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West Hartford Business Buzz: May 29, 2024

Candy Time will be opening at 1049 New Britain Avenue. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

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

Business Buzz is sponsored by NBT Bank, and we are very thankful for their support!

By Ronni Newton

Welcome to a rare Wednesday edition of Business Buzz, postponed due to the Memorial Day holiday.

We had some spectacular weather late last week and the first two days of the weekend. I always think of the Friday of Memorial Day weekend as the unofficial start to summer, offering the promise of many warm and sunny days to come along with (hopefully} a bit of a more leisurely schedule that includes some beach time.

Last week was anything but leisurely, and I more than made up for my lack of eating out the previous week by multiple restaurant visits – most of which were for “official” work purposes.

I’m leaving out the photo of my chicken salad wrap at the Rye Ridge Deli in Stamford last Monday (it was delicious). I had a great breakfast bowl at DORO Marketplace Tuesday morning, but forgot to take a photo before I started eating it. And there was one other meal I am leaving out because it will be included in its own feature story.

Thanks to the Miale Team for inviting me and Ted to attend their VIP Client Event at GastroPark on Wednesday. The burnt ends from Hindsight BBQ and chicken tenders and potato wedges from CraftBird were delicious – and a cold Fat Orange Cat Baby Kittens beer hit the spot on a warm night.

Burnt Ends from Hindsight BBQ at GastroPark. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Spicy chicken tenders and potato wedges from CraftBird at GastroPark. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Cold beer on a warm night at GastroPark. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

On Saturday night we decided to return to Salt + Lime Mexican Cantina to try a few more dishes, and it was also a great night to sit on their beautiful patio. We had to have the street corn again, and of course demolished that bowl of chips. Actually, we didn’t have any leftovers from the meal pictured below (Ted did help finish mine) and will definitely return!

Chips and salsa from Salt + Lime. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Coconut pineapple margarita from Salt + Lime. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Street corn from Salt + Lime. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Enchiladas Salt + Lime (from top: chicken, cheese, ground beef) from Salt + Lime. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Classic chimichanga from Salt + Lime. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Salt + Lime Mexican Cantina sign is now up. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

My weekend was also filled with plenty of activities, including running and gardening – and trying out pickleball for the first time ever! Thanks to Laurie and Michael – and Ted (who has been trying to get me to play pickleball for years) – for their patience and lessons. I can’t wait to play again!

Thanks to Laurie, Michael, and Ted for teaching me pickleball. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Lots of flowers and some veggies and herbs to plant! Photo credit: Ronni Newton

The weekend ended rainy, but I still photographed a great Memorial Day parade, and Bridget Bronsdon covered the moving Memorial Day ceremony that followed.

If you are a long term, regular advertiser on We-Ha.com and have a 60 to 75 word submission for a future Business Buzz please send to Bob Carr at [email protected].

If you’re looking for news about West Hartford in print please note that many stories from We-Ha.com, as well as other local news, is published in the twice-monthly issues of the West Hartford Press.

If you have information to share about local businesses, please provide details in the comments or email Ronni Newton at [email protected].


Here’s this week’s Buzz:

Candy Time will be opening at 1049 New Britain Avenue. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

  • I had recently noticed a small sign in the window of the building that was formerly Estate Buys (next to Fitness with Jonathan) at 1049 New Britain Avenue, but was always in the wrong lane to pull into the lot and check it out. I got an email from a reader last week asking me about the business named on the sign – Candy Time – so I went to check it out one day last week. As I hopped out of my car to take a photo, I was caught in the act by someone who pulled into the parking lot right after me and hopped out of her car, and that was how I met Candy Time owner Becky Baran!  “I’ve been obsessed with candy for my whole life. It’s my kryptonite,” said the West Hartford resident, who has lived in town for 17 years and was looking to switch careers to something that didn’t involve sitting behind a desk, and to create a place where people are excited to visit and hang out and where kids can also connect, off-screen. The permit process is underway, and Baran said the garage door on the right will become the front entrance to what she envisions as a version of a general store. There will be “penny candy,” international candy, and other types of candy, as well as a selection of toys, books, games, and works by local artists. On the left side of the building will be a workshop, where she plans to host birthday parties and other events – particularly events involving candy such as gingerbread house-making and creation of body sugar scrubs. Baran said she’s been looking for a space for a while when she learned Estate Buys had closed and the kitchen design business also located at that site didn’t want the space. “It was kismet. The timing worked out really well” – just like my timing for taking the photo! Baran said she hopes to open this summer, and then hold a “golden ticket” grand opening event during back-to-school time in the fall. Visit the candytimewh.com website for more information.

Candy Time will be opening at 1049 New Britain Avenue. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

  • Peachbody (276 Park Road) has closed and the space is transitioning to Strong Roots Club as of June 1, 2o24. when they will host a grand opening. According to the website, Strong Roots Club, which is owned by Justin Barral, features a “holistic approach to health and wellness, emphasizing the transformative power of daily functional movement, balanced nutritional intake, and mental self-care for overall healthy living.”

Strong Roots Club has taken over the Peachbody space at 276 Park Road. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

  • JD Sports is now open at Westfarms! The trendy UK-based athletic retailer is located on the lower level near Center Court, and the space, which measures more than 6,000 square feet – and is physically in both West Hartford and Farmington.

JD Sports is now open at Westfarms. Photo credit: Amanda Sirica

JD Sports is now open at Westfarms. Photo credit: Amanda Sirica

JD Sports is now open at Westfarms. Photo credit: Amanda Sirica

  • The West Hartford Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting on Friday at Beyond Wellness Healthcare. Dr. Shaina Barr and Dr. Ashley Mills actually opened their primary care and holistic-based practice at 901 Farmington Avenue a year ago, and the ribbon-cutting coincided with their one-year anniversary. They take insurance, and also have a sliding-scale self-pay option with a commitment “to provide compassionate, affordable, accessible, and holistic healthcare to all individuals in the community.” For more about their practice, including the services that they provide visit the website.

Beyond Wellness Healthcare had a ribbon cutting on May 24 at 901 Farmington Avenue. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Beyond Wellness Healthcare had a ribbon cutting on May 24 at 901 Farmington Avenue. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

  • Attending the ribbon cutting for Beyond Wellness Healthcare, which is located on the south side of Farmington Avenue right near the intersection of Trout Brook Drive, provided me with a great opportunity to see the progress on The Camelot as well as the Maui gas station and convenience store right across the street. The view from the third floor window afforded an even better vantage point (if you excuse the glare from the glass). Maui looks nearly complete, and the portion of The Camelot being built where Los Imperios once stood is rising above the foundation, while renovation of the former West Hartford Inn is underway as well. The Camelot project – which will be 44 units of affordable housing – got underway in January, and was projected to take 15-16 months.

Lots of progress on the Maui gas station and convenience store and The Camelot! Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Progress on the Maui gas station and convenience store and The Camelot from the third floor window of Beyond Wellness Healthcare. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

  • Other construction projects around town are taking shape as well. I drove by O’Reilly Auto Parts which is being built at 984 New Britain Avenue in the PriceRite Plaza. The new building (approved by the Town Council about five years ago) will be about 7,600 square feet and looks to be nearing completion. They are hiring managers and employees.

Work is progressing on O’Reilly Auto Parts in the PriceRite Plaza on New Britain Avenue. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

  • Also spotted on a drive through town is the sign for JunkPot Studio at its future new home at 602 New Park Avenue. The community ceramics studio and educational business will be moving from 635 New Park Avenue into a space that’s nearly double the size. I’ve reached out to the owner for information about when the move will take place and will update as soon as I can get the details.

The sign is up at what will be the new location of JunkPot Studio at 602 New Park Avenue. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

  • I was at the Hartford HealthCare building at the corner of South Main Street and New Britain Avenue last week (just my annual physical), and since I was already parked in the lot it was a good opportunity to check on the progress of the Starbucks under construction in the same complex.

Starbucks is under construction on South Main Street near the intersection of New Britain Avenue. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Starbucks is under construction on South Main Street near the intersection of New Britain Avenue. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Starbucks is under construction on South Main Street near the intersection of New Britain Avenue. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

  • Saint Mary Home, Trinity Health Senior Communities’ skilled nursing community in West Hartford, has been named a Center of Distinction in Wound Management by Wound Care Specialists, LLC. Michael Lombardo, vice president of corporate partnerships at Wound Care Specialists in Farmington, presented Charmin Kendall, RN, Saint Mary Home’s infection preventionist, with the certificate at a recent medical staff meeting. The Wound Care Specialists’ Program of Distinction was created to identify post-acute care skilled nursing facilities that demonstrate outstanding wound management performance and continued superiority in wound healing.  Certificates are awarded to those communities who meet clinical criteria for wound healing time, care management through nursing, nutrition, and physical or occupational therapy, and outcome data. “This recognition by Wound Care Specialists, LLC means so much to the entire team of professional caregivers at Saint Mary Home,” said Administrator Rachel DeMaida. “We work every day toward a mission of providing compassionate, transformative healing for our residents, and this is significant acknowledgment that we’re doing it very well,” she explained. “I’m so proud that Saint Mary Home has earned Center of Distinction status.

Infection Preventionist Charmin Kendall, RN, receives the Center of Distinction certificate from Michael Lombardo, vice president of corporate partnerships at Wound Care Specialists, LLC. Courtesy photo

  •  Max Hospitality announced in a news release last week that after 34 years in its original location, Max A Mia will be moving to a new location at 380 West Main Street in Avon. Max A Mia’s new home will be in the former home of Bertucci’s restaurant, in Avon Marketplace, just two miles to the west of Max A Mia’s current home at 70 East Main Street in Avon. The move is expected in early 2025, when the new restaurant is completed. “We are beyond excited about this move and the opportunity it represents to expand our space and refresh our look and menu while honoring our long-standing presence of warm hospitality and great food in Avon,” said Scott Smith, president and CEO of Max Hospitality. “Since its opening, our original space has become a Farmington Valley landmark, but as business surged in the aftermath of the pandemic, it has limited our ability to grow and accommodate our expanding customer base and evolving food culture.” Max Hospitality has engaged award-winning restaurant designer Peter Niemitz, of Niemitz Design Group to design the new space. Max has a longstanding relationship with Niemitz, who has designed the interiors of all existing Max Hospitality restaurants. At the new location, Max A Mia Executive Chef and General Manager Bob Peterson will be joined by Elisabeth Guarino, a warm and professional hospitality expert who has served as general manager at Max Fish for the last seven years, bringing her wealth of experience to the team. Max Hospitality, a next-generation rebranding of the former Max Restaurant Group, with the same commitment to innovative cuisine, superior dining experience, and exceptional customer service that have defined restaurants under the Max restaurant umbrella for 35 years. In 2022, Max’s founder and former CEO, Richard Rosenthal, sold his shares to longtime partners Scott Smith, Steven Abrams, Bob Cooke, Brian Costa, Doug Kelly, John Thomas, Christoper Torla, and Hunter Morton, who formed the new company with this transition, the Max Restaurant Group rebranded as Max Hospitality.

Max A Mia. Courtesy photo

Max A Mia. Courtesy photo

  • ICYMI, Center Park Place condominiums, which will be constructed as the first phase of infill development in the Center by the Arapahoe Group, are now on the market. Click here for the complete story.

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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1 Comment

  • Great construction pictures from the Starbucks and Camelot apartments. Will be interesting to see the rising of building at Trout Brook Drive next to Kingswood Oxford in the next 3 months now that foundation is almost done. Any construction updates from the 8th building over on Steele Rd, where they built a 7th one 5 or 6 years back? I know it was about a year ago when the town council approved the construction of it.

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