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    Friday, April 19, 2024

    The Buzz: Affordable Fabrics opens Waterford location at former furniture store

    Dean and Angela Taylor at the former Americana Furniture Barn store, where Affordable Fabrics is now located. Photo submitted

    The former Americana Furniture Barn in Waterford has been converted into a new Affordable Fabrics location.

    Dean and Angela Taylor purchased the building at 35 Great Neck Road, where they will be selling some half a million yards of fabric inventory recently bought from Amazon. Amazon decided to pivot out of the fabric business.

    The Americana Furniture building, with 24,000 square feet of retail space, complements the family’s locations in Rocky Hill and Montville. (Eventually the Montville inventory will be combined in Waterford.) The family also owns Lorraine Fabrics in Pawtucket, R.I. and another store in Auburn, Mass.

    Dean’s father David opened his first fabric store in the mid-1970s after a long run as a buyer for Ames Department Stores. David’s ability to buy fabric in large quantities inexpensively became his recipe for success and continual growth.

    Pallets of fabric can be found everywhere in the former Americana Furniture warehouse …thousands of yards and thousands of styles. Eventually, the warehouse portion of the building will be the distribution center for all the stores.

    The Americana Fabrics opening was planned for June 1. For more information, email David Labbe at david@bridgemarketingct.com.

    PLACES & EVENTS

    The Ocean Community Chamber of Commerce and Westerly Education Center are hosting a Job Fair from 4-6 p.m. Monday, June 12, at the Westerly Education Center ANNEX location at 166 High St. in Westerly. Local businesses interested in a booth should contact Jenna.Wanstall@riopc.edu.

    The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation’s latest venture, WONDR NATION, an online gaming entertainment company, on May 23 sponsored the first-ever Artisan Entrepreneur Symposium to invest in the futures of tribal artisans and Connecticut small business owners.

    Hosted at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center, the free half-day event brought together expert speakers, panelists and local success stories to over 60 attendees. The event also marked a significant moment as WONDR NATION announced a $1,000 grant to the tribally-owned business Divine Financial Services and its owner Christina Walker.

    The Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce has announced the return of YogaPalooza, a celebration of the International Day of Yoga on June 21, the summer solstice. The event will once again take place at the Branford House on the UConn Avery Point campus.

    Scheduled to start at noon and running until 8 p.m., the event will feature local yoga instructors for all levels and many varieties of yoga, including slow flow, mobility, breathwork and vinyasa. For exact times and locations visit www.mysticchamber.org/yogapalooza.

    The Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce invites the public to a ribbon cutting at 11 a.m. June 28 for the NAIK Family Branch Amphitheater in front of the YMCA on Harry Austin Road.

    Complimentary refreshments will be served. Visit mystichamber.org to register.

    GRANTS & GIVING

    Connecticut Lyric Opera has announced a $35,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to present Anthony Davis's opera "Amistad."

    The opera tells the story of the 1839 Amistad uprising, in which a group of enslaved Africans revolted against their captors on a Spanish slave ship and were eventually granted freedom after a high-profile legal battle. The project will be brought to life in collaboration with Discovering Amistad and the Harlem Opera Theater.

    The opera, which was commissioned by Lyric Opera of Chicago and first performed in 1997, has been described as "a powerful and moving work that confronts America's legacy of slavery and racism" by The New York Times.

    Thanks in part to the grant, CLO will perform mainstage performances of "Amistad" in New London, New Haven, Hartford, New York City, and elsewhere. CLO will also present abridged dockside performances for students and the public on or around the replica ship, Amistad.

    TRENDS

    The 2022 value of floriculture sales in Connecticut was up 2% from the previous year’s valuation, according to King Whetstone, acting state statistician for USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, New England Field Office.

    The total crop value for all growers with $10,000 or more in sales is estimated at $167 million for 2022, compared with $164 million for 2021.

    The number of producers last year was at 171, up 3% from the previous year’s count of 166.

    Total covered area for floriculture crop production was 24.9 million square feet in 2022. That’s up slightly from the 2021 area of 24.8 million square feet.

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