Tag Archives: Donut Crazy

Photo Challenge #463

All 10 readers who guessed last week’s Photo Challenge got it right.

Everyone knew that the image — 9 framed pictures on a wall, underneath the words “Let’s Eat” — were at Donut Crazy. (Click here to see.)

That’s appropriate. Just as our readers did not go wrong, you can’t go wrong with any choice at the small shop on the eastbound side of the Westport train station. (Unless, of course, you’re on a diet.)

Pat Saviano, John McCarthy, Chip Stephens, Brandon Malin, Shirlee Gordon, Seth Braunstein, Peter Tucker, Wendy Schaefer, Andrew Colabella and Clark Thiemann have all apparently frequented the donut store.

I can’t imagine a better way to spend time or money.

Or calories.

Today’s photo Challenge shows a quintessential fall scene. If you know where in Westport you would enjoy this, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Fred Cantor)

(If you play the weekly Photo Challenge, please consider supporting our blog. It takes a ton of work, and we rely on reader contributions. Just click here — and thank you!)

Westport’s Other “Hole Foods”

Bagels get lots of love.

Pop-Up Bagels recently won both the expert judges and people’s choice awards at the prestigious Brooklyn Bagelfest.

Badass Bagels, out of Sugar + Olives, definitely lives up to its name.

But what about Westport’s other “hole foods”: donuts?

Not so much.

There are 3 Dunkin’ Donutses in town, but most people go there for coffee. Coffee An’s great donuts share space with muffins and crullers.  Donut Crazy offers crazy good donuts, but unless you want your arteries immediately blocked, you can only go there once a month.

Evan Feldman is changing that — one freshly made mini-doughnut at a time.

Evan Feldman’s donuts.

The University of Michigan graduate spent 10 years in finance. He didn’t love it though, and when the 2008 economic crisis hit, he took a severance package.

His wife was an occupational therapist; he stayed home to raise their child, and consulted on the side.

One year turned into four. Then … it was time to make the donuts.

Feldman’s father had taught him to cook. His brother was a chef. His in-laws owned a New York food business.

Most importantly, he had a sweet tooth.

Donuts were becomingtrendy. But unlike another early 2010s food craze — cupcakes — Feldman thought they had staying power.

“Donuts are always around,” he notes. “Every culture has a version of fried dough.”

He opened a Doughnuttery pop-up shop in Chelsea Market, figuring 3 to 6 months. Customers loved watching the batter turn into a sugary mini-donut. The aroma was intoxicating.

The market offered Feldman a permanent spot.

The business grew. His brother joined to run catering and events, with a mobile donut-making machine at places like Bryant Park and music festivals.

They opened in the Plaza Hotel food court, and the Turnstyle Underground Marketplace on Columbus Circle.

Customers asked about opening franchises in their hometowns. Doughnuttery launched 3, in Virginia, Wisconsin and Arizona.

COVID hit small businesses like mini-donut shops hard. Two of the franchises folded. The Plaza did not reopen its food court.

But Doughnuttery is rising. Feldman recently opened another store, in Long Island’s Roosevelt Field mall.

A Doughnuttery store.

Four years ago, the Feldmans moved to Westport. A Rockland County native, he’d always wanted a house, lawn and garage; he loved hiking and the water too. His wife had friends in Weston.

Westport, he says, has been “magical.”

Doughnuttery has not yet popped up here. But he’s looking for opportunities.

Feldman is friendly with Badass Bagels’ Jennifer Balin. They might work something out.

He’s donated donuts to his kids’ schools, Coleytown Middle and Kings Highway Elementary.

Evan Feldman, on the cover of a New York Daily News story.

Because his donuts are made to order, there are not many left over. But when a company ordered 15,000 a day (to entice workers back to their offices), Feldman spent a couple of weeks dropping off hundreds at the Gillespie Center.

“They thought I was crazy,” he says. (Insert your own “Donut Crazy” joke here.)

Last weekend, the Doughnuttery mobile machine traveled to Bridgeport’s Sound on Sound music festival.

It’s in demand too for events like weddings and bar mitzvahs — any place mini-donuts can be made, hot and fresh, in front of people’s eyes (and noses).

Catering, courtesy of Doughnuttery.

That includes hotel rooms.

“We’re Kim Kardashian’s favorite donuts,” Feldman says proudly. “She asked us to make donuts in her hotel room, before a gala. We made them for her, and all her entourage.”

(Click here for the Doughnuttery website.)

(“06880” hits the sweet spot for local news. Please click here to help support this blog.)

Roundup: Gilbertie’s 100th B’day Bash, Sports Rehab, High Honors …

Gilbertie’s Herbs & Garden Center’s may be 100 years old. But they’re sure young at heart.

Tomorrow (Saturday, June 4, noon to 5 p.m.), the century-old Sylvan Road South shop/greenhouse hosts a town-wide party.

The highlight is a free concert with reggae artists Mystic Bowie’s Talking Dreads, plus Kalel Wale.

Surrounding the field will be family games and activities, food trucks, vendors and a petting zoo.

“It’s not every day a business turns 100,” says Matthew Mandell, executive director of the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce. “This is going to be quite the party.”

Bring lawn chairs for the show; park along Riverside Avenue, or at Kings Highway or Saugatuck Elementary School.


Staples High School’s High Honors Dinner is always one of the highlights of the year.

Held a couple of weeks before graduation, it’s a celebration of the diversity interests and achievements of the senior class.

Students with GPAs in the top 4% are invited. Each selects one teacher to introduce him or her. They speak for a minute; then the student gives thanks.

Educators last night came from the English, Social Studies, Science, World Language, Drama and Athletic Departments. They lauded their students’ intellectual curiosity, passion and drive, concern for classmates, and senses of humor.

Students, in turn, praised their teachers for their mentorship, accessibility at all hours of the day and night, passion and drive, unique styles, senses of humor, and friendship.

It was a warm, wonderful evening. It affirmed for many educators that “this is why I teach.” And for the parents and friends in the room, it was a fitting reminder that a Westport education takes place in many places, in many ways.

Students honored were Emma Alcyone, Natalie Bandura, Greg Beal, Zach Bishop, Michael Brody, Oliver Clachko, Sabrina Didner, Erin Durkin, Matt Genser, Sasha Maskoff, Aidan Mermagen, Gabriella Messenger, Tessa Moore, Luke Morelli, Chloe Nevas, Emma Nordberg, Talia Perkiins, Finn Popken, Ishan Prasad, Jessica Qi, Ally Schwartz and Julian Weng.

They selected educators Ann Neary, Dominick Messina, Robert Shamberg, Joe Barahona, Will Jones, Suzanne Kammerman, Meghan Scheck, Chi-Ann Lin, Noreen McGoldrick, Sam Goldberg, Chris Fray, Enia Noonan, David Roth, Bethann Camillo, Jack McFarland, David Scrofani andn Brendan Giolitto.

High Honors honoree Aidan Mermagen hears praise from chemistry teacher Will Jones.


Happy National Donut Day!

Donut Crazy is celebrating: Buy a drink, get a free donut.

If you’ve never been to the shop on the eastbound side of the Westport train station: go now!

And if you have been — you better hope your favorite “crazy” donut has not yet been gobbled up. (Hat tip: John Karrel)

Happy National Donut Day!


Westport’s newest sports rehab and physical therapy service opened this week in Westport.

HSS Sports Rehab — a collaboration between Stamford Health and the Hospital for Special Surgery — has taken over the old Boat Locker space, in the strip mall with Layla’s Falafel and Dunkin’ Donuts.

Therapists at HSS Sports Rehab – Westport treat patients of all ages and all levels of activity, “from weekend warriors to elite athletes.” They’re open weekdays by appointment only. Call 203-276-4763 for an appointment, or fax a physical therapy referral to 203-276-4764.

HSS Sports Rehab is at 1529 Post Road East.


Speaking of sports:

Two Staples High School teams are in the quarterfinals of their state tournaments. Both games are tomorrow (Saturday, June 4).

The baseball team — ranked #15 in LL (extra large schools) — upset #2 Amity-Woodbridge 8-2 Wednesday. Junior Hiro Wyatt’s grand slam was his third of the season — a school record. Next up: #10 Trumbull (2 p.m., away.)

The 14-2 Staples boys lacrosse team hosts Fairfield Ludlowe at 3 p.m.

Congratulations too to Jesse McCray. He’s just been named FCIAC Girls Outdoor Coach of the Year.

Staples boys lacrosse team.


Manna Toast recently introduced dinner service.

It’s so popular, they’re extending it to 4 evenings.

Dinner will be served Wednesday through Saturday, starting at 4 pm. Options include dine in, pickup or delivery.

A dinnertime welcome at Manna Toast.


Stuart Losen, a 57-year resident of Westport, psychologist, educator, ardent Democrat and passionate Giants football and Yankee baseball fan, died suddenly last week. He was 92.

He was raised in the Bronx, where he learned to run fast or box, “as the situation required,” his family says. He was a proud graduate of The Bronx High School of Science and City College, where he met his wife Joyce. They were married for nearly 70 years. 

His obituary reads: “Warm and loving, with an endearing and extremely humorous side, Stu loved to make his children and grandchildren laugh with his silly antics, embellished or made-up recollections (“Stu facts”) and unique expressions. However, he also displayed shark-like qualities when it came to shooting pool.

“Throughout his life Stu was passionate about drumming and singing.  As a young man he led the Mel Stuart Band as a Crosby-esque crooner. An avid storyteller, he told many tales about playing the Catskills, and Lake George. He was known for showing off his Gene Krupa paradiddles, recounting his lessons from Babatunde Olatunji and pulling out his Local 802 Musicians’ union card. He would sit in with bands at every opportunity, from calypso groups in the Caribbean to busking on the streets of Cambridge.”

He served in the army during and after the Korean War as a psychologist at Brooke Army Hospital in San Antonio, where he worked with returning American servicemen who had undergone “brainwashing” as prisoners of war. He later earned his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Buffalo in 1959.

Among the earliest to bring psychological services to Connecticut public schools, beginning in 1960, he initiated and developed programs first as a clinical psychologist in North Haven and for the bulk of his public-school career as director of special services for the New Canaan schools.

Stu published numerous articles, co-authored 2 professional books and 2 memoirs, and frequently appeared as an expert witness. served as the president of the Connecticut Psychological Association. He was an adjunct professor at Yale University, Southern Connecticut State College and Fairfield University.

In his private practice in Westport Stu has helped countless individuals, couples and families. Many maintained contact for years, writing to him of their life successes.

Following his professional retirement, Stu taught courses on comparative religion at the Lifetime Learning Institute at Norwalk Community College and participated in the writer’s workshop at the Westport Senior Center. An activist at heart, Stu supported many liberal causes.

Stu is survived by his wife Joyce; daughter Laurie (Joseph) Hutcheson; son Daniel (Sarah Novogrodsky) Losen; grandchildren Anna and Molly Burgess. Ave and Meredith Hutcheson, Samuel and Leonard Losen; brother-in-law Mel Garskof; nieces Hillary Garskof Strome and Allison Garskof and grandniece, Jessica Strome.

A celebration of Stu’s life will be held in person and livestreamed at the Abraham L. Green and Son Funeral Home in Fairfield today (Friday, june 3, 2 p.m.).

Contributions can be made to the Lobular Breast Cancer Alliance, PO Box 200, White Horse Beach, MA 02381  or the Center for Civil Rights Remedies at UCLA, “UC Regents” to: UCLA Civil Rights Project, 8370 Math Sciences, Box 951521, Los Angeles, CA 90095.


You’re never too young — or old — to learn how to tie-dye.

For the 2nd summer in a row, 3 Staples students — soon-to-graduate seniors Theo Vergakis, Nick Prior and Jack Foster — offer interactive tie-dyeing sessions.

They supply 100% cotton t-shirts, a large selection of dyes, and all the tools.

You supply the group of 3 to 15 kids (or adults). The cost of $25 per person includes all materials.

Click here for more information. To book a session, email towneeus@gmail.com,

Leo and Stella Newman, in their own creations.


Westport is naturally green this time of year. But Mark Yurkiw captured an exceptionally verdant scene for today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature.

He did not have to look far. It’s his Cross Highway home.

This is also one of the greenest (and coolest) home scenes we’ve ever seen!

(Photo/Mark Yurkiw)


And finally … Alan White, a drummer who worked with John Lennon and George Harrison before he was 21, then gained more fame for his long work with the band Yes, died last week near Seattle, after a brief illness. He was 72.

Click here for a full obituary.

Roundup: Wheels, Donut Crazy, Challah …


Effective today, Wheels2U Westport — the Westport Transit District’s on-demand, group ride, door-to-train platform shuttle service — is expanding to serve even more of Westport.  The area from Coleytown Road to the Weston border is now included.

The new addition is bounded by North Avenue, Lyons Plains Road and Coleytown Road and includes all of Arlen Road, Fraser Road, Fraser Lane and Snowflake Lane. Wheels2U Westport now provides convenient service to over 90% of all Westport.

Residents living in the service area can use the Wheels2U Westport app to request a pickup  between 5:45 a.m. and 9:45 a.m., and 4 and 8 p.m., to be taken to or from the Saugatuck or Greens Farms train platform and their front door.

Pickups should be requested about 20 minutes before you would normally leave to drive to the station.  The fare is $2 when paid with the Wheels2U app.  A Metro North Uniticket rail/bus pass can also be used.

For more information, click here. For more information about the Westport Transit District’s services for the elderly and people with disabilities, click here.

New service area.


Westport’s VFW Joseph J. Clinton Post 399 reserved a special table today. The setting honored the 13 US servicemembers killed last week in Afghanistan.

The “Missing Man Table” — also known as the “Fallen Comrade Table” — is steeped in symbolism. It is a humble way to remember the sacrifice of the men and women who gave their lives protecting our freedom.


Just in time for the new academic year, the Westport Public Schools have unveiled a new website.

The look is clean and fresh. There’s tons of information, in an easy-to-navigate, intuitive layout.

Click here to explore it on your own. Be sure to check out the drone video for each school. Just click on the name, and get a bird’s-eye view of every facility. (Hat tip: Seth Schachter)

Screenshot of the new website


Donut Crazy is back open. This is the most recent sign, on the train station door:

(Photo/Gary Nusbaum)


Last night’s almost-season-ending Levitt Pavilion performance — Dr. K’s Motown Review — had a filled-to-capacity audience dancing in the street.

Or at least, in their pods.

Three shows remain: Always-popular DNR, in a benefit for Westport EMS and first responders (September 10, 7:30 p.m.); Barboletta, a tribute to Santana (September 11, 7:30 p.m.), and Sheryl Crow, a ticketed benefit show (October 8, 8 p.m.).

Click here for tickets and details.

Last night’s Levitt Pavilion show. (Photo/Lauri Weiser)


Dogs are not allowed on Compo Beach (until October 1).

So this one — at Winslow Park Animal Hospital on the Post Road — made his own.

(Photo/Molly Alger)


Every home should have a challah.

And not just on the East Coast.

The Westport-based delivery company has just acquired ChallahFresh, Silicon Valley’s tech-enabled business.

“My goal is to deliver a freshly baked challah, candles, a weekly dose of inspiration each week, plus black & white cookies, rugelach or hamentaschen to as many homes, nursing homes and college dorms as possible in the US, says CEO Scott Sharkey.

“Now we ae one step closer to accomplishing this.”

Sharkey donates a portion of each challah subscription to a charity of the customer’s choice. A dropdown menu offers a dozen or so options, including ADL, Doctors Without Borders, Feeding America, Red Cross, Save the Children, St. Jude’s Hospital, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Fund, Hadassah and UJA Federation.

For more information, click here.

Challah, from Every Home Should Have a Challah.


Wendy Crowther explains today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo:

“Two bumble bees harvest resources on a stand of thistle at Baron’s South last week. Thistles have a high wildlife value. They not only provide pollen and nectar to bees and butterflies, but later the flowers turn to seeds that will be eaten by goldfinches. Even the down from the seeds will be used by birds to line their nests.”

(Photo/Wendy Crowther)


And finally … in honor of today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo (above):



Roundup: Donut Crazy, Merritt Parkway, “La Mancha” …


Donut Crazy — the wonderful, warm, not-for-the-calorie-conscious coffeehouse on the eastbound side of the Saugatuck train station — is closed today.

It’s unclear whether it’s permanent. Loyal customers hope not. Their fingers are crossed it will reopen — perhaps under new owners.

The past 17 months have not been easy. Always a bit out of the way for late-arriving morning commuters to New York, the steep drop in ridership during the pandemic must have hurt.

The arrival of Steam donuts and coffee at Desi’s Corner, at the Railroad Place by Riverside Avenue, is another blow.

Donut Crazy’s 4 other locations — in Stratford, Shelton, Branford and West Hartford — remain open. That’s not too far to go for some of the craziest donuts (and more) on earth. (Hat tip: Carolanne Curry)


Hurricane Henri was a washout. It had virtually no effect on Westport — except for a ban on beach activities through Wednesday.

Swimming, fishing and paddle crafts are prohibited for the next 2 days, says Westport Weston Health District director Mark Cooper.

The cause: possible contamination of Long Island Sound, from untreated sewage discharges after the storm.

It’s a good thing Caroline Sherman swam to Cockenoe Island before Sunday. (Photo/Alex Sherman)


The Merritt Parkway paving project between northbound Exits 40 and 41 appear to be a mess.

Readers report numerous flat tires, due to holes in the pavement. Be careful out there!

In better days …


Sam Palmer is the son of a Staples High School teacher. A 2019 graduate of Fairfield Warde High School, he’s been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He’s waiting for a blood stem cell/bone marrow transplant.

And he needs a donor.

A “Swab for Sam/Be the Match” donor registration drive is set for this Saturday (August 28, 9 to 11 a.m., Fairfield Warde High School, 755 Melville Avenue).

It takes just 5 minutes to register, and have your cheek swabbed to enter the marrow donor registry. The more donors, the more chances Sam — and others like him — have to live long, full lives.

Sam Palmer


Rod Gilbert — the New York Rangers great who died last weekend at 80 — leaves behind many fans.

Among them: Charlie Capalbo. The Fairfield hockey player — and grandson of Westporters Ina Chadwick and Richard Epstein — has battled cancer for several years. His spirits have been lifted by many people in the hockey world.

Gilbert was among the first. Here was his message to Charlie, in 2017:


Did you miss the 2018 Westport Country Playhouse presentation of “Man of La Mancha?” Saw it, and want to see it again? Just looking for great entertainment, as the Delta variant has us all wary again of crowds?

The award-winning show is available now, on demand, through September 5.  Tickets start at just $25. Click here to order.

Pick a time. Buy sangria. Prepare paella. Enjoy!


Laura Nelson died Friday, surrounded by family and friends, following a battle with cancer. She was 55.

Her family says: “Laura’s light always shined brightly. The people of Westport may remember sharing a friendly wave, a peace sign or a warm smile with Laura as she drove around the neighborhood in her clementine orange VW bus, laughing and soaking up every drop of life.

“She was an accomplished communications executive and public relations expert, dedicated wife and mother, loving sister and aunt, best friend, and adored colleague.

“Above all, Laura loved her husband Jim and their children Charlie and Annabelle fiercely and unconditionally. Her pride in their accomplishments knew no bounds.”

Laura began her career as a PR professional with Dan Klores Associates in New York City. For over 3 decades she rose through the media industry as the cable television business flourished.

In her early career she led the communications team at Comedy Central, then a fledgling startup channel. She rose to senior vice president of communications and public affairs for VH1 and MTV. She later joined Nielsen, where she served as chief communications officer during a transformative period.

Laura advised celebrities and media executives throughout her career. Her family says, “She was known as a savvy strategist and insightful advisor. She was a student of the spoken and written word and used this knowledge to advance the interests of her clients and organizations. Maybe most importantly, Laura knew how to bring out the best in her people—she was the perfect combination of mentor, coach, advocate, leader, and friend. Over the years, she assembled multiple award-winning teams, and many of her protégés have gone on to serve as chief marketing and communications officers themselves.”

Born in Mt. Prospect, Illinois, Laura grew up in Darien. In 1983, Laura served as a Page in the US Senate and attended the Capitol Page School. At Darien High School she was the editor of the school newspaper. She graduated from Boston College with a BA in ohilosophy. As part of her undergraduate studies, she attended Temple University in Rome, where she developed a lifelong love of Italy and its culture.

Her family notes: “Laura was generous, loyal, and warm, and she readily adopted friends into her extended family. She was known for her sense of humor, authenticity, and dedication to her family and friends. She was unyielding on the things that mattered to her and to the world, and she loved with her whole heart and soul.

She is survived by her husband James A. Kremens; children Charles Kremens and Annabelle Kremens, all of Westport; siblings Gina Wilcox (Brady) of Old Lyme; Paul Nelson (Julie) of Wilmette, Illinois, and Andrew Nelson (Meghan) of Cincinnati.

A mass of Christian burial will be held Friday, (August 27, 11 a.m., Church of the Assumption.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to The Cancer Couch Foundation, P.O. Box 1145, Southport, CT 06890, or thecancercouch.com.

Laura Nelson


The rain seems finally to have moved away. As it moved out yesterday, it left this hopeful sign over Sherwood Mill Pond:

(Photo/Ferdinand Jahnel)


The Friends of the Weston Senior Activities Center plan a flea market for Saturday, September 18 (9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Weston High School).

Past years have drawn 80 vendors, selling old, new and handmade items. Spaces are going quickly. To reserve a space, call 203-222-2608.


It doesn’t get more “Westport … Naturally” than this Winslow Park scene.

(Photo/JC Martin)


And finally … country singer/songwriter Tom T. Hall died Friday, at his Tennessee home.

He was known both for the songs he wrote and sang himself, and those he wrote for others. Click here for a full obituary.

Unsung Heroes #160

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Pink is its symbol — and the color of roses. What better way, Diana Kuen thought, to commemorate all of the warriors, past and present, who have been impacted by breast cancer than to turn the Saugatuck River pink?

And at the same time, raise money for charity.

That was not an idle notion. Diana is the director and head coach of the Survive-OARS — Saugatuck Rowing Club’s breast cancer survivor rowing program.

So last year, right before sunset, anyone who purchased rose petals was invited to scatter them. High tide carried them — biodegradable and freeze-dried — out to the Sound.

Proceeds benefited the Saugatuck Survive-OARS program, in partnership with the Smilow Family Breast Health Center at Norwalk Hospital.

Diana wanted an encore this year. The COVID pandemic made planning a tad tougher.

But — as breast cancer survivors know — perseverance pays off.

So this Saturday (October 3, 1 to 4 p.m.), the 2nd annual River of Roses will rock the town.

There’s live music. Chef Paul’s famous clam chowder, lobster bisque and butternut squash soup, charcuterie, hummus and apple strudel.

And more. Read on.

Around 2:30 p.m. — as rowers read names of breast cancer warriors past and present — they’ll scatter rose petals again.

Strewing rose petals, last year.

The event will be livestreamed on the Saugatuck Rowing Club website.

There are plenty of opportunities to help. Tickets are $75 each (with assigned seating). Rose petals are $25.

Saugatuck Survive-OARS has teamed up with a fierce group of young female entrepreneurs — the #SewSisters in Norwalk — to create and sell pink face masks.

Click here for tickets, rose petals and/or masks.

Pink face masks

All of that would make Diana Kuen and the Survive-OARS our Unsung Heroes of the Week.

But there are more.

In addition to the food and drink mentioned above, Donut Crazy — which did the same thing last year — said they’d donate a couple of hundred pink frosted donuts.

This has been a very tough year for the shop at the eastbound side of the train station.

They closed for a few months during the heart of the pandemic. Now rail traffic — their bread and butter — is non-existent. Donut Crazy is absolutely an Unsung Hero.

So is Copps Island. They’re contributing 300 oysters, with joy.

When Diane realized she needed a shucker, she asked Rachel Precious — the deliciously named owner of Precious Oysters — if she was available for hire.

Rachel replied quickly — volunteering her services. She’s a Staples High School graduate, a rower — and her cousin was just diagnosed with breast cancer. Rachel is an Unsung Hero too.

And how about a shout-out to Moët Hennessy USA. They’re sponsoring the River of Roses, and providing complimentary Chandon Rosé (of course).

Our list of Unsung Heroes would not be complete without including all the women everywhere, who fight their own battles with breast cancer, while reaching out to help others.

This month is for you. And Saturday is your special day.

Diana Kuen

COVID Roundup: Reopening; Friday Flowers; Ford Escort; Donut Crazy; More

As Westport reopens, it may be hard to figure out who’s in charge of what. First Selectman Jim Marpe says:

The Westport Weston Health District licenses restaurants and the beauty industry. So the WWHD leads compliance of those state rules.

Fire Marshal Nathaniel Gibbons will lead enforcement efforts for all non-WWHD regulated industries. Efforts include conducting spot checks, referrals and coordination with the WWHD and Police Department.

The police are responsible for tracking all complaints. They’ll investigate to ensure compliance, and work with business owners to correct infractions.

The Police Department requests that reports of non-compliance or complaints about business operations should be made by phone to the non-emergency number: 203-341-6000. For complaints made to the state, call 211.

If you see penguins not following proper protocols, call the police non-emergency number.  (Photo/Marcy Sansolo)

As life — and human beings — come back to Main Street, the Westport Garden Club is making sure everything looks lovely.

Yesterday they planted flowers downtown. The project is part of “Friday Flowers,” the club’s campaign to brighten spirits with colorful flowers. Four beds on both sides of Main Street will be maintained throughout the summer and fall.

From left: Kathy Oberman Tracy, Kelle Ruden and Kara Wong. (Photo: Topsy Siderowf)

Of all the COVID-caused changes in Westport, none is starker than the scene at the Saugatuck train station. Almost instantly, what had always been better-get-there-early-for-a-spot lots turned into ghost towns. All those coveted parking permits? They’re gathering dust, as thousands of commuters work from home.

But — if you’re one of the few people who has been there knows — there is one lonely car. A Ford Escort has been there since mid-March. It sure is practicing social distance.

Does anyone know the back story? If so, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Caroly Van Duyn)

Meanwhile, a few yards east, Donut Crazy opened. Commuter traffic is not yet back (duh). But Juliana and Anna (below) look like they never left. Except for the masks…

(Photo/John Karrel)

A couple of days ago, I wrote about the debut of Manna Toast. Molly Healey is opening a cafe in Bedford Square in mid-July. She’s great, and it will be wonderful.

In the meantime, beginning next Tuesday (May 26) she’s delivering family-style kits that serve 4. They include ready-to-toast sourdough bread with a choice of 2 toasts (meatless meatballs, hummus, burrata or roasted squash); 1 salad (kale with tahini miso or local greens), 1 soup (creamy carrot or 3-bean chili), and 1 tea. Everyone gets 4 chocolate chip cookies.

I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek. It’s fantastic — flavorful, creative, fresh; something new and welcome in the midst of so much COVID sameness. But don’t take my words for it. Check it out here:

It doesn’t feel like it, but this is a holiday weekend. We’ll miss the Memorial Day parade. The weather is a bit iffy.

But Compo Beach will be open. Not at full capacity, yet. There are no picnic tables or grills. Port-a-potties only, too.

Still, the scene today was like any other start-of-summer, late May day.

If only.

(Photo/Kathie Motes Bennewitz)

And finally … there might be a more beautiful way to end the week. But I don’t know what it is.

Pic Of The Day #758

Great idea from Donut Crazy (Photo/Dan Woog)

Pic Of The Day #721

Wise words from the Kings Highway Elementary School 1st grade Kindness Squad, at Donut Crazy. (Photo/JP Vellotti)

Ann’s Kitchen Really Delivers

Ann Campbell grew up in the Philippines. She wanted to be a doctor, but at her parents’ urging she studied accounting. After that came nursing school.

She married an American. They lived in Singapore for 10 years, then moved to Manhattan. With 3 kids their apartment grew cramped, so in 2008 they headed to Westport.

Now Ann’s story really gets interesting.

She was always intrigued by food. So in 2014 Ann put her degree from New York’s French Culinary Institute — sorry, I forgot to mention that, or that she’d worked at Oceana in the city! — to use.

Friends here told her how hard it was to make good food after a long day at work.

So she began cooking fresh, prepared meals for busy Westport families. With zest (and flavors).

Ann Campbell, at work.

On Thursday, Ann emails a menu. (To join the list, email annskitchenwestport@gmail.com). The ordering deadline is Sunday.

She includes whatever inspires her. She usually tries to add something new and special.

Armed with orders, Ann shops. She hits a variety of stores, from Whole Foods and specialty stores, to Asian markets in Westchester.

On Monday and Tuesday, Ann heads to the commercial kitchen at Harlan Publick in South Norwalk.

With the help of fellow Westport moms Nicole Von Dohlen and Sally Spencer,  Ann makes fresh seasonal salads, soups, main courses and other family-friendly dishes. She draws from an eclectic palate of world cuisines — Asian, European, fusion — always with the freshest ingredients.

Braised chicken with peppadew peppers.

The 3 women bring the fully-cooked meals to Ann’s house. On Tuesday at 3 p.m., customers pick them up. There’s free delivery for orders over $75.

Soups — especially Mom’s Chicken Dumpling, from Ann’s own stock (with homemade dumplings) — are quite popular.

So is her miso salmon with coconut black rice and vegetables. Also her potstickers. Kids love (of course) Ann’s mac and cheese.

Some families order every week; others, every other week, or once in a while. There’s no pressure (other than the hunger pangs you get reading the menu).

Ann’s Kitchen is a business. But it’s also a joy.

“I love to cook,” Ann says. “When people love my cooking, that makes me so happy.”

Almost as happy as Ann’s very satisfied — and well-fed — customers.

(PS: You may have eaten some of Ann’s great food without knowing it. She recently started filling Donut Crazy’s refrigerator, on the eastbound side of the train station. Hat tip: Jeff Manchester)