New Canaan Merchants on Keeping Up Summer Business

As we enter the end of July and August, many New Canaan residents will bear the beach, mountain, and city traffic for annual summer vacation trips. With the decreased foot traffic, many merchants routinely describe business as slow during this time. NewCanaanite went around town to some local businesses to see how they actively avoid the end of summer sales slump. Phil Williams, New Canaan Music

“How do we deal with the New Canaan Business Clear? We’re staying open our regular hours, a lot of businesses close for a week or reduce their hours, but we keep our lessons going year round.

‘It’s Bittersweet’: Mackenzie’s Is Sold

Phyllis Weinstein and Jim Berry, owners of Mackenzie’s on South Avenue for 13 years, said Wednesday that they’ve sold the business to a young couple in the area. 

Though Berry will continue to work part-time at the iconic downtown New Canaan candy, party goods and specialty gift shop, golden retriever Tahoe and Weinstein herself will be out after this week, she said. “It’s bittersweet, but it’s time,” Weinstein told NewCanaanite.com. 

To the loyal and regular customers of Mackenzie’s, Weinstein said “thank you for making this 13 of the happiest years that I have had.”

“It was a real happy time to come here every day. I was a nurse and director of the Red Cross, so I worked in sad and serious situations my whole life, and to come here and be with happy, upbeat people, it was a thrill.”

A Stamford resident, Weinstein added that what she’s enjoyed most during her stewardship of Mackenzie’s has been “watching the kids grow up and blossom and see the parents.” Through 13 years, the owners have seen New Canaan kids rise from kindergarteners to high school seniors and beyond. “It’s been a relationship,” she said. “It’s like watching your own kids grow up and it’s really special.”

Known during the school year as the primary Friday afternoon destination of Saxe Middle School kids who pile their backpacks outside the door, Mackenzie’s came to Weinstein and Berry when their son purchased more than a decade ago, and they kept operating it even after he took a different job some years ago.

Stewarts Spirits, Mackenzie’s Among Local Businesses Compliant with Tobacco, E-Cigarette Laws Regarding Minors

Nine New Canaan businesses refused to sell tobacco or electronic cigarettes to a minor sent into them Tuesday by local and state enforcement agencies, officials said. Stewarts Spirits and Mackenzie’s were among the business that complied with the state laws forbidding the sale of tobacco or e-cigarettes to minors, according to a press release issued following a Tobacco Prevention and Enforcement Program effort run jointly by the New Canaan Police Department and Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. “A supervised minor deployed by the TPEP inspection team entered retail establishments around town to conduct tobacco and electronic cigarette inspections to ensure compliance with state law,” according to the release. Businesses that break the law are subject to an infraction summons and $200 fine for the first offense, it said. Other businesses found to be in compliance were the Mobil Marts on South Avenue and both sides of the Merritt Parkway by Exit 37, Walgreens, Gulf station downtown, Acme and A1 Cellars.

Letter: Chamber Director Thanks YMCA, Sponsors, Volunteers for Halloween Event

While the weather could have been better for the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce’s annual Halloween Parade, hundreds of ghosts and goblins headed over to the YMCA for a Halloween Family event. The party started at noon with activities and entertainment for all to enjoy. The School of Rock serenaded parade goers with Halloween tunes and a flash mob of New England Academy of Dance zombies danced to “Thriller.”

Pet Pantry hosted the Great Scirico who created balloon animals for all to enjoy and “Marshall” from Pet Patrol was on hand to greet trick-or-treaters thanks to Toddlertime Nursery School. We are so grateful that the YMCA stepped in to save the day and allowed us to have the event in their beautiful new gym. We gave out more than 750 goody bags and thanks go to Joe Vittoria —Promotion in Motion, Camp Playland, Jack and Jill Petsitting, Friends of Mead Park, TD Bank, Mackenzies, Walter Stewart’s Market, Vineyard Vines and Toddlertime Nursery School.

New Canaan Woman Opens ‘Funky Monkey’ Children’s Games, Toys and Clothing Shop on South Avenue

A New Canaan woman who recently moved to town has opened a children’s games, toys, clothing and accessories shop on South Avenue, in the space known to generations of locals as the Sweet Shoppe. Amanda Cui said she visited New Canaan in November on a friend’s recommendation and moved to town earlier this month with her family, including her 2- and 7-year-old daughters. “I saw the stores and the neighborhoods and I liked it,” Cui said on a recent afternoon, standing between two kids’ stations—one for creating model ice cream sundaes, another for lip gloss—at the front of her colorful, eclectic shop. Funky Monkey opened Friday. “I saw that they don’t have this stuff.