Ten Thousand Villages in Downtown New Canaan To Close at the End of May


Ten Thousand Villages on the corner of Main Street and East Avenue will close at the end of May, according to officials with the handmade gifts, jewelry, home decor, art and sculpture retailer. The fair trade organization’s New Canaan location—known for years by locals as the Wire Whisk space—hasn’t generated sufficient foot traffic to make end’s meet, according to Carol Starkweather, store manager. “We’ve had a lot of support from the town and the customers we have are fantastic, so I want to thank everybody for giving us a chance and for shopping here,” she told NewCanaanite.com Tuesday morning. Ten Thousand Villages right now has a 25 percent off sale, she said. Asked about the store’s closing, Laura Budd of the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce said: “Of course as always we are disappointed to hear when a local business chooses to close its doors.

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 NewCanaanite.com 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.

Arusha the Chow Chow: Has a Boyfriend, Facebook Page


Arusha the Chow Chow—an ancient Chinese dog described as typically “reserved and discerning with strangers,” according to the AKC—is an unusual example of the breed, and a terrific dog to profile for this feature, New Canine-ites. That’s because for her entire 3.5 years, she’s gone to work with owner Shawn Webb, store manager at Ten Thousand Villages. “She’s been hyper-socialized since she was a puppy,” Webb said on a recent afternoon from the shop—open since November on the corner of East Avenue and Main Street—as Arusha relaxed at his side. “Both my prior job and here, she went to work with me every day, so she would meet 10 to 20 new people every day,” Webb said. “Most Chow Chows are not that way and are only loyal to their owner, and not really outwardly friendly.

Ceramic Dish Set Catches New Canaan Olive Oil’s Eye


For this installment of “Biz on Biz”—where we cold-call a downtown shop to ask an owner or worker to tell us about another business’s product, service or something else they absolutely love—we visited New Canaan Olive Oil on Elm Street (here’s their Facebook page), a fellow New Canaan Chamber of Commerce member. There, owner Heidi Burrows told us about an item that had caught her eye while browsing for the first time in the new Ten Thousand Villages shop down on Main and East Avenue. “They have so much stuff, but what caught my eye were the ceramic dishes,” Burrows said. “They have them in so many different sizes and different sets and they were gorgeous. They were glazed, on the outside they were brown and on the inside it was sort of a cream color.

Coming Friday: Shopping Event to Benefit Young Women’s League of New Canaan

An organization that supports artisans around the world and recently opened a storefront downtown is holding a community shopping event this week that also will benefit a longstanding local nonprofit composed of civic-minded New Canaan women. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, 15 percent of sales at Ten Thousand Villages—located since Nov. 8 on the corner of Main Street and East Avenue, just above Forest Street—will go to the Young Women’s League of New Canaan, store manager Shawn Webb said. Ten Thousand Villages is itself a nonprofit organization and founding member of the World Fair Trade Organization that purchases handmade gifts from artisans in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. Asked about the synergy between his organization and the Young Women’s League of New Canaan, Webb said, “Many of our artisans are women, probably about 80 percent of the merchandise you see in the store is made by women.”

“This actually is International Women’s Month and the 8th, the day after our event, is International Women’s Day,” he continued.