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West Hartford Business Buzz: October 2, 2017

Guests at the third annual Best of West Hartford awards show were greeted by an ice sculpture of the event logo, created by Ice Matters and sponsored by Uberdog. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

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

By Ronni Newton

Greetings from Seattle!

This is my second time visiting this city. I was here a year ago for the first time, on a surprise “empty nester” trip that my husband planned. Then he got an invitation to speak at a conference this week and I couldn’t resist tagging along! Thankfully my adult daughter is at home right now to take care of the house and dog, and that makes it much easier for us to get away.

Seattle is a very walkable city and we’ve already logged dozens of miles since arriving late Saturday morning. We’ve been to Pike’s Place, the Olympic Sculpture Garden, and also walked all over town trying to find a place that could replace the screen on my iPhone, which shattered when I dropped it on a gravel path. Thank you to GadgetFix for the excellent, and quick, repair job. While waiting I had a chance to step inside Amazon’s World Headquarters thanks to a kind security guard who let me use the restroom. I actually had no idea that was what the building was until he told me!

We spent Sunday morning on Bainbridge Island. The port area reminds me of West Hartford Center in many ways with great restaurants and shops. The ferry ride is scenic, and it’s a beautiful area that I would recommend visiting if you have the chance.

I had planned on skipping the regular column this week and substituting coverage of Best of West Hartford because really, that’s the top business news of the week. However, there are other pieces of business news to share, we didn’t want to wait until Monday to list the winners, and my husband went to a reception that I’m not invited to, so I have some time for writing …

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:

  • Best of West Hartford really is the main story this week. Congratulations to all of the winners, and thank you to all who attended the third annual Best of West Hartford awards show which was so much fun! Thank you also to photographer Cheyney Barrieau for sharing all of her great images of the night. We also have photos of most of the winners courtesy of SnapSeat. Click here to find out which businesses won, and click here for a photo gallery of the event! And at the end of this column there’s a video of the event, courtesy of David Chmielweski of DirectLine Media!

  • There were also many other great businesses that received support of their customers in Best of West Hartford voting. Congratulations also to the businesses (listed here) that were selected as top three Best of West Hartford finalists!
  • Beginning today and lasting through Oct. 6, Hartford Baking Company is raising money for Hurricane Maria relief. The devastation in Puerto Rico has personally impacted relatives of some of their employees, and in a news release Hartford Baking Company wrote: “We feel called to provide help in the best way we know how: baking. So, from Oct. 2 to Oct. 6, 10 percent of proceeds from our cafes on New Park Avenue and in West Hartford Center will be directed to Americares Hurricane Maria Relief Fund. Please stop in, purchase your favorite pastry, sandwich, or bread and know that with your purchase, you will be helping Americares as they provide medical supplies and care to those affected by the hurricane.”
  • Aurora Foundation, which has its headquarters at 80 South Main St. in West Hartford, has named a new executive director. The  organization announced in a news release that “Aurora Women and Girls Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of Jennifer Bernhardt Steadman, Ph.D. as its new executive director. Steadman, who will champion Aurora’s initiatives to strengthen opportunities for women and girls in Greater Hartford, will begin in late October.” According to Aurora Foundation Steadman, who most recently managed Adult Programs at the Connecticut Historical Society, “will lead Aurora’s efforts to focus the region’s public and private sectors around the need to educate and support innovations that enable women and girls to be leaders and active participants in their communities. She comes to the role with a deep understanding of gender-based challenges and is strategically positioned to serve as the organization’s new face and leading voice.”
  • Vaughan’s Pies & Pints (968 Farmington Ave., in the Brace Road parking lot) is fully up and running, and celebrated with its grand opening on Friday and Saturday.
  • Delamar West Hartford announced last week that it is now taking reservations for meetings and social events for groups ranging from 10-500 people. Space is available beginning Nov. 1. From the announcement: “The breathtaking grand ballroom steals the show, with floor to ceiling windows providing natural light overlooking the beautifully manicured event lawn. The soft color pallet sets an exquisite tone with chandeliers accentuating the light and beauty of the room, along with comfortable yet elegant seating and table settings suitable for any occasion. Ascending the grand staircase to the second floor brings guests to three additional spaces that are the perfect setting for any customized event, including a boardroom table that converts to a pool table after a power meeting … Delamar West Hartford is looking forward to hosting a range of events such as weddings, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, charity galas, corporate meetings, and retreats.  Catering will be provided by the hotel’s own Artisan Restaurant’s Executive Chef Frederic Kieffer who has been leading the kitchen at both Delamar Greenwich Harbor’s award winning l’escale and Delamar Southport’s Artisan. Chef Kieffer will customize menus for dietary and religious restrictions for any event. ‘The purpose of Delamar West Hartford is to not only serve the guests of West Hartford but the community as well,’ stated Daniel Coggins, Regional Director of Operations, Greenwich Hospitality Group. ‘We are eager to provide West Hartford, and the surrounding region, with luxurious event and meeting space for any occasion, whether it is a corporate, charitable, or personal event.’ For more information about hosting an event at Delamar West Hartford please contact our Sales department by email to [email protected] or visit: http://delamar.com/west-hartford/.
  • Mark your calendars now for Tuesday, Oct. 10, when the West Hartford Chamber of Commerce is will have a “West Hartford Chamber of Commerce Day” at Chick-fil-A at its 509 New Park Ave. location. In a news release, the Chamber wrote: “Franchise owner Daryl Jackson continues his community give-back by donating a percentage of the days sales to the West Hartford Chamber of Commerce. You must mention the Chamber when placing your order for the Chamber to be credited for the sale. Eat more chicken on Oct. 10Chick-fil-A believes in being about more than just selling chicken, that they should be a part of customer’s lives and the community in which they serve. The New Park Ave Chick-fil-A was only the seventh franchise location in the state of Connecticut.”
  • ICYMI, one of the ways in which Chick-fil-A owner operator Daryl Jackson has given back to the community is through a very generous donation to Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. Click here to read the heartwarming story of his daughter’s birth, and the miracle of her survival, that was the impetus for his gift.
  • It’s Park Road Parade Days! Here’s the list of all of the week’s activities that includes a fundraiser at Park & Oak Restaurant. The celebration will culminate with Saturday’s annual Park Road Parade.

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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