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Monday, April 20, 2015

Jobless Rate Stays at 6.4% as State Gains 4,000 Jobs

By Mark Pazniokas

Connecticut gained an estimated 4,000 non-farm jobs in March, with the jobless rate remaining unchanged at 6.4 percent, according to a report released today by the state Department of Labor.

The data showed civilian labor force growth for the 18th consecutive month since September 2013 and was at its best annualized rate of growth since the recovery began in February 2010.

Click here for more of story

Posted 09:27 PM
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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Comings & Goings: Steak House Replaces Clam House Image
The former Mansion Clam House restaurant site at 541 Riverside Ave., vacant since last October, will reopen as Parker Steaks, according to a company employee. Owner Patrick Fahy owns Parker Steaks & Scotch in Trumbull and Parker Eatery & Bar in Stratford. No date for the opening was given. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Posted 09:43 PM
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Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Talking Business Image
Many entrepreneurs, mostly female, met today at the Westport Library’s McManus Room for a business workshop hosted by The Refinery, a Westport-based entrepreneur accelerator program for women-led companies.  At the lectern is Wendy Davis who heads Gest Vision, Inc, a medical technology business. According to Jennifer Gabler, a business partner of Westporter Janis Colins, founder of The Refinery, the purpose of the workshop is to review entrepreneurial business models and develop strategies for attracting and securing investment funding. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Posted 12:54 PM
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Saturday, April 04, 2015

Comings & Goings: Saugatuck Fabrics Grand Opening Image
There was a ribbon-cutting ceremony today to mark the grand opening of Saugatuck Fabrics, 47 Saugatuck Ave. Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe and Selectman Avi Kaner joined co-owners Ida Boci (red and black dress) and ) and Lenora Silber, who are both Greece-born and are cousins, along with friends and family. Silber, a New Canaan resident, and Ida Boci of Fairfield, worked together in a Norwalk-based custom upholstery business before setting out on their own. “We have a lifetime of experience in working with designers in both new furniture upholstery and furniture reupholstery to make your favorite furniture new and feel like new,” Silber said The space formerly was occupied by Cake Suite, which closed in December. For more information, visit (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Posted 02:51 PM
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Friday, March 27, 2015

Breaking Bread to Mark Balducci’s Reopening Image
Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe and members of the Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market staff today perform a ceremonial bread slicing led by store manager John DePace (c) to mark the reopening of the store at 1385 Post Road East following an extensive renovation. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Posted 01:18 PM
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Ready to Go Image
The chef prepared food section at Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market, 1385 Post Road East, has been greatly expanded as part of its extensive renovations. A formal reopening ceremony took place today.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Posted 01:13 PM
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Market Chat Image
Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe and wife Mary Ellen chat with Judy Spires, CEO of Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market, today at the grand reopening of the Westport store at 1385 Post Road East. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Posted 01:08 PM
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Cheese Lover’s Delight Image
A greatly expanded cheese section is part of extensive renovations at Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market, 1385 Post Road East, which had its grand reopening today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Posted 01:04 PM
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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Comings & Goings: Mario’s Place Changing Ownership Image
UPDATE Westport’s iconic Mario’s Place, 36 Railroad Place, is changing ownership and will change names. The new owners, Vicente and Nuve Siguenza, say they expect the transfer to become final in mid-April. They are owners of Cava in New Canaan, Harvest in Greenwich and New Haven, Scena in Darien and 55 Degrees in Fairfield. The Westport location will continue to operate as Mario’s Place until Saturday, April 4 and will then change its name to Harvest, a farm-to-table restaurant concept, according to the Siguenzas. An employee at Mario’s said the staff had been notified on Monday that the business was being sold. Frank ”Tiger” DeMace, co-founder of the restaurant with the late Mario Sacco, died in 2012 at age 78. (See WestportNow July 26, 2012) The DeMace family will retain ownership of the property and the Siguenzas will operate their restaurant under a long-term lease. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Posted 01:43 PM
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Friday, March 20, 2015

Comings & Goings: Tierra Restaurant Closes Image
Two weeks after denying a report that it had closed (see WestportNow March 4, 2015), Westport’s Tierra Restaurant in the basement of the Old Town Hall, 90 Post Road East, has closed, according to Rob Haroun, who owns the building. The restaurant with Latin-inspired cuisine had been open less than one year (see WestportNow May 30, 2014). “We’re sorry to see them leave,” said Haroun. “Meanwhile, we’ve been approached by a number of potential tenants looking to enter the Westport market and would not be surprised if an announcement is made in the next few weeks.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Posted 02:14 PM
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Thursday, March 19, 2015

SoNo Baking Company & Café Owner Pleased With Opening Image
SoNo Baking Company & Café owner John Baricelli said today that Wednesday’s opening day at the new 44 Church Lane location was “very crowded thanks to much social media. Customers were taking photos and posting online. We did especially well with coffee and breakfast pastries.”  He said he is working with the Chamber of Commerce to schedule a grand opening celebration by the end of March. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Posted 11:19 AM
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Monday, March 16, 2015

Comings & Goings: SoNo Baking Opens Wednesday Image
SoNo Baking Company & Café opens Wednesday at 7 a.m. at 44 Church Lane, according to Patti Jonker (above), partner of owner John Barricelli. She said customers will see some familiar faces among the SoNo staff since SoNo hired several who worked at Java, which occupied the same space before closing at the end of 2014. Hours are 7 a.m-6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and until 4 p.m. on Sunday. The fare includes hot breakfasts such as waffles and pancakes as well as fresh pastries, cookies and many other menu items, Jonker said. The café is also open for lunch and Sunday brunch. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Posted 04:34 PM
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Comings & Goings: Geiger’s Closes on Post Road East Image
Geiger’s Garden Center, a landmark, family-owned business at 1135 Post Road East since 1953, has closed. The 2.5-acre property was purchased for redevelopment to include 12 housing units, including two affordable as well as a bank in the front. Geiger’s maintains a landscape consulting business in Westport’s Sconset Square on Myrtle Avenue. The nursery business is now located on Frogtown Road in New Canaan. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Posted 03:44 PM
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Monday, March 09, 2015

Westporter Named Among ‘Women of Innovation’ Image
Janis Collins: honored for women’s business efforts. Contributed photo

Janis Collins of Westport has been selected one of 56 Women of Innovation for the 2015 Women of Innovation awards program by the Connecticut Technology Council (CTC).

The program recognizes Connecticut women in the workforce and students who are innovators, role models and community leaders in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math, an announcement said.

Collins, a member of the Westport Board of Finance, is co-founder of Westport-based The Refinery, an accelerator for women-led businesses whose goals include accelerating the growth of early stage ventures resulting in job creation and viable investments.

The 56 honorees will be recognized and a winner in each of eight award categories will be announced during the Women of Innovation awards program at the Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville on April 1.

More "Westporter Named Among ‘Women of Innovation’"

Posted 04:51 PM
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Comings & Goings: Maserati Westport Near Opening Image
Maserati Westport, owned by the 1976-founded Miller Motorcars of Greenwich, nears opening day this month at 1026 Post Road East, according to a contractor at the site. (See WestportNow April 10, 2013) The facility includes a 3,000-square foot showroom and a 1,000-square foot service garage. The Westport location is the former home of J. McLaughlin, an apparel retailer that closed on July 15, 2012.  Prior to J. McLaughlin, the space was occupied by Leonard’s New England, antique furniture and reproductions and previously by Hay Day. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Posted 01:59 PM
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