Business

New Canaan businesses are the lifeblood not just of the “Magic Circle” downtown and other hubs of arts and commerce, but also are critical drivers and supporters of community events, human services and preserving the character of “The Next Station to Heaven.” In this section, we spotlight New Canaan businesses and profile their owners, in long-form interviews and spot features, celebrating our anchor businesses and welcoming those new to town.

Recent Articles

Property Owner in Legal Filing: Mrs. Green’s Failed To Pay Rent, Violated Terms of 20-Year Lease

Mrs. Green’s starting in November failed to pay rent for the commercial building in downtown New Canaan that it continued to occupy at least into the following month, according to a legal filing brought on behalf of the property’s owners. The grocery chain breached its 20-year lease for the former Post Office building at Park and Pine Streets, according to an active suit filed with the Housing Session at state Superior Court in Norwalk. In failing to pay its rent, common area charges and late charges, the actions of Mrs. Green’s amount to “unfair and deceptive methods of competition and unfair and deceptive trade practices within the meaning of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act,” according to the suit, filed Dec. 15 by attorney Stephen Walko of Greenwich-based Ivey, Barnum & O’Mara LLC on behalf of property owner ESP Pine Street LLC. “Defendants’ actions were willful and intentional and were performed as part of and in connection with the goods and services it provides in the conduct of a trade, business or commerce,” the complaint said. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , ,

Baskin Robbins Earns High Marks on Unannounced Health Inspections

Baskin Robbins has earned an average score of 95.5 out of 100 on health inspections through the past nine years, records show. A fixture of Main Street in New Canaan, the candy and ice cream shop has scored 92 and higher through 16 unannounced inspections conducted by sanitarians with the New Canaan Health Department since October 2008, according to a review of the organization’s files at Town Hall. Sanitarians use a state Department of Public Health standard, citing eateries for violations that range in seriousness and corresponding weight from 1 to 4 points. A “failed” inspection is triggered either by one or more 4-point violations or a total score of less than 80 points. Owned by New Canaan resident and 1987 NCHS grad Anna Valente, employing a number of local teens and residents and site of the most-read NewCanaanite.com article of 2016, Baskin Robbins consistently has earned the equivalent of A’s and A+’s in its inspections (article continues below):

 

Officials in the health department said a score that consistently comes in at or near perfect is “optimal for any establishment.”

Speaking to such high scores generally and not to Baskin Robbins specifically, Sanitarian Carla DeLucia said it would the establishment is “without any four-point violations, without temperature violations and likely without any critical violations.”

“Sanitarians work to help food establishments maintain compliance and, as a result, New Canaan on the whole fares well on inspections,” DeLucia said. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , ,

‘The Cultivated Collector’: Classic and Exotic Car Showroom, Clubhouse Planned for Vitti Street

A new business featuring classic and exotic cars is slated to open this spring in a largely disused Vitti Street lot and structure that once housed an auto body shop—the latest dramatic change in a corner of downtown New Canaan where officials envision a more vibrant, pedestrian-friendly neighborhood. ‘The Cultivated Collector’ at 19 Vitti St. will include a street-level showroom of what founder Matthew Ivanhoe called “investment-grade collectible vehicles,” second-level “clubhouse” for auto enthusiasts seeking camaraderie and connections to services for the owners of the valuable cars themselves. “It is our objective to be a shining cultural Mecca that represents the town,” Ivanhoe, a Greenwich resident and former principal at a Bedford Hills, N.Y.-based auto business that last year sponsored New Canaan’s popular Caffeine & Carburetors gathering. “We are not just car enthusiasts—we are art collectors, we are wine collectors, we are watch collectors, and we hope to share that with the town and be a beacon that represents the change that this area is undergoing.”

Ivanhoe underscored that The Cultivated Collector will serve as a passive space for auto enthusiasts and is not a repair shop or anything similar. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

‘Orchards End’ Owner To Seek Commercial Space for Expanded Wellness Program Launched at Oenoke Ridge Home

Saying the immediate popularity of a holistic wellness program she had intended to offer only friends on her own property has prompted her to develop the idea further, the founder of ‘Orchard’s End Health’ told officials she will not pursue a special permit to operate at her Oenoke Ridge Road residence. Instead, Elsa Sykes told town officials in a formal letter sent Friday that she is “actively seeking a location that will allow clients to experience a comprehensive program.”

“I am pleased with the private sanctuary I created with my personal wellness center and it will be an amazing journey creating an environment that provides these essentials for a health to a larger audience,” she said in a Feb. 10 letter sent to the town planner, Planning & Zoning enforcement officer and Health Department sanitarian following a site visit last week. “The fact that the chain of events has forced me to pivot and rethink where to focus the growth of my program is potentially a good thing. By not seeking a home-based business special use permit, and instead looking to obtain commercially zoned space, I will be able to help more people in our community and draw people looking for such an experience from anywhere. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , ,

New Canaan Winter Storm Hub: What’s Open & Closed, Photos, Updates

With up to 12 inches of snow expected in New Canaan, public schools, Town Hall and the library all are closed Thursday. What follows are lists of what’s open and closed in New Canaan—we will update it throughout the day, as we add photos from around town and any pertinent information on road closures and outages. If you run a business or organization in town and want us to share your hours today, please fill out this form (it’s also embedded below):

Open

Walter Stewart’s open 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Stewarts Spirits open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Francos Wine Merchants is open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Karl Chevrolet is open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Weed & Duryea opens at 7 a.m.
Fish Tales open 1 to 7 p.m.
Joe’s Pizza open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Embody Fitness Gourmet is open
New Canaan Toy Store is open
NAPA Auto Parts of New Canaan open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
JAK Handyman is open and on-call for emergencies
Chef Luis is open

Closed

Halo Studios is closed
New Canaan Library is closed
Pennyweights is closed
Baskin Robbins is closed
Zumbach’s Gourmet Coffee is closed
Public schools are closed
Town Hall and all other municipal buildings are closed
Pet Pantry is closed
Rand Insurance is closed
New Canaan Racquet Club is closed
Nurenu Brand Marketing’s office is closed though its talented staff is working remotely
Ciel Eau spa is closed
Elm Street Books is closed
Family & Environmental Medicine’s office is closed (available for phone consultations)
Pryority Wellness is closed
Morning classes at Sama Yoga cancelled—stay tuned for the evening
New Canaan YMCA is closed
Station Eats is closed
New Canaan Cleaners is closed

The town is under a Winter Storm Warning from the National Weather Service through 6 p.m. Temperatures will drop into the 20’s and officials warn of dangerous driving conditions with “snow covered roads and poor visibilities,” according to the Upton, N.Y. based weather service. “Blowing and drifting snow is likely,” the agency said. “Local power outages with downed trees and power lines [are] possible.” Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,