A round-up of openings, closings, and other news about West Hartford businesses.
By Ronni Newton
Happy Labor Day!
As I sat down to write this column, it occurred to me that I have only a vague idea of what Labor Day is really all about. To me Labor Day signifies the end of summer, and that makes me sad. And when I was a kid it always meant that school would be starting in two days – always the Wednesday after Labor Day – which made me kind of sad but also excited at the same time. For years it’s also been a day we like to barbecue with friends at Winding Trails and stay until the sun sets and they detach the last dock and pull it away with a motor boat for storage until next June. (Cue Don Henley’s “Boys of Summer,” which never fails to run through my mind.)
I thought maybe I should be embarrassed about not really knowing the origin of the day, kind of like I always feel dumb when people talk about the contestants on “Dancing with the Stars” because I have absolutely no idea what’s happening on that show and am pretty much ignorant about a lot of those pop culture types of things. So I asked my husband, who’s a really smart guy, and he didn’t really know either.
In case you are also wondering, here’s a little Labor Day lesson straight from the U.S. Department of Labor, which actually came up as the first item when I Googled “Labor Day.” (I was expecting Wikipedia.)
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, “Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.” Labor Day was first celebrated in New York City on Sept. 5, 1882, by the Central Labor Union.
In 1884 the Central Labor Union chose the first Monday of September as the celebration of the holiday, and “urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a ‘workingmen’s holiday’ on that date.” By the following year, labor organizations had helped spread the holiday to other industrical centers. Labor Day spread to Connecticut by the end of the 1880s.
Original Labor Day celebrations included “a street parade to exhibit to the public ‘the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations’ of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families.”
Senate Bill 730, which was passed on June 28, 1894, made Labor Day a national holiday on the first Monday of September.
Whatever your plans are for Labor Day, now you know why it’s a day off for many workers. But not for most retail employees, since it’s a big day for sales.
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:
- We’re “borrowing” this story straight from a Facebook post by the Bishops Corner Neighborhood Association about something that will be a great resource for many local organizations: “The BCNA has established a place in Bishops Corner to hang banners – similar to the banners you see in West Hartford Center and Park Road. Edens Bishops Corner has generously donated space along Albany Ave for West Hartford non-profit groups to promote their events.” According to the BCNA, the farmers’ market banner will be changed out as other organizations apply to have their banners hang in the space. That application can be found here: http://bishopscorner.org/banner-application/. And if you haven’t been, the farmers’ market is wonderful!
- Price Rite, which in West Hartford is located at 983 New Britain Ave., is working with the Community Renewal Team (CRT) to support Meals on Wheels. Through Oct. 10, customers are being encouraged to “Buy-a-Wheel” for $1 each through a donation at the register. The following details were provided in a news release from CRT: “CRT’s Elderly Nutrition Program can provide up to 14 meals a week to frail homebound seniors, offering a variety of therapeutic options to meet the participant’s dietary restrictions. In the past year, CRT served more than 3,000 seniors throughout Central Connecticut. This included 121,641 meals delivered to people’s homes by volunteers and CRT staff – who are often the only visitors that the senior sees. An additional 179,637 meals were served at more than 30 Senior Cafés – a senior center or elder housing complex where seniors can socialize while they eat. Private contributions allow CRT to keep a fleet of more than 25 custom hot-and-cold trucks fuelled up and on the road. These meals are affordable for elders on a limited income; participants are asked to contribute $2.50 per meal, but no one is turned away for inability to pay. CRT will also hold a golf tournament on September 30 at Lake of Isles in North Stonington to support Meals on Wheels. Kathy Freedman, the senior human resource manager for Price Rite, said the company is very pleased to be working with CRT again. ‘We partner with this group for the ‘Feed the Children’ event every year, where CRT lines up 800 low-income families to receive a significant food donation,’ Freedman said. ‘Of course, we’re delighted to be able to help the senior meal program, which is so very important.'”
- Last week I saw this sign in the vacant store that was formerly Office Depot in Corbin’s Corner. Even though it’s September I’m ignoring the pumpkins and pumpkin-related products that are cropping up everywhere and the Halloween candy I saw at CVS. I’m still not ready for the mums either. (I like ALL of those things, just not yet.) But in case you’re interested, the seasonal Spirit store will be coming to West Hartford very soon.
- Congratulations to West Hartford-based BlumShapiro on being named one of the fastest growing private U.S companies by Inc. magazine in the publication’s “2015 Inc. 5000.” BlumShapiro Managing Partner Carl Johnson said in a news release, “To be recognized nationally by such a prestigious publication as Inc. is a testament to the execution of our strategic vision of being New England’s premier regional business advisory firm.” According to the release, BlumShapiro, with a 45 percent growth rate and $68.4 million in revenues, is listed in the 2015 Inc. 5000 as one of the fastest-growing financial services firms in the nation and one of just two such privately held firms headquartered in the Hartford metro area. BlumShapiro has also been identfied this year as one of the top 100 firms by “Accounting Today” and “INSIDE Public Accounting.”
- West Hartford resident Dr. Yurly May has recently opened a new holistic dental practice, Natural Dentistry. Dr. May’s practice, which opened a few months ago, is currently located at 2 Forest Park in Farmington but he hopes to secure space in West Hartford soon. Dental treatments incorporate essential oils, homeopathy, and ozone therapy alongside other therapies. From the website: “At our office you will be pampered with freshly squeezed green juice, hand paraffin treatments, offered iPads and futuristic movie glasses to watch movies during procedures, and offered noise-cancelling BOSE headphones to listen to your favorite music, or your favorite podcasts. At Dr. May’s office, we want you to feel at home with warm blankets and organic chai, ensuring your maximal comfort, reducing your stress in the dental chair for improved healing and the ultimate experience. Natural Dentistry will change your mind about dentistry – Dr. May has changed the paradigm of service for patients, yielding an unparalleled experience wrapped in luxury and relaxation. Dentistry as you know it, is no more. Welcome to Natural Dentistry – exceptional dentistry accompanied by an entirely different and frankly, enjoyable, experience.”
- In just a few days the winners of the first Best of West Hartford competition will be known! If you’re planning to come to the awards show, which includes great food, open bar (beer and wine), and a chance to mingle with the winners, please click here to order your tickets! The event is THIS THURSDAY from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at Town Hall.
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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