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Welcome to West Hartford... and to the 19th Annual edition of The West Hartford Book.

We used to think that this community directory was a bit like a fine wine — our original efforts simply improving with age year after year. But a while back we decided that The West Hartford Book had become more like a favorite recipe that we enjoy tweaking year after year to keep it fresh and flavorful. And this year’s book is no exception, featuring a few surprises we hope you’ll enjoy.

That said, our regular contributors continue to provide the exceptional quality of work you have come to expect, for despite our increasingly impersonal world of texting, Facebooking, tweeting, Wikileaking, Instagramming, Snapchatting, globalization, mega-mergers, stock market bounces, hyper-tech, and chain ownership, we remain staunchly the opposite: A trusted, homegrown resource filled with useful local information produced entirely by local people gifted at what they do.

Walt Jedziniak, our new photographer, has a gift for capturing the essence of any subject through exquisite detail and soft nuance. And Artist Bill Dougal’s wonderful illustrations give familiar places and scenes a fresh touch with his light, casual stroke.

Our nuggets — those easy-to-digest snippets about local life and local businesses scattered here and there in small boxes, as well as some of our new, more in-depth articles, are written by Judy Henderson, whose ability to inform, engage, and amuse is unique. And our new art director, Mary Murphy — who was also one of the original designers when we first
started publishing The West Hartford Book — makes exploring these pages a delightful experience with a graphic style both relaxed and elegant at once.

Behind the scenes, The West Hartford Book and all the Distinctive Directories have become an authentic family enterprise, as the publisher and his son are now working together to promote each local advertiser’s business and enrich every reader’s experience by handling all sales and promotional opportunities personally. As always, our administrative staff of consummate professionals keeps everything moving, organized, and accurate. And we take that same penchant for excellence one step further, offering a user-friendly website expertly constructed and maintained.

Above all, we’re useful. Genuinely useful. Indeed, we’re constantly updating our system to provide you with the most current contact numbers, street and web addresses, and content for any business you might need in order to ensure that you can find the most current information available. And while we are steadfast in our determination to deliver the big picture, we continue to embrace the small one, as well — making certain to include all of the special things that make people proud to call West Hartford home.

That dual vision is what makes The West Hartford Book a “keeper”— you know, the kind of book you set aside for whenever you need to find something locally or you just want to see what’s going on in and around town while enjoying a cup of tea or a glass of wine. And while you can always find us when you need us in your bookcase or on your coffee table, you can also find our digital edition on your smart phone or laptop at thewesthartfordbook.com.

And don’t forget that The West Hartford Book has siblings: The Valley Book, including all of the Farmington Valley towns; The Glastonbury Book, focusing on Glastonbury but including regional information, as well; and The Shoreline Book, which features Branford, Guilford, Madison, Clinton, Westbrook, Old Saybrook, Old Lyme, and Essex. And just like The West Hartford Book, all three are mailed free of charge to residents, businesses, realtors, hotels, tourism centers in those towns, as well as being available online 24/7.

So, again — welcome! And our thanks for 19 years of growing interest and unfailing support. While we’re proud of every edition we’ve produced, we are especially pleased with this, our most recent. We hope that you agree and enjoy using it as much as we have enjoyed creating it.