SLIDESHOW: 20 Things You Only Know If You Shop and Dine in New Canaan

New Canaanites have plenty of reasons to shop and dine locally, and those reasons go far beyond the fact that the village center has scores of independent businesspeople—retailers, restaurateurs, service providers—who work here and have had a tough go with the weather these past few weeks. Our owners-on-site specialize in their fields and offer a wide range of expertise. They support most every community event that locals associate with the town—fishing derby, Waveny summer concerts, Santa’s visit, little league, Holiday Stroll, ice cream social, Halloween Parade. It’s hard to find two important community events in a row in New Canaan that aren’t sponsored in some way by Walter Stewart’s, Karl Chevy or both. Because familiarity breeds conversation and rapport, we can come to know our local small business owners and workers better than we may at, say, out-of-town chains. The slideshow above is a testament to that strong connection—click through to learn more about some of those who make up the economic lifeblood of the business district.

New Canaan’s Top-10 Sandwiches

There is an amazing ratio of sandwiches to people here in New Canaan. So amazing, that a couple of places (most notably the Best Würst and the Forest St. Deli) closed while we compiled this list. It’s important to note that this specific list was relegated to counter service restaurants or delis only. We are well aware of many of the amazing sandwiches that are served at traditional sit-down restaurants here in town.

Eugene Chun and CT Sandwich Co: Casual, Sophisticated, Ever-Evolving

Eugene Chun fell in love with cooking, and especially casual food, as a college student pursuing an economics degree at Holy Cross. A 2007 Wilton High School graduate who’d spent plenty of his childhood in New Canaan, since his parents owned the still-operating Sanda’s Cleaners over on East Avenue, Chun took his bachelor’s degree in May 2011 and enrolled at the French Culinary Institute in Manhattan six months later. “I did it because I really wanted to learn the French system, because the French system is what most restaurants use, whether they’re a Mexican place or a French bistro,” Chun said on a recent afternoon from a stool overlooking Pine Street at Connecticut Sandwich Co., the eatery he opened in October. “They use a similar system in how each person works at a station, how it’s organized and how you work. Iwanted to somehow create a casual food scene, a casual sandwich shop that still fits into the system, where it could still be executed the same way.”

He did.

Best Beverage in New Canaan?

The juicing craze has taken Fairfield County by storm, as evidenced by ubiquitous franchises and independently owned juice bars in neighboring towns. New Canaan may have been a bit behind the curve—that is, until the Connecticut Sandwich Company opened its doors back in November. Better known for innovative sandwiches and gigantic breakfast wraps, the Pine Street eatery has developed what could be one of the freshest, most nutritious and tastiest beverages in town with its three varieties of freshly squeezed juices. Owner Eugene Chun said he’s always been a fan of juicing and wanted to incorporate it into his new concept. The challenge for Chun was figuring out how to balance the time-consuming process of making the juice with the time-sensitive nature of the lunch hour rush, he said.