West Hartford Business Buzz: December 14, 2015

Digital billboards promoting West Hartford Center will be in place through Jan. 3, 2016. Courtesy images

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

By Ronni Newton

Welcome to the second Monday of the December-that-doesn’t-feel-like-December! I am most certainly not complaining, and it has been great to stroll around West Hartford, shopping and enjoying the sights and sounds of the season without being bundled up in my parka.

Of course the sights for some of you this December may have included the fairway of the local golf course.

Many have said we will pay for this, but I’m hoping we paid in advance when it was so blizzardly last winter. I’ve been reading that merchants selling cold weather clothing and goods are really suffering this season and I already helped out by getting my husband a new pair of snow boots for his birthday last month. That’s either good insurance against a tough winter, or being well-prepared for what January and February has in store.

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].

Digital billboards promoting West Hartford Center will be in place through Jan. 3, 2016. Courtesy images

Digital billboards promoting West Hartford Center will be in place through Jan. 3, 2016. Courtesy images

  • West Hartford Center went digital in a “big” way as of Dec. 4. Maurice Kaoud advised that he negotiated a deal with Independent Outdoor for West Hartford Center to be promoted in a rotation on four highly visible digital billboards. Two are located on I-84, near exit 43 on both the east and westbound sides. The other two are on I-91, facing both north and south, just north of the Jennings Road exit. The billboards were paid for by the West Hartford Center Business Association, and will be in place through Jan. 3, 2016. The West Hartford Center Business Association has also purchased some promo spots on NBC Connecticut, and thanks to the generosity of RLM Co., S.B. Andrews, Clark Properties,The Kaoud Family, Lexham Street Retail, David Brown Associates, and West Hartford Merchants Partnership there are beautiful new decorations for all 85 light poles throughout the Center.NOV2015-No5-6Holiday-Dazzle_QK:Layout 1
  • Happy 5th Anniversary to West Hartford Magazine! We-Ha.com’s sister publication has just published its Holiday Issue, the magazine’s 25th issue. For the past five years, many of you have received the magazine free of charge, but that “introductory offer” has now expired. In order to continue to receive West Hartford Magazine – which includes the not-to-be-missed “Terrific Teens,” “Best of West Hartford” winners, features about residents, food pages, weddings, finance, fashion, and local gardening columns – at your home or office, you will need to subscribe. The $35 annual subscription cost also benefits local organizations like West Hartford Community Television and a business association of your choice. Click here for subscription information. To check out the “flip book” of this year’s Holiday Issue, which includes some fantastic locally-available gift ideas, click here.
  • What are you doing this Thursday evening? You may want to take advantage of the chance for “sips, snacks, schmoozing, and shopping” at the “Sip & Shop” event at 485 New Park, on Thursday, Dec. 17 from 5 – 7:30 p.m. The Shops at 485 New Park include art, custom-made clothing, a bakery, picture framing, handcrafts, a vintage hi-fi museum, wall-coverings and blinds, a photolab, boutique clothing and accessories, and home accents. There is ample free parking and special promotions available at each business.
  • Another reason to attend the Sip & Shop is that it will be one of the last times to visit A Little Something Bakery. Sadly, owner Beth Bolton has announced that the bakery will be closing its doors as of Dec. 31. She posted the following message on Facebook: “This Christmas Season I would like to I would like to thank all my friends at A Little Something Bakery. I would like to take this opportunity in thanking everybody for playing a part in this journey I took for the last 7 years. A Little Something Bakery will be closing at the end of December 2015. This was not an easy decision, after a lot of tears and much laughter I am at peace with the decision I made. I believe that when one door closes another one opens. I do not know what I am going to do or where I will be going, but I am not scared. Again, A heartfelt thank you to everybody who has helped my dream come true, without you I never would have been able to cherish these last 7 years. All my Love, Beth.” Bolton is collecting memories of the bakery, and asks that you email them to her at [email protected].
    Hanna Andersson opened Dec. 11, 2015, at Westfarms. Courtesy photo

    Hanna Andersson opened Dec. 11, 2015, at Westfarms. Courtesy photo

  • Stripe fans rejoice! Hanna Andersson opened its first Connecticut retail store on Friday, Dec. 11 at Westfarms on the upper level near center court and next to Tory Burch. The store design is unique, incorporating homemade and crafted elements from artisans throughout the world into the interior. “We are thrilled to continue expanding our lifestyle brand in Connecticut with the new Hanna store at Westfarms, which showcases our terrific brand to many new customers, and also provides a physical store presence to our loyal catalog and website customers. Being able to provide an in-store experience really brings the Hanna quality to life for customers because they can touch and feel our wonderful product,” said Adam Stone, President and CEO, Hanna Andersson, in a news release. “The brand new store concept is a truly inspirational experience that will really resonate with our customer and provide an exciting, fresh look for the mall,” Stone added. Hanna Andersson, long known for its pure organic cotton, well-crafted clothing for babies, children, and women, also offers an unconditional guarantee.
    Julie Connolly of West Hartford has been named program director for LGH's Quest program. Submitted photo

    Julie Connolly of West Hartford has been named program director for LGH’s Quest program. Submitted photo

  • Congratulations to West Hartford resident Julie Connolly, who will join Leadership Greater Hartford (LGH) on Jan. 4 as new Program Director for the organization’s Quest program. She is replacing Ana Valentin-Jackson who will be leaving effective Dec. 31, 2015 to start a new nonprofit, Cultura Mosaica. According to a news release from LGH, “Connolly brings more than 20 years of business experience, having served in various leadership positions in both private industry and public accounting, where she managed, developed, and trained people and teams. A certified coach through the International Coach Federation, Connolly has helped a diverse array of clients contribute positively to their work environment.” LGH President Ted Carroll said in the release that Connolly will “employ the skills she has used to create effective business leaders and adapt them to help our program participants become better community leaders.”
  • And lastly, we bring you some important news about a topic not usually discussed in everyday conversation: Lice Clinics of America, which provides screening, diagnosis and treatment options for people infested with head lice, has just opened a new treatment center at 67 Prospect Ave., Suite 301, in West Hartford. According to a news release from the company, “Head lice infamously cause stress, disgust and embarrassment for millions of moms whose kids get infested each year. But thanks to the opening of a new Lice Clinics of America clinic, moms in the Hartford area no longer have to worry about treating the icky bugs themselves.” The West Hartford clinic, managed by pediatric nurse Melissa Parker, is staffed by certified operators of the AirAllé device, an FDA-cleared medical device that kills head lice and lice eggs using just heated air. It’s open from  8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday, with appointments on weekends as well. AirAllé treatments take about an hour, and come with a 30-day guarantee. Call 860-705-8859 for additional information.

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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