‘I’m Feeling Refreshed’: Emad Aziz Opens Mead Park Lodge for 2017 Season

A layer of snow from last week’s winter storm still covers the ball fields and tennis courts at Mead Park. Yet with spring officially arrived and temperatures expected to soar into the high-50s on Saturday, Apple Cart Food Co. owner Emad Aziz is prepared for a rush of activity at Mead Park Lodge. “I’m feeling great, feeling wonderful,” Aziz said Tuesday afternoon from his pristine kitchen in the gourmet food hut. “I’m feeling refreshed and ready to go after a huge, long vacation.”

That would be winter, the town resident’s “off-season.”

He appears to have spent part of it coming up with new offerings for his customers.

New Canaan’s ‘Mead Park Lodge’ Earns Consistently High Marks on Surprise Health Inspections

The Mead Park Lodge (or ‘Apple Cart Food Co.’) the popular breakfast and lunch destination owned and operated by New Canaan’s Emad Aziz, has earned perfect or near-perfect marks from health inspectors for several years, records show. Out of a possible 100 points, the seasonal food counter for nearly one decade has earned an average of 97 during unannounced biennial inspections by sanitarians with the New Canaan Health Department, according to a review of the establishment’s files. Officials in the health department declined to provide a general characterization for such a score, not specific to Mead Park Lodge, or to offer a general comment about how all New Canaan food establishments, taken together, fare on inspections. Sanitarians use a state Department of Public Health standard, citing eateries for violations that range in seriousness and corresponding weight from 1 to 4 points. A “failed” inspection is triggered either by one or more 4-point violations or a total score of less than 80 points.

Did You Hear … ?

An interesting side note to the New Canaan Housing Authority’s plan to build with greater density the public housing at Mill Pond (a project that will trigger relief from a developer loophole in the state statutes): According to the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, the total number of housing units in New Canaan has decreased over the last several reportable years:


Troopers from Connecticut State Police Troop G last Thursday rescued two Hawks Hill Road golden retrievers who had wandered onto the Merritt Parkway. The fortunate animals were secured safely just after 1 p.m. on March 3, according to the New Canaan Police Department’s Animal Control section. It wasn’t immediately clear how they got out. ***

Congratulations to New Canaanite Ann Cotoia on her retirement from Bankwell after nearly 14 years. She joined the bank the month it opened (April 2002) and is a third generation New Canaanite. March 4 marked her last day, following 48 total years in the banking industry. “She was a tremendously valued employee at Bankwell as a Personal Banker, and often heralded for her outstanding service to customers,” officials say.

Did You Hear … ?

1994 New Canaan High School graduate David Burns is participating this coming Sunday in a special fund- and awareness-raising walk for a very personal reason. Burns, a tennis standout here in town who is now a 40-year-old father of two, was diagnosed last Novemeber with a life-threatening liver disease, and received a transplant in January at UCLA hospital. He’s participating in Liver Life Walk Los Angeles 2015. Together with sisters Mollie and Eliza, their team—the Healthy Hedgehogs—has raised more than $10,000 for the 5K walk, an important fundraiser for the American Liver Foundation. And he’s doing this within months of his surgery.

Sign of Spring: Emad Opens Friday at Mead Park

One of New Canaan’s great smiles will appear in town again starting Friday as the genial owner of Apple Cart Food Co. officially opens in Mead Park. Emad Aziz is out of hibernation and opens up the popular snack shack at 8 a.m.

“My winter was spectacular, as always,” the Egypt native and New Canaan resident said on a recent morning as he prepared the kitchen for another season at Mead. Asked what he does during the cold months, Aziz said: “I recover from the madness of the summer.”

“I am excited, looking forward to it,” he said of the working months ahead. “It’s going to be fun.