A round-up of openings, closings, and other news about West Hartford businesses.
By Ronni Newton
The weather is supposed to be a “safe” subject to discuss, but many of those who were running in the 25th Anniversary Hartford Marathon, Half Marathon, or 5K on Saturday morning uttered quite a few profanities at the sudden change from summer to what felt like winter.
I ran the Hartford Half Marathon for the 14th time on Sunday (my 15th time participating in the overall event, because I ran the full marathon the first year, before I had ever done a half marathon), and after a somewhat haphazard training program in August and September, I committed and registered and was excited about the forecast of low 50s and sunshine. I was not happy when the forecast changed to rain and mid-40s.
But I actually loved this year’s race!
The rain didn’t feel too bad while I was running, and I managed to dodge the biggest of the puddles so my feet didn’t ever feel too wet. I ran the entire time with one of my best friends and running partners, we were running for the experience and not with a time goal, and I never felt like I couldn’t breathe, or like my legs couldn’t move anymore, or like I never ever wanted to run again – all feelings that I have experienced in past races. I crossed the finish line in 2:12.41, far slower than my best time of 1:51.24, but almost a minute faster than last year despite this year’s rain and my lack of serious training.
Congratulations to all who ran, and thanks to all who braved the cold rain to cheer on the runners, or provide support in the food tents and other services in Bushnell Park. Yes, the park turned into a quagmire with rain mixed with thousands of people walking on the grass, but it was still worth walking across the mud to get that celebratory beer with my sister!
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:
- Parents of young children and expectant parents will be very excited to hear that buybuy Baby is opening this week! The corporate office wasn’t able to give me an exact date, but when I went over to the Corbin Collection to take a photo, I happened to meet a crew of employees who were leaving a training session, all of whom confirmed that the opening will be Thursday, Oct. 18. No one would let me inside to take photos (although I did get one of the upstairs lobby when the doors were open), but I’ll head over there on Thursday once it’s open for business.
- Cost Plus World Market is also about to open, although I don’t have an exact date on that one. One reliable source said it would open the same day as buybuy Baby, but others have said it will open a week later, and still another source said the first week of November. The source that said a week later seemed the most sure of the date, but I will confirm as soon as possible.
- Dunkin Donuts and Baskin Robbins have officially completed the move diagonally across the street to the northeast corner of New Britain Avenue and South Main Street. I’m not sure of the square footage, but the new space looks to be a bit larger. No word on what will be occupying the now vacant space on the southwest corner of the intersection.
- This week is shoe week at BK&Co. in West Hartford Center (983 Farmington Ave.). Shoe fans (and I am definitely one of those!) will want to check out the L’Artiste Trunk Show on Sunday, Oct. 21, from noon-4 p.m. The L’Artiste line was featured in the most recent issue of West Hartford magazine, and includes artisan-inspired shoes and boots. The first ever BK&Co. Fall Shoe Fashion Show will begin at 2 p.m., featuring “western booties, trendy shooties, luxury sneakers and shoes in every color” according to a news release from BK&Co. The event is a benefit for Footwear with Care, which is a partnership between Fleet Feet Sports, the Connecticut Podiatric Medical Association, the Hartford Police Department, and Community Partners in Action that provides durable footwear, socks, and medical foot exams to homeless and at risk adults and children in Hartford. They are gearing up for their annual winter boot event on Dec. 8 in Hartford at Christ Church Cathedral where they expect to help over 400 people prepare for the upcoming winter months. For more info visit footwearwithcare.org. A donation of $10 to Footwear with Care will give you 10 percent off any shoe, boot, or special order. To reserve your seat at the shoe fashion show, call BK&Co. at 860-232-6225 or email at [email protected].
- Donut Crazy is definitely getting closer to opening. The permanent sign is now in place on the front of the building at 993-A Farmington Ave., and the inside looks close to being complete as well.
- Sheehan Hilborn Breen will be conducting a food drive from Oct. 15-Nov. 10 to benefit the West Hartford Food Pantry. Non-perishable food items will be collected in a box just inside their back door at 1084 New Britain Ave. in West Hartford on Monday through Friday between 9 a.m.-4 p.m. “Our understanding is that the West Hartford Food Pantry is very low and although it may be an uncommon setting for a food drive, we want to help out in every way that we can,” said Charlie Hilborn, owner of the Sheehan Hilborn Breen Funeral Home. “Everybody can play a role to eliminate hunger in our community. If you are in the area, please consider dropping off a few items. Any donation will be greatly appreciated,” he said. Food products most needed are canned fruit, canned meats, pasta and sauce, macaroni and cheese, rice, peanut butter, cold cereal, soups, and personal care products. Please be sure the items are not expired. If you have any questions or want to schedule a donation drop off, please call Pamela at 860-561-3800.
- The employees of West Hartford center based YHB Investment Advisors, Inc. recently collected and helped to distribute backpacks for The Town That Cares Backpack drive. “We are thrilled to be able to support this program again. We especially enjoy seeing the children enthusiastically pick out their backpack for the upcoming school year,” said Jessica Kott, YHB organizer for the drive.
- Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties’ West Hartford office announced announced last week that realtor Kevin Eagan was inducted into the Endicott College’s Athletics Hall of Fame. As a member of Endicott’s football team from 2008-2011, Eagan compiled numerous postseason honors and accolades such as 2011 BSN All-America Second Team accolades, two ECAC Northeast Defensive Player of the Year honors, seven all-region selections, two NEFC Boyd Defensive Player of the Year awards, one NEFC Boyd Defensive Rookie of the Year selection, and four NEFC Boyd First Team laurels. Since joining Berkshire Hathaway, Eagan has continued his award-winning ways, earning a ranking of no. 88 in 2017 out of more than 40,000 sales executives nationwide in Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices’ Top 100 list. He was aslo awarded the prestigious Chairman’s Circle-Diamond level for 2017 and he and his team (Lepore-Eagan) were the no. 1 team in the company for both Gross Commission Income and Units for 2017. “Kevin’s determination and discipline as an athlete, his focus , and his total commitment to excel in sports has definitely transferred into his extremely successful career as realtor. His ability to work well with others to achieve their goals, along with his winning personality, has resulted in the rave reviews from his clients,” said Meryl Freedman, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties’ West Hartford office leader.
- BlumShapiro recently hosted a Networking and Interview Skills Workshop with the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) Greater Hartford Chapter for college students. The event, held at BlumShapiro’s headquarters in West Hartford, included sessions led by the firm on networking, interviewing skills, and personal branding. Nearly 20 participants included students from the University of Connecticut and Eastern Connecticut State University, among others.
- The Connecticut Retail Merchants Association (CRMA), the statewide association for Connecticut’s retail industry, is honoring three of Connecticut’s leading retail businesses for their responsiveness to customers, superior business practices and outstanding community involvement. The 2018 honorees are Tile America and CVS Health – both of which have West Hartford locations – as well as Kloter Farms. Tile America is being honored as is being recognized as the 2018 CRMA Retailer of the Year, and CVS will receive the 2018 CRMA National Retailer Award. The awards will be presented on Oct. 17 at the CRMA Annual Awards Luncheon, to be held at The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford.
- For the past few weeks readers have been asking about the apparent closing of Vaughan’s Pies and Pints (968 Farmington Ave., in the Brace Road parking lot), and I have confirmed with Johnny Vaughan that the restaurant has closed for good a little more than a year after opening. Vaughan said that he has sold the business to the owner of Barb’s Pizza. More details to come about when the space will re-open, and what changes can be expected.
- When I was at Trader Joe’s last week I noticed that the D’Angelo’s in Corbin’s Corner has closed. It looks like construction is already going on inside for a replacement occupant.
- In this week’s ICYMI department, Ideanomics (formerly known as Seven Starts Cloud Group) officially purchased the former UConn West Hartford campus on Wednesday for $5.2 million. Much more to come as the process of permitting for construction and renovation begins. Click here for the complete story.
- The Fix IV Therapy opens Monday (today) at 1000 Farmington Ave. in West Hartford Center. The boutique vitamin therapy business offers IV infusions as well as boosters of vitamins in a spa-like setting. Click here for the details.
- Have you been following our podcasts? The latest edition was published on Sunday – an interview with Andrew Bachman of Trout Brook Landscaping. Podcasts, which are new to We-Ha.com, are housed under the Experience We-Ha tab on the homepage. Click here to listen.
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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