Category Archives: Biz Buzz

Local Gymnasts Win Big at Xcel Gold State Championships

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BROOKFIELD, CT — A Brookfield gymnastics studio has lots to be proud of after four out of their five Xcel Gold State gymnasts placed in the championships held at Killingly High School on April 21 and 22, 2018.

Kratos Gymnastics, owned by Ashley and Mihael Anton, had four of their gymnasts on the Xcel Gold Team compete. In their first season of the Xcel Gold level, everyone qualified to the CT State Championships and medaled in their individual age groups.

  • Izabella Dobkowski, of Danbury, placed fourth on the floor exercise.
  • Ella Penna, of Sherman, came in ninth place on balance beam and second place on the floor exercise.
  • Mila Kuilan, of Danbury, came in fifth place on balance beam, fourth place on vault and uneven bars and all-around, and came in first place CT State Champion on floor exercise.
  •  Madison Larkin, of New Milford, came in ninth place on vault, second place on floor, and 1st place CT State Champion on uneven bars, balance beam, and all around.
Out of the overall approximate 300 gymnasts who competed, Madison Larkin placed fifth all around which earned her one on of only seven spots granted on the CT Xcel Gold Regional Team. This team will compete at the 2018 Xcel Gold Region 6 Regional Championships taking place at Shrewsbury High School, in Shrewsbury MA. on May 19.
At the Regional Championships, the top seven gymnasts in Xcel Gold from CT, NY, MA, NH, VT and ME will compete representing their State for the title of Region 6 Regional Champion.

 

Congratulations to the entire team on their accomplishments.

2018 CT Farmer’s Markets Take Root on May 12

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FAIRFIELD COUNTY, CT — Spring has sprung, summer is just around the corner, and with it is the thought of fresh, local produce. Farmers and market organizers across Connecticut are gearing up to share their local produce, dairy, bread, cheese and more with hungry locavores at weekly farmer’s markets this summer.

The first market in the Fairfield and Litchfield County areas will be on Saturday, May 12, 2018 in New Milford. Opening day vendors include the following:

Many of the markets have live music, children’s entertainment, special events and guest speakers. Be sure to bring your own bags, as well as cash or check, as many of the markets do not accept credit cards. Check your local market’s page for detailed information.

Happy shopping!

 

Local Farmer’s Markets in Fairfield and Litchfield Counties

Bethel: 

  • Bethel Farmer’s Market (Stony Hill), Saturdays, 9 am – 1 pm, June 28 – Christmas
    Rte. 6, Fairfield Cty Extension Service Bldg, 67 Stony Hill Rd, opposite Stony Hill Inn, 
    bethelfarmersmarket.org.
  • No plans have been announced yet for the Downtown Municipal Center Farmer’s Market, which, according to a Board Member, has not been held “in several years.”

Brookfield: 

  • Brookfield Farmer’s Market, Fridays, 3 – 6:00 pm, July 10 – October 23, Town Hall, 100 Pocono Rd., Facebook

Danbury: 

  • Danbury Farmer’s Market, Saturdays, 10 am – 2 pm, June 22 – October 21
    Danbury Green, 
    SNAP doubled, Website

Monroe: 

  • Monroe Farmer’s Market, Fridays, 3 pm – 6 pm, Monroe Town Green, Corner of Fan Hill Road & Rte. 111, monroefarmersmarket.org. The Monroe Farmers’ Market is open from June 22–October 26, 2018.

New Fairfield:

New Milford:

  • New Milford Farmers Market, Saturdays, 9 am – 12 pm, May 12 – November 18, Town Green, Main Street, newmilfordfarmersmarket.com. Saturday, May 12 is opening day for 2018.

Newtown/Sandy Hook:

  • Newtown Farmer’s Market, Tuesdays, 2 pm – 6:30 pm, June – October, Fairfield Hills Campus at Wasserman Way, Facebook

Redding/Georgetown:

  • Georgetown  Held every Sunday from late June to the end of October, Sundays, 10 am – 2 pm, June 17 – TBA, 4 Old Mill Road, Redding, Facebook

Ridgefield:

Southbury:

  • The Southbury Farmer’s Market opens in late June and runs through mid-October on Thursdays from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  It is held at Town Hall, 501 Main St. S.
    Southbury. Click here for more info.

For a full list of markets across the state, visit CT Nofa’s website by clicking here.

Photo by Matt via Flickr Creative Commons

Do you know of a market we missed? Email it to ctbuzznews@gmail.com.

 

Local Comics Headline at Ridgefield Playhouse 

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By Aline Weiller

RIDGEFIELD, CT — Christine O’Leary has always been funny. But, it wasn’t until she won a stand-up contest in Maine that she quit her day job to pursue a career in comedy. O’Leary is now an award-winning stand-up comedian, professional host and coach for budding comics enrolled in her workshop at The Ridgefield Playhouse. Her spring semester students will take center stage at “Christine O’Leary’s Comedy Graduation Showcase” on Monday, April 30 at 7:30 (doors open at 6:30) at the Ridgefield Playhouse, 80 East Ridge Road, Ridgefield. General Admission tickets are on sale now ($20 each); orders can be placed online (Comedy Graduation Showcase | The Ridgefield Playhouse), called into the Ridgefield Playhouse box office at (203) 438-5795, or purchased in person the night of the show, space permitting.

O’Leary has taught nearly 30 sold-out comedy classes at her post at the Playhouse, with many repeat students, who take an 8-week program to develop a tight, economized, 5-minute set — the first increment of time given to new stand-ups at comedy clubs. The students bring weekly material to “Rip and Read” in class to determine winning content, then video conference one-on-one with O’Leary to finalize their material and hone their set. After two months, they’re ready for an audience.


“Comedy is a way to tell the truth, solve a problem and sell the material with a feeling. I love and live to share with people the greatest ‘high’ and joy I know — standing up and getting paid in laughs! Anyone can do this; there’s enough for everyone. For me, stand up is liberation and freedom. You can ‘up your game’ in life whether your a parent or a podiatrist,” said O’Leary, Founder, Team Green Light Comedy.

O’Leary’s stand up class has been a staple at The Ridgefield Playhouse since 2013. Her Assistant is fellow comic, Sue Ellen Landwehr, who has also performed locally. The April 30th lineup includes amateur comedians: Angel Fredricks, Will Bergen, Judy Eckert, Frank Fuhrman, Stephanie Griffin, Jerry Kuyper, Matthew MacGregor, Michael Mast, Micky Pasquerella, George Reynolds, Ben Robertson, Marcela Rodrigues, Eric Schwartz, Michael Zeitz, and Aline Weiller. They include doulas and designers, wealth managers and writers, students and salespeople, electrical engineers and bankers, teachers and beyond.


“You’ll never see anything like it…they’ll be born as comics before your eyes,” O’Leary added.

Christine O’Leary has worked with headlining comedians to include Gilbert Gottfried, Joy Behar, Chevy Chase, Sinbad, Tracey Morgan, Robert Klein, Margaret Cho, and Janeane Garofalo. She takes her Team Green Light Comedy comrades to area shows and also hosts and performs at companies, colleges, and charitable, club and pride events nearby and nationally. She can be contacted via christine@christineoleary.com and on all social media platforms.

The Ridgefield Playhouse is a not for profit 501 (c) (3) whose mission is to present a variety of performing arts to the community and the surrounding area that they can enjoy and experience at a varied price point. The Playhouse presents national and local acts and is the cultural hub for the town of Ridgefield. For details regarding “Christine O’Leary’s Comedy Graduation Showcase” tickets and classes, visitwww.ridgefieldplayhouse.org.

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PHOTO: Comedian Christine O’Leary and her students gear up for their “Comedy Graduation Showcase” at the Ridgefield Playhouse, 80 East Ridge Road, Ridgefield on Monday, April 30th at 7:30. General Admission tickets $20) are on sale now, are available via www.ridgefieldplayhouse.org, but calling (203) 438-5795, or can be purchased in person on the night of the show, space permitting.

PHOTO CREDIT: Sue Ellen Landwehr

Local DIY Pizza Business Brings Families Together for Make-Your-Own Dinner

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RIDGEFIELD, CT — After making and tasting thousands of different types and styles of pizza, a husband and wife duo launched their Ridgefield-based DIY pizza-making company called PIY, Pizza It Yourself, to the delight of families across Fairfield County. Ed Winstanley, from Westchester County, and his wife Grace Winstanley, from the Victoria, British Columbia, originally met at IBM and started a staffing business based in New York City 10 years ago.

“We ate copious amounts pizza while living in NYC before moving to Ridgefield,” Grace said. “We’re obsessed with pizza but with a big family and staffing business, we knew it wasn’t realistic to open a restaurant. Hello Fresh and Blue Apron appeared on the scene but we didn’t see anyone addressing our favorite meal so we started packing up dough, cheeses, and sauce for our neighbors to try out. We loved that the credit was given to the chef at home— neighborhood kids saying that their Mom’s pizza is ‘the best.” Families were enjoying the experience together and wanting more pizza!”

The couple moved to Ridgefield in 2013 after looking for a “family-friendly” town in Fairfield or Westchester County.

“When we first drove through Ridgefield and met some of the locals, it was instant, we fell in love and knew we’d found our new hometown,” Grace said.

Ed who used to work in IT and currently owns a staffing business has prior experience working at a pizzeria with his brother who had a pizzeria in Vermont. Eventually, the brothers moved closer to home and Will took over Il Sorriso in Irvington, New York. Ed experimented making pizza at home until he perfected the recipes and techniques.

“My brother and I talked about pizza recipes on a regular basis and when he came over for lunch one day, he was blown away that I had made a perfect pizza in a regular kitchen oven. It was that moment we knew pizza at home could be very special,” Ed shared.

The couple said what makes their pizza so special is not only the incredibly fresh, clean and delicious dough and ingredients but the experience of making artisanal pizza at home with family and friends.

“We love bringing people together over a delicious, easy to prepare a meal. Families are busy and we’re hoping to bring back a better version of Pizza Friday sans shopping or prep work. Recent studies show the benefit of families eating together, from improved relationships to lower symptoms of depression and drug use. We hope to make a difference by strengthening the family bond, the fabric of our society,” Grace stated.

In addition to bringing family and friends together for a delicious, healthy meal, PIY also does all they can to support the local community by doing fundraisers for organizations and nonprofits.

Grace Winstanley said that the couple loves hearing about their customers’ passion for pizza night. “We enjoy hearing about their new pizza traditions— how they look forward to pizza night and how dinner is prepared with and by their kids. We have 10-year-olds who love making pizza for the family and now the parents can ask, ‘What’s for dinner?'”

PIY currently delivers fresh ingredients to families in Ridgefield, Danbury, Bethel, and Redding. For more information visit www.pizzapiy.com.

Photo by Grace Winstanley

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