Biz Buzz

Bethel Buzz: Here’s what our loyal readers are saying–

Dan Carter, State Representative, 2nd Assembly District

“The Bethel Buzz is more than an online news source. The Buzz is the link to the events and stories that bring our community together!”

Kathleen O’Connor Aiello, Bethel Women’s Club

“I really enjoy the Bethel Buzz. During Tropical Storm Irene and the October snowstorm with no power and no phone service at my house, I depended on taking my iPhone a few miles down the road and being able to find out through the postings on Bethel Buzz what was happening in Bethel. I really felt like it was a lifeline keeping me updated with what I needed to know regarding road closures and all other pertinent information relevant to Bethel.”

Kevin Cleary, Former Bethel Selectman

“The Buzz always gives an unbiased account on a local event. I enjoy knowing that when I read an article in The Buzz, I get the whole story. Thank You Buzz for giving me a venue to keep it touch with what is going on in town.”

Wendy Cahill, Owner, Molten Java

“I rely on Bethel Buzz for up to date events postings and to provide event info for my business!”

Dan Gaita, Owner, Private Studio Fitness ‎

Wendy Mitchell, I want to thank you for all of the efforts you put into improving our community. From providing the fantastic and free shows for the kids this summer to providing Bethel with another unbiased outlet for information online, to your endless and optimistic enthusiasm with your latest venture. Keep up the good work and thanks again for all of your volunteer contributions to our community.”

Terry Curry Laslo, Wingcat Web Design

“I’m on the Newtown / Bethel line and got connected to the Bethel Buzz through the Stony Hill Four Corners Association. I love it for the articles on what’s happening and local events… including keeping me out of a major traffic jam on 84 the other day! I avoided it and got to my important meeting on time!

Irene Haynes Sondern Dailey

“Bethel Buzz is a great service to the Bethel resident. It helps keep people informed of not only what events that are going on in town but also any accidents, traffic, weather reports for inclement weather. As a former resident of 25+ years Ii still read Bethel Buzz daily and actually every time I am online.  I still love to know what’s going on and Wendy does a darn good job at it!

Heidi Granacker Haick

“Bethel Buzz gives accurate information, understands problems and is committed to the people of Bethel and their well-being. I love the Bethel Buzz and thank you for being so on top of everything in Bethel. Thanks for all of your help during the storm, you were a lifesaver!”

Stacey Dahill Connors

“I love this town and love that Bethel Buzz does, too. With just a glance at the Bethel Buzz website, you can see that this is run by someone who truly cares about Bethel and wants to help its businesses and community grow.

Weather it’s on BethelBuzzNews.com, Facebook or Twitter, it’s the first place I look for the happenings and news in Bethel. I am so glad that Wendy has taken the time and put the effort and heart into making Bethel Buzz a wonderful resource for our community.

Kathleen Burgess

“My first real exposure and appreciation for the Bethel Buzz came during the October snowstorm. Frequent updates on the power restoration, school open/close status and use of the Municipal Center were really helpful. I found myself checking my phone daily for what the Bethel Buzz had to say!

I still like to read what The Bethel Buzz has to report on a daily basis from community events to school activities. Thank you for keeping me informed!!”

Lisa Basso

“Bethel Buzz is my eyes and ears into Bethel. I find their Facebook posts to be very helpful and informative from posting information about fun events happening in the area to important news updates from and about the town of Bethel and area towns. If you are not a fan of “Bethel Buzz’s”FB Page yet, I recommend you check it out!”

Lindsay Kaye

I adore reading Bethel Buzz to see what’s actually going on in Bethel. The website really goes out of its way to stay current with what events are going on in the area both large and small. Typically, I’ve only heard about the really small and interesting events via word of mouth, which is always hit or miss, so I appreciate the time that’s taken to get the word out.

For an advertising rate sheet please contact Wendy at:  ctbuzznews@gmail.com 

Belardinelli Tire Winter Car Care Tips

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Belardinelli Tire Winter Car Care Tips

Belardinelli Tire Winter Car Care Tip #1: Check your car’s tire pressure

After the pounding Storm Alfred gave our area, automobile owners were caught off guard and unprepared for winter weather in the fall. Winter car care is essential to safe driving as the cool weather signals snow, ice and hazardous driving conditions. Belardinelli Tires, a family run Bethel-based car care business, is offering weekly tips to Bethel Buzz readers as a courtesy to help keep drivers safe this winter.

Belardinelli’s suggests winterizing your car now for the coming harsh winter weather and  save on repair bills. One important thing to do is to check your tire’s air pressure. As temperatures drop air pressure in tires drop. Under-inflated tires create extra friction where the rubber meets the road. Improperly inflated tires wear out unevenly, causing your vehicle’s traction to be uneven and possibly leading to a dangerous blowout. Check your tire pressure regularly during the winter months and make sure all of your tires are filled to the proper level. Remember to check your spare tire as well, which can also lose pressure in the cold weather.

Proper tire pressure is vehicle-specific. Tire pressure information for a vehicle can be found on the vehicle’s door jamb or in the owner’s manual. Do not follow the pressure listed on the sidewall of the tire because this number is specific to the tire itself, not the vehicle.

Belardinelli’s has all-season and snow tires in stock from Kelly, Dunlop and Goodyear tires. Other tires may also be custom ordered. To take care of winter car maintenance, visit Belardinelli Tires at 7 Beach Street in Bethel. Call  (203) 748-0889 to book your car’s winter check-up today!

Belardinelli Tires offers full-service for cars including: Emissions testing, batteries, belts and hose inspection, wheel alignment, cooling system maintenance, disc brake service, oil, lube & filter, shocks & struts, tire rotation, transmission maintenance, wheel balance, tire repair, computerized engine analysis, heating & air conditioning and more.

Molten’s Metamorphosis: Molten Java Announces New Digs

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Molten’s Metamorphosis: Molten Java Announces New Digs ~ By Wendy Mitchell

Molten’s moving! This beautiful historic Victorian house located at 213 Greenwood Avenue will soon be the new, larger home of Molten Java Coffeehouse! Photo credit: Wendy Cahill.

Change is good. So thinks Wendy Cahill, owner of the award-winning Bethel coffeehouse, Molten Java. On Friday evening, Cahill announced plans to expand and move her successful coffeehouse to a new, larger location at 213 Greenwood Ave.

For the last few weeks Cahill’s friends and employees kept the big secret hush-hush until Cahill made the announcement via Facebook Friday evening: “Finally! I am SO EXCITED to announce that Molten Java has added a new color to our interior… PURPLE! Oh, and we’re moving into a GIANT Victorian house on Greenwood Avenue.”

The spacious turn-of-the-century Victorian mansion is located in Dolan Plaza, right next to the newly opened Peach Wave Yogurt and Stella Restaurant. Enjoying 8-and-a-half years at the current, soon to be former location, 102 Greenwood Ave., Cahill said it was time to expand “because that’s what my customers want and need.”

“I was feeling like people wanted more space but I couldn’t provide that where I am now. People at night who wanted to hold a meeting maybe couldn’t because we were having a band, so I wanted to provide a better community space because that’s what it’s all about,” Cahill said.

Going from roughly 1,600 to over 2,200 square feet will significantly increase space to allow for more tables. The front porch faces Greenwood Ave. and will have outdoor seating. There are also separate rooms that will enable customers to hold meetings or intimate gatherings in one room while poetry readings, music or events are taking place in another.

While Molten is “molting” and shedding their old “skin,” so to speak, to make way for a fresh new one, some things will remain the same. Regulars will still see the familiar faces of owner Wendy Cahill and baristas Heather, Tanya, Steve, Maggie, Matt and Tyler. The larger space and expanded menu allows for Cahill to hire three new employees as well.

Cahill said: “The expanded menu will be a somewhat fresher menu. I am doing more “Farm-to-Table” and working with local farmers on bringing the freshest ingredients in.”

“It will be predominantly burritos and a café menu. Breakfast will be expanded but I will keep signature items like Huevos Rancheros, breakfast burritos and freshly-baked bagels. For lunch we have vegetarian chili, soup, burritos, hummus and tabouleh. Dinner will be café fare. Everything we serve is all made fresh in the store,” Cahill said.

Well-known for the artsy, eclectic mix of customers that frequent the establishment, Molten is also famous for the numerous awards they’ve won including Connecticut Magazine’s Best Coffee Bar, three years running. They also won Fairfield County Weekly’s best coffee desserts and best beans.

The award-winning coffee beans are roasted on premises, which many don’t realize, because their roaster is behind the counter.

“The roaster is not visible where we are now because it’s in the back, but at the new space the coffee roaster will be in sight and much larger,” Cahill said.

Cahill learned to roast coffee while working in a small coffee shop near Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco while living out West for two years.  With over 20 years of experience in the coffee trade, Cahill said she knew she wanted to open a coffeehouse for 10 years before she took the plunge.

“I was sketching plans for coffeehouses for years before I opened. When I saw the [original] space on Greenwood Ave. I knew it was the right time. I was teaching art classes to kids and knew it was time,” Cahill smiled.

An artist and musician herself, Cahill has been the catalyst for encouraging arts in downtown Bethel. By offering customers quality, local food and coffee and providing artists a unique, creative space to display and perform their work, Molten Java has become a fixture in the community for people of all backgrounds. The new Molten Java will have more room available for artists to hang their work. Interested artists can send email their digital portfolio to Wendy Cahill at microgroov@gmail.com.

The weekly schedule of music and events will continue at the new location and will remain as follows:

  • Tuesday Nights: Documentary Dinners
  • Wednesday Nights: Jazz Jam & Motorcycles
  • Thursday Nights: Open Mic Night with J.D. Hill
  • Friday & Saturday Nights:  Live Bands
  • Sundays: Events, book signings, etc.

Cahill, her friends and employees have spent the last few weeks painting and renovating the new space. A metal sculpture will adorn the side of the building and the signage is still waiting for approval.

The upper part of the Victorian will house a small two-room bookstore specializing in local Bethel and Connecticut authors and poets. The new owner is Alice Hutchinson, former First Selectman of Bethel.

“My store, Byrd’s Books, will carry only new books, no used. I will carry a wide variety, including bestsellers and children’s books. I intend to have e-books available through my website, and hope to have that up and running soon,” Hutchinson said.  “I am so excited to be embarking on this venture with Wendy- books and coffee!”

The biggest question Cahill is getting is “When are you opening?” She wants customers to know: “We don’t know when it is opening. It’s all up to the town as to when it opens. My baristas will not know until I know.”

“I’m very excited to have a bigger space for the community to spend time in and also very excited for a large, fully plowed parking lot. I’m hoping for a drive-thru eventually,” she said.

The new location will be at 213 Greenwood Ave, in the Dolan Plaza. The phone number 203-739-0313 and hours will remain the same: Monday through Friday from 6:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m., Saturday from 7:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. and Sunday from 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Molten Java accepts credit cards, cash and checks.

For more information on Molten Java check out their website or their Facebook page.

All photos were taken by Wendy Cahill, owner of Molten Java, except for the photo of Wendy which was taken by Joe Yunckes.

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Capellaro’s Celebrates a Century in Bethel!

POSTED BY  ⋅ SEPTEMBER 15, 2011

Capellaro’s Celebrates a Century in Bethel ~ By Wendy Mitchell

Capellaro’s, Photo Contributed

Not many businesses can say they have been in business for 100 years. Capellaro’s can and that is something to celebrate, said Kelli Kristin, general manager. To celebrate the momentous occasion, owners Joseph Zering and Robert Osterman, along with Kristin, are planning a special event for their valued customers and the community.

On Thursday, September 22 form 6:00-9:00 p.m. Capellaro’s will host a 100thAnniversary Celebration complete with complimentary food stations and renowned DJ “Big Daddy.”

“We think it is so special that the facility has been here for 100 years and this is our way of saying thank you,” said Kristin.

Over the last century the banquet facility has seen a number of changes. According to their website, the story begins in 1883 when shoemaker John Capellaro came to Danbury as an immigrant. In 1911 he bought a home in the Stony Hill area and converted the nearby grove into a picnic area that was open to the public. The large grove hosted parties for up to 1,000 guests and became a popular spot for clam bakes and large picnics.

In the 1930s the banquet hall and catering services were added. In 1965 the Capellaro family sold the property to Joe and Jeanne Bajoros who continued the Capellaro’s tradition of catered picnics. The banquet hall sat vacant for the next few decades and in 1996 the property was sold again to the current owners, Joe Zering and Bob Osterman.

Over the last year the owners have put over $1 million in renovations into it, giving it new life as one of Connecticut’s premiere wedding and banquet facilities.

The new garden room, formerly the picnic pavilion, has been renovated with a soft, modern feel. Large white paper lanterns hang from the ceiling, intertwined with delicate white strands of lights.  Small tree branches weave between the lights, echoing Capellaro’s natural surroundings. Soft white fabric clothes the building’s structural fixtures to create a feeling of romance

“Our focus is now on weddings and we feel the renovations make it a beautiful place to host formal occasions as well as parties and other events,” said Kristin. Capellaro’s accommodates up to 500 guests in their historic building which also includes a formal ballroom and bar area.

In addition to weddings and special events Kristin said they plan on hosting more family friendly events such as their Family Swim Days, which happened on Wednesdays last summer down at their in-ground swimming pool. This winter they are working with a local children’s theater company, Ultra Violet Productions, to host a special Holiday Extravaganza matinée show on Saturday, December 10 and December 17 at 11:30 a.m.  The special interactive show will include music, dance, audience participation and a visit from Santa.

The public is invited to Capellaro’s 100th anniversary on Thursday, September 22 from 6:00-9:00 p.m., 42 Vail Road, Bethel. Food is free, compliments of Capellaro’s!  For more information click here or call 203-748-9926.

Loree’s Catering Opens Kitchen To Community FREE of Charge

POSTED BY  ⋅ AUGUST 29, 2011 ⋅ LEAVE A COMMENT

Loree’s Catering Opens Kitchen To Community FREE of Charge

Loree Ogan owner of Loree’s Catering, told Bethel Buzz Monday that she is opening  up her kitchen to the community. On Tuesday all day from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.  Any Bethel resident may use their commercial kitchen free of charge. Ogan, a Newtown resident, said she is offering the use of the kitchen free of charge to help out the community in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene.

“I want to get the message out that if anyone in Bethel has any food they would like to cook and they don’t have electricity they are welcome to use my kitchen free of charge on Tuesday. All they need to do is call me on my cell phone to tell me you’re coming at (203) 733-1114 because I have no internet or telephone right now in the store my store,” she said.

Loree’s Catering is located at 4 Elizabeth Street in Bethel, behind the old train station. While they do not have internet or telephone services, they do have power and would like to be able to help out the community with this free service.

Ogan said: “You’re welcome to use our ovens and our stoves at no charge. We just want to be able to help out anybody who might be afraid they are going to lose product from now until whenever we get our power back on.”

CL&P has no estimate at this time as to when power will be restored. A spokesman said “It could be a few days, it could be 7 days. We are working to secure live wires and make the area safe and accessible for our crews and customers.”

Beyond the Flea Adds Scales & Tails

POSTED BY  ⋅ AUGUST 20, 2011 ⋅ LEAVE A COMMENT

Beyond the Flea Adds Scales & Tails ~ By Wendy Mitchell

For the last 20 years Melissa Gale has owned and operated a successful pet grooming salon in downtown Bethel, Beyond the Flea. This September, Gale is expanding with a wide variety of “Scales & Tales.” The new shop is located right next to Beyond the Flea on P.T. Barnum Square, in the space that used to house the cigar shop. Fresh paint and beautiful pet photos from Bethel Photoworks adorn the walls of the new store which features water frogs, fish, lizards, hermit crabs and much more, all at very reasonable prices.

Go in and check out their “Candy Cane” water frogs, also known as African Water Frogs, that are on display while they set up their new shop. They are easy to maintain and long-lasting. The different colored frogs are sold as a complete package with tank, accessories and the frog, all for $30.00. Feeder crickets, feeder fish, fish food, weekend feeders and many more supplies are also available.

Other “scales and tails” to be sold include the Green Tea Frog, the Corn Snake, lizards, beta fish, fantail, black telescope and comet goldfish and catfish. All fish, lizards, frogs are hand picked each week from Gale, who gets them from a local specialty supplier. Anything can be custom ordered.

Beyond the Flea also sells holistic dry food formulas for dogs and cats. The Canine Caviar Difference is flash-cooked which maintains nutritious integrity. It is GMO and gluten-free with no added hormones or antibiotics. The specialty food helps settle digestive upsets, reduces scratching, shedding and hot spots. The food is specially formulated to combat cancer, diabetes, kidney, liver and heart disease in canines.

Gale is excited to announce her official Grand Opening, which will take place on September 10. I-95′s Tim Sheehan will broadcast live from the shop and there will be many sales, raffles and giveaways.

Store hours will be Monday-Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. and Sundays from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.The shop is located at 18 P.T. Barnum Square. Call the store for pet grooming appointments and/or special orders (203) 743-3474.

Belardinellis Celebrate 50 Years With Cookout

POSTED BY  ⋅ JULY 23, 2011 ⋅ LEAVE A COMMENT
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In 1959 Tulio Belardinelli began building a house on Grace Court because he had plans to marry. He was laid off from his employer and did not have much money. A friend asked if he would be interested in filling in for some part-time work at his father’s tire shop, Perry Tire on Fleetwood Ave. That part-time job soon turned full-time and the same friend asked if Tulio would be interested in buying the business with him.

“I asked him, ‘Do you have any money?’ He said, ‘No.’ So I told him, ‘How am I going to buy a business? I don’t have any money either?’” Tulio said.

“So I asked how much his father wanted for it and I borrowed some money from my parents. I put down $750 dollars and paid $25 dollars a month in rent.”

The business name was changed to Fleetwood Tire and started out in an old barn with no electricity and a 50-gallon drum for heat. His business partner “didn’t want to work,” Tulio said, so he ended up buying him out.  He worked 6 1/2 days per week and within 6 months all of his debts were paid off.

In 1965 Tulio bought land where Belardinelli Tires is now located and grew his business into what it is today. When asked what the secret to his success is Tulio responded, “ We treat all customers well in the way that you would want to be treated.”

The family-run business has many of the Belardinellis working for the company. Tulio’s two daughters, son-in-law and nephews all work together at the shop.

“Sometimes it can be a challenge working with family because we are together all day. Sometimes we have differences of opinion but we work hard and we keep going,” Tulio’s daughter Lisa said.

On Thursday July 28 Belardinelli Tires will hold a “Customer Appreciation Day” to celebrate 50 years in business. The event includes a cookout, music from Billy Michael and drawings and giveaways every half hour. A special prize includes tickets to see country music legend Toby Keith. Customers are invited to stop by the shop, located at 7 Beach Street, between 11:00 a.m. through 2:00 p.m. The rain date will be Friday at the same time.

The Belardinellis have something else special to celebrate this summer. Tulio and his wife Barbara will celebrate 51 years of marriage in August.  When asked if he has any plans for retiring Tulio responded, “I’ll retire when I die!”

For more information about the services Belardinelli Tires provides, check out their website.

Sidewalk Sales A Sunny Success!

POSTED BY  ⋅ JULY 17, 2011 ⋅ LEAVE A COMMENT
George Chaber of Karate America & Tori Macchi demonstrate perfect kick form in front of their booth Saturday.

Bethel’s 33rd Annual Summer Festival was a smashing success with lots of sun, tons of vendors and plenty of customers. The Bethel Chamber of Commerce organized the event which was held Friday, Saturday and Sunday and had Greenwood Ave., P.T. Barnum Square and the Municipal Center lined with shop owners from near and far. Bethel Chamber’s new Executive Director Bobbi Jo Beers was on hand Saturday, as well as Membership Director Linda Cyr, to ensure the vendors were satisfied with their spaces.

Many stores had special deals, coupons and free giveaways. The Purple Zebra and The Toy Room hired Adilae’s Closet to paint faces for kids.  Ultra Violet Puppets set up Sunday with puppets, a bubble machine, kid’s karaoke and gave away finger puppets.

The Gift Cottage had an ice cream eating contest Saturday afternoon that was a big hit. On Sunday afternoon the first ever “Bethel Hunt” was held downtown, sponsored by Catholic Charities. The scavenger hunt led participants around town to find clues at local shops that led them to the next clue. Teams collected prizes along the way.

Membership Director Linda Cyr was pleased with the great weather and wonderful turnout. The next downtown event will be the Fall Festival, September 17 and 18. For more information contact The Bethel Chamber of Commerce by clicking here.

Brothers Keep it “All in the Family”

POSTED BY  ⋅ JUNE 29, 2011 ⋅ LEAVE A COMMENT
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Brothers Keep it “All in the Family” ~ By Wendy Mitchell

For brothers Ryan and Shawn Clifford, continuing on in their parent’s footsteps was only natural. The brothers went to their first day of work at their parent’s hardware store in Wilton when they were little boys over thirty years ago and now run their own shop, True Value of Bethel.

The brothers are a fifth generation hardware store family and are experts in the field, as are their parents, Bill and Mickie Clifford, who presented them with the idea of opening their own shop after they retired.

“We love Bethel and when we heard CVS was moving we knew this would be the perfect location,” said Ryan Clifford who runs the store with his brother Shawn.

What people don’t realize, Ryan said, is how many household items can be found at his locally owned shop, such as blenders, kitchen gadgets and small appliances.

“People don’t think of us for items like that and will go to Wal-Mart or Target but it’s so important to support the local businesses here in town. Everything you need can be found right here in Bethel,” he said.

“If we don’t have it chances are Caraluzzi’s does.

Ryan lives in Danbury and has wanted to move back to Bethel for years but due to the real estate market has had a hard time selling his house. “We wanted to redo our floors to make the house more sellable so we thought, ‘who in town can I buy flooring from?’ I went across the street to the carpet store [Colonial Carpet & Flooring] and he set me up with some really nice hardwood flooring,” Ryan said.

It’s supporting each other that will enable Bethel’s downtown to survive, Ryan said. He and his brother are well known for their helpful, friendly approach and are extremely knowledgeable in their field, something shoppers of big-box stores won’t often find.

“We are all about customer service. Our customer’s happiness is the most important thing. We also realize that times are changing and we need to stay competitive,” he said.

True Value of Bethel is ready for summer and invites Bethel residents to come in and cheek out their large variety of summer supplies such as Tiki torches, kiddie pools, Adirondack chairs, air conditioners, pool chemicals and much more. And be sure to tell ‘em Bethel Buzz sent ya!

True Value of Bethel is open daily, Monday- Friday 8:00 am-7:00 pm, Saturday 8:00 am-5:00 pm, Sunday 9:00 am-5:00 pm.

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