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.
‘Who Knew?’ is sponsored by Walter Stewart’s Market. There was always an unbidden niblet.
In my industry, the two-martini lunch disappeared around the time Don Draper collected his first pension check. By the time I was a real-deal creative director at a New York ad agency, lunch was a markedly less glamorous occasion: a salad, hastily retrieved and mindlessly consumed with a side of news headlines and online sample sales, from a plastic bowl in my office. These salads came from the type of place where you’d walk through a roaring, chaotic assembly line and point through the sneeze guard to your desired ingredients. On the other side of the glass, a salad maker chopped and tossed it to your desired consistency.
Town officials this week approved a plan to re-install barricades along the north side of Elm Street’s one-way stretch for nearly its entire length. Put in place during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the water-filled white barriers will run from the area out front of Patisserie Salzburg to the alley in front of Chef Luis, following a unanimous vote by the Police Commission during a special meeting Tuesday. They’re designed to expand outdoor dining options in New Canaan, and could become part of an effort to widen the sidewalks on that side of Elm Street permanently, even beyond the stretch from South Avenue to the Playhouse whose construction is now underway.
“The weather is starting to warm up and I think it’s time to discuss and hopefully approve more expanded outdoor dining,” Police Chief Leon Krolikowski said during the Commission’s meeting, held via videoconference.
“I know our residents love it and every time I walk up Elm Street I know people are very appreciative of what we can do, he said. “And given that I am starting to see more positive COVID cases in town and starting to see it surge a little bit, I think it’s smart for us to move that forward and expand the outdoor dining as much as possible to support our great restaurants and merchants in town. I think it’s a very appreciated endeavor and I think it’s time to move that forward again.”
Because the town is legally required to preserve an unobstructed four-foot pedestrian way—and cannot, following a complaint of Americans with Disabilities Act violations filed last summer, funnel pedestrians into the street, even if they’re protected by barriers—restaurants will have the option to set up tables in the barricade-protected areas of Elm Street itself, rather than on the sidewalk, according to those who attended the meeting, including municipal department heads from Public Works, Health and Land Use.
Twin sisters Jessica and Liz Arindell are planning a ribbon-cutting at their new full-service salon in downtown New Canaan, Luscious & Co., on April 7, with a grand opening open to the public that will include special prizes, discounts, demonstrations and food. Planned about one year, the salon at 107 Main St. soft-opened in November and its owners “wanted to save the grand opening for when it was safe to do so, and right when we really started to get going was when COVID kind of exploded,” Jessica Arindell told NewCanaanite.com during an interview Wednesday morning in the newly renovated space. “So we’ve been putting our grand opening on hold to make sure that we can do it safely for the community, and now seems like the perfect time,” she said. The salon has already joined the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce.
James Marks didn’t hire New Canaan High School senior Izzy Kaufman at Greenology—she’d been working for a predecessor fresh foods provider in the shop, located at the corner of Main Street and East Avenue. But he says now, “I wish I could have more of her.”
One of the most impressive things the teen has done at the organic, plant-based and natural foods provider is establish a successful food scraps program.
WIth support from Marks, Kaufman established a program where the local Oak Forest Farm picks up scraps every day from Greenology—and it’s already seen about 2,000 pounds collected. “We have quite a bit of food scraps making juice, all the pulp and rind that’s left over,” Marks told NewCanaanite.com. “We easily fill a garbage can of that stuff.”
Asked what Kaufman is like as a worker (Marks launched Greenology is November 2020), he said “fantastic.”
“If she wasn’t in school she’d be a manager right now,” he said. “I’d have her managing a shift.
Who Knew?’ is sponsored by Walter Stewart’s Market. I’ve never been able to understand more than six words of Marcel Proust, but from what I can gather, Remembrance of Things Past is 4,200 pages of inscrutable French about a cookie.
I can relate. I spend an impractical amount of time contemplating my Platonic ideals of food. Ice cream: Arethusa Farm coffee. Tomato: garden-grown, mid-September, still hot from the sun.