A round-up of openings, closings, and other news about West Hartford businesses.
By Ronni Newton
Wasn’t Sunday a glorious day?
On Saturday the weather was quite nice for late February, but Sunday was even warmer and when I drove through the Center in the middle of the day it was wonderful to see so many people out and about! People were strolling along the sidewalks, parents were out pushing strollers, people were getting outdoor exercise running or riding bikes, kids were on scooters, and you could just feel that warm sunshine.
The daffodils in a bed along my driveway are always among the first in the area to bloom. I’m not sure if it’s the specific variety of flower, or because they are adjacent to the heat-absorbing pavement and sheltered by the house, or both. When we have a snowy winter I get excited to see them defiantly poking up out of the frozen ground in February, and usually in early March I share a photo. With this mild winter they haven’t had any barriers to growth and appear much farther along than usual. Barring any really arctic weather or major snowstorms, I think they will be in bloom in a few weeks. Hope I didn’t just jinx it!
I realize last week’s intro was very long, and I apologize to all who found it too wordy. Sometimes I get on a roll and keep on going until I finish the thought. When I’ve asked if readers want me to eliminate this section, however, the overwhelming response has been that people like it – of course not everyone, but a clear majority. I don’t want to drone on, and I’m cutting this one off after this paragraph, but I want to remind readers that I purposely separate the introductory section from the business items with bullet points, so you can skip right to the business news without missing any of those important details.
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:
- If you’re feeling in need of improving your sleep experience, there’s a place for that in Blue Back Square! There are actually several places where you can purchase beds and bedding in Blue Back, and Casper, which just opened Friday, is a complete “Sleep Shop,” where you can even (not kidding) book a 45-minute nap in one of the showroom’s miniature “houses” to test out any of Casper’s signature mattress. I was sad to hear that they don’t sell the bunny slippers, but they do sell everything else seen in the photos (see many more below), including furniture, bedding, pillows, lighting, and even dog beds, all “obsessively-engineered” to assist with a good night sleep. Store Manager Heberthe Dely, decked out in the Casper work uniform of a PJ top, provided me with a tour of the store Friday afternoon. She pointed out the varieties of sheets, which include supima cotton designed to keep you cool, and silky soft sateen. The displays, which the company said are intended for touching and feeling, will be updated throughout the year, with each “house” showcasing a different mattress. The Wave is the most luxurious mattress, with various layers of foam each serving a different function. There’s also a Wave Hybrid, which includes foam as well as coils that allow for greater airflow, ideal for those who get warm while they sleep. The mattresses come in a box – a box that is small enough (42.5 inches tall – I asked) to fit in the trunk or backseat of a regular car. You can buy one after work, bring it home, pop it out of the box, and watch as it expands to its full size within a few hours, ready for sleep that night. Delivery is also available, and you can also order online directly from the store. Casper also sells frames/bases for its mattresses, and I enjoyed testing out the top-of-the-line model that offers a variety of positions, including zero gravity, has a massage function, and has nightlights along the edge and USB ports for charging your electronics. West Hartford’s Casper sleep shop is the company’s second in the state (the other is in Norwalk), and the only others nearby are in Massachusetts. Nationwide, Casper has more than 60 retail stores,, and also offers its products at retailers such as Target.
- The Medspa has moved again – but the last move was just to temporary quarters and this time it’s to a permanent new location. The Medspa launched its operations inside the spa at the Delamar Hotel (it was always a separate business), but quickly outgrew the single treatment room, and in September moved to the empty storefront at the corner of Memorial and Isham in Blue Back Square, expanding to two treatment rooms. The new location at 65 Raymond Rd., which officially opens to patients on Tuesday after about a week of downtime for the move, offers five treatment rooms. “We’ve expanded so much in the last 18 months that we’ve outgrown every space we’ve been in,” said manager, Roni Rodman. “It’s exciting, and a little scary,” she said as she provided a tour of the new space which measures approximately 2,700 square feet. The sign above the new space says “Body Sculpting | Facial Aesthetics” describes what the Medspa now offers. Medical Director Dr. Glen Brooks, a board-certified plastic surgeon, will be do surgical consultations in the new space (and perform procedures across the street), and other available treatments now also include facials, chemical peels, PRP (micro-needling), and B12 injections, in addition to CoolSculpting, Botox, and Juvederm and other dermal fillers, Rodman said. Everything is “medical grade skincare,” she said. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., with evening and Sunday hours available by appointment. For more information, call 860-206-8191 or email [email protected].
- Welcome to Yeraida Reinheimer, who has joined the West Hartford Town Manager’s Office as the new executive assistant. Pictured at right are (from left): Public Relations Specialist Renee McCue, Mayor Shari Cantor, Yeraida Reinheimer, and Town Manager Matt Hart.
- I rarely miss this first sure sign of spring – but this year I somehow did, by a week. I am always happy to report when Rita’s (1134 New Britain Ave.) reopens for the season, and this year the business’ winter hiatus ended on Feb. 15. Yummy frozen custard and Italian ice has returned to Elmwood!
- Pokémoto, which opened at the very end of January at 970 Farmington Ave. in West Hartford Center will host its official grand opening celebration on Wednesday, Feb. 26, franchise owner Dave Monk said. All bowls will be “buy one get one free” all day. Pokémoto is open from 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
- On Friday Feb. 7, 2020,Trinity College honored 50 women who will have a lasting impact on the next 50 years of Trinity College, including three West Hartford residents. This “50 for the next 50” was part of a year-long celebration of 100 years of coeducation at Trinity College. More than 200 nominations were received. The list of honorees is a diverse group whom the selection committee believes will help advance the college and shape its future in myriad ways. The committee recognized women for notable accomplishments, as well as for important work that sometimes is less visible, including mentorship and the building of community. More information can be found here. Pictured (from left) are honorees who are West Hartford residents: Emily Garner, Laura Holt, and Stephanie Chambers. Garner is the head coach of Trinity College Women’s Basketball. Last year, in her third season as head coach, she led team to its best overall record since 1999-00 (19-6). Holt is an associate professor of psychology and member of the Trinity College faculty since 2008. She teaches courses in Abnormal, Community, Adolescent, and Addiction Psychology; researches prescription stimulant misuse and vaping in emerging adults; and designs and evaluates preventive interventions for addictive behaviors. Chambers is a professor and chair of the Political Science Department and has been an active member of the Trinity College community since 2000. She is a scholar of urban politics, minority politics, education policy and immigrant incorporation; author of several books, including “Somalis in the Twin Cities” and “Columbus: Immigrant Incorporation in New Destinations,” which is the foundation of an upcoming documentary, “Dreaming in Somali.”
- West Hartford resident Jim Carroll, owner of West Hartford-based JP Carroll Roofing and president of the Connecticut Roofing Contractors Association (CRCA) announced that an alliance between CRCA, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the State of Connecticut Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health (CONN-OSHA) was signed Feb. 7 at Carroll’s West Hartford office. According to a news release, the Alliance recognizes the value of establishing a collaborative relationship to foster safety and health practices and programs to improve American workplaces, and will provide CRCA members with information, guidance, and access to training resources that will help them protect workers by reducing and preventing exposure to fall, caught in-between, struck-by and electrical hazards, and understand the rights of workers and the responsibilities of employers under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act). “The Alliance between CRCA and OSHA will allow our members to take advantage of resources that will help them improve their business practices. In this way, any member of the public who contracts a CRCA member company will reap the benefits of this Alliance,” stated Carroll.
- ICYMI, Moppets closed two weeks ago – but it’s coming back! The business was purchased, and the new owners will be reopening the area’s first drop-in childcare center on March 2. It will be open for tours beginning today. Click here for the complete story.
- There’s a wedding, prom, and special occasion expo at Town Hall on Saturday sponsored by local business MNC Events. Details can be found here.
- ‘Tis the season now – because children need toys during any season – and that’s why Elmwood Dental Group is holding a “Spread the Love” toy drive now. Click here for more information.
Remember, if you have any business news to share, add it in the comments section below or email Ronni Newton at [email protected].
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