Business Spotlight: The Royal Punjabi

This summer, Norwich welcomed yet another new business: The Royal Punjabi! The Indian and chicken wing restaurant opened its doors July 16, 2018 and has been well received by the Norwich community—including NCDC! We highly recommend checking it out (if you have not done so already!) CLICK HERE to read the more about The Royal Punjabi opening!

A Sit Down with Julio Cancho


Q: Where were you born & raised?
Julio: Peru, South America.

Q: What is your role at Canggio?
Julio: I’m the owner, the executive chef, dishwasher, referee… everything you can possibly think of.

Q: When did you open Canggio Restaurant?
Julio: August 21, 2017

Q: When did you enter the restaurant business?
Julio: Right after high school, I started helping my dad in a restaurant. My first job was as a dishwasher at a restaurant in West Springfield, MA. From there, I began working for all kinds of restaurants—French cuisine in West Hartford, Mediterranean in Bloomfield, Greek/Italian in Hartford.

Q: What was your most fulfilling moment working in the food industry?
Julio: When I worked at J Restaurant and Bar in Hartford, my first executive chef job, I got to cook for a lot of people I never in my life would have imagined I’d have the opportunity to cook for. I’ve cooked for Andy Grammer, Jason Alexander, Bob Newhart, and John Leguizamo.

Q: Why did you decide to open in Norwich?
Julio: People here are great. Everyone gives you their hand and is so ready to help you succeed. One thing that we, as Norwich, have is that we work together.

Q: If someone was trying to open up their own business or restaurant, what advice would you give them?
Julio: Don’t give up. It’s easy to give up or walk-away. But follow your goals; you need to give yourself time to make it happen. There have been times that I’ve felt that it’s not worth the struggle, but at the end of the day, when I see customers loving the dishes we make for them that they come back for more—that makes it for me. You’re going to have people there to support you, keep working towards what you believe in.

Q: What are you most looking forward to within the next year or two?
Julio: Within the next two years, 1) I want to grow Canggio and make it self-sustaining with the crew that I have and 2) I want to open a prohibition-type bar (speakeasy)…with elegant appetizers and secret entrances, hopefully right here in Norwich. I like the idea of it because I feel it’s new and innovative, and it offers something different. Norwich has given me so much; I feel it’s important to give back to the community that believed in me in the first place.

Canggio’s can be found at 20 Lafayette Street, Norwich, CT 06360.

Featured Story: Foundry 66

Foundry 66 has opened its second floor! The addition features two large conference rooms, a yoga and dance studio, and media room. The new space features six offices and 12 designated desks. The design and color were inspired by Sedona Mountain Skyline. (We felt after walking up two flights of stairs you should be rewarded with a delightful array of colors & textures much like the scenery in Sedona!) F66 is hosting a variety of workshops, including Small Business Academy (collaboration with Liberty Bank) and Fall Lunch and Learns, “Creating Your Brand” and “Interactive Enneagram Workshops.”

To schedule a tour of Foundry 66 or to inquire about upcoming workshops, please contact Jill Fritzsche: jfritzsche@askncdc.com or call 860-887-6964.

Preston Riverwalk and Mohegan Sun Progress

It has been in the news for many months, but the Mohegan Tribe is investing heavily in the region. Of course, they are adding many venues and improving the assets at Mohegan Sun as good businesses do.  This showed up most recently as the addition of the $80MM Convention and Conference Center which is designed to draw thousands to the region for years to come.  This was the site of the 3rd of the Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction events since 2015. Many other recognizable trade shows will be hosted here, furthering eastern Connecticut as a destination for many people and organizations.

Additionally, the Town of Preston via the Preston Redevelopment Agency, and the Mohegan Tribe have agreed on the purchase of the former Norwich Hospital site in Preston, approximately 400+ acre development. The conceptual master plan shows the development including everything from residential housing and retail support services to large format entertainment and theme parks to indoor waterpark and hotels with banquet halls. In all, an estimated investment range of $200,000,000-$600,000,000 over the full buildout. If you pass by the site via automobile along RT12 or the Mohegan Pequot Bridge, or from the Thames River, you will see much of the overgrowth thinned out and huge stockpiles of clean fill accumulated on the southwestern corner of the site. This is all in preparation for environmental remediation of the soils under the old roadbeds.

 

Global City Norwich Hosts Peruvian Fest

On July 29th, 2018 Global City Norwich hosted Peruvian Fest 2018, a community block party which celebrated the proclamation of independence for Peru. Over 1,500 attended from areas all over New England. We teamed up with the Peruvians United of CT and reached out to the large population of Peruvians (approx. 5,000) in the Norwich community to participate with traditional folk dances, traditional music, food and art. Peruvian and non-Peruvian people attended the festival and participated as vendors. The fest boasted a giant waterslide, a llama and two alpacas, and children’s games. The only two Peruvian restaurants within our county (New London) attended the festival as vendors. The minister for the Consulate General of Peru surprised us as well as honored us with his presence. Other public officials such as the Senator, State Rep, Mayor, City Council members attended as well as many community leaders of the Norwich area and local areas. The festival speaks volumes as a direct result of the festival is the gain of two new Foundry 66 members who will be utilizing the new space upstairs for MixxedFit and Zumba classes. Global City Norwich serves to unite the community together by celebrating, supporting and encouraging all facets of diversity and culture through global themed events. With the overall objective to stimulate economic growth, entrepreneurship and community building Global City Norwich is perfectly in line with the mission and spirit of the NCDC (Norwich Community Development Corporation) as we complete the first quarter.

In addition to creating community events, GCN also gears up other projects. One of our ongoing projects is hanging global flags throughout Downtown Norwich and mounting them to store fronts. Global Flags compass a range of flags from different countries as well as tribal flags. This project since starting in June, has had an overwhelmingly positive impact in our community as well as throughout neighboring regions. Engaging with business owners, landlords and residents as we ask permission, educate and give information about GCN and the purpose of the flags has sparked cohesiveness in Downtown in just the few short months of GCN’s existence.

Meeting and engaging with a variety of different organizations and communities such as Rotary, the local library, local churches, local schools, local Chamber of Commerce, tribal leaders and tribal members, City Council members, City employees and officials, veterans as well as small and large businesses in the early stages of building GCN is an extreme necessity. Learning about the needs of the community by meeting people at their places of worship or workplace or wherever is a best fit is true engagement and has organically developed friendships, ideas, and real human connections. These relationships and collaborations are the core of GCN and the upcoming projects for 2018 and 2019 are a direct result of conversations that have taken place in the past 4 months.

Upcoming GCN events:

Polish Fest 2018 – Oct. 21
A long-awaited Polish Fest is finally coming, and it will be held on Franklin Street. With the support of many members of the Polish Fest living locally in Norwich, Greenville all the way to Colchester and New Britain, the excitement is quickly growing daily as we progress with festival plans. The famous Polanie Polish Folk Dancers from New Britain, the hall of famed Maestro’s Men, The Divine Providence Church and many more other Polish community members are all on board for this great event.

Sunday Indoor Global Markets – Nov. 2018 to May 2019

2019 Festivals: Haitian Festival, Cape Verde, Tibetan Festival, International Zombie Run, Puerto Rico Festival, Filipino Festival, Pacific Islands Festival, Mediterranean Festival, Ellis W. Ruley Art Festival and much more in the works.

More Good News for Taftville!

On September 21, there was a Phase 1 Ribbon Cutting and Phase 2 Groundbreaking at the Lofts at Ponemah Mill. The new facility is currently 97% occupied, and by the time this newsletter comes out, the 116 units of the first phase of the redevelopment will be completely filled. That’s the ribbon cutting portion. The facility had its financial closing on July 12th for the second phase (121 units), the construction of which is already 48% complete at this time!  The owners expect the lease up to be equally as rapid due to the location, the magnificent facility, and its amenities. Combine the Ponemah Mill redevelopment and the new Hills at River View Apartments (300+ units) just a bit further up on CT RT 97, Taftville is turning out to be a great location for an entirely new generation of workers.

The tenants that are locating at these two large residential facilities are generally designed for studio, 1-bedroom, and 2-bedroom apartments. The prime targets for residents are single individuals, couples or some single parents with a child.  To date, there are less than 30 children residing within the two facilities. Approximately 40% of the occupants work at either EB or the Subase showing the regional nature of housing.

Other indications of improving condition of Taftville is the increase in the number of calls related to locating businesses and investors considering the area. Recently, the Coordinating Committee (made up of the City’s enforcement officials, the offices of the NPU, Assessor, and NCDC have met with several entities looking for locations in Taftville.

NCDC, pub owner honored for contributions to downtown Norwich revival

Norwich — In the summer that will mark the 30th anniversary of the annual July 4 Norwich Harbor downtown fireworks festival, downtown business owner Paul Siefert had big words to say about the city’s urban center.

“I moved here in 1980,” the owner of Billy Wilson’s Ageing Still said Thursday evening at an event to honor his contributions to downtown Norwich. “This is as optimistic as I’ve ever been about downtown Norwich.”

Siefert, who purchased Billy Wilson’s at 57 Broadway in 2009, and the Norwich Community Development Corp. were selected by the Norwich Events Organization for the annual Ron Aliano Memorial Service Award for their distinguished service in the development of the city. Both were honored during a gala at the Marina at American Wharf on Thursday, the major fundraiser event for the fireworks festival….

CLICK HERE to read the full article.