Thanks to the Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Council for your guidance in understanding the osprey that keep me inspired with their diligence as they dive and carry stick after stick to build their tangled nests. Mizzen Capital is a young company pursuing our mission of helping small businesses grow jobs and build communities. The ecosystem that supports those companies is challenged right now and working together we can restore it just as RTP helped to restore Great Island for the Osprey.
Penniman Architects is hard at work, from multiple home offices, helping our clients minimize their ecological footprint by designing and building the most energy efficient, healthy houses possible. Spending more time at home has only further enhanced all of our architects’ understanding of the importance of creating home environments that provide comfort, sunlight, efficiency, beauty and joy. We’re excited about emerging from this situation with our energy high and inspired to create wonderful work.
Two Wrasslin’ Cats Coffee House
374 Town Street, East Haddam
Mark Thielde founded Two Wrasslin’ Cats to be a welcoming community asset serving fresh food and coffee—a mission that continues during the pandemic. The coffee house, located at the intersection of routes 82 and 151 a mile from the Goodspeed Opera House, is open seven days a week (8-3 Monday-Saturday, 9-3 Sunday) for breakfast and lunch. Thielde reports that business is good, especially on sunny days. Orders may be placed by phone or in person, and outdoor seating is available for customers awaiting their purchase. Thielde, who explains that Wrasslin’ Cats was named it for his two kittens, Bruno and Larry, says he never considered closing the store. His only layoffs have been of part-time high school students, and his son and daughter continue to work there.
171 Boston Post Road, Old Lyme
John Coffee, who has owned Laysville Hardware for 46 years, reports that not a lot has changed for the business during the pandemic. Laysville’s Covid-19 adjusted hours are Monday-Saturday 7-4, Wednesday 7-12, and Sunday 8-4. Customers may go in the store, but if they prefer not to, they may call ahead for curbside pickup. Highly popular items include masks and hand sanitizers—these are particularly hard to keep in stock—and hardware items, as customers get to work on home maintenance projects. And as gardens lure people outside, business is booming for plants and seeds. John says that Laysville has always been supported by the community, and now is a time when he wants to go out of his way to serve his customers.
Andy’s Deli & Market
19 Halls Road, Old Lyme
Andy Shah reports that business has declined by more than 40 percent since Connecticut’s stay-at-home order was announced. The biggest drop is from regular customers who previously showed up for coffee and/or a newspaper in the morning. Among the people he still sees are contractors picking up breakfast on their way to work early in the morning. After that—by about 7:00—very few people are in the store at the same time, and so customers can be served quickly without worrying about social distancing. The current hours for the store are 5 AM to 6 PM; the deli closes at 2:00. Andy happily takes orders by phone, for delivery to your car.
Atlantic Seafood Market
1400 Boston Post Road, Old Saybrook
Owner Lisa Feinman says that initially she contemplated closing Atlantic Seafood because of the stress of constantly cleaning the store and keeping it safe. But because she wanted to provide something “normal” for her customers, she decided to stay open and to move customer service outside, under a tent. Using new systems, she and her crew were able, slowly, to make it work. One helpful feature: for customers who don’t want to shop often, products are packed for freezing. Feinman continues to sell fish, shellfish, smoked fish, soups, salads, appetizers, and entrees. Because not everything is available at all times, she urges customers to consider alternative choices when placing an order. They may do so on the website, although this is not necessary—spur-of-the-moment purchases can be made at the store. The hours are Sunday-Thursday 2-4 and Friday-Saturday 9-6.
Pasta Vita, Inc.
Rich Cersosimo says that they are still operating and working very hard to serve their customers with all of the delicious, nutritious meals that they have always offered, while meeting all of the new state requirements. They have maintained their full staff, with the exception of a very few who have compromised health conditions. They only allow 5 customers at a time into the store at 225 Elm Street, Old Saybrook. Plexiglass has been installed in front of the registers. The entire Monhegan Sun resort is closed, including the Pasta Vita storefronts there, but Their Weathersfield, Avon and South Windsor locations are operating on a curbside pick-up basis. Go to www.pastavita.com.
Old Lyme Marina
Glenn Abrahmsson reports that the Old Lyme Marina has been designated as an essential business. As a very small business, it’s easy for 5 people to work but keep their distance, while they continue their retail business in speciality boat parts, curbside pick-up only, and engine repairs. Next week they will be making some necessary repairs to the Essex Police boat. Following that, they will be painting the newly acquired Old Lyme Fire Boat. As of now, they plan to start to operate their launch on Memorial Day, but with new protocols to keep boaters safely distanced. A lot of their customers are looking forward to getting out on the water and finding some beautiful place to anchor and enjoy nature and our spectacular river and sound estuarine environment. Gregg hopes that all boaters will act responsibly, especially in this time of high risk to first responders.
Old Lyme Marketplace
Andrew Prosser reports that most of their biggest tenants, the Big Y, the Old Lyme Hardware Store, Grand wine and Spirits and the Walgreen’s are designated essential and are continuing to operate. Others like The Bowerbird, Snap Fitness , the nail salon, and Rob Rivers have closed. The marketplace’s cleaning service is still cleaning. And of course the Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center office is closed, but the staff have quickly pivoted to offer online school programs and adult webinars.
Coldwell Banker- Old Lyme
Julia Rathkey says that Real Estate has been deemed essential, but big changes have been instituted to work through tricky situations. Virtual open houses and viewings have been instituted. Mortgages still need to be witnessed, closings are being pre-signed to minimize social contact, and new forms and extra are being required by banks, but that all takes certain gymnastics to accomplish. The office is closed and everyone is working from home. Whether you are ready or are waiting to put your house on the market, or are looking to buy, Coldwell Banker is here for their clients and will work with you to create a plan to get through this difficult and challenging time.