One side of Sugar & Olives — Jennifer Balin’s fun, funky space just over the Norwalk line, across from Bowtie Royale 6 — is a restaurant. The other side is an event space, for receptions, celebrations, and bar and bat mitzvahs.
People don’t celebrate on weekday mornings or afternoons. They work then.
Of course, they work differently than they used to. They work at home — surrounded by kids, dogs, house cleaners and leaf blowers. Or they work at Starbucks — surrounded by conversations, constant movement, and baristas calling out wrong names.
Now there’s another option.
Balin — a longtime Westporter who raised 4 kids while also running Sugar & Olives — has turned her event area into a co-working space.
With big tables, high-speed internet, lots of fast table-top charging stations and floor outlets, a laser printer, desk lamps, a tall standing desk, free coffee and tea — plus discounts at the restaurant — it offers the kind of quiet yet creative atmosphere you can’t get at home.
Westport author Jane Green is a strong advocate. She encouraged Balin to post the idea on Facebook. Dozens of residents responded.
They’re writers, financial folks, marketers, non-profit workers and more. They pay $300 for a monthly pass, or $200 for a 10-pack. (Special plans are available for Westport Arts Center and Westport Historical Society members. And, Balin says, some companies pick up the co-working tab for employees. She’s got an invoice you can use for reimbursement.)
The vibe, Balin says, is “relaxing, inspirational and chill.” Phone calls are fine — just go to the restaurant side. (That’s called the “conference room,” for meetings and Skyping.)
The co-working space is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. — though Balin can be flexible.
Oh, yeah: There’s a free social networking breakfasting every Wednesday.
Beat that, Starbucks!
(For more information on Sugar & Olives’ co-working program, click here.)