The new owner of Warren Mill in Stafford, Jacob Harrison Long, has reopened the once-shuttered mill, hiring back 40 of the employees. The mill now specializes in woolen and worsted-woolen fabrics, and is the only mill of its kind in the country. Long is trying to create a “Made in America” luxury brand and compete with the best fabrics that are coming out of Italy, and he recently scored contracts with J. Crew and Bonobos.
Heirs to the man who founded Crystal Rock Water, the Baker brothers are now dabbling in top-shelf bourbon. Just a year old, their Litchfield-based distillery has created two types of bourbon and a gin. They are featured in 300 establishments across the state.
There are still a few things that are made the old-fashioned way. For example: Gordon Cellar Doors, which start as a piece of flattened steel and are bent, notched, and welded into a heavy-duty, two-piece door. There are only two companies in the country that still make these doors. The Gordon Corp., located in Southington, ships its doors all across the U.S.
The Skinner family is reinventing the age-old tradition of timber framing. They build post-and-beam barns, homes, and country clubs the old-fashioned way, using wooden joinery, not nails. With the help of the state, this Ellington-based company purchased a state-of-the art CNC (computer numerical control) machine that cuts all of the beams in their Ellington facility. When they arrive on the job site, the structure is framed in less than a day.
When Hartford Flavor Co. owner Lelaneia Dubay developed a gluten allergy and could no longer tolerate alcohol, she took matters into her own hands, quite literally. A landscape designer by trade, she turned to her garden for inspiration, which led her to create a new niche in the spirits industry: all-natural GMO- and gluten-free liqueurs. Her Wild Moon line features six unique flavors: Lavender, Cranberry, Chai, Birch, Cucumber, and Rose. The products are in 300 different establishments in Connecticut and soon will be in stores in Massachusetts and New York.