A round-up of openings, closings, and other news about West Hartford businesses.
By Ronni Newton
I know, it’s not for a few more days but there should not be anything wrong with a long build-up to Thanksgiving and plenty of time contemplating being thankful.
I was supposed to be away right now, spending the beginning of the week celebrating an early Thanksgiving with my in-laws in Nantucket, but when we saw the forecast for gale force winds we decided there would be no way we would make it there. We got stranded in Hyannis last month – my husband and I and our dog overnight in a cheap motel that was pet-but-not-human-friendly – and didn’t want to risk that happening again, especially since our two college-aged children would be along for the trip. Turns out that all of the ferry boats were canceled, beginning with the one we were supposed to take, so it was a very wise decision.
I’ve been the designated turkey cooker in the family for about 20 years – and one of the things I am very thankful for this year is that we will have most of our family members gathered at our table on Thursday. The bonus extra days in town mean that we’ll have more time to prepare side dishes and bake some pies!
I’m thankful for so many other things, too – including that I live in this great town of West Hartford where most people really care about each other and about what’s happening around them. And I am also very thankful that people read this column, and the other articles I write and that we publish on We-Ha.com.
Right after Thanksgiving we’ll move on to the next set of holidays, but before getting caught up in all of that frenzy, let’s think, really think, about those we love and the blessings that we all have.
If you have tips about businesses opening or closing, or doing something worth sharing, please provide that information in the comments or email Ronni Newton at [email protected].
Here’s this week’s Buzz:
- Dogology is now open! I stopped by on Friday and met owner Marissa Garson, who was enthusiastically welcoming customers – of the two-legged and four-legged variety – to the brand new storeat 5 Sedgwick Rd. that opened on Tuesday. Garson and her husband Ben also have a Dogology store in Canton, and she said that she’s very excited to be in West Hartford, closer to many existing customers. “We handpick and test everything out on our own pets first,” Garson said of the merchandise Dogology sells. With 17 dogs between the employees at both locations, that’s a pretty good test market. “We know the sourcing, know the durability,” of food products as well as toys, she said. Everything is antibiotic and hormone-free, locally-sourced, and humanely raised, Garson said. The Canton store sells cat food, but the West Hartford store is smaller and right now just sells dog products – food, treats, supplements, and accessories. “The response on Facebook [to the opening of a second location] has been really overwhelming,” Garson said. Visit the Dogology website for more details about the business. There are a few more photos of Dogology at the end of this column.
- We received some exciting news from Lauren Klein Zeligson, owner of Labrazel Home. Zeligson closed Labrazel’s retail store on LaSalle Road last spring, but has now started a new venture, which will debut next week during a trunk show at Lux Bond & Green in West Hartford. Here’s what she said in a news release: “After 14 years in the home decor industry, as owner of Connecticut based Labrazel Home, Lauren Klein Zeligson is excited to announce the launch of L. Klein Jewelry. Her exquisite 18 karat gold jewelry is hand-made in Italy with a fashion forward approach to timeless and elegant design. Combining her love for Italy, design and jewelry, L. Klein is proud to introduce her debut styles and looks forward to adding more collections to the line in the near future. L. Klein jewelry is made with the finest craftsmanship, working with world renowned artisans using centuries-old techniques which have been handed down generation to generation. The L. Klein brand stands out with a signature L on every piece, a personal stamp signifying quality and beauty. Each piece is a statement of style and sophistication to be worn day to night, work or play, the finishing touch to any outfit. Lux Bond & Green will be introducing L. Klein at a trunk show in their West Hartford store, from Dec. 1 – 3, which will also feature well-known jewelry designer Alex Sepkus. ‘I am grateful for the opportunity to work with Lux Bond on my launch and look forward to seeing many of my Labrazel Home customers and friends at the trunk show,’ Zeligson said. The entire line will be available for sale during the trunk show, after which select pieces will continue to be sold by Lux Bond. For more information, visit LBGreen.com or email [email protected].
- “Shop Small” is happening all over West Hartford on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 26. Even if you’re doing the Black Friday thing and visiting the big box chain stores, don’t forget about the many local, family-owned businesses in the Center/Blue Back Square as well as Elmwood, Park Road, Bishops Corner, and Home Design District neighborhoods – and the small family-owned businesses in other nearby towns as well. West Hartford Deputy Mayor Leon Davidoff, co-owner with his sister Susan of The Paper Station in Newington, has for years been a major ambassador for #ShopSmall. He knows and appreciates the profound impact small businesses have on the local economy. “Small, local business owners are your friends and neighbors who rely on the community’s support to be successful. These small retailers pride themselves on offering excellent, personalized service and quality products at reasonable prices,” Davidoff said. “The character of our retail shopping districts is enhanced with a mix of small retailers, and it truly makes a difference when you support small business on Small Business Saturday,” said Davidoff.
- Just a few weeks ago I reported that the site of the Melo Mini Mart at 167 Park Rd. had been emptied out, but it doesn’t appear that the space will be vacant for long. An alert reader sent me a photo of a sign declaring that Zaytoon’s Bistro is “coming soon!” I haven’t been able to find out any more details yet, but according to the banner on the front of the building, the Mediterranean grill will offer falafel, shish kabob, panini, salad, and wraps.
- West Hartford’s Holiday Stroll is early this year – Thursday, Dec. 1! There’s so much news to share about this year’s exciting stroll, and more updates to come. Click here for all the details – and bookmark to keep track of updates leading up to the event!
- Congratulations to West Hartford resident and Robinson+Cole lawyer Evan J. Seeman, recognized by The Connecticut Law Tribune as a New Leader in the Law. Seeman was honored during a Nov. 10 dinner. According to a news release announcing the award, “This distinction is given to lawyers under the age of 40 who have excelled in their chosen field of practice, in client service and cultivation, in service to bar associations, and in performing pro bono work or community service in a volunteer capacity.” Seeman’s focus is on land use, zoning, environmental, and municipal law including, constitutional issues that arise in those areas such as the First Amendment, eminent domain, and the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) about which Seeman has written extensively. “Seeman exemplifies the qualities of a strong leader in the legal profession through his commitment to pro bono service as the 2014 recipient of the Robinson+Cole Pro Bono Award, his dedication to the growth of a diverse law firm through his involvement in the firm’s Women’s Committee and Diversity Committee, and mentorship to upcoming lawyers as the 2015 Summer Associate Program coordinator.”
Remember, if you have any business news to share, remember to add it in the comments section below or email Ronni Newton at [email protected].
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