First Selectman Pat Llodra, Director of Planning George Benson, Economic Development Coordinator Betsy Paynter, and Grant Coordinator Christal Preszler have renewed the community’s “Newtown is Open for Business” initiative. This new team of economic development leadership is committed to supporting responsible, environmentally sound development, creating a strong local economy and increasing the tax base to offset the residential tax burden for residents. According to Ms Paynter, Newtown is committed to providing a reliable and friendly development process, including a Fast Track Permitting Process for appropriate large-scale commercial and industrial developments.
Portofino Restaurant and Wine Bar, Bethel, reopened this past July under the ownership of Rocco Selmanti, with brother Louis Selmanti serving as general manager.
“Customers love our food and the ambience,” said Louis, “and say it is a really cozy place.” The warm and elegant atmosphere is created through the use of brick, stucco, and wood, including a bar crafted of chestnut from a 150-year-old barn in upstate New York. A dozen people can be seated at the gleaming bar, while seating for another 30 at tables for two and four fills the rest of the bar area. In the second dining room, separated from the bar area by a small foyer, 60 diners are accommodated. In warm weather, customers enjoy the outdoor patio.
When last we left Newtown entrepreneur and baker Stephanie Schneiderman, she was packing to run away to Hollywood. And while she had no dreams of making it big on the big screen, she did make the acquaintance of dozens of Hollywood stars who turned out for a pre-Emmy Awards red carpet event where they stuffed swag bags with selected gifts including boxes of Ms Schneiderman’s Biscotti, Etc cookies. Ms Schneiderman was one of just a few dozen companies providing items for the television awards showcase event on August 23 in Los Angeles.
“They described the event as something like a celebrity trade show,” she said. Ms Schneiderman was told that each celebrity attending the gifting event would receive at least one sample of Biscotti Etc products, which turned out to be the case.
The Power Network, sponsored by the Monroe and Newtown Chambers of Commerce, is hosting a special workshop featuring Paul Nonnenmacher on September 18, from 8 to 9:15 am, at the Collaborative Work Center in Monroe. Mr Nonnenmacher’s talk, “Overcoming the Fear of Public Speaking,” will address and share techniques to overcome nervousness and deliver winning presentations. Mr Nonnenmacher has been speaking in public for almost 30 years, addressing audiences as well as appearing on radio and television.
The Resiliency Center of Newtown (RCN) will host a free LinkedIn workshop in conjunction with Nutmeg Healthcare Recruiters on Friday, September 19. The workshop will run from 11 am until 2 pm at RCN. In addition, photographer Michelle Babyak will at RCN at 9 am for anyone who would like to have a professional head shot done. Although the workshop is free, Ms Babyak is charging a $40 fee for her work.
Area teens and young adults are invited to a free “Hands On Banking: Money Skills You Will Need For Life” presentation by Wells Fargo Bank on Tuesday, September 30, from 6:30 to 7:30 pm, at C.H. Booth Library, 25 Main Street. This program was originally scheduled for September 17.
The Northern Fairfield Professionals, a networking group focusing on people in transition, is meeting Tuesday, September 9 at the Knights of Columbus building at St Rose Church. Linda Van Valkenburgh will speak on “LinkedIn 3.0 — Learn to Leverage the new LinkedIn to Fast Track Jobs, Sales Leads and Business Opportunities.”
The Olive Tree, Woodbury, owned by Kerri and Sam Dimitratos, opened in the antique 1789 home formerly known as The Longwood Country Inn, in March of this year. If the names seem familiar to area residents, it is because The Olive Tree was located in Barclay Square in Woodbury from 1980 to 2001, and then in the Heritage Village Country Club for ten years. After a two-year break from the restaurant business, the Dimitratoses were excited to find the 1204 Main Street South space available, and to get back to the business of serving customers old and new.
The Newtown Chamber of Commerce continues its free monthly networking events open to all local business professionals at Sal e Pepe Contemporary Italian Bistro on September 10 from 8 to 9 am. The guest speaker is Jeff Cowden of Yacko and Sons Tree Service, who will present "Simple Steps to Maintain Healthy Trees.”
Area teens and young adults are invited to a free “Hands On Banking: Money Skills You Will Need For Life” presentation by Wells Fargo Bank on Tuesday, September 30, from 6:30 to 7:30 pm, at C.H. Booth Library. The program had originally been scheduled for September 17.