New Canaan Food Revolution

The New Canaan Food Revolution, inspired by Jamie Oliver returns for a FIFTH year on Saturday, May 18th between 9.30am – 11:30am. The Bravery Passport and Food Trail was created by local resident Rachel Lampen to encourage children of all ages to sample small bites that they would never normally try. Food they haven’t heard of, food that looks or smells different or food that just sounds weird. In previous years, parents have been amazed to see their children’s food barriers broken down as they try everything from Kale Smoothies, to Snails! Nowadays children AND adults are encouraged to participate – as long as you are wearing a special wristband.

Annual Fishing Derby Set Postponed to April 27 at Mill Pond [UPDATED]

Update Thursday April 18

Due to expected poor weather, the Fishing Derby has been postponed to Saturday, April 27 at Mill Pond. Original Article

One of New Canaan’s most unique and beloved community events is set for Saturday morning. 

Registration for the New Canaan Annual Fishing Derby will start at 8 a.m. at Mill Pond, with the derby running 8:30 to 11 a.m., organizers say. Held in memory of George Cogswell, a former New Canaan Police officer, the free Fishing Derby has been held each year—primarily at Mill Pond—since the 1980s. “It’s been going on for so many years, people just know about it and it’s something kids do with their dad,” said Jenny Esposito, president of the Kiwanis Club of New Canaan, an event sponsor. “It brings the townies together and it’s just really sweet, with the police, the firemen, the town, the Chamber.”

The pond will be stocked with 370 pounds of rainbow trout and prizes are awarded for participants 15 and younger in categories such as first boy and first girl to catch a fish, largest fish caught and smallest fish caught.

SNEAK PEEK: ‘Waffle Cabin’ To Open Saturday at Pine Street Concessions

A widely anticipated new dessert option is coming to New Canaan, as Waffle Cabin is slated to open this weekend at Pine Street Concessions. 

The hot Belgian sugar waffle shop, already known to scores of New Canaanites from the annual Holiday Stroll and area ski mountains, launches at 12 p.m. Saturday with its new counter at the Pine Street food hall. 

“I am so excited,” owner Corey Londoner said. “This has been a long time coming. It is a little surreal that it is finally here and I can’t wait to share these waffles with everyone.”

News that Waffle Cabin would set up a permanent location here created plenty of buzz when Londoner announced her plans in December. With the custom-built counter in place, Waffle Cabin rounds out the offerings at Pine Street Concessions, which also features the wood-fired favorite ‘Dante’s Pizza,’ ’Miyuki,’ an Asian noodle shop with an assortment of snacks and ‘Greens On The Go,’ a California-inspired eatery featuring fresh salads, nutrient-rich grain bowls and artisanal toasts. Set against the parking lot-facing eastern window-wall of the space, Waffle Cabin’s attractive wooden counter helps square off the Concessions’ interior without taking away from its roomy feel, clear outdoor views or ample seating. 

Parts of the Waffle Cabin setup are not yet in place, such as its menu board, signs and all-important waffle irons, which arrive Thursday, Londoner said. 

Even so, a sign spotlighting several flavors of SoCo Creamery handcrafted ice creams (chocolate chip, vanilla, mint chip, coffee, dirty chocolate, cinnamon, cookies ’n cream and salted caramel) as well as sorbets (raspberry and mango) could be seen behind the counter. 

“The new counter came out amazing and it fits into Pine Street Concessions perfectly,” Londoner said. “There have been a bunch of hiccups with it but in the end it was worth all the effort.”

Londoner already has joined the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce, whose executive director, Tucker Murphy, said she’s looking forward to this weekend.

Meet Rob Hall, New Owner of ‘New Canaan Wine Merchants’

Rob Hall says fate led him to New Canaan Wine Merchants. Chatting with friends at a local restaurant last summer, Hall mentioned a career change he had in mind, and came to learn that a lease on the Pine Street full-service liquor store was not to be renewed. 

Since graduating from Susquehanna University in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in communications and psychology, Hall had worked in corporate sales and marketing—mostly in the food and beverage industry with large branded companies such as Dole Foods, Colgate, Palmolive and Pepperidge Farms. 

I was in corporate life for 20 years and got a little tired of it,” Hall said on a recent morning from the newly configured sales floor of New Canaan Wine Merchants. “You know, reporting to someone else, working for someone else and I wanted to make that change to where I can support myself, my family and the community and at the same time be my own boss.”

Since taking over in November, Hall—a 1992 Wilton High School graduate who resides in Wilton with his wife and their two kids—has been working 80 hours per week, putting his own mark on the offerings at New Canaan Wine Merchants as he realizes a dream of owning his own business for the first time. Asked why he chose this specific business and New Canaan in particular, Hall noted that it’s “an established business and the timing worked out right.”

“New Canaan is a local town, that supports local and small business,” he said. “They are about sports, community about their kids and that’s the kind of community and town I want to thrive in.”

He’s already forging connections in the community, joining the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce and working to support area charities and organizations such as the New Canaan Squash Club and Fairfield’s Caroline House, which serves low-income immigrant women. 

Among other changes at New Canaan Wine Merchants (see below), Hall said he is renewing the shop’s focus on warmth and customer service. 

“Our number priority is to cater to the customers,” he said.

‘How Special and Unique Our Downtown Is’: 14th Annual Holiday Stroll Coming Friday and Saturday

Locals are gearing up for a hugely popular event that sees downtown New Canaan transformed into a walkable winter wonderland featuring Santa and Mrs. Claus, live music and dance, S’mores, ice sculpture, waffles, gingerbread houses and a spotlight on local businesses. The 14th annual Holiday Stroll is to be held 6 to 9 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Presented by the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce, the free Stroll “brings everybody downtown together,” said the organization’s Laura Budd. “It has been cold, people are not gathering outside as much as they have in the past, and this allows them to come into town and kick off the holiday season,” Budd said. “There’s all local talent performing and the stores really go all out and put their best foot forward.