Monday, January 08, 2007

Natural Supermarket A New Venue For Poets & Writers

Fiddleheads Managers
To Open Doors Jan. 15

Natural & Organic Foods Supermarket
For Northwest Connecticut


Litchfield Grocery / Prepared Food Store To Offer Education Programs:
Cooking & Kids Classes, Poets & Writers Part Of The Community Fare

Litchfield Community's
Natural SuperMarket
Village Green, Building E
Rte. 202, Litchfield, Connecticut

General Manger Anne Freeman, 860-482-6557, or Atty. Stephanie Weaver, 860-567-1200.

Fiddleheads Market has reached into the natural and organic food industry for two managers who will open its doors -- quietly -- to the public on Jan. 15. A grand opening celebration is scheduled Feb. 3.

Produce manager Kurt Brown of Litchfield boasts 17 years experience in the field. Brown helped expand the Four Season Farm in Darien from a seasonal stand to a specialty store. He has also served as produce manager of Peters Weston Market and Davis IGA in Kent.

Brown has been working with local farms to identify the best sources of produce, as well as specialty items including maple syrup and honey. Among the unusual fare Brown is planning to stock are non-conventional cooking greens like bok choy, golden beets, chickery and escarole.

Prepared foods manager Janet Candela of West Hartford began her career 25 years ago working for a European importer of gourmet foods in New York. Candela then moved into the natural foods arena, running a catering business called "Good Vibrations - Food Foundations," for 12 years in Burlington. Her company specialized in whole foods, whole grains and organics.

Candela has also consulted with doctors and patients to develop special diets for those with health issues such as allergies, fatigue or chemical sensitivities. She said her menu for Fiddleheads will include "traditional comfort food, but with a little spin," along with "atypical health foods made from scratch with a wide variety of spices and whole grains."

Fiddleheads hours and days of operation are as follows: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The store is at Litchfield's Village Green complex, Route 202, down the hill from Dunkin' Donuts and Blockbuster.

Patrons of Northwest Connecticut's natural and organic supermarket might get distracted staring at the museum-quality floor. An emerald green, terrazzo-style floor has been built and installed by Chris Krone of Concrete Supplement Co.

The mosaic features uniquely blended elements of marble, glass and stone. The "F" for Fiddleheads in the community room will glow in the dark. The emerald green texture with smaller glass aggregates will continue throughout the store.

"I want customers to have a one-of-a-kind experience," said Krone, whose client base is in Fairfield County and New York.

Fiddleheads secured zoning approval for the sale of prepared foods and to host educational events in the community room. Co-owners Stephanie Weaver and Anne Freeman said typical renovation issues for the new business led them to re-schedule the store's opening from November until mid-January. The grand opening will follow Feb. 3.

"Our focus on this magnificent floor is reflected in quality throughout the entire store," Weaver and Freeman said in a joint statement.

The 5,700 square foot store will feature products including natural / organic fruits, vegetables, meats, poultry and fresh fish. There will be a wide selection of local farm products, a salad bar, coffee, homemade breads and baked goods and prepared foods and meals to go. Specials will include sushi, tappas, variety quiches and wholesome soups and stews.

"Fiddleheads is committed," Weaver said, "to become the flagship grocery and prepared foods store of Litchfield County -- in a way that promotes health through a wide range of products harvested and manufactured with integrity, fairness and responsibility, while respecting the environmental balance of the surrounding community."

The natural foods supermarket will encourage awareness of the community's dietary, organic and other natural product choices, she said.

"Though its existence as a community center, Fiddleheads will support a healthy lifestyle through its retail products, its prepared food selections, its catering, and its health, cooking and kids' classes," Weaver said. "It will also provide meaningful economic support to the local population through employment opportunities as well as serving as a retail outlet for local farm products, manufacturers and industries committed to providing healthful products. The store seeks to be known for its innovative and health conscious products, its variety and its excellent service."

The natural foods supermarket will provide a Community Room suitable for cooking classes, small venue concerts, wine / beer/ chili tastings and lectures. Cookbooks, nutrition books and a limited selection of fiction, non-fiction and poetry will also be offered. Dr. Georgia Day, owner of the Rainy Faye Bookstore & Gallery in Bridgeport and an assistant academic vice president at Fairfield University, will oversee the book operation.


Anne Freeman, owner of Anne's Place, LLC brings over 20 years of extensive experience within the food and beverage industry. She held the food service contract with the University of Connecticut Torrington Branch, providing a variety of prepared foods for students and staff on a daily basis as well as a full service catering menu. Additionally, Anne has been a personal chef for the past ten years and currently runs Anne's Place, a business which caters to specific client needs focusing on special dietary requirements and specific food preferences.

Anne has several years of event planning and catering experience through which she has acquired an extensive inventory of food and vendor contacts. Through her management of the restaurant, bar and banquet facility, Anne was successful in reinvigorating the Torrington Country Club, bringing about an unprecedented increase in wedding and event bookings. While in that management position, she developed the staff training manuals, and implemented the "Point of Sale" system that the Country Club still uses today. She also developed a food service program for all staff & faculty at The Education Connection. She prepared all menus for the Head Start program at that facility as well. She is a board member of the Litchfield County Women's Network (LCWN) and is responsible for its venue and menu planning. Through her tenure the LCWN has enjoyed its highest membership in its 25-year history.

Stephanie Weaver is the principal in the Law Offices of Stephanie M. Weaver, LLC, located in Litchfield, Ct. In her 19th year of practice, she concentrates on divorce and family law, as well as business law, preparing commercial loans for banks, and general real estate. She is General Counsel to the Litchfield County Board of Realtors, which stands at 650 members, and provides the organization with legal advice and assistance. A board member of the IMPAC-Connecticut State University Young Writers Trust, Stephanie helped the organization expand in 2000 from Litchfield County to cover the entire state.

In 1997, she formed a business venture with Alan Landau, and opened a New York-style athletic club in Litchfield. Now in its eighth year of operation, the club has become a treasured and valuable community member. Currently, she is renovating a farmhouse on 22 riverfront acres in central West Virginia for a bed and breakfast locale. She has served on many charitable organizations, including being a past president of the Northwest Connecticut YMCA. She will oversee the business of the venture, including its financial workings, and will provide legal support as needed.

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