A round-up of openings, closings, and other news about West Hartford businesses.
By Ronni Newton
Happy Monday, and a belated Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms. I hope you were all treated like royalty on Sunday!
We’ve had a streak of wonderful weather, and people have been out and about, strolling around town, eating on patios, and remembering why we love living in West Hartford.
Many of the stories in this week’s Buzz – and we have some really exciting news to share – were discovered on a beautiful Thursday morning walk through West Hartford Center that combined business with pleasure!
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:
- Last week we reported that Pfau’s Hardware was changing ownership as of Monday, May 4, and as of May 5, the Farmington Avenue hardware store reopened under the ownership of father and son Fred Larsen Sr. and Fred Larsen Jr. (Fred Sr. said they aren’t really junior and senior because they have different middle names, but the terms make it easier for everyone.) We-Ha.com checked in with the new owners on Thursday and they were friendly and welcoming. One major change that Fred Sr. confirmed – the store name will officially become Larsen Ace Hardware as soon as new signage is ready. “I want the Larsen name to be synonymous with quality,” Larsen said, just like it is in the Canton store. Service, Larsen said, will be what continues to differentiate his store from bigger hardware stores. “I want to compete because we offer service, and we’re going to continue that service,” he said. Larsen said that he has hired all of the same people who have been working at Pfau’s. Dan Hinman, who will manage the Farmington Avenue store while the Larsens split their time between West Hartford and Canton confirmed that other than the name, planned changes are minor and mostly will affect ordering and other systems. “The floors are still going to creak, they’ll just be a little cleaner,” Hinman said of the well-loved wood floors. The store will expand some of its merchandise selection, including offering more grills such as the Big Green Egg.
- The empty storefront right next door to Pfau’s/Larsen, 982 Farmington Ave. which was formerly occupied by Silkworm, will soon be home to the second “Hope & Stetson” store. Hope & Stetson, which is owned by Tamara Laurie, currently has one location in Mystic, and is a boutique that “offers a variety of fashions including knit wears, premium denim, and antique pieces true to the New England style. Hope & Stetson is the perfect place to pamper oneself, or, with a gift, pamper someone else!” according to the store’s Facebook page. Build out is in progress, and stay tuned for details about the opening which should be sometime in May.
- ICYMI: Francesca’s opened for business on Friday and had its grand opening on Saturday. It got a major thumbs-up from my just-home-from-college daughter, and the boutique was already doing a brisk business on Saturday. District Manager Jess Begin said, the store appeals to women of all ages, from teens to 60-somethings, and from the looks of the smiling shoppers at the register, that is definitely true.
- How about some non-Farmington Avenue news? Farmers’ markets are back for the season! The West Hartford Center market opened last weekend, and the Farmers’ Market at Bishops Corner will reopen on Saturday, May 16 at 9 a.m.
- Gaffney Bennett Public Relations (GBPR), a leading communications firm based in Connecticut, has announced the hiring of West Hartford resident Sarah Whitney. According to a news release from GBPR, Whitney will be an account manager and will use her background in marketing and public relations to support a variety of client engagements. “Sarah’s hiring is in response to our firm’s growth and our desire to add her proven marketing skills to our team’s skill set,” said principal Hank Spring. “We are delighted to welcome Sarah to the group.”
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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