Darien Soundings

Dear Darien,

June 22nd was the official start to summer and despite the current circumstances surrounding coronavirus, Darien residents and business owners are doing all they can to make the warmer months fun, safe and memorable. Whether we are coming together at 6ft apart or through the screen of a virtual Zoom meeting, local residents aren’t forgetting what it means to stay connected.

Wednesday, June 17th marked Phase 2 reopenings in Connecticut which included hotels, indoor dining, indoor recreation, outdoor events, certain sports, fitness facilities, public pools, personal services and other key venues. We urge residents to enjoy these businesses, spaces and activities but remind everyone to practice social distancing, wear face coverings if close contact is unavoidable, and follow guidelines put in place by local and state officials aimed at keeping our community safe.

From all of us at the Darien Board of REALTORS, have a happy and healthy summer!

FACES: Elena Niejelow and Svetlana Sokolova of Sokayri

Support local! Sokayri founders, Elena Niejelow and Svetlana Sokolova have put a tremendous amount of time into catering to the needs of the Darien community during this pandemic. Sokayri opened its doors on February 3rd, 2018, and offers women the luxury and convenience of custom dressmaking. Most recently, however, Elena and Svetlana shifted their focus to a brand new line, “I AM SMILING®”, a solid color mask with an embroidery reading “I AM SMILING” - because you are never fully dressed without a smile. Elena and Svetlana wanted to give people something to smile about after two long and unsettling months of lockdown.

The duo is constantly educating themselves and following CDC guidelines on production recommendations. The masks created are not a medical grade, but they will protect people around you if you are unaware of being an asymptomatic carrier of the virus and may inadvertently infect others who come in contact with you by sneezing or coughing. They are aware that wearing a mask is not only a form of protection, but a sign of respect and a step towards slowing the spread of the virus. “We would have never expected to be making masks, there was never a need for them. Now it is fun to be creating new styles, and it looks like masks will stay with us for a long time and it will become a new fashionable facial accessory,” says Elena.

Help support Sokayri by purchasing from their large selection of various styles of masks for your whole family. 4 sizes are included: 2-6 yo., 6-12 yo., teenager and adult. Visit their Instagram page at @sokayri_custom_couture to see their full extent of offering, or order online today at sokayri-atelier-and-boutique.myshopify.com.


PLACES: Darien Sport Shop

The Darien Sport Shop has recently reopened for business and is happy to be back. They are stocked with all of your favorite summer essentials for travel and home! Along with their summer collection of men’s, women’s, and children’s wear, the store also carries many items for a summer of fun, including tennis rackets, outdoor games for kids, trampolines, basketball hoops, and so much more!

Established in 1946 by Darien native, Stephen Zangrillo Sr., Darien Sport Shop began as a one room store where Dunkin Donuts is now located. Four years later, the shop moved to the other end of the shopping center where Zangrillo was able to get two storefronts and expand the size of his store. In 1954, the shop moved to the corner of Post Road and Leroy Street, where it still stands today.

The Darien Sport Shop is a proud sponsor of many townwide events including the Tokeneke Pumpkin Fair and NFL Alumni Charity Golf Tournament. They have also been an active supporter of the Darien Depot.

The onset of Covid-19 has created some difficulty for the shop, causing them to close their doors for over two months. They are happy to have re-opened on May 20th from 10am-5pm Monday through Saturday, and are taking all of the necessary precautions to ensure the health and safety of their customers and staff. For those not ready to shop in-store, the shop will continue to offer online and facetime shopping, personal appointments, curbside pickup, and free delivery.

For more information about the Darien Sport Shop’s current offers, please visit dariensport.com.

BITES: Michael Joesph’s Fine Foods

Bring Michael Joseph’s Fine Foods to your dinner table! Since large gatherings have been brought to a halt, MJ’s has changed gears and is providing freshly cooked family style meals to help relieve stress brought on by these difficult times.

Michael Joseph’s Fine Foods offers a wide range of selections for your personal taste and style, from hors d’oeuvres and entrees to delicious desserts. The deli also offers complete courses specialized for individual holidays, including Mardi Gras, Thanksgiving, and Christmas so you can plan your events stress-free.

Michael Joseph’s Catering was started by Joe Viesta over 35 years ago. His son, Justin Viesta, became involved in the business almost 20 years ago. The Head Chef and staff members at MJ's consider themselves family, and they are excited to see what the future holds. MJ’s has always been located in Darien and says they feel blessed to be part of such a great community.

Over the years, MJ’s has worked closely with many non-profit organizations, including Star, Person to Person, St. Luke’s, and the Darien Community Fund. The Darien Community Association has also been a long time partner of MJ’s, and they are hopeful that they will be able to once again work alongside their great venue in the future.

MJ’s has continued to keep the health and safety of its customers and employees top priority. They have seen our town go through many changes over the past 35 years and are confident we are going to make it through these tough times together.

To learn more about Michael Joseph’s Fine Foods or order a freshly cooked family style meals, please visit michael-josephs.com or call (203) 656-9616.

HIGHLIGHTS: Community Dinner for a Cause

The Community Fund of Darien and town residents joined together on June 20th for the final evening of the "Community Dinner for a Cause" series. Proceeds from the dinner supported mental health programs through the purchasing of family style meals prepared by The Darien Butcher Shop which included a bottle of wine and a craft beer provided by SipStirs. Donors enjoyed contactless, doorstep delivery. Thank you to The Community Fund for supporting this wonderful cause and supporting local Darien businesses - a win-win!

BLISS: Sugar Bowl Donates to Wreaths Across America

Local restaurant, The Sugar Bowl, kicked off this year’s fundraising efforts by donating wreaths to Wreaths Across America in support of Spring Grove Cemetery.

Wreaths Across America’s mission to Remember, Honor and Teach lasts all year long, far beyond their more significant day in December when they coordinate wreath-laying ceremonies. All throughout the year, the organization works in a number of ways to show our veterans that we will never forget their sacrifice. Thank you, Sugar Bowl for your generosity! Support this local staple by ordering today at sugarbowlofdarien.com.

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    Darien Board of Realtors®

    5 Brook Street, Suite 2-D

    Darien, CT 06820

    (203) 655-3700 info@darienboard.com