Saturday, September 28, 2013
Freshii Prepares for Monday Opening
Freshii, part of a health-oriented restaurant chain, opens Monday at 1 Main St., also known as 19 Post Road East, near Starbuck’s. Accessible from Parker Harding Plaza, the restaurant will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Freshii operates in 35 cities and eight countries around the world. The Westport owner is Jonathan Blob, who as a hedge fund manager invested and performed analysis on the food service industry. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Friday, September 27, 2013
Bond Panel Okays Financing for Bridgeport Development
By Keith M. Phaneufwww.ctmirror.org
The State Bond Commission today approved $31 million in financing to allow a leading sporting goods retailer to locate in the long-planned commercial development on Steel Point in Bridgeport.
Bass Pro Shops will benefit from the state funds. Contributed photo
And though the commission unanimously approved the financing for Bass Pro Shops, that endorsement came amidst an ongoing partisan debate over Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s handling of the state’s credit card for capital programs.
Bass Pro has announced plans to open a 140,000-square-foot facility at the harbor, with total development and financing costs expected to fall just under $70 million.
Besides the $31 million approved today, the state also is expected to provide $9 million in future assistance with the developer providing the remaining $38.5 million.
Click here for more of story
Friday, September 20, 2013
Comings & Goings: She La La to Playhouse Square
She La La, a fashion and accessories shop, will open in October at 281 Playhouse Square, in the space formerly occupied by Body Talk, according to Dave Crow who co-owns the business with his wife Sheila, Wilton residents. Crow said it is their second store, the other is located on Main Street, New Canaan which opened in May 2012. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Westport Unemployment Rate Drops to 5.8%
Westport’s unemployment rate in August was 5.8 percent, down from 6.2 percent in July, the Connecticut Department of Labor said today.
The department said the number of Westport unemployed in August was 733, down from 796 in July.
The August labor force in Westport numbered 12,609, a drop from 12,879 in July.
There were 12,609 employed in August, up from 12,083 in July. A year ago in August, Westport’s unemployment rate was 6.2 percent.
Thursday, September 19, 2013
CT Lost 6,000 Jobs in August
By Keith M. Phaneufwww.ctmirror.org
The state Labor Department today threw some cold water on Connecticut’s optimistic job outlook.
The department not only reported a 6,000-job decline in August, but scaled back the 11,500-job gain it announced in July by more than 16 percent.
Despite the job losses, Connecticut’s unemployment rate remained unchanged in August at 8.1 percent. That’s because the number of people actively seeking employment also fell last month.
A 7,500-position decline in government-sector jobs in August, particularly in education, drove the latest job loss totals. [The state reported the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk labor market area with a job loss of 1,100, or -0.3 percent, lost the most jobs in August in magnitude and percentage, the Labor Department said.]
Click here for more of story
Comings & Goings: Granola Bar to Playhouse Square
UPDATE The Granola Bar, a pure food and coffee cafe, will open around Thanksgiving at Playhouse Square in the 2,000-square foot space formerly occupied by Silver Ribbon Jewelers, according to owners Julie Gaines and Dana Noorily. The Westport residents produce Oats Granola, which is sold in more than 80 stores, including Whole Foods markets. “We selected Westport for the Granola Bar because we know the community and know it needs this type of place,” said Noorily. “Our private label business has expanded too. We now cook thousands of pounds of granola.” She said the entrepreneurs will also launch a food truck in October to sell bakery products at soccer fields and other events. The two moms had high aspirations from the start, as they told WestportNow almost two years ago (see WestportNow, Dec. 8, 2011) (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Comings & Goings: Snip Doggy Dog to Sconset Square
Snip Doggy Dog, an upscale grooming salon for dogs, will open in late November at Westport’s Sconset Square, 15 Myrtle Ave., according to managing director, Frank Ciambriello. Ciambriello said the Westport location will be its third, the flagship shop having opened in Old Greenwich in August and an upcoming one in Fairfield that opens several weeks prior to the Sconset Square spot. He said the 1,000 square feet salon offers four groomers, a dog boutique and “we are hopeful for a dog day care capability down the road a bit. The personalization of the salon features glass walls so our clients can view the grooming process.” He said the business founders are comprised of a group of Old Greenwich residents. The space was previously occupied by Cursive, a New York-based retailer of fine paper, jewelry and home and personal accessories. (See WestportNow May 29, 2013) (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Entrepreneur Night in Saugatuck
More than 75 persons tonight attended the inaugural “Juice—Connecting Food Startups, Mentors, and Investors” event at the new Westport Innovation Hub (see WestportNow July 29. 2013), 20 Ketchum St., organized by Janis Collins, an early stage venture adviser. Owners of five successful business start-ups in the field of food innovation addressed the group, including Ryan Fibiger (r), founder and owner of Saugatuck Craft Butchery in Saugatuck Center. He told the group of his experience in transforming the old-fashioned butcher shop concept into a profitable business. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Start-Up Event Organizer Encouraged by Turnout
Janis Collins, a former company start-up specialist at JPMorgan Chase (and member of Westport’s Board of Finance), was organizer and host of tonight’s “Juice—Connecting Food Startups, Mentors, and Investors” event at the new Westport Innovation Hub at 20 Ketchum St. “This ‘pilot’ event is an opportunity for entrepreneurs in the field of food innovation to meet with business mentors and venture investors—all in the same location at the same time,” she said. Collins added, “The high level of receptivity at this initial gathering encourages me to schedule another one in the near future.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Saugatuck Craft Butchery Hosts Entrepreneurs
Following tonight’s “CT Food Start-up, Mentor and Investor” event at the new Westport Innovation Hub participants attended a post-workshop reception at Saugatuck Craft Butchery’s new Saugatuck Center location. Ryan Fibiger, owner of Saugatuck Craft Butchery, addressed the workshop, saying he drew on his background in finance and consulting in explaining basic issues in food business start-ups. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Thursday, September 12, 2013
Comings & Goings: Craft Butchery Opens in New Home
Saugatuck Craft Butchery reopened today at Saugatuck Center after moving across the street from 580 Riverside Ave. Samantha Garwin, director of marketing, said a reopening party open to the public will be held on Monday, Sept. 22 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Owner Ryan Fibiger said,the new store “more than doubles our space, gives us more room for meat cutting and in the new wing our cafe offers more prepared foods.” Pictured are Emily Mingrone, sous chef, and Mark Heppermann, executive chef, in the new cafe section. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Comings & Goings: Pompanoosic Out, Bassett In
Pompanoosic Mills, 1100 Post Road East, will move after 10 years in its current location, but the exact timing has not yet been determined, according to a longtime employee of the handcrafted furniture store, who asked not to be identified. “The space is too large for us here,” she said. “We may select another Post Road location, either in the direction of Fairfield or near the Westport/Norwalk line. We are not going out of business.” Moving in will be Bassett Furniture, which also plans to occupy the adjoining space which is currently vacant Pompanoosic Mills, a Vermont-based designer and manufacturer since 1973, has 13 stores including two in Connecticut - Hartford and Westport. Bassett’s current Connecticut locations include Newington, Brookfield and Orange. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Comings & Goings: Pure Barre to PRE
Laura Laboissonniere, owner of Pure Barre, a women’s physical fitness facility, stands in front of 291 Post Road East, in Playhouse Square, where her studio will open later this month. The space was vacated by Touch of Europe which moved to nearby 279 Post Road East within Playhouse Square. Laboissonniere, who recently relocated to Westport from Tampa, said, “I was a client of a Pure Barre studio in Tampa and was so impressed with the system and Westport seems like a perfect fit.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Monday, September 09, 2013
Comings & Goings: Little Barn Coming to PRE
Workers prepare for the yet to be announced opening date of a new eating and drinking establishment, The Little Barn, at 1050 Post Road East. former location of Swanky Frank’s. Kevin McHugh and Scott Beck who collectively co-own six restaurants in Fairfield County (including Spotted Horse in Westport, Gray Goose and The Chelsea in Fairfield) have signed a long term lease for the location, Beck said. McHugh, who was the original co-owner and designer of The Little Pub in Ridgefield, plans to create a similar casual themed pub for lower Fairfield County area. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Friday, September 06, 2013
Comings & Goings: Kidville opens Sept. 15
Kidville, 1572 Post Road East, dedicated to children’s activities and located in the former location of Goodwill Industries, opens on Sept. 15 with an open house celebration for the public from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., according to owners Rob and Valerie Gutman. Valerie said the celebration features use of the gym, arts and crafts and live entertainment by the Rockin’ Railroad band. The 4,800-square foot store offers a children’s boutique shop, birthday parties, classes for newborn to 5-year-olds in music, dance, art and pre-school enrichment, a gym and KVU—Kidville University classes. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com