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

‘We Really Want to be Part of the Community’: Friends Open Nail Salon on Vitti Street

Longtime friends Silvia Narvaez and Maggie San had already worked for six years in nail salons before they decided a few months ago to open their own business. The pair found a place to realize their shared vision in New Canaan. “About two months ago we found this space” Narvaez said from the floor of ‘Studio 3 Spa & Nails.’

Located on the street-level floor of a single-story building at 36 Vitti St., the newly renovated space features five spa pedicure chairs, numerous manicure stations, a wall rack with color options and a facial room in the back. Much of the labor to make the space ready was done by the women themselves and Narvaez’s brother, they said. “The painting, the decorations, we all did ourselves,” Narvaez said, pointing out the different jobs. Continue Reading →

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Selectmen Move Toward Nixing Planned Summer Season of ‘Pop Up Park’

Officials on Tuesday urged the Pop Up Park’s organizers to realign with the local organization that’s supported the downtown gathering space in past summers—a relationship that appears to have broken down over moving a kiosk three feet. Ostensibly the municipal body that would grant a Special Events Permit for the Pop Up Park, the Board of Selectmen stopped short of saying it would definitely nix it. Yet First Selectman Kevin Moynihan and Selectmen Kit Devereaux and Nick Williams each signaled that the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce’s involvement—which the organization itself has essentially ruled out for a proposed July 21 to Sept. 3 season—was a make-or-break consideration. “Given where we are, I don’t think there is any way we are going to proceed with the Pop Up Park on the terms that we’d had last year,” Moynihan said during a special meeting of the board, held at Town Hall. Continue Reading →

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‘Design Solutions’ on Elm Street To Close

Specialty home goods shop ‘design solutions’ on Elm Street is closing after 24 years and will move to new location in Scott’s Corners, N.Y., its owner said. According to Pauline Dora, design solutions and other local businesses have suffered in recent years as more chains have opened in New Canaan. Since she opened her business, Dora said, “the world has changed dramatically.”

“It was a lot simpler,” she said. Dora added: “When we opened 24 years ago, there were two chain stores, today there are 15.” Dora said such stores can afford to pay higher rents. “It is very difficult to stay in business with the likes of Citibank and J Crew,” she said. Continue Reading →

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‘Gingerbitz’ on Elm Street To Close Friday

Gingerbitz, an eat-in bakery launched on Elm Street more than four years ago by a New Canaan couple, is to close Friday. Karen Zuckert said she and her husband, Andrew, have forged many new friendships through the business and “are very sorry to leave.”

“We really wanted to create something very special for the town,” she saId. “We live in town, we care about it. It’s disappointing. There is just not enough business in town to keep going and to the standard that we would like to keep it.”

Named after a sobriquet that had been bestowed on Karen by her late father-in-law, Donald Zuckert, the cozy shop offered her signature baked goods—including custom cakes, cupcakes and cookies—as well as an eclectic menu of sandwiches, salads, coffees and more. Continue Reading →

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Merchants at Odds Over Now-Uncertain Pop Up Park

The recent news that the Chamber of Commerce is no longer sponsoring the Pop Up Park has left its future uncertain. While volunteer organizers are scrambling to obtain permits, insurance and town approval, a 2015 debate of how the park affects local business has been reignited. We spoke to several businesses in the area to hear their thoughts. Helen Richards of Odesmith & Richards Boutique on South Avenue describes the park as a “pleasant idea” but in the “completely wrong place.” Her concerns revolve around how the park affects nearby businesses, saying “it blocks traffic and impedes commerce where it is.”

She referred to a letter written by area merchants a few years ago. “The merchants have been complaining about it for a long time,” she said. Continue Reading →

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