Podcast: Manda Riggs of Elm Street Books



This week on 0684-Radi0, our free podcast (subscribe here in the iTunes Store), we talk to Manda Riggs, co-manager at Elm Street Books, about how the locally owned bookshop is faring amid the pandemic and what sort of in-store activity it’s seeing now, as well as some good fiction and nonfiction recommendations this spring

Here are recent episodes of 0684-Radi0:

Local Businesses and COVID-19: Elm Street Books

For today’s Q&A, we reached out to Elm Street Books owner Susan Rein and co-managers Manda Riggs and Melissa Thorkilsen. The store is open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for curbside pickup. (Those seeking to order books can do that through the Elm Street Books website or by calling 203-966-4545 or emailing children@elmstreetbooks.com or frontlist@elmstreetbooks.com.)

Here’s our exchange. New Canaanite: How are you faring at Elm Street Books? Susan Rein: We are closed to people coming into the store but we are answering the phones, responding to messages, taking orders on our website and through our emails and able to put books outside the door for people to pick up and we are mailing orders as well. Our sales are certainly not what they usually are but we are gratified that our customers seem to be anxious to keep reading and putting puzzles together and celebrated the arrival of the Easter Bunny, such that they are choosing to support the store in this unsettling time. We are hoping that, like us, our customers feel like our products are “essential” to their wellbeing and continued stimulation.

Biz on Biz: Gelatissimo Appreciates Elm Street Books’ ‘One-to-One’ Recommendations

On a gloomy day this week, I nipped into Gelatissimo to escape the rain. I was there to find out owner Nuccia Mazzonetto’s favorite local product or service as part of NewCanaanite.com’s “Biz on Biz” feature. 

Inside, I found Mazzonetto behind the gelato counter, serving two teenage girls with heaping cups of the frozen treat, while out the back a staff member churned fresh gelato as I watched. When asked what her favorite local product or service was, Mazzonetto struggled to decide. Eventually, she landed on Elm Street Books. “I love the book store,” she said. 

Mazzonetto said her favorite part about shopping at Elm Street Books is the excellent recommendations they give—whether she’s buying a book for herself or as a gift. 

“They help you,” she said. 

“It’s more one-to-one,” she added.

‘We Felt It Immediately’: Downtown Merchants on the Loss of Parking Spaces on Elm Street

One month after town officials preliminarily “lined out” a new parking configuration on Elm Street that loses downtown New Canaan more than a dozen spaces, some merchants say the change already is having a dramatic effect on business. Though parking woes already were aired daily by customers, the new scheme that includes a legally required 25-foot buffer zone between a crosswalk and parking space “has had an immediate impact,” according to Maxine Berg, owner of Jade, a popular luxury fashion fitness boutique at 7 Elm St. “We felt it immediately, the minute those spaces were taken,” said Berg, who purchases parking permits for the Center School Lot for herself and staff at the shop. “Especially on my part of Elm. There were four, five spaces.”

Prompted by a resident’s formal complaint about New Canaan’s non-compliance with what appears to be a seldom-observed state law, the town rather suddenly in mid-July was compelled to eliminate 13 parking spaces on Elm Street, which has five crosswalks.

Did You Hear … ?

The owner of a commercial property in downtown New Canaan on Wednesday filed a lawsuit seeking $10,200 in back rent from a former tenant. According to the complaint, the plaintiff—ANCAR Inc., a company whose managing partners are Knapp Lane residents, according to Connecticut Secretary of the State records—is seeking two months’ rent due in March and April for a tenant at 149 Cherry St. at $4,600 per month and $1,000 owed for short payments amassed over the prior 10 months. The defendant is Devonshire Holdings LLC, owned by a Greenwich resident, state records show. ***

The New Canaan Fire Department had a very big turnout at the Katonah Fire Parade, as did the Mount Kisco Pipers.