West Hartford Business Buzz: April 4, 2016

John Paul Vasellina plans to launch WeHa Works by late summer or early fall of 2016. Courtesy photo

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

My daffodils were not happy about Mother Nature's belated April Fool's joke. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

My daffodils were not happy about Mother Nature’s belated April Fool’s joke. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

By Ronni Newton

Mother Nature, you’re just cruel.

Perhaps the sudden return to winter is just a belated April Fool’s joke, but I will bet that very few of us are finding it funny. I awoke to the sound of snowplows Sunday morning. I burrowed deeper into the covers and put the pillow over my head, and refused to open the shades.

Although I experienced the sudden hailstorm early Saturday evening (while trying to rescue my husband and dog who were out for what should have been a pleasant walk) and the subsequent spectacular rainbow, I still doubted that we would actually have snow. Plowable snow. On Saturday evening, at West Hartford’s Cookin’, I conferred with local weather guru John Lyons who was pretty positive, and accurate, about his predication that West Hartford would experience three of the four types of frozen precipitation within 24 hours. We had already had hail at that point, and sleet and snow would follow.

I’m ready to put my down jacket away for good, and enjoy the outdoor seating at some West Hartford restaurants, so I am personally hoping that this return visit from winter is a short one.

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:

John Paul Vasellina plans to launch WeHa Works by late summer or early fall of 2016. Courtesy photo

John Paul Vasellina plans to launch WeHa Works by late summer or early fall of 2016. Courtesy photo

  • As soon as I heard about WeHa Works, for obvious reasons there was an immediate synergy with We-Ha.com and I knew it had to be this week’s featured Business Buzz story. And as someone who has spent more than a decade working out of a home office, I understand that isolation so I also love and totally appreciate the concept of shared workspace. “The whole idea is if we can find that balance of sharing space and amenities we can create a community of small business owners and professionals,” said John Paul Vasellina, developer of WeHa Works. He hopes to either purchase or lease space in West Hartford where small business owners can lease office space as well as conference room and meeting space, and perhaps even studio space for photographers and commercial kitchen facilities. “I like being around people. I like the energy,” said Vasellina, who has a background in human resources, IT, and corporate real estate. He currently works remotely in his home office for a San Francisco company, and his wife works at home as well. “I like being around people, like the energy,” said Vasellina, who moved to West Hartford last July. He joined Hartford-based reSET, which has co-working facilities with a focus on social entrepreneurship, but Vasellina was really looking more for shared space than an incubator environment. When he posted in the “Neighbors and Friends” Facebook group a few weeks asking if there was interest in a co-working space in West Hartford, the response was phenomenal, he said. Vasellina is currently looking for space, and said that the Elmwood/New Park Avenue area seems most viable from a cost standpoint. The energy surrounding transit-oriented development in that neighborhood is also a plus, he said. Vasellina hopes to open WeHa Works by late summer or early fall. Memberships will start as low as a few hundred dollars a month, he said, and will include all amenities like WiFi, utilities, parking, printers, copy machines, and coffee. As another value-added, Vasellina said technical assistance may be offered to small businesses that need help with social media or building their professional profiles. For more information, follow WeHa Works on Facebook and sign up to receive updates through the website WeHaWorks.com. You can also contact Vasellina directly at [email protected].
    Jamey Carter has moved to West Hartford and joined Cantor Colburn. Photo credit: Paul Schnaittacher (submitted)

    Jamey Carter has moved to West Hartford and joined Cantor Colburn. Photo credit: Paul Schnaittacher (submitted)

  • One of West Hartford’s newest residents moved to town because he was recently hired at Cantor Colburn. In a news release, Cantor Colburn LLP announced that Jamey Carter, an electrical engineer and patent attorney, has joined the firm. “Carter specializes in foreign and domestic electrical, electronic and computer science matters, including patent procurement, licensing, and strategic portfolio management. He concentrates his practice on patent prosecution and counseling, including the drafting, prosecution, and procurement of U.S. and foreign patents in the fields of computer software, hardware, networking, and Internet technologies,” the release states. Carter moved to the area from from Seattle, where he was an associate at Seed IP. He has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the Oregon State University and a JD is from the University of Oregon School of Law.
  • Bouvier Insurance CFO Emily Comeau was recently featured on the New England Patriots website. Why? Before she began her finance career in the early 90s, Comeau spent three seasons as one of the Patriots cheerleaders! She was included in a “Where Are They Now?” feature. Click here for details.
  • The Prospect Café will open for lunch beginning Monday, April 4. “Stop by for a bite on the patio,” states the restaurant’s Facebook page. Monday may not be ideal patio weather, but the patio is certain to be inviting very soon!
  • Labrazel Home is still open for a few more weeks! Owner Lauren Zeligson said that many people have mistakenly thought April 1 was the closing date, when in fact it’s April 30. “Four more weeks to go!” she said.  “We still have lots of great deals on towels, bath rugs, sheets and more. We continue to take new markdowns each week with storewide savings of 30-75 percent off. The past weeks have been very busy and we have so enjoyed seeing everyone and appreciate all the good wishes.”
  • The Connecticut DOT is hosting an CTfastrak transit-oriented development open house Monday evening at the Elmwood Community Center. The event will take place from 6 – 8 p.m., and input from the public is welcome. 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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