Tag Archives: Aartisan chocolates

COVID-19 Roundup: Bell Ringing Tonight; Animals (And The Easter Bunny); Working Out, And More

Last Wednesday, Westport thanked doctors, nurses and all frontline workers during the pandemic with our first “Ringing of the Bells.”

So many people had such a great noisy, community time that we’re doing it again. All Westporters are invited to join in today, from 5 p.m. to 5:02.

Church bells, musical instruments, pots, pans — whatever you’ve got to make noise is joyfully welcome.

Anne Lawton put together this video, featuring Greens Farms Church and many local participants. The former news anchor (Fox 5 New York, News 8 New Haven) appears at the end urging everyone to join in.

Besides bells, Americans are howling.

Staples High School 1979 graduate David Stalling reports from Missoula, Montana, where every night at 8 p.m. he hears large packs of people — and dogs — howling loudly. They (the humans) are doing it for the same reason others ring bells: to honor healthcare and other frontline workers.

“It’s strangely fun and therapeutic,” he says. “Get out and howl!” Here’s a video from Missoula:

Speaking of animals, “06880” readers have noted an increased number out and about. They’ve commented on how many birds are singing too.

Wendy Cusick reminds Westporters to keep all dogs on leashes. There are coyotes and skunks galore!

This may be Easter without filled churches. But kids can still have a bunny and a basket.

Aarti Khosla — the generous owner of Le Rouge Aartisan Chocolates — is creating 200 Easter baskets. Thanks to the Westport Downtown Merchants Association, the Easter bunny will stand on Church Lane at the turn-in by the Christ & Holy Trinity courtyard. Families can drive by, wave, and do a contactless basket pickup.

It’s 12 to 2 p.m. Sunday — first come, first served!


Of all the things I miss about life BC — before coronavirus — my daily swim at the Westport Y is near the top of the list.

I’ve substituted daily walks. In addition to far fewer endorphins, I’m limping around with a severely pulled calf muscle. (I’m not the only one. Several people told me of similar issues. Go figure.)

Normally I’d suck it up (and ice it). But without my daily exercise, I’d go batshit.

So I called EJ Zebro. The owner of TAP Strength Lab, he helps everyone from high school athletes to 80-somethings “move better through life.” I wanted to feel better (fast!), and reduce the likelihood of another idiotic overuse injury.

A guy like EJ is very hands-on. Of course, that’s the last thing he can do now. But he’s pivoted well. We FaceTimed. I showed him my calf; he showed me stretches and exercises, and patiently answered my questions. (Yes, I can bike.)

EJ is one small example of how our world has changed. TAP is one small but important business that’s figuring out how to continue to help, in new ways. It’s not easy — but I am very grateful that EJ is still around.

EJ Zebro

Sydney Newman turned 17 yesterday. The Staples High School student celebrated the new 2020 way: with a few friends, all properly distanced. Happy birthday, Sydney!

Everyone has something they miss about their old lives. Here’s Stephanie Bass’ contribution:

And finally, for all those celebrating Passover — and even those who are not:

(From Wikipedia: ‘”Dayenu’ is a song that is part of the Jewish holiday of Passover. The word ‘dayenu’ means approximately ‘it would have been enough,’ ‘it would have been sufficient’ or ‘it would have sufficed.’ This traditional upbeat Passover song is over 1,000 years old. The song is about being grateful to God for all of the gifts he gave the Jewish people, such as taking them out of slavery, giving them the Torah and Shabbat, and had God only given one of the gifts, it would have still been enough. This is to show much greater appreciation for all of them as a whole.”)

COVID-19 Roundup: What’s Open And Closed: New Police Procedures; Access To Health Insurance; Earthplace Ideas; Help Your Household Help; Jim Himes Telephone Town Hall, And More

Looking for an up-to-date list of what’s open, closed or semi-operating downtown? Click here for the Westport Downtown Merchants Association list.

Click here for the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce’s list of restaurants that offer takeout and/or delivery services. In addition to ordering delivery directly, Seamless, Grubhub and UberEats also deliver without personal contact. They can leave the food at the door. Payment is automatically processed through a credit card in their systems. Most Westport restaurants are participating in one or more of these services.

Another resource: FindingWestport.com. Their “What’s Open” page includes stores, restaurants, gyms, services, real estate firms and salons around town.

To protect the public and police officers during the COVID-19 emergency, the Westport Police Department encourages telephone contact, rather than visits to headquarters.

Calls made to non-emergency and emergency lines will continue to be answered as always. The operator will ask questions about the nature and details of the call, to determine whether officers are required to respond.

Officers will continue to respond to crimes in progress, violent offenses and medical emergencies. If the call does not meet criteria for response but requires follow-up, the call taker will log the complaint. An officer or detective will remotely conduct a follow-up investigation.

Click here for information on online reporting.

The records division will no longer process requests at the window. All records related inquiries should be directed to 203- 341-6001. Requested records will be sent electronically

In addition, fingerprinting services are suspended indefinitely.  ‘

Effective today, the Saugatuck and Greens Farms railroad stations buildings are closed to the public. This has no impact on normal railroad operations.

The closures are meant to keep people from congregating in close contact. It is unknown how long they will last.

The building is closed. Trains are still operating.

Westporters without health insurance can pick up coverage starting tomorrow through April 2, through Access Health CT. Click here for information. (Hat tip: Mary Jennings)

Earthplace is continually updating its website with ideas and resources for crafts, home study,  and outdoor and online activities. Click here for details.


Concerned reader Lindsey Blaivas writes:

Many of us have people come to our homes on a weekly basis — cleaning crews (mine are like family), babysitters (also like family), piano teachers and more.

Each have their own families and rely on their income. Please consider supporting them — for example, through Skype lessons or outdoor alternatives for cleaning crews (grills, outdoor furniture, garage cleaning). Think creatively.

Or maybe just pay them as you normally would, because they (like us) need to survive and protect their families. My cleaning people have reported many clients are cancelling without pay.

Please consider the macro impact on micro thinking. It’s not just one person cancelling — it’s everyone.

Grateful reader Deborah Green called Verizon with a question about her iPhone.  She did not want to come in, because of her age.

Manager Dominic di Pasquale — whom she had never met — answered her question. Then, remarkably, he told Deborah to call if she needed him to shop for groceries or do any other errands!

She thanked him profusely. He replied simply, “We all have to be there for each other during these times.”

She made one more call: to Verizon’s HR department, to praise their magnificent employee.

The other day, Congressman Jim Himes held a fascinating, informative telephone town hall. He’s got another one set for tomorrow (Thursday, March 19, 3:30 p.m.)

The call-in number is 855-962-0953. The streaming link is Himes.House.Gov/Live.

For answers to his most frequently asked questions, click here(Hat tip: Nicole Klein)

Congressman Jim Himes

Le Rouge Aartisan Chocolates is — like many small businesses — struggling. But owner Aarti Khosla is still thinking of others.

Customers can buy her “Give a Little Love” chocolate hearts, to send to first responders, hospital workers and others on the front lines. She’ll match whatever you buy, to let them know how much we appreciate their work.

She started by campaign by donating 100 hearts to Norwalk Hospital and EMS. Click here to donate.

The Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce has extended its Soup Contest through April. They encourage everyone to try soups via restaurant takeout or delivery services.



A New Look For Chocolates By Aarti

Over the past 5 years, Aarti Khosla has built up a wonderful, popular business.

But the name — Le Rouge Chocolates by Aarti — was a mouthful.

So the new year — and new decades — brings a new look.

The new name could not be more delicious: Le Rouge Aartisan Chocolates.

Get it?!

Aarti began using chocolate to showcase the rich diversity of Indian desserts. She worked in a rented commercial kitchen, and sold through farmer’s markets, chocolate shows and holiday boutiques.

Aarti Khosla, with her creations.

After introducing European ganache cakes, she opened the small shop at 190 Main Street — a few steps from Joe’s Pizza, and underneath Ron Provenzano’s barber shop.

“I feel humbled and very fortunate to be accepted, appreciated and embraced by the community,” Aarti says.

“It has been a blessing to meet so many people from all walks of life, and make innumerable friends along the way.”

Her bold black and white polka dot brand is well known. But, she says, it does not fully communicate the building blocks behind Le Rouge Chocolates: her Indian heritage, passion for world travel, and love of French food artistry.

Randy Herbertson of the Church Lane design firm TVB helped her capture the essence of her inspirations.

The new logo’s lotus flower and dome are nods to India. The elaborate scrollwork is inspired by Paris’ iron balconies.

The skyline combines those of India and Paris. She came up with the tagline: “Paris to Punjab.”

Using royal blue with red “elevates the packaging to look royal — just like my hand-painted chocolate gems,” Aarti says.

Condensing “Chocolates by Aarti” to “Aartisan Chocolates” was the brainchild of her good friend Joelle Berger.

She also took the suggestion of photographer/marketing guru Dave Matlow to incorporate the word that represents her core business — “chocolate” — in the new logo and website.

The new website — http://www.lerougechocolates.com — will be ready soon. A launch party — also celebrating Valentine’s Day month — is set for Saturday, February 8 (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.).

In the meantime, as Aarti transitions to Artisan Chocolates, she’s open for business.

Some things never change.

The new color scheme, and Aarti’s always-wonderful chocolates.