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Village Cafe Burglarized, Now Re-Open

September 3, 2016 Business, Police No Comments

By John Fitts

It was an especially hectic morning at the popular Village Cafe and Bistro in Canton Village on Saturday.

Chef/owner Steven Day received a call at 5:30 a.m. from a staff member who had gone to open the restaurant and discovered that the place had been burglarized.

Day said someone had managed to pry open the front door and rip out the cash register system.

Day said the person (s) responsible did get a small amount of money and did break and trash some items in the restaurant but did not steal anything else.

“It was a quick job,” he said.

Fortunately for Day, he had some additional equipment he had secured for a planned expansion and was able to open at 8 a.m. – an hour later than usual. As of late morning Saturday, he was still working on getting some specialty cords and a few other details.

“Everything will be resolved, I think, by the end of the day,” he said. “It’s just one of those things.”

Canton police did respond to the restaurant Saturday morning but did not immediately release any further information.

Brewery Legitimus Owners Begin Brewing, Look to Open Soon


By John Fitts

The owners of Brewery Legitimus brewed the first batch of beer on their new equipment over the weekend. It is one of several exciting recent developments for Canton couple Chris and Christina Sayer, who are in the process of opening at 283 Main St. (Route 44), in New Hartford.

Dubbed Counter Surfer, in honor of the late Rosco, their beloved chocolate lab who will always remain in their hearts, the variety is one of three the couple is working to debut when they open the doors soon.

For some three years, Chris Sayer, who has worked for Harpoon, Duvel-Moortgat and Coca-Cola, has focused his energy on opening a local brewery and, last year, secured the 3,300 square-foot location in the former Waring Factory complex.

An exact opening date is to be determined as Sayers need to brew more beer in their 7-barrel system, “let the yeast do its work,” and undergo a final state inspection before they can welcome the public into the taproom.

But already area residents have shown overwhelming support for the effort.

On Aug. 12, the couple launched a kickstarter campaign. For beer lovers, the perks of giving are numerous. Depending on the level of giving, patrons are rewarded with items such as stickers, T-shirts, special edition growlers, mugs, mug club memberships and more.

The campaign launched with a goal of $10,000 and as of Tuesday morning 105 backers had given a total of $13,200.

“The support has been awesome,” Chris Sayer said. “We’ve been overwhelmed. People are very excited to back a brewery.” … Continue Reading

Town Accepts $1.3 Million Grant for Second Phase of Collinsville Streetscape

August 10, 2016 Business, Government No Comments

A portion of Phase 1 Collinsville Streetscape. Photo by John Fitts

After some 45 minutes of discussion, Canton electors on Wednesday voted to accept a $1.3 million dollar grant for phase two of Collinsville streetscape.

The funds were announced in early June as part of nearly $11 million awarded under the state’s Responsible Growth and Transit-Oriented Development Grant Program.

Numerous people spoke out about the grant, with many supporting it but others stating that the state should not be allocating the money at this time. Some also feel the improvements diminish the area’s character but other residents feel they’ve helped the area. (See more via our archived live facebook feed at https://www.facebook.com/cantoncompass/?ref=settings)

While there was somewhat a movement against accepting the grant in recent weeks, Selectman Larry Minichiello was ultimately the only audible voice against it when it came to a vote. Earlier this summer, Minichiello and selectman Bill Canny voted against moving the process forward to the Board of Finance, which ultimately referred it back to selectmen and on to special town meeting. The three other selectmen, Leslee Hill, Tom Sevigny and Beth Kandrysawtz voted to move it forward.

Last summer, the town completed the first phase of the streetscape project, which included lighting, a complete revamping of the ‘Town Hall’ parking lot, plantings, benches, crosswalk and sidewalk improvements, street paving and more. The work centered around lower Main Street. In all, that project was $500,000, $387,000 of which came from a Connecticut Main Street Investment Fund Grant and the balance from Local Capital Improvement Program and town pavement management funds.

The additional funding is slated to bring improvements to:

  • Main Street from Front Street to River Street
  •  River Street from Main to Bridge Street Bridge Street from Main Street to River Street
  • Market Street and North Street
  • The Green

The exact nature of the changes will be developed, with public input, at a later time.

Below is the presentation given at the meeting by Neil Pade, Canton’s director of Planning and Community Development. It can also be viewed at https://www.scribd.com/document/320852051/20140522-CollinsvilleRGA

Images of Canton: Replanted Rootz

August 2, 2016 Business, Photos No Comments

Photos by John Fitts 

COLLINSVILLE – Rootz Organic Salon debuted its new space at 124 Main St. in Collinsville on Tuesday.

The salon moved to the space after some 12 years at its old location further down Main Street.

Owner Jennifer Gero said the new space allowed her the chance to design a hair salon from scratch. On Tuesday, she was overwhelmed with gratefulness for the artists and handymen who helped design the space and the generosity of her employees and customers – several of whom came with cards, plants and the historical photo or two.

“It’s above and beyond anything I can imagine,” Gero said. “It’s truly amazing. I cried a lot this morning for the amazing kindness of people. I’m just enjoying it and taking it all in.” … Continue Reading

Canton Residents Help Women Rediscover Their Workplace Potential

August 1, 2016 Business, Community No Comments

UP LogoBy John Fitts

While workplace equality, flexibility and creativity have come a long way, there are still significant challenges for those women who perform at high levels but take time off to focus on family life.

A benefit corporation run by Canton women has worked to reduce barriers affecting this demographic and on Aug. 4 will host its first networking meetup in Hartford.

“What Untapped Potential is trying to say is those gap years are valuable; your lifespan is long to contribute,” said company founder Candace Freedenberg. “Taking that time out to be an immersed, focused parent is valuable as well.”

Incorporated in August of 2015, Untapped Potential is part of a new breed of benefit corporations that add an element of social enterprise to a traditional company structure.

Freedenberg and her partner, Christina “Christy” Mitchell, each have highly technical skills, and experience with the challenges of workplace demands, family life and community engagement.

Freedenberg is a technologist with advanced engineering degrees and experience at Fortune 500 companies. Mitchell has Computer IT and law degrees and has worked for corporations such as Cigna, UTC and Rite Aid. Both women live in Canton.

Untapped Potential, working with coaches and other talented professionals, is looking to create a “community outlet” that helps women keep up their professional skills and engagement during those “gap” years. … Continue Reading

Matterhorn Mini Golf Well Into the Swing of Second Season

July 29, 2016 Business, Community No Comments

By John Fitts 

CANTON — Now in its second season, Matterhorn Mini Golf is attracting people from places like Rhode Island, Westchester County and New Haven county who come to try a round of golf at the Swiss-themed course. Sometimes, folks from either further away find their way to the course as well.

Recently the Bateson family was visiting from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, considered the mini golf capital of the world. They have family in the area and didn’t come just for Matterhorn but were impressed by the course.

“This might be one of the neatest and most challenging course I’ve ever tried,” said David Bateson.

Owner Autumn Sutherland feels the course, now well into its second season, is becoming known.

“People are finding it a very special, different place to go,” she said.  “They are very grateful to come and find the new, world-class place to mini golf.”

… Continue Reading

Local Couple Continues Applegate Farming Tradition

By John Fitts 

CANTON — For Karen and Robert Bahre, Applegate Farm is a truly labor of love. Three and a half years ago when other family members moved on to other projects, they decided to take over.

“I just love this farm,” Karen Bahre said of the Lawton Road land.

“I just don’t want to see it go away,” Robert Bahre added. “You have to do it and hope people support you doing it.”

In the early 1970s, Karen’s parents Jean and the late Andrew ‘Pete’ Bouchard purchased land on Lawton Road. In addition to Mr. Bouchard’s Canton printing business, the couple were land lovers, keeping horses and later getting more into farming. A former printing business employee suggested the name Applegate due to the apple trees along the sides of the driveway where the house was built.

In the early 1980s, Karen’s brother Peter started a roadside vegetable stand.

… Continue Reading

Potter Looks to Spread Love of Art Form at New Studio

By John Fitts

CANTON — Early on, Laura Brees’ nomadic spirit was infused with a love of pottery.

As a young girl of 9 or 10 she was in the Utah with her family when her dad found some clay, demonstrated the art of molding a simple “pinch pot,” later strengthened by some time in the fire pit.

There might not have been an epiphany right there in the desert but the seeds of a life passion were sown.

Today, Brees is looking to share that love of pottery with others and recently opened Stoneware Alchemy in the Historic 44 Marketplace in Canton.

“I love the idea of taking nothing –  just a ball of clay, dirt essentially – and forming it into something beautiful that you can use in your everyday life,” Brees said. “I love art of all kinds. I experiment with and play with all kinds of different things but I’m mostly drawn to pottery. I like the idea of a piece of art that has a story of its own – from the hands that created it –  to all the stories and memories infused in it by people using it every day. It’s just a transference of energy.” … Continue Reading

An Open Letter to the Wonderful People of Canton

Diane and Joe Eisenberg

Diane and Joe Eisenberg

To the Editor

It is with mixed emotions that I need to tell you that after 21 plus years, Diane and I have sold Canton Mobil.

We have been there with you through good times and bad. We have watched some be born, some pass on and the rest grow up.

We have laughed with you and cried with you, hugged you and shaken your hands.

Our two children grew up with you and our employees, who were like family to us, treated you like we did!

We have been through many holidays, heat waves and blizzards with you.

We have listen to your problems and issues and you listened to ours. Diane and I honestly considered our employee and loyal customers – extended family. … Continue Reading

Collinsville Hot Organizers Excited about Expanded Summer Festival

July 15, 2016 Business, Community No Comments
Matica Arts will perform a fire show at this year's Collinsville Hot. Pictured in foreground is Matica's Heidi Kirchofer at last year's event. Photo by John Fitts

Matica Arts will perform a fire show at this year’s Collinsville Hot. Pictured in foreground is Matica’s Heidi Kirchofer at last year’s event.
Photo by John Fitts

This site’s Collinsville Hot coverage has been graciously sponsored by Carol and Co., D.A.N.C.E. by Kristin and Ward Kilduff Mortgage.

By John Fitts

When visitors dismount the shuttle bus at River and North streets for Collinsville Hot this Saturday, they’ll be immediately immersed in the second annual event.

“They’ll see the artists, they’ll see the stage, they’ll hear the music and they’ll know they’ve come a real street fair,” said event co-organizer Bob Bessel. “It’s a really great entrance to the whole festival.”

The second annual downtown festival, sponsored by Canton Main Street with the help of numerous other businesses and organizations, takes place from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday July 16.

Set throughout the downtown area, mainly on Main and River streets, the festivities will include two musical stages, two artisan fairs, a community canvas art project, business and community vendors and displays, food, a family chill zone and a fire show in the parking lot off Main Street. Evening activities across Bridge Street, also include a show with long-time Saturday Night Live band vocalist Christine Ohlman and Rebel Montez at Bridge Street Live and a moonlight paddle at Collinsville Canoe and Kayak. … Continue Reading

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Upcoming Events

Mar
24
Fri
7:30 am Rotary Club of Avon-Canton @ Avon Old Farms Hotel
Rotary Club of Avon-Canton @ Avon Old Farms Hotel
Mar 24 @ 7:30 am
The Rotary Club Meets Fridays at 7:30 AM Avon Old Farms Hotel 279 Avon Mountain Rd. Avon, CT  06001 United States – See more at: http://portal.clubrunner.ca/5482#sthash.qE3T9Hoe.dpuf
6:00 pm Open Mic @ LaSalle Market
Open Mic @ LaSalle Market
Mar 24 @ 6:00 pm – 10:30 pm
Open Mic every week. Limited sign-ups available by calling at 1:30 p.m. the day of event (860) 693-8010
7:00 pm Friday Night Jazz @ La Trattoria
Friday Night Jazz @ La Trattoria
Mar 24 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
 Every Friday night, entertainment in the Lounge