West Hartford Business Buzz: August 22, 2016

BK&Co has moved to its new location at 983 Farmington Ave. in West Hartford Center. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

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

By Ronni Newton

It’s back to reality for me after nearly two weeks visiting my in-laws in Nantucket. I was glad that things were fairly quiet in town during my vacation, and even though I continued to work during breaks from beaching, biking, and eating way too much, it was great to get away – especially when it was so unbelievably hot in West Hartford. I know I won’t get much sympathy when I say that it was hot in Nantucket, too, but (violin music sounding now) it was incredibly humid, in the 80s, and we don’t have any air conditioning.

The return to reality was swift, and just about 12 hours after we pulled into our West Hartford driveway Friday night the car was re-packed and we were back on the road by lunchtime Saturday helping our daughter move the rest of her things into her off-campus apartment at UConn. She’s there early to get set for sorority recruitment, and our son will also be off to UConn for Freshman Friday in just a few days.

Most of our son’s dorm furnishings were all purchased today (a relatively-painless one-stop shopping trip to Bed, Bath & Beyond) so that reality – the empty nesting thing – is also looming.

I’m holding it together. For now.

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:

BK&Co has moved to its new location at 983 Farmington Ave. in West Hartford Center. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

BK&Co has moved to its new location at 983 Farmington Ave. in West Hartford Center. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

  • BK&Co. officially moved into their beautiful new store at 983 Farmington Ave. on Thursday, and owners Barbara Karsky and Karen Herbert are very excited to spread out their new fall lines in 500 additional square feet on each of two floors. They’re holding a Joan Vass trunk show on Thursday, Aug. 25, from noon – 7 p.m., and offering a gift with purchase as well as a chance to win a gift card. The entire store will be 10 percent off all week in celebration of the move – during a week that is also 2016 Connecticut Tax Free Week!
  • Tax Free Week is a great time to stock up on clothing and footwear. (Buying some new running shoes is definitely on my schedule this week!) Tax Free Week started on Sunday, and runs through Saturday, Aug. 27. Purchases of clothing and shoes, for adults and children, that are less than $100 per item will not be subject to the 6.35 percent state sales tax. Tax Free Week is intended to provide some relief to those shopping for back-to-school items, but note that it only applies to clothing and footwear – and that does not include specialized footwear like cleats. Backpacks and school supplies are also excluded and subject to tax. For a complete list of what is and isn’t included in Tax Free Week, click here for details on the Department of Revenue Services website.
    East-West Grille on Wheels. Facebook photo

    East-West Grille on Wheels. Facebook photo

  • East-West Grille has a food truck! According to a Facebook post, the “East-West Grille on Wheels” made a recent visit to the Hartford Parkville CTFastrak station. Can’t wait to see it appear in other locations!
  • Hebrew Healthcare announced Monday that it has filed for Chapter 11 protection and is restructuring.  In a news release, the company announced the following plan: “Operation of the 257-bed skilled nursing facility located on Abrahms Boulevard in West Hartford will be assumed by Hebrew Home for Health and Rehabilitation, LLC, a National Health Care Associates affiliate, under a 30-year lease contemplated as part of a restructuring. Hebrew HealthCare believes this transaction will eliminate the main challenge to its financial stability, and will assure that skilled nursing care will continue on site in an environment which honors Jewish traditions — including the observance of Kashrut.” The release also states that financial strength for its other operations – hospital, senior day center, physician services, dementia care services, and the Hoffman Summerwood Community – will be restored through the Chapter 11 restructuring. “Speaking on behalf of Hebrew HealthCare’s Board of Trustees, we are united in believing these two initiatives will enable our organization to remain a leading provider of senior services while securing our long-term future,” Board of Trustees Chairman Jerry Long said. “In what is a very challenging health care environment, this will give us the necessary time to reorganize and structure a financially strong organization moving forward. We are committed to preserving this high quality institution which for more than a century has honored — the community’s Jewish tradition and values.” In a statement, Hebrew HealthCare President and CEO Bonnie Gauthier said, “In the 18 years I have spent leading our organization, we have faced numerous challenges dealing with reimbursement reductions, regulatory issues, capital project needs and the dramatically changing face of senior care; and each time we have emerged stronger than ever. I fully expect the same to happen here — our greatest priority will always be the older adults we serve and the families who count on us.”
  • Joseph’s Family Markets LLC, operator of ShopRite in West Hartford as well as Canton, recently donated $607 to Operation Fuel from collection received at the cash registers during a two-week period. Duncaster Retirement Community Outreach Committee in Bloomfield also made a recent donation of $1,000 to Operation Fuel, a private non-profit that provides year-round emergency energy assistance to local households. For more information on Operation Fuel or to make a donation, go to www.operationfuel.org.
  • ICYMI (and based on the number of page views this story received, there probably aren’t too many of you who missed it!), Hog River Brewing Co. had its grand opening on Saturday. The taproom, owned by West Hartford residents Ben and Joy Braddock, is located at 1429 Park St. in the Parkville section of Hartford. If you missed the opening weekend, Hog River will be open on Wednesday from 3 – 7 p.m., Thursday and Friday from 3 – 8 p.m., Saturday from noon – 8 p.m., and Sunday from noon – 6 p.m. Click here for the complete story.
    Hartford Baking Co. logo

    Hartford Baking Co. logo

  • It’s a new look for Hartford Baking Company! The West Hartford-based business, which is about to open its second retail location, unveiled its new logo on Friday. Click here for details.
  • Natalie Marie Beauty LLC opened a facial room just a few weeks ago at 61 South Main St., Suite 303. For its grand opening special, owner Natalie Marie Gioscio said that she is offering half off any service for new clients. More details are available on the website or by calling 860-924-7441.
  • It’s coming down to the wire with less than two weeks left to vote for Best of West Hartford from among the more than 275 finalists selected in nearly 50 categories – all determined by nominations from the community. It’s also time to buy your tickets to the gala awards show on Sept. 8, where the winners will be revealed Click here to purchase tickets and click here for a list of all of the finalists and for the link to voting. Some area businesses are doing a great job making their customers aware of the competition, so don’t forget to support your own favorites. Voting is easy, and you can even do it from your phone nearly anywhere, any time!

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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