This week on 0684-Radi0, our free weekly podcast (subscribe here in the iTunes Store), we talk to town resident Doug Stewart of Walter Stewart’s Market about how the Elm Street business is operating, serving customers and observing health and safety protocols during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Here are recent episodes of 0684-Radi0:
[Editor’s Note: During the town emergency due to COVID-19, NewCanaanite.com will publish a daily Q&A in our weekday newsletter with a local business about how it’s navigating the major change.]
We put several COVID-19-related questions to Ann Cheney, manager of Walter Stewart’s Market, and Doug Stewart, the local business’s vice president. Here’s our exchange. New Canaanite: What has the past week been like for you and the market/wine shop? Stewart’s: We have seen a substantial increase in customer in-store traffic, online orders, and phone calls. We are working hard to accommodate our customers and take care of our staff in challenging conditions.
A little more than three years ago, town resident Jonathan Breen came up with the idea of hosting a family-friendly outdoor movie night at Waveny Park.
“I’ve always loved the idea of having outdoor movies,” he told NewCanaanite.com.
“I just reached out to the town and pitched them the idea,” he added. With the blessing of the Recreation Department, Breen said he reached out to a number of sponsors around town. Steve Karl, vicepresident of Sales at Karl Chevrolet—one of the event’s sponsors—said the project has been “a grassroots effort.” “It seemed like a great idea, and over the last few years that we’ve done it it’s really been a nice event,” he said.
“We actually have a lot of fun,” Karl added, “because there’s a little popcorn stand and it really feels like you’re going to a movie, but it’s a different kind of venue because you’re outdoors.” This year’s free Outdoor Movie Night will take place this Friday, Aug.
The owners of local restaurants that partnered with a theater group that performed in downtown New Canaan through July said the effect on business was largely positive. Angela Baldanza, co-owner of and chef at Baldanza Café, described the restaurant’s partnership with the Summer Theatre of New Canaan as “a very positive experience.” She said that many diners had come into the restaurant to take advantage of a special fixed-price menu, and that she “would do it again.” Asked whether the theater’s impact was noticeably different from previous years, when it had been located further away from the downtown area, Baldanza said “definitely.”
Previously located in Waveny, STONC on Sunday finished its final show on New Canaan Library’s property. The organization partnered this year with a number of local restaurants, which offered special deals for theatergoers.
New Canaan resident Sloan Alexander will never forget the morning his daughter entered his bedroom a few days after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, telling him and his wife, Sara Bakker, that she feared getting shot. “We were both just very taken aback,” he recalled on a recent afternoon. “She knew what was going on and she knew what had happened. That moment has always struck me. I start to tear up when I think about it.”
Since that morning in December 2012, Alexander has seen his children come up through local schools practicing lockdown drills that he never had to, and has searched for ways to support an organization to which he feels profoundly connected, Sandy Hook Promise.