In 1929, Tom Pinchbeck’s great grandfather traveled to Guilford with his family and staked their new territory with a massive greenhouse. For the next 79 years, Pinchbeck’s Rose Farm nurtured 100,000 rose bushes until highly industrial competition began to cloud their traditional production methods.
Rather than closing the doors on his farm, Pinchbeck restructured the business with his friend Jim Lyman. Lyman had been seeking a meaningful job opportunity for his son and other individuals on the autism spectrum. Through Roses for Autism—and in coordination with Ability Beyond Disability—Lyman and Pinchbeck aim to facilitate independence in the business world for individuals with autism. Employees at the farm take part in each step of the process by selecting roses, cutting stems, arranging bouquets, checking inventories, processing orders, and packaging shipments to be enjoyed by hungry bees and brides across the country.
On any given day at Branford Academy of Hair & Cosmetology, you may find student hair stylists bent over mannequin heads during cosmetology courses or makeup-artists-in-training transforming models into skeletons and wood nymphs as part of their makeup artistry certification. At the school's spa, visitors can receive relaxing facials, expert haircuts, and other beauty services from students who work under the watchful eye of a certified aesthetician and instructor.
Bikram Yoga New Haven's 90-minute classes keep tendons lean and taut by taking participants through 26 poses of muscle-melting concentration and two breathing exercises, all performed in room set at 105 degrees Fahrenheit. With the thermostat cranked to a warm, humid, and detoxifying temperature, students narrow their focus to sweat out their toxins and forge new, flexible frontiers while maintaining rhythmic, deep relaxation breathing. Aside from empowering the mind, muscles, and soul, Bikram classes provide proven benefits, such as assisting in injury recovery, speeding tissue regeneration, and granting the power of wingless flight. First timers will benefit from coming with an empty stomach, plenty of water, and two towels, but yoga-mat rentals at every session mean clients don’t have to worry about forgetting theirs at home or weaving one out of packing peanuts (free for first class; additional fee for mat rental applies for following classes). Over 25 classes on the weekly schedule allow for flexibility that goes beyond bendy thigh muscles.
The staff at Artistic Healings believe in the transformative power of art. To them, art is not about a finished product that adorns a wall or hides a secret passage: it's a process, a way to relieve stress and anxiety in order to live a more relaxed lifestyle. Their classes introduce children and adults to a variety of creative outlets, from fingerpainting to scrapbooking, as well as guided meditation and other stress-busting techniques.
Ballou’s Wine Bar revolves around three prized delicacies: chocolate, wine, and coffee. From those staples, dozens of indulgent dishes ensue, including chocolate, Nutella, and peanut-butter-chocolate fondues and homemade truffles developed by Debbie, half of the husband-and-wife team that runs Ballou’s. Her chocolate fondue and homemade truffles are so deliciously decadent that they’ve earned the wine bar a spot on the Best of New Haven Reader’s Poll list for best desserts. In addition to rich desserts and froth-capped cups of cappuccino, guests can order wines from local and international vineyards, as well as a wide selection of pastas, sandwiches, and flat breads.