A round-up of openings, closings, and other news about West Hartford businesses.
By Ronni Newton
Happy Monday! The month of June seems to have really flown by and it’s hard to believe that next week is the Fourth of July! Advance warning: Business Buzz (and the We-Ha.com newsletter) will be on vacation schedule next week, and will appear on Wednesday rather than Monday.
I usually start off this column with some comments about the weather or my kids, but this week I want to give a plug to a local non-profit for which I volunteered on Sunday. My husband and kids have been volunteering for A Hand Up for years, but Sunday was the first time I helped out.
The non-profit organization A Hand Up is based in West Hartford, and it helps people transition to independent living – primarily those who have been homeless – by providing furniture and household goods needed to establish their new homes.
Items are donated by members of the community, and volunteers deliver them to the homes of people in need who have been identified by area social service organizations. The recipients of the donated goods can come to the warehouse at 93 Talcott Rd. in West Hartford and pick out what they want for their homes and then volunteers from A Hand Up will deliver what has been chosen.
We helped two families today, and it was a great feeling to assist them picking out things like couches, tables, dressers, rugs, pots and pans, and dishes to fill their homes. One young boy was there and had such a big smile as he got to pick out sheets and a blanket for his bed, and a bookcase that he said he wants to fill with the chapter books he loves to read.
The warehouse is full of generously-donated items, but more donations are always welcome. A Hand Up is entirely volunteer-run, and volunteers not only keep the warehouse organized, help people choose belongings, and deliver them, but they also pick up from the homes of donors.
I’ll definitely be volunteering again. For more information, please click here.
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:
- Have you seen the new Total Wine & More store in Corbin’s Corner? The former Office Depot (which before that was Kids ‘R Us) at 1451 New Britain Ave. has undergone an amazing transformation with a huge investment in the space by the new tenant. The store is beautiful, and although you may think that having a choice of 8,000 wines (and thousands of beers and spirits) would be overwhelming, the store is well-organized and the staff is knowledgeable and helpful. The aisles are set up to match the way people think – for example an area dedicated to “summer brews” and “highly-rated” wines. For complete details and photos from a tour I took on Wednesday, click here.
- West Hartford now has quite a few gyms and fitness studios (we have surmised it’s a logical and necessary reaction to the burger-proliferation of several years back), but the latest business to launch has a different approach. GYMGUYZ brings the gym to your house, your office, a park, or wherever else you want to work out. The “gym” is a specially equipped van full of equipment, and the “guyz” customize a workout regime to meet your needs. Read all about the new franchise business in this story by We-Ha.com intern Cassidy Kotyla.
- There have been several successful “Taste of Elmwood” events, and the first “Taste of Bishops Corner” was held earlier this year. Now, the biggest ever “Taste of” event is coming to West Hartford. “Taste of Blue Back Square and The Center” will be held on July 27, and will provide the opportunity to sample signature dishes from many of West Hartford’s top restaurants, and even preview a few that are getting ready to open. Information about tickets (on sale now!) and participants can be found by clicking here.
- Congratulations to West Hartford-based Bouvier Insurance, which just opened its seventh location last week. Located in Westerly, RI, this is Bouvier’s first out-of-state office. “Our team identified an underserved insurance marketplace in Westerly,” President Rob Bouvier told the Westerly Sun. For more information visit binsurance.com.
- [Updated] We reported that Capilo Hair Styling Salon had closed its location at 29 South Main St. in the Town Center Building because the space had clearly been emptied out. The answering machine said they have moved to their new location, but not where that new location is. Thanks to several readers for informing us that Capilo didn’t move far! They are still in the same building, and still on the ground floor. To reach Capilo Hair Styling, enter the lobby and follow the signs to the new space on the north end of the first floor.
- Another closing is Sleepy’s, formerly located at 921 Farmington Ave. No details on that one either, and the phone number is disconnected.
- Congratulations to West Hartford business owner Paul Martel on the publishing of his book, A Humanitarian’s Defense of Capitalism: The Paradigm of Freedom. Martel, the founder of founder of West Hartford-based YHB Investment Advisors, Inc., is also a dedicated humanitarian who has organized more than 20 surgical missions to Ecuador, Colombia, Guatemala and Paraguay. Click here for all the details.
- You can’t say we didn’t remind you and we will continue to do so! Be sure 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. The winners which will be honored at a gala awards show on Sept. 8. A list of all of the finalists and the link to voting can be found by clicking here. 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 while sitting on a sunny beach somewhere enjoying a Fourth of July getaway!
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].
Like what you see here? Click here to subscribe to We-Ha’s newsletter so you’ll always be in the know about what’s happening in West Hartford!