Elm Street’s Ally-Bally-Bee in ‘Hibernation’ While Owner Seeks Partner To Continue Gift Shop

Handcrafted gift shop Ally-Bally-Bee on Elm Street is “hibernating” for January and February, its owner said, while she seeks a new partner interested in taking over the business. Morag Grassie recently accepted a position at Yale University in her previous field of biomedical research and, as a consequence, cannot devote enough time to the co-op model shop at 134 Elm St. in New Canaan. Asked what she would tell a prospective partner about Ally-Bally-Bee, Grassie said it’s “an absolutely great way to get involved with lots of small local businesses, to help them promote their ideas and help them polish what they have.”

“It’s a way to help their art businesses flourish, because that is what I see happening with all of the artists who have been with us so long,” Grassie said. “You’re a part of the community, and it’s almost a combination of business and philanthropy, because as a business you absolutely have to make money, but you’re also helping people develop their passions, as well.”

Ideally, Grassie said, the new partner would be a local New Canaan artist who can “be the face of the store” for patrons to connect and identify with, she said.

Did You Hear … ?

The Traffic Calming Work Group this week released the following data captured by speed sentries in New Canaan. The following figures represent the 85th percentile of speeds among all motorists—the standard used in determining whether motorists are driving too fast. Dan’s Highway—29.6 mph (eastbound), 28.4 mph (westbound)
Gerdes Road—33.6 mph (eastbound), 31.8 mph (westbound)
Oenoke Ridge Road—41.4 mph (southbound)

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Talented New Canaan High School graduate Thomas Throop, furniture maker of Grove Street and owner of Black Creek Designs, is exhibiting at the Architectural Digest Design Show in New York City this weekend. ***

New Canaan Police made two pot busts on Wednesday. At 3:43 p.m., a 32-year-old Norwalk man was cited for possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia after he in advertently activated a burglar alarm at New Canaan Library.

Did You Hear … ?

Urged by local leaders, dozens of New Canaanites attended Tuesday night’s ConnDOT hearing in Stamford on proposed service cuts to the New Canaan branch of Metro-North Railroad—reductions that government and business officials both have called potentially devastating. Scroll through the gallery above for photos and a transcription of First Selectman Kevin Moynihan’s comments at the hearing. ***

South School failed the most recent surprise health inspection of its cafeteria kitchen, and East School and New Canaan High School, as well as St. Luke’s School, also failed recent inspections. Food items in a 2-door Hobart at South were discarded after the cooler was found to be at 63.7 degrees—far higher than required—during a May 2, 2017 inspection.

10 Great Last-Minute Christmas Gift Ideas from New Canaan Shops [GALLERY]

We’re entering the home stretch of Christmas shopping in New Canaan, as most every holiday shipping date has past. For anyone looking for great last-minute gift and stocking-stuffer ideas, we’ve created the gallery above—covering everything from $5 squishies for the kids to a $3,600 six-liter bottle of wine for the grownups. Though it’s not meant to be exhaustive—for example, we left off favorites such as the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce’s gift cards, New Canaan Historical Society’s ornaments and Philip Johnson Glass House’s design store items—the gallery represents a good cross-section of downtown merchants. As Laura Budd from the Chamber’s offices above the Playhouse on Elm Street said: “From our office on the ’50-yard line’ and from our interactions with store owners and managers, we know that New Canaan shoppers have embraced the ‘Shop Local’ movement. We know this is in no small part due to the tremendous effort the local businesses put in to the ‘experience’ of shopping here in New Canaan.