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

Town Planner: New Canaan May Look at More Closely Defining Core Retail Area Downtown

Protecting New Canaan’s core retail district may require greater flexibility in what types of businesses can occupy street-level storefronts in other areas of the downtown, officials said last week. Though non-retail uses of street-level commercial spaces are heavily restricted on parts of Main and Elm Streets now, it has become increasingly important to determine exactly what are “the proper limits of retail in town, so that we do not over-commit our zoning to acquiring retail to saturate the market,” Town Planner Steve Palmer told members of the Planning & Zoning Commission at their regular meeting. “I think there is a supply and demand, and we have too much supply,” he said at the meeting, held in Town Hall. “So we have to be careful with that, too. We know where it [retail] works best, we know where it is important, so let’s focus on those areas, the outskirts areas—we have to be careful with how we do that.”

The comments come as P&Z guides a discussion with business and town officials on whether the New Canaan Zoning Regulations as regards the “Retail A” zone (in purple here) should be amended—for example, to accommodate more types of service businesses. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , ,

PHOTOS: Ally-Bally-Bee Opens on Elm Street

Ally-Bally-Bee, the handcrafted gift shop founded by Morag Grassie, opened Thursday at 134 Elm St. in New Canaan. The co-op model shop features artisanal works from area residents—see gallery above. Grassie, a Glasgow, Scotland native who created Ally-Bally-Bee after taking a degree in molecular biology and launching a career as a scientific researcher, said she was feeling “a little bit tired but very excited” hours after the shop opened its doors. “We were still stocking here at 2:30 this morning,” she said as New Canaanites popped in to the warm, welcoming space. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , ,

New Sponsors Step Up To Support NC Softball; Program Sees Rapid Growth

For decades, iconic New Canaan business Karl Chevrolet has sponsored—and continues to sponsor—little league baseball teams in town. The national Chevrolet company runs a program that distributes funds to specific youth leagues through the 1927-established Elm Street business and local Chevy dealers. This summer, Karl Chevy is expanding its support to include one of New Canaan’s rapidly growing sports for girls: softball. “We’ve met a couple of families from the program and they asked for help,” said Steve Karl, a VP at Karl Chevy and former Bantam league Huron who graduated in 1980 from New Canaan High School. “We said yes, we would do it this year.”

Sponsors for softball have nearly doubled year-over-year, according to Jeff Fortmann, a town resident handling community relations for New Canaan Softball. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , ,

‘I’m Feeling Refreshed’: Emad Aziz Opens Mead Park Lodge for 2017 Season

A layer of snow from last week’s winter storm still covers the ball fields and tennis courts at Mead Park. Yet with spring officially arrived and temperatures expected to soar into the high-50s on Saturday, Apple Cart Food Co. owner Emad Aziz is prepared for a rush of activity at Mead Park Lodge. “I’m feeling great, feeling wonderful,” Aziz said Tuesday afternoon from his pristine kitchen in the gourmet food hut. “I’m feeling refreshed and ready to go after a huge, long vacation.”

That would be winter, the town resident’s “off-season.”

He appears to have spent part of it coming up with new offerings for his customers. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , ,

RadioShack on Park Street in New Canaan To Close

RadioShack on Park Street in New Canaan is slated to close, store workers have confirmed, days after the electronics store’s parent company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. A ‘Store Closing’ sign appeared this weekend outside the downtown New Canaan mainstay. It isn’t clear just when the retailer at 94 Park St. will close, though Sprint had pulled all its merchandise from a large section of the store as of Sunday afternoon. Fort Worth, Texas-based parent company General Wireless Operations Inc. announced March 8 that the 1,500-store RadioShack would close about 200 stores. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , ,