A round-up of openings, closings, and other news about West Hartford businesses.
By Ronni Newton
As I wrote in last Monday’s column, I was anticipating the first work week of the new year to be a time to hit the ground running – and that’s exactly what happened.
I started off last Monday morning by interviewing several of the new owners of the former Sinatro properties in West Hartford Center (see bullet point below), and the news kept on coming all week.
Most of the items in today’s column are positive, too, and look for some additional good news business features to be published later in the week.
Business Buzz is usually more text than photos, but this week we have several photos that add to the stories, so please keep scrolling to the end of the article for the ones that don’t fit in the main section.
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:
- Center Framing & Art has completed its around-the-corner move, and did it all without losing even a day’s business. Owner Lori Chozick said that the new space, at 968 Farmington Ave., (former Lux Boutique store, right next to Philip David Jewelers) was readied while the LaSalle Road store was still open. “I moved New Year’s Eve and worked all day on New Year’s Day getting set up,” Chozick said. All of the machines are calibrated and running smoothly, said Chozick. “Even the inspectors were surprised!” With high ceilings and exposed beams, a vintage wood floor, and some fabulous architectural elements, the new space already looks like a cool New York art gallery.
- The coffee bar at Cookshop Plus is now open! Storeowners Samantha and Jimmy Hines have partnered with Darien-based Neat Coffee (which according to its website uses only “seasonal single-origin coffees that are distinctive and exceptional”), and West Hartford’s own Hartford Baking Company as they begin to add “Plus” part of “Cookshop Plus” with coffee and baked treats. Future “Plus” plans, to add to the store’s wide array of cooking-related products, include a hand-on demo kitchen on the lower level. Cookshop Plus is located at 977 Farmington Ave. in West Hartford Center.
- Chico’s in West Hartford Center (992 Farmington Ave.) will close its doors for good when the lease expires at the end of February. Their employees were informed about the closing on Friday. “It’s a disappointment for sure, but they are closing several hundred stores. They said they are the victim of having so many stores in New England,” RLM Co. President Mike Mahoney, who handles the leasing and property management for the building, said. Chico’s manager said she had “no statement” about the closing. Chico’s announced in 2015 that it planned to close 120 stores by 2017. The Westport, CT, store will also be closing.
- Petals & Paws has relocated from 22 Raymond Rd. to 268 Park Rd. in the block right before A.C. Petersen Farms. The new store opened on Jan. 5, 2016. Petals & Paws, which also has a location in Canton, offers high quality pet food and natural products for the “outdoor world.”
- ICYMI: I had an exclusive opportunity last week to sit down and discuss future plans with three of the six individuals who have formed LaSalle Road Partners and purchased a large share of West Hartford Center real estate from the Sinatro Family. The partners have also indicated that they are very interested in hearing what West Hartford residents would like to see in the buildings, and there is a lively ongoing discussion already on Facebook. Feel free to add your suggestions here or directly on the article which can be found by clicking here. Click here to read the official statement about the sale from the Sinatro family.
- Marguerite Rose is the new owner of Panache, the consignment boutique located in the shops at 485 New Park. She’s perfectly-suited to own a store by that name. Read all about it by clicking here.
- West Hartford’s Blue Back Square will be the location of the state’s fifth and the area’s first Pure Barre fitness studio. Owner Stephanie Lin said that build-out has started, and she hope to open by the middle to end of February. To learn more about Pure Barre and Lin’s plans, click here.
- Plans are really coming together for the Third Annual Taste of Elmwood, scheduled for Feb. 4, 2016. It’s a great chance to sample some of the neighborhood restaurant’s specialties all under one roof. Click here for the most up-to-date information about the event, and check back often for new participants. Tickets are now on sale and can be ordered by clicking here. Last year the event sold out, so don’t delay!
- West Hartford-based BlumShapiro announced in a press release that it has elected five new partners. James Harper is now a partner in BlumShapiro’s software and business process outsourcing (BPO) consulting group in West Hartford, CT., and is managing the BPO services platform, which includes performing all accounting and back office transaction services for both start-up and mature organizations in all industries, including fractional CFO and controller services. In addition, he oversees and provides consulting expertise such as CFO advisory, process improvement and reengineering, business enterprise review (BER), software selection and performance management. He is a graduate of Boise State University with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish, and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). As a partner with BlumShapiro’s Litigation Services and Business Valuation Group in West Hartford, CT, William Murray has more than 15 years of experience in business valuation, economic damages and forensic investigations. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), accredited in business valuation (ABV) and certified in financial forensics (CFF); American Society of Appraisers (is an accredited senior appraiser, ASA); Estate Planning Council of New York City; Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) Connecticut Chapter; New York City Chapter of the American Society of Appraisers (past President); and the Estate Planning Council of Lower Fairfield County. Murray is a graduate of Washington and Jefferson College with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics/Accounting. Other new partners include Thomas Dearnley, Jennifer P. Hogencamp, and Ronald W. Nosse.
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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