Litchfield News





The Litchfield Area Business Association (LABA)
is a network of area business owners and managers
whose purpose is to support and shape
the future of the business community.
New members are always welcome!
Next LABA Meeting
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
12:00-1:00 p.m.
Location TBA
New BZ Advertiser! Advertising
Rosemary K. Cockburn is the Advertising Sales Representative. She is handling all new advertising accounts and would be glad to talk with you about advertising on She can be contacted by phone at 860-567-4051 or via email at


Unique visitors

Number of visits



Apr 2017





May 2017





Jun 2017





Total 2017





Cardinal Grill owner has a soft spot
for sweet desserts and first responders
Nicole Diorio and Evelyn Riddick, partners in the Cardinal Grill and Como Bakery II in Morris, received a visit on Friday, August 11, when the First Selectman of Morris and Chairman of the Economic Development Commission dropped by for lunch.  ~ contrtibuted
Pictured L-R are: Ben Paletsky, Chairman of the Morris Economic Development Commission; Co-owner Nicole Diorio; Morris First Selectman Tom Weik and Evelyn Riddick at the counter of the Cardinal Grill.  Both town leaders regularly dine at the restaurant.
The original Como Bakery was opened in 2010 by Patricia Diorio in Waterbury. The Cardinal Grill Featuring Como Bakery II is an extension of this family owned and operated business, opening in October 2015. Nicole is proud that all meals use fresh, local ingredients and the dishes are made daily completely from scratch, the way she learned from her grandmother. Friday night dinners include four different pasta choices and a full prime rib meal is available on Saturday nights.
The ice-cream served at the restaurant is supplied by the renowned Big Dipper Factory in Prospect and some of the flavors are Nicole’s own creations.  As an Executive Pastry Chef who graduated from the Connecticut Culinary Institute, she likes to incorporate special bakery components to the cones and cups.  She is also an Executive Chef, offering full catering and private chef services, noting “I once presented an outdoor sit-down dinner for 220 people on the beautiful lawn of the Branford House Mansion in Groton.  That was an amazing event!”  She also fills a need in the local area by offering delivery which is free to Morris residents with a $10 food order, and free to neighboring towns with a $20 order.
Other restaurants might offer special discounts to certain groups, but the Cardinal Grill takes it a step further by offering a 10% discount at all times to military, police, firefighters and EMS personnel. With Nicole Diorio, this is personal since her mother was a nurse and her father served as an EMS member.  She is the Chief of Litchfield Volunteer Ambulance, serving the local towns for 28 years.
The Cardinal Grill and Como Bakery II is located at 5 Watertown Road in Morris, on the intersection of Routes #63 and #109.  For more details, please call 860-361-9304.
Women's Enterprise Initiative
"I Don't Know What To Do With My Life"
Have you ever felt like this when you came to a crossroad in life? Do you think you have it in you to become an entrepreneur? We've just published a blog on this subject, which you can see HERE. Want to pursue it? Contact us! We're here to help.
Our website,, offers a lot of information for small businesses and for non profits. We also spotlight some of our clients who are running and growing their own small businesses or non profits.
We have also added a Client News section to our website where we showcase what people are saying about our clients' successes. Click HERE to learn about Diane Carol and Susan Smith, who own Check It Off, and also find out what the 5 Points Gallery in Torrington is up to.
The Women's Enterprise Initiative of Northwestern Connecticut is a nonprofit organization which provides consulting on all aspects of business ownership and nonprofit management, free of charge, to entrepreneurs and nonprofits in Northwestern Connecticut. We work with both women and men. Please visit us to learn more. Click HERE to get to our website. Referrals are always welcome!
Best regards, Anthea Disney, Deborah Seidel, Maggie Selby, Carole St. Mark
Litchfield Area Business Association talks shop (04-19-17)

JoAnn Ryan, above, president and chief executive officer of the Northwest Connecticut Chamber of Commerce, was a guest speaker during the Litchfield Area Business Association luncheon at the Litchfield firehouse. Ryan spoke about initiatives the Chamber of Commerce is undertaking to help local businesses promote themselves. 

Jonathan Wilson (below) of R. Derwin Clothiers talks about the new merchants promotional guide. Alan Landau of the Litchfield Athletic Club and Denise Raap of the Village Restaurant, which catered the luncheon, were also in attendance. Landau announced that LAC will be holding a 20th anniversary celebration. LAC is regarded as the premier fitness club in Litchfield County. BZ photos

LEF officials, task force's Post speak to LABA (03-21-17) 
Litchfield Education representatives, from left, Kathleen Reidy, Andrea Markavich, Michele Saunders and Matt Terzian were at the Litchfield Area Business Association (LABA) meeting at St. Michael's Church to promote the LEF's retro dodge ball tournament at Litchfield High School.

The tournament featured 17 six-person teams clad in retro uniforms and playing to raise money for the LEF. Proceeds help the LEF provide enrichment programs in the town's schools. To learn more about the Litchfield Education Foundation (LEF) visit

John Post, above, chairman of the Litchfield Energy Task Force, also spoke at the LABA gathering. Post talked about the energy-saving initiatives of the task force and opportunities for energy savings offered by Eversource Energy. Post encouraged LABA members to sign up for a $124 home energy audit offered by Eversource to identify areas of energy loss, as well as for a duct test to check for leaks. Post also encouraged the use of LED lightbulbs to save energy and a small-business energy advantage audit offered by Eversource. More information about the Litchfield Energy Task Force is available at

Little Free Libraries
Jo Ann Jaacks and Rose Buckens were the featured speakers at a Litchfield Area Business Association (LABA) meeting at the Litchfield Firehouse. They talked about the Little Free Library program and how quickly it has expanded in Litchfield and Morris.
Rose Buckens (left) and Jo Ann Jaacks ~ BZ photo
The Little Free Library program is a world-wide program with over 50,000 little free libraries. Rose Buckens described how she created a Little Free Library box on her front yard in Morris until someone took it. The response from the community was overwhelming with donations of hundreds of children’s books within days. A new box was created and she was back in business.
The basic concept is to take a book and leave a book. Books are donated and there is no check-in or check-out system. It is all based on the honor system. The main goals are to support literacy and build a sense of community.
Harvey Hubbell of Litchfield and Boy Scout Troop #28 of Morris joined forces with Rose and Jo Ann to build 16 new Little Free Library boxes at the Hubbell Farm. Local builders donated wood and the scouts with their leaders built and painted the boxes. They were distributed to multiple locations including the Morris Town Beach and St. Michael’s in Litchfield. To learn more please visit or contact Jo Ann.
The Litchfield Area Business Association (LABA) is a local network of businesses and non-profit organizations meeting the third Tuesday of each month to network and promote the local business community. More information is available at