Local Businesses and COVID-19: Fresh Green Light

For today’s Q&A with a local business seeking to navigate the COVID-19 emergency, we hear from Steve Mochel, owner of Fresh Green Light driving school on Cherry Street. The business marked one year this week. Here’s our exchange. 

New Canaanite: Steve you were in an uncertain situation with respect to whether or how you’d be able to operate. Give us an update on your situation. 

Steve Mochel: As a business that primarily deals with high school students, we were deeply affected by the state’s order to shut down schools to April 20, because that essentially shut down our business. And not only the classroom lessons but the in-car diving lessons, which we really deemed was too unsafe to do with the close proximity of the students and instructors.

‘We Don’t Want To Be the Biggest, We Want To Be the Best’: Fresh Green Light Driver’s Ed Opens in New Canaan

Steve Mochel had been working for 20 years with the same global marketing agency, most recently in New York City, when he was told at the end of 2008 that he’d be laid off in the wake of the economic downturn. His wife told him. Laura Shuler was president of the agency at the time, and Mochel “worked for a guy who worked for her,” he recalled on a recent morning. Shuler herself quit two weeks later and the pair decided to launch their own business—a first-time endeavor for the couple. 

“She actually had been working with a client in the automotive industry and kept coming home and talking about the dangers of teen driving just as our oldest kid was almost 16—the facts and figures are that car crashes are the number one killer of teenagers in America,” Mochel recalled. “Most parents still don’t know that.

Podcast: The Road Through Waveny

This week on ‘0684-Radi0,’ we review the history and significance of the main road through Waveny, which has come to bisect the beloved park in an important way. We talk to Caroline Garrity, chairman of the Waveny Park Conservancy, lifelong New Canaanite and longtime Town Councilman Steve Karl and local landscape architect Keith Simpson. 

This installment of 0684-Radi0 is sponsored by Fresh Green Light.