West Hartford Business Buzz: October 10, 2016

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

By Ronni Newton

One of the highlights of early October in this area is the Hartford Marathon (which includes a half marathon and 5K along with the full 26.2 mile race), which was held this past Saturday. It’s a date I’ve usually marked on my calendar far in advance (I started to type “circled” but now that I no longer keep track of anything on a paper calendar, that really doesn’t make sense), but this was the first time in 15 years that I have neither run nor cheered on marathon Saturday.

Both my husband and I had some nagging little injuries that impacted our running over the summer, but then we got an invitation that provided a really good reason for missing the race: our daughter’s sorority sponsored a huge tailgate event before the 11:30 a.m. UConn football game. We were going to the game anyway, but this was a not-to-be missed opportunity to meet her college friends and their parents – something that doesn’t happen too often when your children are in college. We got to see our son, too!

I first participated in the Hartford Marathon when I ran the full 26.2 miles in 2001. It was a definite bucket-list experience, a test of will and mental determination as well as an athletic feat accomplished after hundreds of hours and miles of training in preparation. I won’t say I felt great at the end, but just like having a child that was soon forgotten and didn’t prevent me from doing it all over again.

Since then I have run the Hartford Half Marathon every year, other than in 2009 when I broke my foot while training to do the full marathon again, and in 2012 when I had broken my wrist over the summer and it was just too uncomfortable to run that distance with a cast. In 2009 I crutched to the starting line to cheer on my husband and his running partner in the full marathon, and crutched to the end to watch them finish in Boston Marathon-qualifying times. In 2012 I cheered on many of my own running partners in their races.

A special shout-out to my friend and running partner – “Super Woman” Kitty Horigan (who is probably going to be embarrassed that I have mentioned her here) who is the same age as I am and ran the full marathon in an amazing time of 3:58.20. I say that Kitty is my running partner, but now it’s only when she’s looking to do a short-ish and rather slow run. (Although I also ran a 3:58 marathon in Hartford, that was 15 years ago, and as much as I hate to admit it, age makes a big difference.)

To all who ran Saturday – congratulations!!

As we drove to Rentschler Field early Saturday morning, I was a bit envious when I saw the runners winding their way through East Hartford. But the egg and cheese sandwich (okay, and the Bloody Mary) and some great family time were worth it.

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:2016-fallfashioncube

  • A fusion of of fashion, food, and fun will be happening Thursday in West Hartford Center! During the fall “Fashion Fusion” show on Oct. 13, from 5-8 p.m., models will “strut their stuff” decked out in fashions and accessories from BK&Co., Daswani, Beckers, Lux Bond & Green, Max Zellers, J. McLaughlin, and Francescas. Ten Thousand Villages and Central Optica will show off their fashionable accessories, and BlueMercury will showcase the latest makeup trends. The stage will be decorated with rugs by Kaoud. Tasty food samples will be offered by Omaha Steaks, Hartford Baking Company, La Petite France, and Cookshop Plus. Silver Dahlia will be taking orders for Vineyard Vines custom We-Ha clothing and accessories. The festivities will all take place on the Town of West Hartford Showmobile stage that will be parked right near the corner of Farmington Avenue and LaSalle Road. Admission is free, and the fun will be contagious! WeHa Whiskey Festival (see more below, and be sure to book your ticket if you haven’t already) is the presenting sponsor, along with West Hartford Magazine, We-Ha.com, and the West Hartford Center Business Association. Participants are subject to change as the event date approaches, so please visit the event page for updates on the We-Ha.com calendar: https://we-ha.com/event/fashion-fusion-show/
  • Great news for cupcake lovers! NoRA Cupcake Company, which opened as a one-year pop-up in Blue Back Square last November, will be staying in town for at least another year. Blue Back Square Marketing Director Elizabeth Zigmont confirmed that NoRA has resigned its lease for the the 103 Memorial Rd. space.
  • Touch Of Bliss Spa on Park Road will be holding a grand reopening on Saturday, Oct. 15. Owner Erina Lander has doubled the size of her organic spa, expanding onto two floors of the 88 Park Road building (corner of Park Road and South Highland), and offers organic massages, facials, waxing, and skincare from Hungary. The grand reopening includes a chance to win one of six exciting raffle prizes, and all attendees will receive gift certificates and exclusive specials for future services. Refreshments and appetizers will be served, and there will be complimentary mini-facials, ashiatsu, and chair massages. RSVP at 860-712-7313 or [email protected]gmail.com.

    Gledhill Nursery. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

    Gledhill Nursery. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

  • One piece of bad news to share this week. Gledhill Nursery is going out of business. We don’t have a timeline for the closing, but it’s not likely to be before the end of the year according to the person at Gledhill who confirmed the plans to close but was not authorized to give out any more details. The owner could not be reached for comment. Gledhill’s sprawling and bucolic property at 660 Mountain Rd. has been for sale since at least January 2015, when it was offered for $3,775,000. As of Sept. 6, 2016, the price was $2,500,000 for the 8.9 acre property. It’s zoned R-13, and could be developed for other uses, but virtually anything would require zoning approval. The property is also in a flood zone.

    Tanya Barrett. Submitted photo

    Tanya Barrett. Submitted photo

  • West Hartford resident Tanya Barrett is one of two new members appointed to the board of the Connecticut Health Foundation. Barrett, a senior vice president of 2-1-1 Health and Human Services oversees the United Way of Connecticut’s 2-1-1 Health and Human Services unit and specialty units. 2-1-1 helps to meet the needs of Connecticut residents by providing one-stop information, education, and connection to services ranging from crisis intervention to child care. According to a news release, Barrett is a Fellow of CT Health’s 2008 Health Leadership Fellows Program class and has stayed active with the fellows network. Previously, Barrett was director of the United Way of Connecticut’s HUSKY Infoline and a supervisor of the Children’s Health Infoline. Her past experience includes serving as a social worker with the Connecticut Department of Children and Families and as a job coach with the Mental Health Association of Connecticut.  The Western Connecticut State University and University of Bridgeport alum is on the board of Klingberg Family Centers.
  • A few paragraphs ago we mentioned the We-Ha.com calendar page. Did you know that you can add your own community event to this calendar? Visit this page: https://we-ha.com/events/community/add
  • A final reminder that the Fourth Annual WeHa Whiskey Festival, presented by Maximum Beverage, will be held on Saturday, Oct. 15, from 6-9 p.m. at The Hartford Golf Club! As of this writing, tickets are almost sold out! From www.wehawhiskey.com: “Join us to sample over 200 different types of Whiskey, Bourbon, Single Malt Scotch, and Barrel Aged products! For the first time ever we will be sampling PREMIUM Cigars on the back patio! Catered food, exciting raffle prizes, a sensational VIP Tasting, a local restaurant battle, and live entertainment will make this the best Whiskey Festival ever! All proceeds benefit Hartford’s Camp Courant.”

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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We-Ha.com is the place to go for the latest information about West Hartford – a town that "has it all"! We-Ha.com is part of and proud of our community, and we bring a hyperlocal focus to news and features about the people, schools, businesses, real estate, sports, restaurants, charitable events, arts, and more. Contact us at: [email protected] or [email protected]

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