Why Small Businesses Matter
Shop small, do big things for your community
Why Small Businesses Matter puts a spotlight on the local merchants who donate their time, talent, goods, and services for the betterment of our community. The shop local movement spreads virally as local businesses who are “tagged” have the opportunity to share their story!
You're IT Coals Norwalk!
Three questions with Jennifer Lana-Etzel from Coals Norwalk.
Why did you start your business?
Coals restaurant is delighted to be a part of the Norwalk community and to be recognized as a Norwalk business that matters. The Coals concept was actually born in the Bronx, NY but has expanded over time to touch the local neighborhoods that reflect the life stories of its owners. While Coals began in the birthplace of its head chef and founder, Bill Etzel, it later opened an outpost in Portland, Maine where Etzel has a summer home and extended family.
Not to be outdone, his partner, Nick Restaino, was eager to share coals’ innovative and flavorful menu with his Norwalk neighbors. While a Bronx natïve, Restaino and his wife Blanca moved to Norwalk approximately 15 years ago and have become entrenched in the fun vibe and communal atmosphere that characterizes the town. (Coals can also be found in Bronxville, NY as it aims to reach out to all those hungry for an amazing grilled pizza experience. Its third partner, Joseph Rossi is born and bred in Westchester County.)
What is your best-selling product/service?
The main item featured on the restaurant’s menu is the grilled pizza which has been featured on social media, television, radio, and in national print for its unique texture, sweetly roasted tomatoes, imported cheeses, and ever-changing seasonal toppings. The award-winning burgers and wings are not to be overlooked, however, as they often get just as many kudos. Exceptional salads and distinctive desserts are complemented by a changing list of craft beers, wine, and house-created cocktails.
How many local businesses do you use to support your business (products and services) and can you name them?
Coals have always been about creating a community within the restaurant that is representative of and collaborative with its surrounding geographical space. Even prior to opening its doors in Norwalk, the owners developed relationships with surrounding businesses and they frequent many shops on a regular basis. Etzel, Restaino, and Rossi can be found picking up fresh ingredients from Key Food, Stop and Shop, Stew Leonards, and Whole Foods almost daily. They look to Ace Hardware and Staples to make sure the restaurant is patron-ready and supplies are on hand.
Have you "reimagined" your small business?
The coals family is already grateful for the support of the city of Norwalk and the Wall St. Association. The successful future of Norwalk matters to us so it is humbling to be considered a “Business That Matters”. We would now like to nominate Norwalk’s Café Social.
HamletHub thanks Fairfield County Bank for making our Why Small Businesses Matter series possible!