Thinking about getting a Pool for Next Summer?
I met with Jim Jr of L&J Pools located in Bethel, Connecticut. L&J Pools has an interesting history; Jim Sr. started his construction business in 1975, where he built many subdivisions, roads, foundations for houses and more. After Jim Sr. built his own house he decided he wanted to get a pool, and so he built himself a pool. Jim’s friends and family were so impressed and in awe of his custom built concrete wall, vinyl liner pool that he was inspired and driven to get into the pool business.
Jim Sr. started his custom pool building business out of his garage in Redding, CT in 1984. And after years of success and growth Jim Sr moved his business from his garage to a commercial building with a showroom and concrete plant in Bethel, CT. L&J Pools is still family owned and operated, Jim Sr. along with his wife and 3 children and more employees, work together to provide quality custom pools throughout Connecticut. Their pool company has many satisfied pool owners in Danbury, New Fairfield, Ridgefield, Brookfield and other areas of CT.
Besides the Pool Building Business do you do anything else?
L&J Pools is much more than just a vinyl liner and gunite pool building company. Jim Sr. got into the pool business when new construction sales where slowing down. Also when he had received great feedback from his friends and family after building his own inground pool, weighed in his decision. In 1987 he started a Heating Oil company to accompany the Pool business since the pool company is seasonal. His Heating Oil Company would be able to keep his guys busy in the off season.
Fiorilla Heating Oil does automatic deliveries throughout Fairfield County and the lower half of Litchfield County. Their website at fiorillaheatingoil.com is very user friendly; customers can go online to see what the current rate is, select the day for delivery, and even pay online. Fiorilla Heating Oil regularly posts their daily cash price on Facebook (@fiorillaheatingoil), and when you follow you can receive Facebook only specials.
Whats the toughest thing about owning a Inground Pool Building Business in 2016?
Time is always difficult to manage says Jim Jr. “You’re basically married to the business, you’re here, and every single thing falls on your shoulders to make it all run smoothly. You’re the first one here, and the last one to leave. The favorite part of my day is getting home to my family.” Jim Jr. lives locally, and is the father to three little girls.
“Another thing that our pool company needs to deal with is the constant fees, licenses, and high requirements just to clean a pool.” Jim proceeded to explain everything to me about the SP-1, SPB licenses needed to run a successful pool company, but it was too overwhelming for me to follow.
If a Customer was looking to get a Custom Pool Built, and was to choose between your Pool Company, and three others like it - Why Choose L&J Pools?
Jim Jr. explains, “We build the pool, patio, fencing, etc., from the start of your project to the finished product and everything in between, everything is done in house. We mix our own concrete so we don’t have to rely on any one. On top of that my father, Jim Sr. is a licensed septic installer so he can relocate your septic tank if required. Most of the pool guys in Danbury and Bethel just build vinyl liner pools. We of course build vinyl liner pools as well, but we also build custom gunite pools. A gunite pool is a commercial grade swimming pool, and it is top of the line. Vinyl liners are kit pools, and have specific dimensions. Our customers love our gunite pools because they are completely customizable. We make swimming pools to fit our customer’s individual needs.”
Besides listening to information about pool licensing my interview with Jim Jr. was very interesting and had a lot of information to offer. I thought it was great that they created another company (Fiorilla Heating Oil) on top of the Pool Company to provide their seasonal employees with work during the off season, which shows great character. I know where I’ll be going to get a pool…. Eventually!
Looking for New Things To Do in Danbury?
I met with Kris the owner of Escape 101, a new addition to the Danbury community. Growing up in Bethel, Kris always had a serious lack of things to do. You could either go to the mall, the movies or sit home and play video games. Escape 101 provides a fresh new look at entertainment for all ages. You have exactly 60 minutes to get out of the locked room. Your team will need to solve puzzles to earn keys or combinations to further your escape.
Escaping from the rooms takes serious team work. They have three rooms available with a fourth in production. For those like myself with a competitive mindset they have two of the same room for head to head battles.
What made you want to start Escape 101 in Danbury?
“I spend a lot of my time in NYC, and love their escape room scene. There wasn’t anything like this in Danbury or even this part of Connecticut.” explains Kris. The father of one of the kids who’s trying to solve the Widow’s Room with their friends interjects to explain how great it is to have somewhere that his daughter is excited to go. On top of having fun on a Saturday afternoon she is able to learn teamwork develop problem solving skills.
You've got a night off, why choose Escape 101?
Escape 101 is something entirely new to do in Danbury. The environment is friendly, welcoming, and we have an all-star staff that makes the whole escape experience fun and challenging. In 6 months from now we’re looking to be a big part of the Danbury community. We’re looking to establish Escape 101 as a great opportunity for team building and networking. We’re constantly investing in new technology, new games, and developing new escape rooms.
The Danbury Community and Escape 101
Kris was enthusiastic about the opportunity for Escape 101 to become part of the Danbury Community. I definitely agree with him that there is nothing else like it in Danbury or the surrounding Connecticut area. I’ll have to get a few friends together to do the head to head Escape Room soon!
Need a Personal Trainer in New Fairfield?
I met with Adrienne Corrigan of ARC Fitness, LLC in New Fairfield. Having drove past her sign at the intersection of Route 37 and Sawmill Road many times this was a great opportunity to get to know what ARC Fitness was all about. Adrienne opened up ARC Fitness in 2015 after eight years of working locally as a trainer.
Adrienne started ARC Fitness, LLC because she has a passion for helping people. She’s a big fan of fixing things, and in this case its people's lives. Improving quality of life is a primary focus for Adrienne. Everything from being able to comfortably get on and off the floor, to being able to walk on uneven terrain, climb stairs and live an active lifestyle. Any limitations that prevent her clients from fully enjoying their lives becomes a primary goal.
Adrienne evaluates current movement patterns, strengthens the muscles involved in each of those processes, and then works to refine the movements in a way that optimizes the results while placing less stress on the involved joints.
Most of ARC Fitness’s clients are 50-70 years old, and she designs a personal program for each one of them. When working with her clients, Adrienne always incorporates their lifestyle and diet into their programs. It's important that the workouts have a real life benefit. As far as diet goes, she works with her client's current diet and refines it for a better nutritional impact. She educates her clients on the benefits of clean eating, and the impact poor nutrition plays on their goals. In the end, it's up to the clients to make the good choices, at least they are now armed with the knowledge behind the nutrition.
What was the Hardest thing about opening up your Personal Training Studio in New Fairfield?
After three minutes of pondering this question, Adrienne said “Nothing! It was like living a dream! I now had the opportunity to create a studio to exactly fit my needs.” ARC Fitness is a perfect personal training solution for anyone who does not feel comfortable in a public gym. The studio is very private and clean & the equipment is excellent.
My Personal Training Studio in New Fairfield was designed to accommodate clients with diverse physical needs and limitations. It is wonderful for clients who require customized programs, either due to previous injury or deconditioning from sedentary lifestyle factors. The fitness equipment is also fabulous for clients who are already active and fit, as they can increase their current fitness levels through emphasis on functional personal training and core stabilization.
She is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer, and also holds a Corrective Exercise Specialist Certification, Senior Fitness Certification, and Women’s Fitness Certification. That’s a ton of Personal Training Certifications! No wonder location doctors and chiropractors from New Fairfield & Danbury regularly refer her new clients.
What’s the Toughest part of having a Personal Training Business in New Fairfield?
Adrienne has kept her rates reasonable, with a goal of being able to reach more people. Total body workouts that are safe and effective can be purchased for as little as $40/hour. These sessions combine both personal training and cross-training cardio.
If someone considering Personal Training was to choose between your Personal Training Studio and three others just like it – why should they choose ARC Fitness?
Adrienne explains “If you've been searching for a clean, private workout experience, you've found it at ARC Fitness... Training at ARC Fitness is discrete and personalized, right down to the music selection. There is no other Personal Training Studio in New Fairfield that is as private as ARC Fitness.
My interview with Adrienne Corrigan, the owner of ARC Fitness, LLC in New Fairfield was a special one. She's got a very private personal training studio, and is clearly very committed to providing the best personal training environment for her clients, plus she's totally ripped.
Contact ARC Fitness, LLC of New Fairfield, CT
Address: 1 Sawmill Road Ste 2, New Fairfield, CT 06812
Owner: Adrienne Corrigan
Year Established: 2015
Phone: (203) 994-1462
Need Custom Graphic Design in CT?
I met with “Man-u-iLL” at his Graphic Printing Studio on Main Street in Danbury. From the outside looking in you’d think it was just a T-Shirt, Sign, and Graphic Design Shop. You’d never know there was a complete studio in back or that they offer website design, commercials, voice overs and everything related music and mixing. iLL Ink was started by Josh, aka Man-u-iLL a hip hop artist because he needed something that could channel his creativeness while paying the bills.
ill Ink started on August 17th of 2011, and with Man-u-iLL’s strong following in the hip hop world his shop as really taken off. As his tagline explains we’re “Taking the Market off the Corner, and Cornering the Market.” He has a soft spot for emerging artists, and offers every service that a business or artist needs to promote themselves in the Danbury Area and beyond. He is esteemed by his followers for making such a big power move, and opening up his own business. Man-u-iLL works with many different local businesses in Danbury doing custom T-shirts, Signs and even car advertising.
What was the Hardest thing about opening up Ill Ink?
“There was definitely a learning curve when I first opened up,” explains Man-u-iLL. He talked about how he needed to channel his creativity into graphics for different businesses from Landscapers to Personal Trainers. iLL ink does everything including T-shirts, Business Cards, Signs, Banners, Websites.
He explains that juggling his hip hop career owning a business was very difficult in the beginning. He’s got a fully stocked recording studio back that’d he’d love to spend all day in, but he does more than just rap in this recording studio. He actually went to school for 12 months for music engineering, and is proficient in commercials, voice overs and music mixing.
If your customer was to choose between iLL iNK, and three other Graphic Printing Studios - why choose yours?
“People come to iLL iNK for a couple reasons,” explains Man-u-iLL. “First, we’ve got the best customer service, it’s like southern hospitality here – you get treated right. Second, people come to iLL iNK because I make things really easy for them, and half the time they don’t even know what they want. Choosing between silk screen or thermal transfer sounds like a hard choice to make, but I make things easily understandable. Lastly, people come to Ill Ink for the innovation. I’ve got a baby on the way, and need to pay the bills so I can’t hang in the studio every day. That built up creativity that’s been dormant really comes out in our products, and people love it,” says Man-u-iLL.
My interview with Man-u-iLL was a real eye opener. Driving by iLL iNK on Main Street in Danbury, you can tell it’s got some flavor, but stepping in back blew my mind. From the recording studio, to the intricate designs, to the music behind it all – iLL iNK is a hidden gem in Danbury.
Contact iLL iNK Graphic Printing Studio of Danbury
Address: 258 Main Street, Danbury, CT 06810
Owner: Josh aka Man-u-iLL
Year Established: 2011
Phone: (203) 748-0711
Need a TMJ Specialist in the CT?
I met with Dr. Tagliarini at his office and we talked about his business, Quality Dental of Danbury. Dr. Tagliarini started practicing in his 20s, and is now one of the leading experts on TMJ. Dr. Tagliarini is also a devoted husband, father of two children and an exceptional, gentle Dentist with a true passion for what he does.
Dr. Tagliarini acquired Quality Dental of Danbury from Howard Schulze in 1999. Later Dr. Schulze became a friend and mentor as they had lunch together every Tuesday and Friday for the next 12 years. Dr. Tagliarini had always been a builder throughout childhood, and wanted to make things with his hands. At first he wanted to be a doctor, but his parents said he'd be bored filling out prescription pads all day. These days he still builds models, but now they're teeth.
Owning a Dentistry in 2016
The toughest thing about owning a business in 2016 is getting the people to find him. Located in Danbury on North Street, his office is tucked away between C-Town & the Car Wash. Little do people know, but Dr. Tagliarini has an impressive background is a leading expert on TMJ and has an extensive dental background.
TMJ Rejuvenation at Quality Dental of Danbury
The TMJ residency took an intensive 2 years, but has been well worth it. Dr. Tagliarini is now one of the only 13 people in the country with this progressive knowledge. TMJ with Rejuvenation Dentistry is a new biology based approach which is much different than Cosmetic Dentistry. Based on scientific research and observation of the chewing system itself the Dr. Tagliarini is now able to remove pain and dysfunction which results in enhanced appearance, improved function, comfort and long-lasting dental health.
If a Customer was to choose between Quality Dental of Danbury and three others just like it - why should they choose you?
Three components make us the best choice for your dental needs, explains Dr. Tagliarini:
Contact Quality Dental of Danbury
Address: 53 North St, Danbury, CT 06810
Owner: Dr. James Tagliarini DDS
Year Established: 1999
Phone Number: (203) 941-0710
Need a Electrician in Danbury?
I met with Jim, the owner of J&J Clap Electrical Contractors to talk about his company. Jim had been running wires and putting in plugs & switches with his father since an early age. He went to Abbot Tech, and wanted to focus on being an electrical engineer so he went into the Army for the college fund. Jim was in the army for 8 years and served in the Gulf War.
Jim came back home after the war, and worked for a few local businesses. Before long he felt he needed do better by his customers, and opened up J&J Clap Electric with his father Joel Clap who had been working the trade since 1972. Opening up a business didn't intimidate this combat vet even the slightest bit. As Jim says "I knew no matter what that I was going to do the right job by my customers, and that would pay off." Paying off it did - Jim's business grows through his referrals alone.
J&J Clap opened the business in 1997, and it was father & son working side by side until March 2000 when Joel passed away. Jim continues to honor the fine tradition of top quality work with superior customer service which was the hallmark of his father. Nowadays J&J Clap Electric's reputation for outstanding residential and commercial electrical work is known throughout Fairfield, Litchfield, and New Haven counties in CT as well as the Westchester & Putnam counties in NY. He proudly serves the above areas while employing 5 licensed electricians.
Why Choose J&J Clap Electric?
One of the many reasons to choose J&J Clap Electric is because Jim is hands on everyday. He gets a ton of great feedback from customers about how they enjoy seeing him on the job day in and day out. As Jim says "working 80 hours a week keeps me young."
I asked Jim if he was to start over from Day 1, what he would do differently... Jim responded "I wouldn't have waited so long to go into my own business. The electrical trade needs good qualified electricians. I've gotten so much great feedback from our customers because we take care of their homes like its our own. Our electricians show up to your home clean shaven, without the stench of cigarettes and with a pair of booties in hand. Keeping customer's homes tidy while doing the job, and making sure to clean up when the job is done is part of the J&J Clap Electric service standards.
Where will J&J Clap be in the next 6 months?
Jim wants everything done perfect. His daughter has a more unfavorable name for his need for perfection, but after seeing his testimonials its easy to tell his customers love him for it. Jim wants to maintain his Electrical business because he doesn't want to sacrifice quality for quantity.
After interviewing Jim Clap, owner of J & J Clap Electric Contractors I was impressed with his level of customer service. He let me know that he breaks down each bill for his customers so they can see exactly what their being charged. On top of that he handles all paperwork himself, and returns every call each night.
I know where I'll be going if I need a generator or any electrical work done.
Contact J&J Clap Electric
Address: Serving the Litchfield, Fairfield & New Haven Counties in CT as well as the Westchester & Putnam Counties in NY.
Owner: Jim Clap
Year Established: 1997
Phone Number: (203) 791-9773
Need a Plumber in Danbury?
I met up with Mike at his office and we talked about his company, Mike Barret Plumbing & Heating LLC. We discussed the establishment of his Plumbing Company, and the hardest parts about owning a business. One of the of the toughest parts of having a business in 2016, he says, is competing against guys who are not licensed and insured. “Unfortunately it happens a lot, guys will pay other guys to borrow their licenses to get the job, and the customer will think their getting a great deal.”
We talked about how he’s grateful for the small team of plumbers he has working for him. They both have families in the Danbury / New Milford area. Mike himself has twins that are four years old. Both plumbers working for him understand the need for delivering the best service to their customers.
Mike got his start after graduating from Henry Abbot Tech, and doing his apprenticeship with M&M Plumbing. He explained that it was tough opening a business because advertising in the phonebook was extremely expensive. Phonebooks are long extinct, and the internet has taken over.
Owning a Plumbing Business in 2016
Mike Barret Plumbing & Heating has built up 247 5 star reviews on Angie’s List, but Angie’s List recently changed up their listing format. Now when you do a search in Angie’s List, the companies that come up first are the ones paying the most for advertising instead of the ones with the best reputation.
On the flip-side, Mike explains “the internet will can destroy a business rather quickly. If you don’t do a nice job or treat people fairly then you’ll rack up a handful of bad reviews that can destroy your business.” When talking about whether or not he wanted to grow his business he expressed the need to stay small in order to provide the best service to his customers.
Why Choose Mike Barret Plumbing & Heating LLC?
To wrap things up I asked - if a customer was to choose between Mike Barret Plumbing & Heating LLC and three others just like it, why should they choose yours? Mike explains that “because I’m in touch with every customer regardless if I’m on site or not. We stand behind our work completely – no questions asked. On top of that we don’t have a lot of overhead so we’re able to keep our prices down.”
After interviewing Mike Barret, owner of Mike Barret Plumbing & Heating LLC it was easy to notice that we was a real family man who cares a ton about business, and will provide nothing but the best plumbing service in the Danbury area.
Contact Mike Barret Plumbing & Heating LLC
Address: Serving a 40 mile radius around Danbury including Bethel, New Milford, New Fairfield, Brookfield, New Milford and more.
Owner: Mike Barret
Year Established: 2001
Phone Number: (203) 778-3964
Want to keep your ride looking it's best?
Akrham Shine’s rise to the top all started with the a Mustang. Owner, Kevin Awalt was given a Mustang at the age of 15 by his father. At first he just wanted to keep his ride looking great. Throughout High School his interest grew, and he was doing detailing jobs for friends & family. During College he was the local go to guy for keeping your ride looking it’s best. The years went by only for Kevin to get better at his trade. In 2008 he opened up a place in Danbury, but more recently in March 2015 he opened up Arkham Shine (interviewed by The Danbury Review).
Arkham Shine handles all aspects of Auto Detailing including window tinting, paint protection film, ceramic coating, scratch repair and paint touchups. Kevin’s business sees a wide variety of different customers from dads who want to keep the family Jeep looking its best to higher end clients who want to protect their new Maserati with paint protection film.
Owning a Small Business in 2016
Kevin states that the toughest thing about opening was getting the word out. He explains that often Auto Detailing doesn’t have the best name recognition. There seems to be a lot of amateurs out there claiming their auto detailers, but they don’t have a professional background. Kevin’s been Auto Detailing for 20 years, and based on the before & after pictures I saw I’d say he really knows his stuff.
In 2016 the toughest part of having a business is the fact that you’re always working. The connectivity of modern technology has extended the 9-5 work day and had a significant impact on work/life balance. In business you can never really clock out. He relies on the effectiveness of the internet including Google rankings, Facebook and Instagram. Its 2016 and people aren’t opening up the phone book anymore. The only way new customers will find you is through your internet presence.
After talking with Kevin Awalt, owner of Arkham Shine it is readily apparent that they are one of the leaders in the auto detailing business. They are one of the only auto detailers in Connecticut that guarantee their results.
Contact Arkham Shine
Company Name: Arkham Shine Auto Detailing Studio
Address: 90 Danbury Road
New Milford, CT 06776
Owner: Kevin Awalt
Phone Number: (860) 799-5403
Want to get a Tattoo?
Right around the corner is one of Danbury's top Tattoo parlors - Hat City Tattoo. Chris has owned the Tattoo shop since early March 2009. He's been mastering his craft since before 2005. Chris's best friend Jake was one of the shop's first customers, and has joined the team since then.
Hat City Tattoo located in Danbury is one of the only tattoo shops that doesn't require an appointment. As Chris says "Walk-ins are welcome" and over at Hat City walk-ins are common. Often many Danbury residents walk-in for their first tattoos.
Note: The Connecticut State law allows minors 16 and 17 to be tattooed with parental consent excluding hands, neck, face or head.
Hat City Tattoo
32 North Street
Danbury, CT 06810
Love Korean Food?
Edo II is a cozy Korean Cuisine and Sushi spot in Danbury. People travel far and wide to come to the "best Korean food outside of NYC." It doesn't look like much from the outside, and sure is cozy inside. Despite the size of the restaurant it contains a friendly ambiance.
Service is very quick and friendly. Unfortunately, its BYOB because they don't have a liquor license. Edo II has a variety of authentic Korean dishes including bibimbamp, gobdol bibumbab, kimchi, and bulgagi dishes.
The sushi is excellent there, and certainly rivals Koo for the 'Best Sushi in Danbury'.
32 Padanaram Rd
Danbury, CT 06811
Need a Local Plumber?
Lombardi Plumbing and Heating
Love Local Dining?
Rosy Tomorrow's is one of Danbury's most historic and unique restaurants. Enjoy a one of a kind dining experience at this eatery. Rosy's is family owned and operated for over 35 years. Rosy's is a family friendly restaurant by day, and then a hoppin' spot by night.
Every Thursday, Friday & Saturday night Rosy Tomorrow's parking lot is completely packed. From the NY crowd to the Danbury crowd - everyone knows where good entertainment lives.
Entertainment at Rosy's
Monday: Karaoke 10:00 PM - Last Call
Tuesday & Wednesday: Jazz Piano 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Thursday: *Local Entertainment*: 7:30 PM - 10:00 PM
Friday & Saturday: *Premiere Entertainment: 8:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Sunday: *Local Entertainment": 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
15 Old Mill Plain Rd
Danbury, CT 06811
Love to Eat out?
Everyone has driven by Chuck's on their way to or from the Danbury Mall at least once. Most nights you'll find a full parking lot of cars at this popular Steak House. Chuck's opened up their 1st steak hours in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1959. They took the concept of the grill & salad bar in the dining room, and introduced it to America.
In May of 1973 Chuck's opened up in Danbury after coming ashore in the 1960's. The owners take pride in serving the top notch quality foods to their customers. Chuck's offers top choice beef, boneless chicken breast, and the finest shellfish and seafood.
Chuck's Steak House is a popular party destination and will accommodate private parties of 12 or more for lunch or dinner. In addition to their private party accommodations Chuck's often hosts Wine Festivals.
Parties of 6 or more only.
Phone Ahead Policy:
Chuck's Steak House
20 Segar Street
Danbury, CT 06810
29 E Pembroke Rd
Danbury, CT 06811
Diner, Danbury and 3 Brothers are always used in the same sentance when talking about good food. 3 Brothers has a modern 50's style ambiance with mouth watering pancakes and a line out the door on a Sunday morning. They are well known for their extensive breakfast selection featuring world-class waffles, fluffy short stack pancakes, eggs just the way you like them and endless coffee refills.
3 Brothers isn't open just for breakfast. This local spot has a great selection of Angus beef burgers, sandwiches, salads, desserts and late night snacks. Often a popular spot for the Westconn students on a late Thursday night.
3 Brothers Diner
242 White St
Danbury, CT 06810
Even the most expert photographer's over here at The Danbury Review couldn't get a shot of Il Bacio's famous Ice Cream without people in it. Every day this place is packed; its no mistake that they have some of the best ice cream in town.
Il Bacio Ice Cream
30 Germantown Rd
Danbury, CT 06810
Want to Get Back in Shape?
Classes at Prime Time include:
Many Danbury residents skip over the border into New Fairfield to go to this prime location. Their Personal Trainers alone attract new clients from Brewster, New Milford and Brookfield.
Editors Note: The Staff at Prime Time Fitness are friendlier than any gym I've ever been to.
Prime Time Fitness
3 Dunham Drive
New Fairfield, CT 06812