On a muggy Monday afternoon, I stepped into Franco’s Wine Merchants, an Elm Street mainstay that has been in operation since 1933. Franco’s specializes in fine wines, single malt scotch and other spirits. Unfortunately, I wasn’t there for a drink – instead I was there to find out their favorite New Canaan product or service for NewCanaanite.com’s “Biz on Biz” feature.
I was greeted by refreshingly cool air, and Carl Franco’s warm smile. When asked what local business he thought deserved recognition, Franco didn’t hesitate before launching into a glowing recommendation of Family Britches, the well-established clothing store on Main Street, where he has been shopping for at least 25 years.
“I’ve always liked their personal touch that they give every day when you walk in there,” Franco said. “Whether you know what you’re looking for or you don’t know what kind of outfit you’re looking for.”
When asked if there was a specific product sold at Family Britches that he could single out, Franco couldn’t pick just one.
“Mark [Gust] always just has a great selection of just everything,” Franco said. “Even if I have three quarters of an outfit put together…he makes a good suggestion. And he remembers what I bought before, without having to haul it in…he remembers and helps you put something together.”
I went down to see what Gust, longtime manager of Family Britches, had to say about Franco’s commendation.
“I’m happy that he considers us one of his favourites,” Gust said. “He’s been a customer forever and so have other members of his family and they’re just wonderful people.”
If Franco and Gust’s mutual respect is anything to go by, I think I know where I’ll be buying my drink and my outfit next time I’m invited to a party.