Welcome to this week's installment of West Hartford Business Buzz!
People in West Hartford love to be "in the know" about happenings in town, especially the openings – and closings – of local businesses.
We hear things all the time, and some of them turn into big stories. But sometimes we don't have enough news to write an entire story, even though the information is definitely newsworthy. For a while we ran a "Visions for Vacancies" feature on Sundays, but it was getting to be difficult to find vacancies every week.
Every Sunday we'll highlight the business stories you may have missed during the past week, and give you the scoop on the other news you may not have heard about. And if you have tips about businesses opening or closing, please include them in the comments or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Last week we reported seeing a sign on the door of Comina in West Hartford Center indicating that the store would be closing on March 24 after 28 years in West Hartford. Manager Lisa Pierotti confirmed that the company plans to focus its business in the Boston area and the shoreline. In addition to closing the West Hartford store, Comina will not reopen its seasonal Watch Hill space. All sales are final, and whatever inventory is left at the end of the month will be distributed to the seven remaining stores in the Boston area, Mystic, New Canaan, and Providence.
- Taking Comina's spot will be Village Vitality – which owner Neal Smoller calls "a new breed of vitamin store." Smoller, a pharmacist, is currently owner of Village Apothecary in Saugerties, NY and Woodstock Apothecary in Woodstock, NY, but this will be his first standalone vitamin store. Smoller said he will stock only products which he has determined through evidence-based testing to be of the highest quality and that provide the stated results. The store will also employ a highly-trained local dietitian as manager, and will also sell healthy snacks, natural and chemical-free skincare products, and healthy snacks and supplements for pets. Village Vitality will also have a tea bar. Look for more details soon about the May 1 opening.
- Bella Gusta owner Lynda Przybylski is excited about her soon-to-be new neighbor, Sev Shak. The clothing and accessory store is moving from Avon to the space formerly occupied by JT Ghamo which never reopened its West Hartford location after a fire last year. Przybylski said that Bella Gusta's loyal customers returned in force when her store reopened, and she's hoping that having a clothing store next door wil attract even more business.
- Penzeys Spices is spreading out. The store will be expanding its 24 LaSalle Rd. location to include the currently vacant storefront formerly occupied by Artichoke.
- Grafix has closed its store at the corner of South Main St. and Sedgwick Rd. What would you like to see in that space?