Chamber Staff Enjoys Day Visiting Businesses Around the Region
Our intrepid staff scoffed at the rain and hit the road on November 5 to enjoy some of the best of eastern Connecticut. Our annual staff retreat included a few feasts, a lesson on alpacas and yarn, a lakeside stroll, and lots of shopping!
We kicked off our day enjoying breakfast by a cozy fire at The Spa at Norwich Inn. Made-to-order omelets, Eggs Benedict (served in the traitor’s hometown!), and carafes of coffee provided fresh and delicious fuel for a dozen Chamber staff and two junior members off school and along for the day. It was difficult to leave the comfortable dining room and outstanding service at The Spa at Norwich Inn (we considered swapping our umbrellas for white terry robes and massages), but we had a full agenda for the day.
The next coziest thing we could imagine on a damp, cold day was a snuggly sweater. A tour of Six Paca Farm and Fitch Fibers in Bozrah took us from fleece to yarn to knitwear. We met a small herd of alpaca at the farm and shopped at the store. The knitters in the group picked up yarn spun from the fibers of our new wooly friends, and others picked out socks and handknit caps. Down the road, we saw how Fitch Fibers processes wool and fleece into yarn, drawing customers from across the country.
A lakeside walk at Mooween State Park in Lebanon was cut short by a shower, but we managed to work up enough of an appetite for our next stop, Willimantic Brewing Company. Ales and stouts brewed on site or by local partners complimented savory sandwiches, fresh salads, and specialty dishes. Our jaws dropped at the sight of an enormous plate of nachos being delivered to the neighboring table. Our advice—go hungry!
We knew we were headed to The Ice Box in Brooklyn so we saved room for ice cream. Our kid companions were split on what was the better part of the day—the alpacas or the Spooky Night green ice cream. Convention Crunch and Pumpkin Cheesecake were the staff favorites from the small batch ice cream shop. It was tempting to take an ice cream cake home, but we had another stop to make.
Downtown Putnam offered lots of little shops as we headed down Main Street. We enjoyed shopping at Skeeter’s Toybox, Sawmill Pottery, Woolworks (yes, more yarn), and Wonderland Comics, among others. Having eaten our way up to the northeast corner, there was only room for a drink at The Crossings Restaurant and Brew Pub, which has a fun atmosphere in its spot right by the train tracks.
Our adventures were great preparation for our shopping expeditions on the Holiday Shopping Trail, launching November 30 and running through December 24. Take a ride, explore a new downtown, local shop, or farm store, eat at a restaurant you’ve always wanted to try. We highly recommend taking a day to enjoy all the region has to offer.