Tag Archives: Soundview Empowerment Alliance

Old Mill Grocery Seeks New Operator

Last year, when a group of Westporters saved the former Elvira’s from possible conversion to a large home, they needed an experienced operator.

The Granola Bar stepped up. In just a few weeks they had Old Mill Grocery & Deli running.

The July 2022 opening filled a void, reinvigorating the neighborhood while also serving hungry folks headed to and from Compo Beach.

But as The Granola Bar expands, opening new locations in Connecticut and New York, they’re focusing staff and resources on that brand.

They’ve opted not to renew their lease. Their final day will be September 30.

Old Mill Grocery & Deli reopened in July 2022. (Photo/Matt Murray)

Soundview Empowerment Alliance founders Jim Hood, Ian Warburg, Emily Zobl, Chris Tait and Tommy Febbraio — who formed a non-profit to buy the century-old building, renovate it and re-open the market/deli, while also providing employment and training opportunities for people with disabilities — are working closely with the Granola Bar team on the transition.

SEA is also working to identify a new restaurant operator. They’re talking with several, and invite any group interested to contact them by email: SoundviewEmpowerment@gmail.com.

“Together since July 22, The Granola Bar Hospitality Group and Soundview Empowerment Alliance have proudly fulfilled SEA’s mission to save the historic building and to empower adults with disabilities, while creating a special space in the community to share delicious food together,” SEA says.

“Since day one, the team has remained focused on ‘preserving history and serving good,’ with incredible support from the community.”

The renovated building has won 3 state and local preservation awards. The training and employment program for adults with disabilities began several months ago.

“As the team works together to identify and transition to a new operator, OMG&D will remain open through September 30, serving everything from morning coffee to award-winning pizza in Westport’s most beloved building.”

Old Mill Grocery, soon after reopening. (Photo/Maggie Moffitt Rahe)