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My Favorite Connecticut Small Businesses

Eva Amurri shares some of her favorite Connecticut Small Businesses
**Many thanks to The CT Department of Economic and Community Development and the Office of the Governor for sponsoring this post, and for being the inspiration for our series ‘Happily Eva After: Connecticut Rebuilds’! As always, all thoughts and opinions expressed below are entirely my own.**

The last couple of years have been an out-and-out struggle for small businesses everywhere. The fear of the unknown, ever-changing rules and regulations, limited resources, not to mention the stress of simply keeping themselves and their families safe and healthy—small business owners have faced unprecedented challenges throughout this pandemic. As a small business owner myself, and with many friends who own their own small businesses as well, watching the ups and downs have been so emotional at times. I see everyone out there, pivoting and reimagining…taking on extra hours and overbearing workloads just to make it work. I’ve noticed the struggle of everyone around me in my beautiful home state of Connecticut as well.

Eva Amurri shares some of her favorite Connecticut Small Businesses

I’ve lived in Connecticut for over five years now, and I’ll admit that I never expected to land here. As a kid born and raised in New York City (which some would call The Capital Of The World), Connecticut was never really on my radar in a major way. We came five years ago because my ex-husband was working here and I was pregnant with our second child and was needing to settle and put roots down. I was nervous to live in what I thought at the time was a fairly “preppy” suburb.  Most of what I’d heard about Connecticut was how homogenous it is, how wealthy it is, and quite frankly, how White it is. While those things certainly exist in Connecticut, what I discovered when I moved here was how much true diversity, entrepreneurial spirit, history, and joie de vivre exist in nearly every corner of this beautiful state. Connecticut is SO MANY things, is so rich with experiences worth discovering, and is filled with some of the most resilient people I’ve ever met. I truly couldn’t imagine NOT living here now, and I feel so lucky to raise my kids in the beautiful town of Westport and in an area with so much going on!

Today I’m inspired to share some of my favorite small businesses across Connecticut with you.  These businesses need our help. They’re pulling through the pandemic, but it’s time for them to thrive instead of just survive. They deserve a break! Let’s all try and shop and visit the small businesses here in CT whenever we can. I’ve been blown away by not only how businesses across the state have adapted to the rules and regulations of COVID-19, but how they’ve gone above and beyond to show up for their communities and their customers. I always feel safe and taken care of when I go to these places, and I know you will too. I would love it if you shared some of your favorites in the comments section of this post as well!

And don’t forget to watch our series, ‘Happily Eva After: Connecticut Rebuilds’ on my YouTube channel! The first episode is up now, which I’m including below, and two more will be released in the coming weeks. 

EAT…

Don Memo

An amazing Mexican restaurant with excellent cocktails and ultra-chic ambiance.

Kissaki

A top-notch Japanese, with a mouth-watering Omakase experience.

Gold’s Delicatessen

My favorite deli in the area, with my favorite Reuben.

Restaurant L’Ostal

Inventive French cuisine with an excellent wine program and a romantic ambiance.

Manna Toast

I love grabbing lunch at this vegetarian spot with yummy food, coffee, and cocktails.

Pronto

This pizzeria and salad bar is such a hidden gem. I drive all the way there from Westport for salads!

Joey’s by the Shore

The cutest little deli and coffee bar right on the beach.

Kawa Ni

Japanese pub food, in a lively scene.

No Leftovers

Authentic Jamaican fare, with occasional outdoor cookouts on the weekends.

Juice Kings

An elevated juice bar serving smoothies, juice, smoothie bowls, and supplements with a focus on transformation from within.

Tavern on State

Seasonal farm-to-table fine dining in a chill yet elegant atmosphere.

Jeera Thai

My favorite Thai food in the area, particularly the Green Papaya Salad and the Summer Rolls.

The Granola Bar

I love the bowls, salads, and coffee drinks at this healthy spot!

Organic Market

This little market has such an awesome health food and supplement selection…but my favorite part is their AMAZING food and juice bar. Their Macrobiotic bowl is a must. 

Source Coffeehouse

This coffee spot has the best iced coffee, and a loyal local following!

The Painted Cookie

The little shop makes totally allergen-free treats that are beautiful to boot. A great option for party favors!

Sport Hill Farm

I love picking up fresh produce and amazing local delicacies from the sweet market here.

Hopkins Vineyard

This family-owned vineyard boasts a beautiful setting and delicious wines.

Confections by Crystal

Crystal makes the most incredible cakes, cake pops, and cupcakes that are like works of art!

Shop…

Wee Mondine

The chicest little house-turned-boutique filled with kids’ clothing, toys, and accessories.

Kerri Rosenthal

A cheerful and stylish lifestyle brand with a west coast vibe and the best gift ideas!

J. Seitz & Co.

Beautiful gifts, furniture, and home decor.

She La La

The cutest gift-centric boutique that can monogram or personalize almost anything in store. My go-to for hostess or baby gifts!

Dudley Stephens

This female-founded, family-owned company is one of my favorites.  The best cozy and chic fleeces!

Bronzed by Coy

The hands-down BEST organic spray tans!

The Toy Post

I LOVE this cute little toy store that has so many great ideas for kids of all ages!

Penfield Collective

Great women’s boutiques are hard to find and this one is awesome! I love the curated collection of fashion, jewelry, and lifestyle items.

Eva Amurri shares some of her favorite Connecticut Small Businesses

Play…

Countdown Fitness

CT locals know that this is the BEST training studio for people who want to get fit with little free time in their schedule.

Indigo Wellness Group

Pop in for acupuncture or ACU facials at this gorgeous wellness boutique!

Remarkable Theater

I love watching movies at this drive-in movie theater that’s also a nonprofit!

CT Bike Tours

I highly recommend booking a group bike tour through beautiful, historic Guilford!

Syman Says Farm

Goat snuggles for sale at this pretty farm.

Silverman’s Farm

This farm is a favorite of ours for the petting zoo, apple and pumpkin picking, and the best apple cider donuts.

The Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center

This museum holds a special place in our hearts. My kids and I visited and they still talk about it all the time!

PEZ Visitor Center

Learn all about this decades-strong family favorite, and check out the production line in action!

The Submarine Force Museum

The museum is super cool and a great kids’ activity.

Dinosaur State Park

This park is a throwback to prehistoric times and so much fun for dino-loving kiddos.

Essex Steam Train & Riverboat

This beautiful steam train and riverboat excursion is a family tradition of ours every summer.  Major absolutely flips for it! They also have adult dinner trains.

Sea Kayak Connecticut

Such a fun activity to do as a day date or family time!

Hands On Pottery

I love bringing the kids here to get creative and make sweet gifts for friends and family.

Eva Amurri shares some of her favorite Connecticut Small Businesses

Photographs by Julia Dags | Copyright © 2021 Happily Eva After, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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3 Comments

  1. Caroline says:

    What a helpful guide! I’m not as familiar with Fairfield, but I love the Simsbury/Avon/Farmington area. When I lived in NY it was my tradition to visit there every fall.

    09.23.21 Reply
    • I’m glad you like it! Let me know how you like the spots if you try! xx

      09.24.21 Reply
  2. Diana says:

    Ooh, a friend of mine started a balloon art business in Fairfield: https://www.instagram.com/upupandawaycreations/

    She’s an insanely talented mom of 3.

    09.26.21 Reply