Tag Archives: Le Rouge by Aarti

Roundup: Recycling, GFA Graduation, Chocolate, More

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Business travel is way down. So we don’t see lines of drivers waiting with signs at airports, picking up executives.

Instead we’ve got lines of parents waiting at elementary schools, picking up children. All they need are signs.

This was the scene the other day at Saugatuck. The line of cars extended beyond Assumption Church.

(Photo/Felicia Sale)

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Leigh Gage writes: “Has anyone else noticed trash and recycling trucks at the transfer center backing up to dump trash mixed with recycling into the dumpster?

“The sound of glass breaking drew my attention to several trucks dumping everything into the closest dumpster. An attendant said that whatever people leave out for pickup gets dumped together.

“Residents: {lease don’t put both garbage and recycling out on the same day.

“And refuse companies: Please instruct your drivers to not pick up recycling except on the day it’s supposed to be picked up.

“I wonder if residents sign up for once a week service to save money, then put recycling out with the garbage.”

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It’s mid-February, so at Greens Farms Academy they’re getting ready for … graduation.

The private school on Beachside Avenue has announced its speakers. Wes Moore will deliver the commencement address on June 10. The night before, Mike Greenberg keynotes GFA’s first-ever baccalaureate.

Moore is the CEO of the the poverty-fighting foundation Robin Hood, best-selling author, combat veteran, White House fellow and social entrepreneur. His story is uplifting and inspiring.

Westport resident Mike Greenberg is the host of ESPN’s morning show “Get Up!,” a GFA trustee and (most importantly) the father graduating senior Stephen and alumna Nikki. A member of 2 Halls of Fame and an author of 5 best-sellers, he and his wife Stacy donate all proceeds to the V Foundation for Cancer Research.

GFA’s graduation should be one for the books.

And for the public. After the event, the school will post Moore’s speech on their website.

Mike Greenberg

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This Valentine’s weekend — actually, all month — Le Rouge by Aarti’s “Give a Little Love” campaign continues.

10% of all February sales will be donated to local food banks. It’s one more way Westport’s favorite chocolatier helps those in need.

Stop by the 190 Main Street store — or browse online, and request curbside pickup, delivery or shipping. Sweeeeeet!

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Adam Stolpen reminds us that yesterday was Tina Louise’s 87th birthday.

Ginger — the last surviving member of the “Gilligan’s Island” castaways — lived with her mother, Betty Meyers, at 19 Bluewater Hill.

Adam knows that factoid because his family moved in there in 1959, when Tina’s family moved out. 

But that still doesn’t answer the question: Why did all the castaways have so many different clothes, when all they were planning was go on a 3-hour tour?

Tina Louise, then and now.

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And finally … Americans used to celebrate Abraham Lincoln’s birthday on February 12, and George Washington’s 10 days later. Now, both have been rolled into “Presidents Day.” The 2 giants share the day with the likes of William Henry Harrison, Warren Harding and Donald Trump. Ah, progress!

Roundup: Cribari Bridge, Burroughs Brothers, Chocolate Bombs, More


The Cribari Bridge Christmas lights never get old.

In fact, “06880” readers always provide fresh perspectives.

Here’s January Stuart’s:

(Photo/January Stewart)


The Winter Farmers’ Market: It’s not just for Thursdays anymore.

Next Tuesday (December 15, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Gilbertie’s Herbs & Garden Center, 7 Sylvan Lane) features a special holiday Artist Market.

It’s a way to support local artisans, who have been battered professionally by COVID-19. The Farmers’ Market is a safe outdoor space where they can sell their crafts.

The Artist Market takes place in 3 open-air greenhouses. Food trucks will grab-and-go meals, and hot and cold drinks.


2020 has been a wretched year. It can’t end soon enough.

But on its way out the door, the Westport Library will give it a special push.

On Monday, December 21 (7 p.m.), Miggs and Trace Burroughs’ offer winter solstice entertainment.

“Oh Brother, Not Another Holiday Special” — streamed from the Westport Library’s Forum — features several cool guests.

Martha Stewart returns to town, giving Miggs some holiday tips. Psychic “Miss Liz” will answer questions and make predictions for 2021. (Uh oh.)

Miggs’ bagel-making, Moog-playing son Brayden and Trace’s conceptual artist Pavia will appear.

Scraping the very bottom of the barrel, Miggs has asked me to be on the show too. I’ll try to find the 10 most uplifting stories of 2020. (It’s not easy.)

Miggs and Trace promise to make short work of the longest night of the year. Click here to register.

 

For years, Aarti Khosla — Westport’s favorite chocolatier — has been “Giving a Little Love.” Her promotions have supported healthcare workers, police officers, Bridgeport high school graduates, and teachers right here in Westport.

Now — as winter looms — Le Rouge Chocolates by Aarti embarks on a new campaign: “Give a Little Warmth.”

For each $10 “Hot Chocolate Bomb” pack customers buy, she’ll donate one to men and women who care for us: healthcare professionals, police and EMTs. They’re great stocking stuffers — and easy to ship.

Click here to order; be sure to write “Give a Little Warmth” in the note section.

Need another reason to shop at Le Rouge (190 Main Street, lower level)? Aarti will donate 5% of all December sales to local food banks.


And finally … today marks the 40th anniversary of John Lennon’s murder. He was 40 years old when Mark David Chapman shot him 4 times in the archway of his Manhattan apartment building.

In other words, John Lennon has been dead for as many years as he lived. Imagine.

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.

Unsung Heroes #126

The other day, the Women’s Business Development Council honored 11 Connecticut business people with “Women Rising” awards.

Two are from Westport.

Suzanne Vita Palazzo

Suzanne Vita Palazzo — founder and owner of Upper Deck Fitness, in National Hall — has been here for a couple of years. This is her 2nd location (the first is in Stamford).

But she’s quickly become part of the community. Upper Deck has opened its doors for a variety of Post Road West community events, including a Women’s Wellness Day for cancer survivors.

Aarti Khosla has been serving Westport in many ways too, since 2012.

With a background in economics and international marketing, she worked for international corporations. Aarti opened her first company in her native India in 1991, then started a second business after coming to the US 3 years later.

Born with “foodie genes” and blessed with a mom who was an amazing cook, Aarti followed her passion to become an artisan chocolatier. Her initial inspiration came from a desire to use chocolate to showcase the rich diversity of Indian desserts, and “capture flavors from around the world, in the divine language of chocolate.”

She launched her business in 2012, selling through farmer’s markets, shows and holiday boutiques. In 2014 she opened Le Rouge Chocolates by Aarti at 190 Main Street.

Each piece of chocolate is made with fresh, top quality ingredients, and meticulously hand painted.

Aarti Khosla, in her red-and-black-themed chocolate shop.

She fills a great niche. She has been voted Best Chocolate Shop of Westport each year since, and Best of Gold Coast twice. She ships her creations all over the world.

But it’s in Westport that Aarti has really made her mark. She runs frequent promotions, earmarking a portion of sales to local and international causes — humanitarian, social justice and women’s issues, among them.

Westport is blessed with many female business owners. Today, “06880” follows the Women’s Business Development Council in hailing 2 special ones.

(To nominate an Unsung Hero, email dwoog@optonline.net)

Pic Of The Day #790

Westport is decked out in purple, for Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Week. Through Saturday, Tavern on Main features a violet gin cocktail; LaRouge by Aarti handmade chocolates is donating 10% of sales of purple hand-painted chocolates to Alzheimer’s Connecticut, and Spotted Horse will donate 20% of sales on Thursday, while featuring a specialty Purple People Eater cocktail.

(Photo/Marcy Sansolo)

Give A Little Chocolate

Uh-oh.

It’s Valentine’s Day, and you forgot your chocolates.

You have 2 choices:

  1. Kiss your relationship goodbye.
  2. Head to Le Rouge by Aarti — and help not only yourself, but a good cause.

Since 2016 Aarti Khosla — the handmade chocolatier at 190 Main Street — has run a “Give a Little Love” campaign. She donates 10% of the proceeds from any heart-shaped creation to charity.

This year’s recipient is “She’s the First.” The organization — dear to Aarti’s, um, heart — empowers and helps educate young women who are the first in their family to go to college.

But Aarti is not stopping there. She just introduced a second campaign: “Give a Little Woof.”

Aarti designed a mini-heart box, with 3 hand-painted dark chocolate “bones.” A full 50% of sales goes to the Weston Dog Park. The initiative honors Brian Gordon, the town’s beloved 2nd selectman and 1987 Staples High School graduate, who died in November.

Give a Little Woof!

So what are you waiting for?

Well, actually, you’ve still got a couple of hours. Le Rouge opens at 11 a.m.

Chocolate Hearts Help Kids In Crisis

Amid the swirl of awful news about children in crisis around the world, many Westporters wonder how they can help.

Aarti Khosla — owner of Le Rouge, the artisan chocolate shop on Main Street just past Avery Place — has one idea. She writes:

With the continued moral decay surrounding us, I am upping the effort to raise money for children in crisis. I’m giving 100% of the proceeds from chocolate hearts sold this week.

To keep my sanity during the challenging moral decay surrounding me, I have been busy making “Give a Little Love” chocolate hearts since February of 2017. So far we have sold close to 800 hearts. They’ve been shared in random acts of kindness in and around our community. 10% of the proceeds have been given to charity.

“Give a Little Love” with these chocolates.

Please help me reach my goal of 1,000 hearts this week. 100% of  sales of these hearts will go to help children in crisis.

These chocolate hearts are a great way to say thank you to teachers, school staff, bus drivers and others in our community. Please join me in spreading more love!

The hard-working Aarti had already planned to close for her annual vacation next week. So head down to 190 Main Street today or tomorrow, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Unsung Hero #35

Happy Valentine’s Day!

There’s a lot to love in Westport. At the top of anyone’s list should be Le Rouge by Aarti.

Aarti Khosla — owner of the luscious handmade chocolate shop on Main Street — is always looking for ways to give back to the community. Last year she raised nearly $10,000 for hurricane relief, children’s cancer research and various charities.

This year, she’s reprising her “Give a Little Love” chocolate heart campaign.

The idea is simple: Buy a selected item, and 10% of the proceeds go to a different charity — every month throughout the year.

“Give a Little Love” with these chocolates.

Included are one-of-a-kind hand-painted chocolate portraits, champagne truffles (for her), bourbon and ale truffles (for him), hand-painted heart puzzles, moulded chocolate purses and cars, open truffle flowers, preserved rose truffles and ganache cake — and anything for sale in Le Rouge’s red heart box.

There’s a lot to love about Aarti.

On Valentine’s Day, and every other one.

(Le Rouge by Aarti is at 190 Main Street, beneath the former Sally’s Place.)

Aarti Khosla, in her red-and-black-themed chocolate shop.

Here’s How To Help

It’s a beautiful weekend in Westport. We’ve got the Slice of Saugatuck and Westport Country Playhouse gala to look forward to — along with the usual beach and sports activities, plus everything else under the sun.

Elsewhere in the hemisphere, people are hurting.

“Give a Little Love” with these chocolates — and help hurricane victims.

Here are a few ways Westporters can aid victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. If you know other ways to help — including those affected by the Mexican earthquake — click “Comments” below.

Aarti Khosla, owner of Le Rouge — the artisan chocolate shop at 190 Main Street — is donating 50% of the proceeds from her ongoing “Give a Little Love” handmade hearts campaign to OneAmericaAppeal.

That’s the effort by all 5 living former ex-presidents — Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter — to provide aid to Houston.

Dolores Catania

On Sunday, September 17 (5 to 7 p.m., Terrain Garden Cafe, 561 Post Road East), Dolores Catania from “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” and Angela Pantalone, owner of the Wag Central indoor dog facility, will talk about how they took life challenges and made their own empires.

The event raises money for Harvey and Irma victims. Click here for ticket information.

PS: Le Rouge also has 40 “Hate Has No Home” here yard signs. Pick yours up now!

Aarti Is All In For The Cure

Aarti Khosla is one of my — and Westport’s — favorite people.

The owner of Le Rouge — the fantastic handmade chocolate shop on Main Street, just past Avery Place — is always the first to donate funds (or treats) for any good cause.

Today she went one step further.

As part of her mission to help the St. Baldrick Foundation raise money for childhood cancer research, she set a personal goal of $5,500.

Friends, family and customers pledged $6,783.

So today, Aarti sat down to fulfill her side of the deal.

Aarti Khosla before …

… during …

… and after the St. Baldrick’s fundraiser, at the Westport Weston Family YMCA.

She’s proud to do her part to help kids who are battling severe illnesses.

Now it’s your turn.

You can still donate to Aarti’s page. Just click here.

Then have some of her chocolates. They — and the knowledge of doing good — will make you feel great!