Top-10 Stories of 2016

Here’s a big ‘Thank you’ to our loyal readers and fabulous advertisers—you are absolutely the best—for delivering a wonderful 2016 here at the New Canaanite. In’s second full year, traffic on the news site increased 19.8 percent, to nearly 1.3 million pageviews. The top-10 most-read articles from 2016, listed below, reflect the town’s wide-ranging interests and point to a burgeoning and popular category of news that revolves around breaches of civility. Hopefully, the list also reflects our own steadily re-examined and refined coverage plan. As we’ve said since launching Jan.

Beat the Heat: New Canaan’s Cooling Desserts

With the heat ramping up, and more days above 90 degrees forecasted for this summer—the National Weather Service is calling for sunshine and 80-plus-degree temps all week—New Canaan dessert shops such as Baskin Robbins, Gelatissimo Artisan Gelato and Swirl are ready to help locals “beat the heat.” Baskin Robbins on Main Street long has served as a hub for those who want something cold and sweet. Baskin Robbins worker Felisha Swaby told that the most coveted order is the Mint Chocolate Chip Shake. Easy to drink, customers won’t have to worry about this shake melting like conventional ice cream cups and cones, she said. Gelatissimo Artisan Gelato owner Nuccia Mazzonetto hand-makes her gelati and has gained a great reputation among those who know quality New Canaan desserts.

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.

Did You Hear … ?

Studio Elan, an established business on Burtis Avenue, is moving into the former Candy Scoop space on Elm Street, up the alley by Chef Luis and next to New Canaan Music. ***

New Canaan Public Schools cafeterias recently earned the No. 1 “Best Food Ranking” from Here’s a peek at the top-10 (Darien is No. 23—nanny nanny boo boo):

New Canaan


Police responded to a call at 1:28 p.m. last Saturday that a dog near Forest Street and Locust Avenue was “going crazy in a car.” The dog’s owner, who was inside the nearby New Canaan Diner, paid her bill and left the restaurant to take care of the barking animal.

‘It Brings Everyone Together’: Community Shows Strong Support for Baskin Robbins, ‘BOGO’ Promo Reinstated

New Canaan High School senior Catherine Granito had been sitting at her accustomed corner table at Baskin Robbins last week when she heard a woman’s raised, angry voice from the other end of the ice cream and candy shop. Down near the coolers, a local woman was throwing a fit that would swiftly become the talk of the town, yelling at the teenage workers behind the counter because an ice cream sundae with two hot toppings that her husband had brought home later melted—a sweet treat that had been free as part of a popular buy-one-get-one-free or ‘BOGO’ promotion—and demanding her money back. As captured on surveillance video, she would throw the dessert on the floor behind the counter, then the bag it came in, and returned the following morning to demand a “refund” again, plus gas money for her trouble. “She was loud,” Granito recalled Tuesday from the same table. “You could hear her from across the street.”

Anna Valente, a 1987 NCHS grad who has owned Baskin Robbins for 24 years, considered doing away with the BOGO promotion as a result of the incident, which upset her workers, reasoning that it tends to bring in non-regular customers who are more likely to create such problems.

Instead, Valente turned this week’s promotion into an appreciation night for her employees, and put out a jar to raise money for a New Haven-based nonprofit organization that hosts anger management groups.