Local Merchants

In New Canaan, local merchants aren’t just people who sell us things: They’re our neighbors, our high school classmates, our kids’ youth sports coaches, our friends and often they’re the first people in town to give of their time, expertise, products and services to support human services organizations here.

Recent Articles

Chris Kilbane Sells ‘New Canaan Toy Store’ After 22 Years

New Canaan’s Chris Kilbane had been working in New York City for about 12 years, creating pharmaceutical products, when he spoke one afternoon to the owner of New Canaan Toy Store while shopping there with his son Ryan, about five years old at the time. Innocently, Kilbane asked the owner if she’d ever consider selling the place. She responded that in fact she had, that Kilbane seemed like a nice guy and they should talk. A week later, he owned the place. That was 22 years ago. Continue Reading →

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One29 Restaurant on Elm Street Closes; Baldanza Moving In

One29, an Elm Street restaurant featuring American contemporary cuisine and located the former Chef Luis space, has closed after a months-long run downtown, according to a worker at the eatery. The restaurant stopped operating as One29 on Sunday, according to a man who answered the phone there, but has remained open under new auspices. Baldanza is moving up from “the alley” at 17 Elm St., and now is operating in the larger space, the worker said. At least some of the One29 staff is staying on with Baldanza, he said. According to a post on Baldanza’s website, that restaurant will officially open Sept. Continue Reading →

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FIRST LOOK: ‘Organika Kitchen’ on Main Street To Open in Two Weeks [PHOTOS]

Vegan and vegetarian foods provider Organika Kitchen offered locals a sneak peek of its offerings Thursday night during the annual Taste of the Town Stroll. Known for its pancakes, mezza plates, smoothies, organic salads and juices, protein and açaí bowls, burgers and pizza, Organika served up pesto pasta salad cups and small cups of its “Super Green Smoothie” (spinach, kale, mango, banana) during the 8th Annual Stroll. It will open in two weeks on a full-time basis, according to Dimitri Pantzos, a partner in the business. “We’re very excited,” Pantzos said outside the new location as visitors gladly took the samples on a clear, cool evening. 

Asked what made Organika want to participate in the Stroll, Pantzos said: “We just want to be part of the town and commerce, and Tucker’s really nice, so why not participate?”

He referred to Tucker Murphy, executive director of the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce. Items on Organika’s chalkboard menu include Margarita Pizza (tomato sauce, parmesan, mozzarella, topped with extra virgin olive oil and basil—$11), Protein Boost Smoothie (banana, almond butter, cacao powder, cinnamon, rice protein, raw honey and almond milk—$8.50), Beets By OGK Fresh Juice (beet, lemon, ginger, apple, celery—$8.50), Almond Crunch Bowl (banana, blueberries, açai, almond milk, mango, topped with strawberry, banana, granola, almond slices, almond butter and raw honey—$10.50) and Dragon Bomb Smoothie (mango, pineapple, dragon fruit, topped with pineapple, coconut and raw honey—$10). 

The Stroll is a “food-raiser” organized by the Chamber and sponsored by Berkshire Hathaway and Walter Stewart’s Market that brings in donated items for the local Food Pantry as well as eyeglasses and hearings aids for the LIONs Club of New Canaan. Continue Reading →

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Locals Gear up For ‘Taste of the Town Stroll’ on Thursday

Residents are gearing up for a popular event downtown that’s designed to showcase local businesses while raising food for the New Canaan Food Pantry as well as gently used eyeglasses and hearing aids for the Lion’s Club of New Canaan. The eighth annual “Taste of the Town Stroll” runs 6 to 8 p.m Thursday and will feature more than 15 stores, businesses and restaurants offering food and prizes. To earn a map of those locations and participate in the Stroll, people should bring (unopened and unexpired) goods—such as coffee, juice boxes, crackers, pasta sauce, canned stew, canned chicken, mayonnaise, tea bags and family-sized snacks—to the area out front of the Playhouse on Elm Street. 

For those seeking a one-stop shop for an appropriate donation for the pantry, Walter Stewart’s Market has generously put together bags of goods with a retail value of $30 that the cornerstone New Canaan business is selling for $20. “It is our pleasure to team up with the Chamber and support this fun event again this year,” said Doug Stewart of Walter Stewart’s. “We hope to help stock the New Canaan Food Pantry with much-needed groceries.” Continue Reading →

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Unwelcome Sight: New Parking Plan for Elm Street Takes Shape

An unwelcome change to parking on Elm Street in New Canaan has materialized in the form of thin strips of white paint. Though the permanent striping on New Canaan’s main business road is yet to come, public works officials have drawn the outline of a new parking arrangement over the recently repaved Elm Street that will see it lose 15 spaces. 

Prompted by a resident formally putting New Canaan on notice that the town was out of compliance with a little-known (and variously observed) state law that calls for a 25-foot buffer zone between a crosswalk and legal parking space—a notification that could open up the municipality to liability in the event of a collision—officials studied the parking plan on Elm Street and, reluctantly, approved revisions that respect the statute. Last week, residents got their first look at the new “no parking” zones based on outlines in the asphalt, and the change is dramatic. 

It also means downtown New Canaan, always struggling to accommodate demand for parking between workers and visitors, soon will be squeezed even tighter. Laura Budd of the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce said the change makes it that much more urgent and necessary for those who work in both first- and second-floor businesses on Main and Elm to park in municipal lots. “Prime spots are for prime customers,” Budd said. Continue Reading →

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