Garelick & Herbs: “Filled With Gratitude For 27 Amazing Years”

Paola and Jason — longtime owners of Garelick & Herbs — send this message to the “06880” community:

We are filled with gratitude for 27 amazing years of business serving the Westport community. We have grown together sharing in many joyful celebrations, milestones and the inevitable sad moments.

Our first store opened 27 years ago at 1799 Post Road East, where we grew (and later outgrew) the location. After 24 years we took a leap of faith to purchase and build an urban, modern-style store, with ample space to continue growing our in-store and catering businesses for years to come.

We also added a secondary commissary bakery and kitchen in the lower level of our existing building. Our new location at 3611 Post Road, Southport is a stop light away from our original store locate (2 stores down from Michaels and Home Goods).

Garelick & Herbs’ interior, in Southport.

As we were building our new Southport store, we were approached by Gault to entertain opening a satellite shop in their tastefully built shopping plaza in Saugatuck. We fell in love with the space and were very excited, as we have always had an affinity for Westport. Many of our loyal customers who live closer to Saugatuck/Norwalk had always wished we were closer to their homes.

Our high hopes were that this location would allow us to accommodate our client base, and also have a store presence in our home town of Westport. However, we soon discovered parking was limited for our needs, as we share approximately 12 spots with 2 other stores in the plaza.

Although there is additional parking in the underground garage behind the building as well as the commuter lot, many people are unaware. Some feel it is inconvenient.

We also found the area to be saturated with restaurants and food shops, limiting reasons other than food to attract more daily traffic in the area.

The Saugatuck location.

On the upside, it is a seasonal area with quaint charm that lends itself to walking, which brought more activity during the summer months.

Lastly, many of our customers who frequent the Saugatuck location also shop in our Southport store regularly. We therefore decided to not renew after our 5-year lease expired.

We will always have an allegiance to Westport, with our dedication to serve our customers, the community, schools and places of worship. We are committed to being an integral part of many happy moments of celebration, wonderful charities and community events.

In the meantime, we have very exciting embellishments in progress at our Southport flagship store.

A “Market Place” with various food vendors consisting of fresh meat, fish, cheese, and florist designer will be partnering with G & H in the coming months. Our concept is to bring together local community-based businesses, while making a one-stop convenient shopping experience.

Our vision and business direction has always been driven by our customers’ needs and requests. We are local, fresh and convenient, with sustainable local businesses collaborating to serve surrounding communities.

We have also expanded our catering and now operate at the Westport Inn, as well as Norwalk (Mora Mora and Wall Street Theater), Fairfield  (Birdcraft Sanctuary) and Bridgeport (Redline Restorations warehouse). Expansion to New York City is on the horizon!

We are humble, hard-working and grateful people who know we could not do all this without the support of amazing customers, dedicated employees and G-d’s/universe light upon us and all the people we serve.

With that, although we are no longer married, we are dedicated to each other, our children and our business. All of which will never falter.

Gratefully,
Paola & Jason

13 responses to “Garelick & Herbs: “Filled With Gratitude For 27 Amazing Years”

  1. An earlier post indicated that the last day of operation at this location would be this Saturday, February 29. Please note that they have already closed.

  2. Bravo! Best of luck in your new endeavors.

  3. Cristina Negrin

    Bull

    • I have been to their Saugatuck location probably in the neighborhood of 100-200+ times, all different days, times, etc, never once had an issue parking in the main parking spaces right out front…

      • William Strittmatter

        Hmmm. I haven’t been by that lot in a while and never went to that G&H, but there were several times I went by when the butcher shop was there and couldn’t find a place to park so stopped bothering to even try. Is it even there any more? I wouldn’t know.

        I would imagine there is a reasonable chance that at peak lunch pick up times, the lot could be full leading to others doing as I did – stop trying. Lose traffic at peak business hours and excess parking the rest of the day isn’t much help, particularly if rest of area is saturated with other alternatives.

        In any event, they obviously weren’t doing enough business there to make it worth their while to stay open. Actually surprised no one is bitching about greedy landlords not making concessions and driving out a local mom and pop owned business (not that I subscribe to the “greedy landlord” theory).

      • William Strittmatter

        Interestingly, I just pulled up Google Maps to see if it still showed the butcher shop. On what appears to be a Sunday morning (based on lack of traffic on I95 and relative emptiness of train parking), the G&H lot is “overflowing” with 3 vehicles parked in unmarked spaces (at least they left one of the two handicapped spaces open).

        • those three vehicles are in what i would call spots. whether or not they are marked, i dont know, but its common knowledge you can park there and there is no sign saying you can’t. maybe one time i was there i had to wait 30 seconds for someone to leave in the main lot out front – never an issue – and there is a ton of parking in the garage, perhaps it should have been better marked or designed. i also have not had issue with street parking when going to other places (and there was still garage parking available). i dont think there is a parking issue.

          • William Strittmatter

            Hmmm. There are 12 parking spaces. They are marked. Two are handicapped so only 10 regular spaces. The other places are not legal spaces though clearly entitled folks such as yourself 🙂 have decided to make them spaces since there is inadequate parking in real spaces. Just because there is no sign doesn’t make them spaces. There is no sign saying you can’t park across three or four spaces so I guess that’s ok too? The vehicle parking in the car in the lower left is clearly not in real or imagined space.

            While you are waiting your 30 seconds for a space to open, I take it you are just sitting idling in a driving lane blocking the area for someone unfortunate enough to have pulled in behind you? Nice. If that is what you consider ample parking and never having an issue, I’d beg to disagree.

            • I can’t help but laugh your your response and your failed analogy. You also can’t say for certain, from a google maps picture, who is parked and who is standing. Do you even know the difference? Have you ever been to NYC? You are entitled to your opinion but I have spent a SUBSTANTIAL amount of time on that block and visited that Garelick location 1-200+ times. Sure it gets busy during peak times but I have dined and shopped and parked during those peak times with zero issues going back over 10 years. You are trying to make points using a google maps image and poor analogies. Good luck to you.

              • William Strittmatter

                I can’t help but laugh at your “recollections”.

                The business owners say that parking is inadequate for their needs. You (and perhaps Christina though not sure what she exactly was referring too) essentially call them liars noting that you “never once had an issue parking in the main parking spaces right out front.” My experience, though more limited, was different but, OK, maybe just my bad luck and your good luck.

                Simply to check my recollection of the butcher shop, I pull up google maps which had a picture of a random Sunday, probably around noon based on shadows, and, shockingly, it looked more like my experience than yours with several folks parked (or maybe standing) in illegal parking spaces. So much for parking in main parking spaces “never” being a problem though I suppose that day, like my experience, was just a fluke.

                For what it is worth though, you might want to check your recollection of going there for “over 10 years” then reconsider the accuracy of your other recollections. Personally, I don’t recall the building being there 10 years ago.

                My actual point though is, all else being equal, I guess I’d lean toward accepting their version of the story given my experience and since they probably have heard the customer complaints and/or see the impact on store traffic. Do you think they are covering for the greedy landlord?

                • Yes, 10 years, I know that shopping center wasnt there, but I was. So I will say again, I have been in that area hundreds if not thousands of times over 10+ years and I have never have had an issue parking to shop, eat, stroll, etc. Perhaps I had good luck with always being able to park out front of Match or G&H or if I was going across the street, parking right out front on the street – I never had to use the parking garage. All that said, you are the one calling people names “greedy” and “entitled” so I would check yourself. I am done participating in this discussion. Have a great weekend!

  4. Mary Palmieri Gai

    Their Southport Store is worth the extra 5 second drive from Westport. What great food and a feast for the eyes.