of Beachland Group, Tiffany Nguyen of Pho 135, and Johnny Paindiris of Effie’s Place have been open and trustworthy, shared their fears about conserving their companies going amid the lingering COVID-19 pandemic, their fears in regards to the large quantity of debt they’ve needed to tackle, their fears for his or her staff, and their fears for the way lengthy it could take earlier than customers will regain confidence for eating at eating places.
Please proceed to help our native companies, and please put on your masks in case you are in public locations, and keep secure and wholesome.
In case you have details about companies altering their operations resulting from COVID-19, or doing one thing value sharing, please present that data within the feedback or electronic mail Ronni Newton at [email protected].
Right here’s this week’s Buzz:
- The smoothie store and juice bar Overflow simply opened Dec. 19 in Bishops Nook, and I finished by for a go to on Friday afternoon and had an opportunity to fulfill Erika Bentsen, who co-owns the store with Ashley Bell and Shawna Macsuga – all three of whom are former lecturers. She mentioned they noticed the potential for following their desires, and determined to take the leap to open the enterprise. They really signed the lease final March, Erika mentioned, “after which the world shut down.” Whereas the COVID-19 pandemic postponed the opening, she mentioned they have been perfecting their recipes and have been making their shakes and teas elsewhere and donating them to lecturers and different important employees. Erika had beforehand labored at a smoothie store in Avon, and she or he mentioned the mission of what they’re doing is “to make everybody happier and more healthy, to unfold positivity in the neighborhood. … Everybody must be happier strolling out than they have been strolling in.” Each drink will get a constructive message written on the aspect of the cup, she mentioned. The drinks (see menu and extra images under) embody all kinds of flavors, and Erika mentioned even people who don’t sound significantly wholesome (their high sellers are peanut butter cup, birthday cake, and Oreo ice cream) are full of diet. All are low calorie (200 energy for a 16-ounce shake and 300 for a 24-ounce shake) and are excessive protein, low carbohydrate, low sugar, and include 21 nutritional vitamins and minerals. Protein powder and meal substitute powder are used as the bottom, she mentioned. Many are vegan, and even these that aren’t marked vegan are lower than 1% dairy. Lots of the decisions are gluten free as nicely. The title “Overflow” was chosen as a result of it connotes ideas of “overflowing with gratitude” or “my cup overflows,” Erica mentioned. “We completely fell in love with this plaza, this location,” Erica mentioned of the Bishops Nook area. “We’re actually excited.” Along with the Overflow, the three additionally personal Soul Vitamin, which opened in Previous Saybrook in June.
- The inside of the previous Hartford Baking Firm area at 625 New Park Ave. is within the strategy of being reworked to Citizen Hen and Donuts, and proprietor Scott Kluger has introduced the hiring of a famous and exceptionally gifted government chef: Van Hurd, of “Hell’s Kitchen” fame. “I’m very excited to affix the crew from Hartford Baking Firm and to open up Citizen Hen and Donuts, bringing my expertise and southern allure to West Hartford. Wooooooo!” Hurd mentioned in a written assertion. Citizen must be able to open this month, and you may find more details about the “donuts by day, chicken by night” restaurant here.
- The Second Likelihood Store, a mission of the Village for Households and Kids, is celebrating its second anniversary at 175 Park Highway on Jan. 16. Like many retailers, the Second Likelihood Store closed when the pandemic hit in March, and since reopening in June has been working arduous to get its buyer visitors again. Currently they’ve been doing higher, mentioned Jill Scully, who co-chairs the Second Likelihood with Carol Waxman. “Persons are thrifting,” mentioned Scully, visiting the vintage and second hand outlets alongside Park Highway, like White Rabbit, Panache, and Keep on Park, which can be cross selling one another’s companies. Everybody concerned with the store is a volunteer, Scully mentioned, and now that they’ve sufficient volunteers the store is open Thursday and Saturday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Donations – together with designer clothes and property jewellery, have been brisk, however “we’d like extra clients,” mentioned Anne Nance, one of many volunteers. “We’re very secure right here,” Scully mentioned, with hand sanitizer stations all through, restricted move of visitors, devoted separate entrance and exit, and a restrict to the variety of people who find themselves permitted within the retailer. Garments are quarantined after they’re tried on, and just one dressing room is open at a time and is sanitized after use. Garments which can be donated, that are saved within the basement together with low season objects and issues that may’t match on the gross sales flooring, are put aside for 48 hours till volunteers are permitted to the touch them. The store sells clothes and footwear for men and women, books, jewellery, watches (Lux Bond helps out by offering the Second Likelihood Store with new batteries freed from cost), equipment, and housewares. “Something with no plug, and we don’t take kids’s garments,” Scully mentioned. The window shows and merchandise preparations are modified month-to-month, to maintain issues recent. “We’re extra of a thrift boutique than a thrift store,” she mentioned, with costs the identical or higher than Savers or Goodwill, however excessive finish objects. “We’ve wonderful males’s objects,” Nance added, with most of the shirts from Brooks Brothers. There may be ladies’s designer clothes as nicely, from designers like Armani and St. John. As a result of a second anniversary celebration received’t actually be doable, those that store on Jan. 16 will obtain a reduction coupon. All proceeds return to the Village, Scully mentioned. Within the first six months, they netted $30,000, however in the newest yr, Scully mentioned, “it’s embarrassing.” Most of what was earned needed to be held again to pay lease, utilities, and insurance coverage, simply to remain in enterprise. The basement, the place the donations are initially saved after which sorted, additionally has baggage of things which can be donated to different organizations. Scully mentioned among the kids’s clothes, small home equipment, and something soiled or ripped will get donated to Savers – and no matter they will’t use is recycled. A number of the kids’s clothes additionally goes to the Village’s household heart, Scully mentioned. Metallic can be recycled, Nance added. “We cross as a lot ahead as we will. We throw little or no away,” Scully mentioned. For images of the inside, see under.
- Arugula Bistro (953 Farmington Ave.) can be closed for the remainder of the month, but it surely’s particular a short lived closure. “I all the time deliberate to do that in January and right here we’re!” proprietor Christiane Gehami mentioned in a message concerning the plans to renovate the kitchen flooring. “If anybody has any questions, they will attain me on my cell, 860-982-5827,” she added.
- Longtime West Hartford enterprise proprietor Bob Barrieau of Barrieau Oil Co. has retired and has offered his enterprise to to Tower Vitality, owned by Nick Scata and Jerry Greco. Over time, Barrieau had acquired The James O’Toole Firm, Ney Plumbing and Heating, and The Wm A. Murray Firm, that are all now a part of Tower Vitality.
- Advertising and marketing Options Limitless, LLC, a full-service printing, junk mail and success firm primarily based in West Hartford, has acquired Newington-based Paladin Business Printers, the corporate introduced final week in a information launch. “The improved print capabilities and the growth of our in-house junk mail workforce created by this merger permits us to extend our velocity of supply of shoppers tasks, broaden our gross sales workforce, and add to the expertise of our present manufacturing capabilities,” mentioned Advertising and marketing Options Limitless Founder and CEO Heidi Buckley. “We’re thrilled to have this chance. Mixed, the 2 firms have 60 years business expertise delivering distinctive service to our shoppers. It’s really a win-win for each firms.” Advertising and marketing Options Limitless brings 29 years of experience serving shoppers that focus within the healthcare, larger training, non-profit, and political industries. Paladin, with 31 years in enterprise, focuses on providers for advert businesses, monetary and manufacturing in addition to non-profits. “The 2 firms are an absolute complement to one another,” Buckley added. As a part of the acquisition, each places will stay open. There are 30 staff between the 2 firms; no workers reductions are deliberate. “We noticed Paladin as a three-fold alternative: our shopper portfolios are complementary; the extra expertise and tools of Paladin considerably broaden our manufacturing capabilities; the proximity of our two services permit for each synergy and depth”, added Eric Pritchard, Advertising and marketing Options Limitless’s President. “The chance to leverage the experience of each groups will ship an enhanced expertise for our shoppers, safe new prospects, and enhance the chance for the mixed groups to develop.”
- Citizen’s Oil Co-op not too long ago organized a marketing campaign encouraging current members to refer a buddy to the Co-op in an effort to lift cash for a Connecticut meals pantry. Members responded, and Citizen’s Oil Co-op reported that it was proud to donate $600 to the West Hartford Meals Pantry to assist these in want throughout a tough yr. “It will be fantastic in case you might proceed to unfold the phrase in regards to the great want of the Meals Pantry.” mentioned a grateful Nancy Stockman, Meals Pantry Coordinator. The Citizen’s Oil Co-op, which was established in 1981, companions with native companies and works to save lots of its members cash on dwelling heating oil in addition to propane. For extra details about the Co-op, go to oilco-op.com or name 860-561-6011. To make a donation to the Meals Pantry, ship checks to The City That Cares, West Hartford Social Companies, 50 South Fundamental Road, Rm 130, West Hartford, CT 06107.
- Props to the Buena Vista Property House owners Affiliation, which collected objects for the Salvation Military and West Hartford Meals Pantry throughout an affiliation vacation drive. “Our deepest thanks and gratitude to BVPOA Board members David Kaplan and Cheryl MacKenzie for his or her tireless efforts,” BVPOA President Sherry Haller mentioned. She offered the picture of the donations able to be delivered.
- West Hartford Coworking has launched a brand new program at WHCowork As we speak. “This newest program was developed to provide COVID-era school college students the area and help they should succeed,” area and help that may be a great substitute for conducting distant studying from a childhood bed room or writing a doctoral dissertation on the eating room desk, West Hartford Coworking proprietor Annisa Teich mentioned. Go to the West Hartford Coworking Facebook page for extra particulars, and to view a webinar presentation about this system that was launched final week.
- ICYMI, U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy visited Fleet Ft Sports activities in West Hartford final week to talk with proprietor Stephanie Blozy about her challenges with COVID-19 and to offer particulars in regards to the newest PPP loans out there. Click here for the full story.
- Kingswood Oxford Faculty introduced final week that it plans to promote the property that’s at the moment the positioning of the Kids’s Museum, which can expedite the departure of the Museum from city. Click here for full details.
Keep in mind, in case you have any enterprise information to share, add it within the feedback part under or electronic mail Ronni Newton at [email protected].
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