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West Hartford Business Buzz: November 23, 2015

These elves and their friends will be hidden in stores throughout West Hartford Center. Find them, and enter to win fantastic prizes. Photo courtesy of Barbara Karsky

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

What's this elf all about? Keep reading to find out! Photo by Tom Hickey

So what’s this elf all about? Keep reading to find out! Photo by Tom Hickey

By Ronni Newton

Happy Thanksgiving!

I was driving my son somewhere last week – which I don’t do very often these days because he has a license and a car – and he started streaming music from Pandora on his phone to my car radio. Christmas music! I know that he chose the genre because he knew I would prefer it to what he usually listens to – which is absolutely true – but I still thought it was a bit early.

Let’s celebrate Thanksgiving on Thursday, and really think about what it means. I’m thankful that I will be cooking a turkey and then spending the holiday with family, and talking with other family members who won’t be gathered at our table, some of whom I will get to see the next day. I’m thankful for so many other things, too – including that I live in this great town of West Hartford.

After Thanksgiving, I’m good with streaming holiday music, putting up decorations, and getting prepared for the next set of holidays. That includes shopping, and more cooking and eating, and elf hunting … which brings us to many of the items highlighted in this week’s Business Buzz!

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].

These elves and their friends will be hidden in stores throughout West Hartford Center. Find them, and enter to win fantastic prizes. Photo courtesy of Barbara Karsky

These elves and their friends will be hidden in stores throughout West Hartford Center. Find them, and enter to win fantastic prizes. Photo courtesy of Barbara Karsky

Here’s this week’s Buzz:

  • West Hartford Center is full of small businesses, and will kick off Small Business Saturday (the Saturday after Thanksgiving) with the “Great West Hartford Center Elf Hunt” as just one more added incentive to shopping local. Elves (the “Elf on a Shelf” variety) will be hidden in about two dozen participating stores throughout the Center. All you need to do is find the elves and get your ballot validated by the participating merchants to be entered to win a great prize. You have from Saturday, Nov. 28 until Thursday, Dec. 3 to find as many elves as possible; the more elves you find, the better the prize you are eligible for, and the total value of the prizes is estimated to be in excess of $2,500, so they are prizes you will want to win. Completed ballots need to be brought to the Showmobile at the intersection of LaSalle Road and Farmington Avenue during the Holiday Stroll on Dec. 3, and winners will be announced that night at 8 p.m. Ballots will be available at participating merchants as well as on We-Ha.com before the contest begins. The participating merchants are: Armeny Custom Jewelry (995 Farmington Ave.), BK&Co (64 LaSalle Rd.); Bridgewater Chocolates (12 Lasalle Rd.); Central Optica (33 LaSalle Rd.); Center Framing (56 LaSalle Rd.); Claypen (997 Farmington Ave.); DeRobertis Jewelers (52 LaSalle Rd.); Face Rx (1001 Farmington Ave.); Grants (977 Farmington Ave.); Iris Photography (10 LaSalle Rd.); Labrazel Home (74 LaSalle Rd.); La Petite France (967 Farmington Ave.); L.C.R. (981B Farmington Ave.); Lux, Bond & Green (46 LaSalle Rd.); Matthew Phillips Hair Design (68 LaSalle Rd.); Penzeys Spice (24 LaSalle Rd.); Philip David Jewelers (968 Farmington Ave.); Play It Again Sports (15 South Main St.); Restaurant Bricco (78 LaSalle Rd.); SIGHT (17 South Main St.); Toast Wines (984B Farmington Ave.); Grants (977 Farmington Ave.); Ten Thousand Villages (967 Farmington Ave.); and Village Vitality (982 Farmington Ave.). Happy elf hunting!
  • Shop Small” is happening all over West Hartford. Even if you’re doing the Black Friday thing and visiting the big box chain stores, don’t forget about the many local, family-owned businesses in the Center/Blue Back Square as well as Elmwood, Park Road, Bishops Corner, and Home Design District neighborhoods.
  • Food is of course a big part of holiday celebrations at this time of year, but there are ways to make all of that feasting healthier. Many thanks to Registered Dietitian Shana Griffin from ShopRite of West Hartford for sharing her tips, including recipes, for holiday meal makeovers, preventing holiday weight gain, and a guide to avoid over-stuffing yourself on Thanksgiving. According to the chart, stuffing probably isn’t something to be eaten in mass quantities. But I like stuffing, and luckily I also like long-distance running.
  • Don’t ignore the previous bullet point, but also be aware that cupcakes have arrived in West Hartford. NoRA Cupcake Company opened Thursday at 103 Memorial Rd. in Blue Back Square. Feedback has been delicious so far. Who already has a new favorite? The menu, which includes vegan and gluten-free options, changes daily so follow NoRA on Facebook to know what’s available each day. I wonder if my Thanksgiving guests would eat cupcakes for dessert …
  • Getting enough exercise is important (see bullet points above about food), and can be difficult to achieve especially during the winter months. Milton Ortega is returning to Connecticut from California where he has coached the kids of Hollywood stars like Tom Hanks and Jodie Foster in his unique and fun soccer program. Click here for the details about Socceropolis, a program for kids ages 3-10 that will be available beginning Dec. 28.
  • Congratulations to West Hartford Law firm Shipman, Shaiken & Schwefel, LLC, which has been ranked among the “Best Law Firms” in three practice areas in the U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers for the sixth consecutive year. The firm, which is located in Corporate Center West, 433 South Main St., West Hartford, has been given a tier ranking, which according to a news release “signals a unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise.” The firm is ranked in “Metropolitan Tier 1” for commercial litigation, and “Metropolitan Tier 2 for Litigation – Real Estate and Real Estate Law.

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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