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West Hartford Business Buzz: April 20, 2015

Hello Dahle sells an eclectic collection of handmade, vintage, and upcycled merchandise. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

A round-up of openings, closings, and other news about West Hartford businesses.

By Ronni Newton

Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Photo credit: Ronni Newton

I can’t resist the obligatory weather statement: It’s been fabulous!

Two great weekends in a row sandwiched equally beautiful days. Monday is looking pretty nasty (and not much fun for those who, like my husband, are running the Boston Marathon or those who, like me, will be watching the Boston Marathon), but most of the rest of the week looks sunny and seasonably cool.

And we have daffodils, and hyacinth, and the grass is getting green.

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:

Some of the unique offerings at Hello Dahle at 485 New Park in West Hartford. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Some of the unique offerings at Hello Dahle at 485 New Park in West Hartford. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

  • We try to feature new or different businesses in this column – and some of them are in parts of town that many don’t think to visit on a regular basis. One such business is Hello Dahle (pronounced “dolly”), an eclectic shop that features handmade pillows and lamps, vintage toys, painted furniture, jewelry, and a variety of upcycled items located in the Shops at 485 New Park. Owner Pat Dahle, a Boston native who has lived in West Hartford for many years, said she had a workshop elsewhere in town for more than 20 years, where she made and sold pillows – mostly for clients in Boston. She shared studio space with someone else, but when that woman retired, Dahle said the time was right to open up a retail space along with her studio. She moved in November 2014, and loves the space at 485 New Park, with its diverse and friendly assortment of tenants that include Blaze & Bloom, A Little Something Bakery, Panache, and more. She still sells her pillows to the Boston clients, but said, “I have things I like to make myself, items I find at yard sales and change or embellish. I like to do a lot of different things,” Dahle said. Hello Dahle is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. For more information, call 860-233-5399.
    Handmade pillows are among the offerings at Hello Dahle at 485 New Park. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

    Handmade pillows are among the offerings at Hello Dahle at 485 New Park. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

  • The Shops at 485 New Park will showcase Hello Dahle and all of its unique businesses, as well as other artisans and food vendors (50 in all), at its Spring Fling on Friday and Saturday, April 24 and 25. Several other newer tenants include Cirone Gallery and Urban Antique Radio & Vintage HiFi. There will also be an art appraiser and a photo booth at the event, which runs from 4-7 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday. The event also serves as a fundraiser for the Town That Cares Fund.
  • Speaking of caring, this West Hartford businessman went above and beyond in the spirit of giving and caring. Rob Bouvier and Bouvier Insurance donated most of the cost of a new wheelchair van for an Enfield man who had been housebound for more than a year after his family’s old van couldn’t be repaired. Click here to read the story.
  • Another ICYMI: Posh Tomato opened this week in Blue Back Square. The distinctive pizza is [mostly] healthy, made to order in less than 10 minutes, and served in a modern fast-casual restaurant setting or available as takeout. Post Tomato is a franchise, and the West Hartford location, the company’s first in Connecticut, is owned by Chad Kirby and Dan Taskila, who also own Goldberg’s Bagels.
  • Chef Billy Grant, owner of popular West Hartford eateries Grants and Bricco, is on the board of directors for Manchester Community College. Grant is a passionate supporter of MCC’s 23rd Evening of Fine Wines, which will be held on May 1. “For me to have an opportunity to work with the students, impact them a little bit, and inspire them a little bit, teach them about the guts of the kitchen in the working restaurant … that brings out a passion in me to give back and help them to get a real experience,” Grant said. Geno Auriemma is an honorary chair of the event that includes live and silent auctions featuring wines, champagnes, once-in-a-lifetime trips, art, golf and restaurant gift cards, and more. The MCC Culinary Arts students will prepare the hors d’oeuvres and desserts. For more details, click here.
  • West Hartford Center Spring Fashion Week 2015 begins April 20. West Hartford Center and Blue Back Square will celebrate spring through Sunday, April 26, with a focus on clothing and jewelry as well as gifts and home decor. Events will include fashion shows; trunk shows; product launches; free consultations, drawings, and demos, and a “Spring Fashion Preview” on the stage on Thursday, April 23, at 6:30 p.m. Many of the area restaurants will also join the celebration, offering special menu items and “flirty spring cocktails.” Click here for details.

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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