New Canaan Couple Opens Gingerbitz, a Bakery (and More) on Elm Street

Karen Zuckert describes the eat-in bakery that she and husband Andrew soft-opened Saturday on Elm Street as “an extension of our home.”

Asked what it feels like to open a physical storefront after “hiding in the kitchen” (her words) for 21 years, earning a loyal following for her artistic baked goods, Karen said, “It’s like a homecoming.”

“I’m happy to see all my customers come here and see them so excited when they walk through the door. It’s meaningful,” Karen said Thursday afternoon as Gingerbitz filled up quickly with passersby catching sight of the newly opened shop through its street-facing, floor-to-ceiling windows. Nestled in the former Caroline’s Créperie space, the elegant Gingerbitz occupies what had been the only vacant (or at least non-operating) street-level commercial storefront on Elm between Main and Park. Open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, Gingerbitz includes 15 seats (there’ll be eight more out front if and when Spring arrives), features fresh “moody blues” (garden roses) on the tables, area artists’ work (for sale) on the walls, found materials-made light fixtures and clock, and its edible offerings are anchored by Karen’s baked goods. With chef Ashley Boucaud (trained at Providence, RI-based Johnson & Wales University’s College of Culinary Arts), the Zuckerts offer an eclectic menu: sandwiches (imported French brie and ham, roast chicken); salads (fresh goat cheese, marinated tomato tart on field greens), organic smoothies (soon), fresh-squeezed juices, Stumptown coffees, soft-serve ice cream, pots of tea, chutneys and of course, pastries and baked goods (Karen works with Guittard chocolate).

Parked SUV Rolls from Starbucks across Park Street, Crossing Two Sidewalks and Flattening Street Sign

A black Mercedes SUV with New York plates that was parked in the northwest corner of the Starbucks lot (closest to the corner), rolled across Park Street, crossing two pedestrian sidewalks, flattening a street sign and coming to stop at the poster wall by the train station Saturday morning. No one appeared to have been hurt and no other motor vehicles damaged in the incident, which occurred at approximately 8:30 a.m., according to eyewitnesses. A woman on scene who was asked about it (as she emerged from Starbucks with her coffee and credit card, which she told she had to go back inside to retrieve) said the SUV was hers and she intended to notify police. (Update 2:30 p.m.—New Canaan Police Sgt. Carol Ogrinc said a report of the incident did come in, logged at 8:33 a.m.) The motorist declined to give her name to, saying only that she thought the SUV was in park and that new cars have computers.

Expanded Caffeine & Carburetors Launches Sunday


New Canaan residents, business owners, traffic police and volunteers are eagerly awaiting the arrival of an estimated 2,000 classic car enthusiasts downtown Sunday morning for the 2014 debut of “Caffeine & Carburetors.”

A grassroots event launched four years ago by town resident Doug Zumbach—owner of the eponymous, gourmet coffee shop on the corner of Grove and Pine Streets—Caffeine & Carburetors has become popular enough that, under its founder’s direction and with support from town officials and the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce, it’s grown into an inclusive community occasion. Zumbach—owner of a 64 Plymouth Fury, ‘72 Porsche 911T and ‘77 Porsche 930 Turbo—told that he’s parking one of his own cars in front of the iconic clock midway up the main drag of Elm Street, a spot that will bookend a line of cars that will run the length of Pine and then, for the first time, jag up Park and then down Elm. “I want a certain continuity, a flow for the show,” Zumbach said. “I want a visual continuity as well as physical cars to be down there [on Elm]. Mine is going to be there.

New Canaan Rail Commuters Risk Lives Crossing to Train Station [VIDEO]

via YouTube

In our “REALLY?” feature, we observe those things that people do in New Canaan that make us scratch our heads. Today, we watched three sets of rail commuters—those catching the 7:12, 7:23 and 7:57 a.m. trains to New York City—cross at Elm and Park to catch the train, often entering the roadway despite motor vehicles with the right of way (green lights) bearing down on them. In nearly every case, the daring commuter had several minutes to spare. (Note: In the same span of time we saw several vehicles running red lights dangerously at this intersection, despite the pedestrian traffic.)

Prepare to see some close calls. For the sake of a better seat?