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Given the choice, most of us want to stay in our homes. Sometimes, people need help to remain at home. That's where Always Best Care Senior Services comes in.

Personal Care Consultation


“Staff is great there a great place to work and call your workplace”

Babispyce S.

“I’ve been a nurse for over 40 years, and I am currently a nursing professor. When my mom was recently in the hospital, I knew it would not be possible for her to be completely on her own right away. She loves where she resides and enjoys all of the activities that are offered. My goal was to get her back into her apartment as soon as possible with the support she needed to increase her strength and return to her prior level of wellness she had before she went into the hospital. She was used to walking a couple miles a day. When I reached out to ABC I made it clear that my mom would need somebody who would be willing to walk with her in the morning, and in the evening enabling her to get back to her baseline. I would like to complement all of the staff at ABC who provided my mom such wonderful support after two weeks she returned to her baseline and remained in her apartment. She really enjoyed all of the staff that were with her , they were professional they encouraged her to walk, drink fluids, eat and were instrumental in assisting her to reach her prior level of independence. I would strongly recommend ABC to anybody who is in need of support for their loved one.”

Robin Y.

“Mom’s care needs have been progressing over the past month - increased difficulty standing. walking, decreased appetite, increased incontinence. (Part of the expected declining process per her Dr.) Tara has been wonderful in adapting to Mom’s changing needs as they develop and a very helpful partner in troubleshooting. brainstorming how to adapt to best support Mom. It’s also been helpful in my regular communication with Mom’s Dr, to let her know in detail what has come up and how we have approached. Thank you (again) for your talented staff!”

Jeremy H.

“Outstanding personal service from this company. All of the caregivers were personable and provided outstanding care to our aunt. I would highly recommend them to anyone who has an elder family member in need. Also, the staff that helped to set up their services was outstanding as well. They made the decisions easy to understand with no hidden agenda. Thank you again to "ABC!"”


“You can't go wrong with this crew. Extremely patient and caring.”

Daniel S.

“Caring for family can be difficult and challenging at times. It's so nice to know that Always Best Care Senior Services is there to help!”

Cathy K.

“Taylor, John, and Kristine and their crew are the best. They are patient, understanding, and a joy to work with.”

Daniel S.

“Sabina always has a pleasant, caring, and respectful attitude. I feel she treats me as she would as her own mother. She treats me the way she would like to be treated. We are a good “team” together.”

Tracy H.

“Diana has a total commitment of compassion, empathy, and respect for myself and my family. My daughters feel she is truly a tremendous caregiver. They know I am in good hands. She acknowledges with commitment of my physical, emotional, and practical needs, my quality of life has excelled due to Diana’s help. I look forward to her presence everyday her attitude is exceptional, Diana comes to work daily with a smile on her face. She enters the front door, singing softly ready to work. She has never taken a day off, I have had many caregivers, but Diana is truly the best!”

Anne H.

“Tina has been with us since the start, caring for my mom. Tina has nothing but my mom’s best interest at heart. She continues to go above and beyond to care for my mom, and ensure anyone else who may be there also understands my mom’s needs. Tina has even gone so far to rearrange her schedule or give up her free time to stay with my mom to avoid her having someone that doesn’t know her. I can see that she genuinely cares for my mom, and treats her as if she was her own family member. That also goes both ways, my mom lights up when she sees Tina. We consider Tina part of our family.”

David L.

“Always Best Care helped our family get through a very difficult time with my mother's care. Kristine and Taylor are a pleasure to work with. They are very knowledgable and had the answers to all our questions. They were able to help with all aspects of the care we needed. I highly recommend them.”

John S.

“Kristine and John are extremely caring and compassionate about helping their client's and family and making sure they receive the best care available. Highly recommended!”

Greg G.

“We needed some home care services for Dad who has dementia, and we made the right decision to trust ABC Senior Services for this support. Dad was lined up with a caregiver who was attentive and helpful, and she and Dad really hit it off. The management and administrative staff from ABC were also very effective and professional. You'll make a good decision to go with ABC Senior Services...”

Liam M.

“I approached Kristine regarding care for my elderly father. Even though he was outside her service area, she helped to find resources for us. Her commitment to providing outstanding care is only surpassed by her desire to help others. Thank you Kristine!”

Matt B.

“I have known Kristine Lajeunesse for many years now through business networking and she and her Team at Always Best Care are very caring and professional and exactly who you would want on your side if you have a loved one who needs help!”

Ann B.

“The client care at Always Best Care Senior Service is outstanding”

Kimberly O.

“Rosemary has many great qualities. She is a hardworker, sensitive, has a giving nature and has an immense desire to help my father. Reliability is vital trait in Rosemary. When my father was in the hospital and came home she immediately wanted to be by his side. My father has come to rely and depend on Rosemary. She is always on time whether it is giving medication or administering food and often encourages my father and helps my father maintain his dignity”

Denise D.

“Always Best Care provides caregivers to our building on a regular basis when we are short staffed. Due to our licensing, we can only have CNAs on the floor and Always Best Care has provided excellent CNAs every time we need some extra help. All of their CNAs have been helpful, willing to go above and beyond for our residents and we always have great responses from our own CNAs and supervisory staff. I am so thankful to Michelle and Wilda who will always staff a shift that I need, even if I call 30 minutes before the shift starts. You’ve been such a huge help!”

Kaytee S.

“I have known John and Kristine Lajeunesse for almost 20 years and when my dad needed care following a diagnosis of dementia, I knew there wouldn’t be anyone better to call than them. The caregivers that have worked with my dad have been wonderful. They are true saints to my family, allowing us the knowledge that Dad is okay to stay at home. They have navigated all of the changes in his cognitive state with grace and kept my father’s dignity in place. He was always a very active man and the caregivers have managed to keep him active, even as his health declines.”

Belinda F.

“Always Best Care helped me to get care lined up for my uncle, after I received their information from a close friend of mine that also used their agency. My uncle was a very proud man and did not want help from anyone, including family. Taylor met with me and spent time getting to know the ins and outs of my uncle’s care as well as his personality. She asked about his background so that they could look for a caregiver with similar interests. Although he took a turn for the worse rather quickly, the short time care was provided was wonderful. Thank you for your help and compassion.”

Karel O.

“My dad’s caregiver is great. He is a man of few words, but she is able to get him talking about all aspects and experiences of his life. They go out regularly and she encourages my dad to participate in the activities put on by the community he lives in. They run errands, go out for meals, or go for a drive just to get a change of scenery. I was nervous at first about how my dad would take having a caregiver come in to help him, but he seems so happy and has great things to talk about after his time spent with his caregiver.”

Martin F.

“Thank you, Kristine - I am very appreciative of the professional manner with which you and your organization operates. From the initial phone and in-person conversations with Taylor, to the ongoing support of my mother's care - it's been thorough, timely and well managed. I am also struck by how the home-health employees conduct themselves. They are reliable/responsive *and* responsible, and making every effort to work through the challenges day to day with my mother. Thanks for the great job you and your organization are doing. It means a lot to me, especially during this trying time! Best Regards”

Anna T.

“I wanted to take a moment to thank you and your staff for all of your hard work and dedication to their clients. When my parents finally realized they needed help in their home, I chose ABC as the company I felt would be the best fit. Yes, we have had some ups and down, but when you paired Leah with my parents, it was truly a blessing. My parents love her. She genuinely cares for them and they speak highly of her work ethic. As my mom says, “she is too good to be true”. I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your working with me to find the right fit. Well on our end, Leah fits like a glove and I hope she feels the same. She is a special person so I wanted to acknowledge her hard work and dedication to my parents. It makes me feel more at ease knowing there is someone coming to the home to properly care for them. Again I want to thank you all and encourage you to keep up the good work.”

Craig F.

“My family provides the care to my mother 24/7, we called Always Best Care to provide respite care to my mom while we took some time to ourselves for a weekend. Mom’s caregiver, Gloria, was great and she had the perfect disposition to work with my mom. She was attentive and kept mom well fed and engaged during the time we were away. We would definitely call Always Best Care again when we need some time away.”


“The caregiver that helped my husband and I were so kind to us both, especially to my husband while I spent some time in the hospital and rehab. Our caregiver brought my husband to see me every day while I was at the hospital and at rehab, I knew he was in excellent hands and I could focus on getting stronger again.”

Heather R.

“i really like my caregiver, Victor very much. Victor is a very patient and observant aide who knows when I need his help. I knew from the first day meeting him that we would get along very well.”

Johnson L.

““I want to give a huge thank you for the care that Always Best Care provided over the last year and a half. They started out assisting just my dad since he was wheelchair bound and then began providing care to my mom as well who had advanced dementia. The two ladies that helped them both did an amazing job and gave me the confidence that they were being well cared for since I live on the other side of the country. Up to my dad’s passing, his caregivers were there for him to provide comfort and companionship while managing my mom’s emotions as well during the difficult time my dad had. Being a nurse myself and in the healthcare field for a while, I had high expectations which were exceeded by the caregivers and office staff of Always Best Care.”

harry B.

“Both of Mom’s caregivers are exceptional. They are always professional, calm and extremely patient with my mom. They know how to keep her calm and to manage her anxiety. My whole family is very grateful, knowing that Mom is getting really competent care, great meals and friendly companionship. Thank you.”

Kathleen F.

“My husband had care from Always Best Care until he passed away. Thankfully he is on his "next journey" and finally pain free, while he was here with us, his caregiver, Craig, did an amazing job caring for him and was here to help us from our first day of services. Craig always managed to get my husband to share stories from his time in the war that even I had not heard before. It was a great way to get to know more of my husband so his memory can continue with others around him.”

Beth F.

“I am very pleased with the care that Craig gave to my husband. My husband enjoyed having another man to talk to instead of conversation only between him and I. Craig managed to keep him occupied and safe so that I could go and get some time to myself, allowing me peace of mind that my husband was in great hands”

Sonia T.

“I hired Always Best Care to help my mom who was living with me at home. She was diagnosed with dementia and within 3 months she could hardly do much for herself anymore. I was able to continue working full time while my mom received care from Always Best Care. We had the same caregiver from day 1 and she was absolutely amazing. She kept everyone in the loop with any changes my mom experienced and the regular in person and phone check ins were a great added support to myself and my family. Thank you ABC for all the help and compassion that you showed my mom until her passing.”


“They are very caring and easy to deal with. They work with the family and the patient to see that the patient has what is needed for their care. In all we had a good experience with Best Care.”

Elaine G.

“Our caregiver is the absolute best, you all got lucky finding her.”

Bob G.

“Anything from Always Best Care is good to have. The care from them has given me my life back. I wasn’t expecting a perfect match on the first caregiver, but Always Best Care did a very good job.”

Claudia B.

“We have been using the services of ABC for almost three years, and I have worked personally with John, Kristine, Taylor, Michelle and Wilda, as well as the many wonderful caregivers who have attended to my mother’s needs with great care and attention. Throughout this time, my mother’s care needs have changed many times, and they have always been very responsive to any requests, including the directives of the hospice nurses that work in concert with all of them. Taylor and Michelle are incredibly diligent about keeping on top of issues that arise day-to-day, and running their questions and concerns by me. I remain a loyal customer to ABC because I feel that my mother is getting really great care, and will continue to see the warm, friendly faces she has come to know and trust today and every day. At 94 yrs old, my mother is quite dependent on the care providers for almost all her needs, and they always show up and make her feel safe and secure.”

Rachel C.

“It has been a true pleasure working with you and your organization. You all demonstrate empathy and compassion in caring for frail elderly family members and insure distant families are comforted knowing you are there.”

Steve S.

“Mom’s caregiver is a part of the family, we absolutely love her!”

Joe L.

“Always Best Care has done a fantastic job in providing us with at-home care for my step-mother while we prepared for her transition to move permanently to a skilled nursing facility. With their help, she was able to spend a full six months at home before moving. We would not have been able to do it without them. All the caregivers we have met and used have been kind and attentive, frequently going the extra mile, whatever that may be on any given day. The office staff is friendly, empathetic and very diligent in keeping all parties informed of all aspects of day-to-day care. They are knowledgeable, respectful and efficient. I would not hesitate in recommending them to anyone who is looking for help in keeping their loved one at home for as long as possible.”

Sarah C.
 In-Home Care Willimantic, CT

How does In-home Senior Care in Willimantic, CT work?

Home is where the heart is. While that saying can sound a tad cliche, it's especially true for many seniors living in America. When given a choice, older adults most often prefer to grow older at home. An AARP study found that three out of four adults over the age of 50 want to stay in their homes and communities as they age. When you begin to think about why, it makes sense. Home offers a sense of security, comfort, and familiarity.

The truth is, as we age, we begin to rely on others for help. When a family is too busy or lives too far away to fulfill this role, in-home senior care is often the best solution. Home care services allow seniors to enjoy personal independence while also receiving trustworthy assistance from a trained caregiver.

At Always Best Care, we offer a comprehensive range of home care services to help seniors stay healthy while they get the help they need to remain independent. As your senior loved one ages, giving them the gift of senior care is one of the best ways to show your love, even if you live far away.

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 Senior Care Willimantic, CT

Aging in Place: The Preferred Choice for Most Seniors

While it's true that some seniors have complicated medical needs that prevent them from staying at home, aging in place is often the best arrangement for seniors and their families. With a trusted caregiver, seniors have the opportunity to live with a sense of dignity and do so as they see fit.

In-home care makes it possible for millions of seniors to age in place every year. Rather than moving to a unfamiliar assisted living community, seniors have the chance to stay at home where they feel the happiest and most comfortable.

Here are just a few of the reasons why older men and women prefer to age at home:


How much does a senior's home truly mean to them? A study published by the American Society on Aging found that more than half of seniors say their home's emotional value means more than how much their home is worth in monetary value. It stands to reason, that a senior's home is where they want to grow old. With the help of elderly care in Willimantic, CT, seniors don't have to age in a sterilized care facility. Instead, they can age gracefully in the place they want to be most: their home. In contrast, seniors who move to a long-term care facility must adapt to new environments, new people, and new systems that the facility implements. At this stage in life, this kind of drastic change can be more harmful than helpful.

Healthy Living
Healthy Living

Institutional care facilities like nursing homes often put large groups of people together to live in one location. On any given day, dozens of staff members and caregivers run in and out of these facilities. Being around so many new people in a relatively small living environment can be dangerous for a seniors' health and wellbeing. When you consider that thousands of seniors passed away in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, opting for in-home care is often a safer, healthier choice for seniors. Aging in place has been shown to improve seniors' quality of life, which helps boost physical health and also helps insulate them from viral and bacterial risks found in elderly living facilities.


For many seniors, the ability to live independently with assistance from a caregiver is a priceless option. With in-home care, seniors experience a higher level of independence and freedom - much more so than in other settings like an assisted living community. When a senior has the chance to age in place, they get to live life on their own terms, inside the house that they helped make into a home. More independence means more control over their personal lives, too, which leads to increased levels of fulfillment, happiness, and personal gratification. Over time, these positive feelings can manifest into a healthier, longer life.

Cost and Convenience
Cost and Convenience

More independence, a healthier life, and increased comfort are only a few benefits of aging in place. You have to take into consideration the role of cost and convenience. Simply put, it's usually easier to help seniors age in place than it is to move them into an institutional care facility. In-home care services from Always Best Care, for instance, can be less expensive than long-term solutions, which can cost upwards of six figures per year. To make matters worse, many residential care facilities are reluctant to accept long-term care insurance and other types of payment assistance.

With Always Best Care's home care services, seniors and their families have a greater level of control over their care plans. In-home care in Willimantic, CT gives seniors the chance to form a bond with a trusted caregiver and also receive unmatched care that is catered to their needs. In long-term care facilities, seniors and their loved ones have much less control over their care plan and have less of a say in who provides their care.

Empowers Seniors

Affordable Care Plans

In-home care is a valuable resource that empowers seniors to age in place on their own terms. However, a big concern for many families and their loved ones is how much in-home care costs. If you're worried that in-home care is too expensive, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that it is one of the most affordable senior care arrangements available.

Typically, hiring an Always Best Care in-home caregiver for a few hours a week is more affordable than sending your loved one to a long-term care facility. This is true even for seniors with more complex care needs.

At Always Best Care, we will work closely with you and your family to develop a Care Plan that not only meets your care needs, but your budget requirements, too. Once we discover the level of care that you or your senior need, we develop an in-home care plan that you can afford.

In addition to our flexible care options, families should also consider the following resources to help offset potential home care costs:

Veteran's Benefits
Veteran's Benefits

Aid and Attendance benefits through military service can cover a portion of the costs associated with in-home care for veterans and their spouses.

Long-Term Care Insurance
Long-Term Care Insurance

Many senior care services like in-home care are included in long-term care insurance options. Research different long-term care solutions to find a plan that provides coverage for senior care.

Private Insurance
Private Insurance

Home care can be included as part of a senior's private insurance plan. Read over your loved one's insurance policy carefully or speak with their insurance provider to determine if in-home care is covered.

Life Insurance
Life Insurance

Depending on the life insurance plan, you may be able to apply your policy toward long-term care. You may be able to use long-term-care coverage to help pay for in-home elderly care.

Respite Care Willimantic, CT

During your Care Plan consultation with Always Best Care, your Care Coordinator will speak with you about in-home care costs and what options there may be to help meet your budget needs.

Compassionate Care. Trusted Caregivers

When you or your senior loved one needs assistance managing daily tasks at home, finding a qualified caregiver can be challenging. It takes a special kind of person to provide reliable care for your senior loved one. However, a caregiver's role involves more than meal preparation and medication reminders. Many seniors rely on their caregivers for companionship, too.

Our companion care services give seniors the chance to socialize in a safe environment and engage in activities at home. These important efforts boost morale and provide much-needed relief from repetitive daily routines. A one-on-one, engaging conversation can sharpen seniors' minds and give them something in which to be excited.

At Always Best Care, we only hire care providers that we would trust to care for our own loved ones. Our senior caregivers in Willimantic,CT understand how important it is to listen and communicate with their seniors. A seemingly small interaction, like a short hug goodbye, can make a major difference in a senior's day. Instead of battling against feelings of isolation, seniors begin to look forward to seeing their caregiver each week.

Understanding the nuances of senior care is just one of the reasons why our care providers are so great at their job.

Unlike some senior care companies, our caregivers must undergo extensive training before they work for Always Best Care. In addition, our caregivers receive ongoing training throughout the year. This training ensures that their standard of care matches up to the high standards we've come to expect. During this training, they will brush up on their communication skills, safety awareness, and symptom spotting. That way, your loved one receives the highest level of non-medical home care from day one.

 Caregivers Willimantic, CT

Taking the First Step with Always Best Care

The first step in getting quality in-home care starts with a personal consultation with an experienced Care Coordinator. This initial consultation is crucial for our team to learn more about you or your elderly loved one to discover the level of care required. Topics of this consultation typically include:

An assessment of your senior loved one


An in-depth discussion of the needs of your senior loved one to remain in their own home


Reviewing a detailed Care Plan that will meet your senior loved one's needs


Our caregivers are trained to spot changes that clients exhibit, like mental and physical decline. As your trusted senior care company, we will constantly assess and update your Care Plan to meet any new emotional, intellectual, physical, and emotional needs.

If you have never considered in-home care before, we understand that you and your family may have concerns about your Care Plan and its Care Coordinator. To help give you peace of mind, know that every team member and caregiver must undergo comprehensive training before being assigned to a Care Plan.

When you're ready, we encourage you to contact your local Always Best Care representative to set up a Care Consultation. Our Care Coordinators would be happy to meet with you in person to get to know you better, discuss your needs, and help put together a personalized Care Plan specific to your needs.

Latest News in Willimantic, CT

PHOTOS: Bystanders help woman escape from sinking car in Willimantic dramatic water rescue

WILLIMANTIC, Conn. (WTNH) — Bystanders contributed to a dramatic water rescue in Willimantic on Monday, pulling a woman out of a sinking car.According to Willimantic Fire Chief Marc Scrivener, a car drove into a river at 75 Bridge St. around 6:30 p.m.Scrivener said that two bystanders, Willimantic residents Jim Preston and Manny Gonzalez, sprang into action and helped pull the woman out of her car. However, the woman was unable to climb out of the river channel without help.“Manny took off his shoes and reach...

WILLIMANTIC, Conn. (WTNH) — Bystanders contributed to a dramatic water rescue in Willimantic on Monday, pulling a woman out of a sinking car.

According to Willimantic Fire Chief Marc Scrivener, a car drove into a river at 75 Bridge St. around 6:30 p.m.

Scrivener said that two bystanders, Willimantic residents Jim Preston and Manny Gonzalez, sprang into action and helped pull the woman out of her car. However, the woman was unable to climb out of the river channel without help.

“Manny took off his shoes and reached over to the lady and grabbed her by the hand, and I grabbed Manny by the back of his pants and help on to him, and we got her up to where she could get up enough where I could get her hand also, and we pulled her up out of the sunroof, slid her over the car and then picked her up and sat her down over here on the rock,” Preston said.

Firefighters lowered a ladder into the channel, descended with safety ropes and water rescue gear, and assisted the woman to a Willimantic ambulance for evaluation. Scrivener said she was taken to a Columbia ambulance for treatment.

In an attempt to search for more victims, firefighters secured a rope to the car for stabilization and climbed into the car. While looking into the sunroof, an airbag discharged, though the firefighter was not injured.

Scrivener said no other victims were found.

The Northeast Tow and Transport “Rotator” heavy rescue team worked alongside firefighters to secure a heavy-duty tow strap through the driver’s window and out the front passenger window. This allowed the car to be lifted from the river around 8:18 p.m., Scrivener said.

Scrivener praised bystanders Preston and Gonzalez.

“These two embody the best spirit of Willimantic: we all look out for each other,” Scrivener wrote in a Facebook post. “I’m proud of both of them, and I’m proud to be from Willimantic.”

“I just think I do the right thing, and I will do it again if I have to for anybody,” Gonzalez said.

Preston and his wife, who own A Cupcake for Later, has had firefighter training, but said that Gonzalez and the other Good Samaritan went above and beyond.

“Those are the guys that are heroes,” Preston said. “The heroes are made in an instant.”

With Cali roots, Trigo Wood-Fired Pizza in Willimantic highlights eastern CT farms

Trigo Wood Fired Pizza opened in Willimantic earlier this year, but its inspiration and name have roots more than 3,000 miles west of the eastern Connecticut community.Owner Patrick Griffin and his brother, Phil, both went to colleges in Santa Barbara, and discovered a love for cooking and entertaining while living in the sunny central California coast city — in a residence on Trigo Road. After returning home to Connecticut, they continued an appreciatio...

Trigo Wood Fired Pizza opened in Willimantic earlier this year, but its inspiration and name have roots more than 3,000 miles west of the eastern Connecticut community.

Owner Patrick Griffin and his brother, Phil, both went to colleges in Santa Barbara, and discovered a love for cooking and entertaining while living in the sunny central California coast city — in a residence on Trigo Road. After returning home to Connecticut, they continued an appreciation for food and local produce: Phil opened Apis Verdi Farm in Lebanon, and Patrick worked in local restaurants, with an eye on opening his own someday.

The brothers' interests officially merged in January, with the introduction of Trigo, named for their Santa Barbara experience, to Willimantic's Main Street. Patrick Griffin and his wife, Garnet McLaughlin, opened the restaurant they call a "harvest to hearth" pizzeria, with red and white pies, small plates and salads featuring local ingredients from Apis Verdi and other nearby farms and dairies.

As "fate would have it," the owners shared on the restaurant's Facebook page, "Trigo is actually Spanish for 'wheat.'"

Trigo started out as a mobile wood-fired pizza company, and Griffin chose to focus on catering during the worst of the pandemic, both to hone skills and build the brand, he said.

"Once the majority of the pandemic had subsided, we were able to turn back to the real estate side of things, and find a location here on Main Street," he said.

Pizza is the star of Trigo's menu, featuring 14-inch pies made from dough that gets a three-day rise period. "It's a little time-intensive, in terms of labor, but we really have been getting great feedback on the crust and the final product," Griffin said.

Red pies include a classic margherita, cheese with scamorza and grana padano, and pepperoni with scallion, oregano and Urfa chili, along with a meatball pie and a meat-topped variety with sweet sausage, pepperoni and bacon. Of the white varieties, Griffin said a mushroom pie with scamorza, honey, caramelized onion and bacon is a top seller, and others will rotate with seasonal ingredients, like a recent corn, bacon and clam pizza.

Trigo's signature lemon pizza, with smoked scamorza, Urfa chili and chili honey is McLaughlin's brainchild, Griffin said, starting out as a favorite on the trailer and becoming a fixture on the restaurant menu. "We didn't expect it would be a year-round one, but there's a pretty big following at this point," he said.

Trigo's wood-fired oven, which cooks the pies at about 750 degrees, is the only means of hot cooking in the restaurant, he noted — there are no grills, fryers or stovetops, so all hot items are finished in the hearth.

With the full-service restaurant, Trigo augments its pizza menu with snacks, starters and salads, in addition to a full bar with beer, wine and a mix of classic and unique cocktails. Griffin brought in head chef Kacee Potter O'Brien to lead the team on the rotating small plates options, with recent offerings like beef and pork meatballs and herb hummus with housemade harissa, bread and local crudité. Past plates have featured pastas like duck egg carbonara, fluke crudo and sauteed Stonington calamari.

"We also do sort of rotating specials on the weekends, depending on what's in season and obviously connected to my brother's farm right now," Griffin said. "We were sourcing in the winter from suppliers, and at this point in the season, essentially all the produce that we purchase and use in the restaurant comes from his farm."

The current menu features Apis Verdi's summer squash, zucchini, cucumbers and pickled shishito peppers in a panzanella salad. The squash and zucchini are also highlighted on a seasonal white pizza with scamorza cheese, garlic scape, chili crumb and preserved lemon.

At the bar, McLaughlin credits manager Leigh Wilde, "a really incredible mixologist," with Trigo's cocktail program. The menu features "elevated classics" with takes on a Paloma with cardamom, a cucumber basil martini, a caipirinha and a "dirrty" martini with olive-oil washed vodka. "House favorites" include the Jam Jar with bourbon, strawberry jam and lemon and the Thistle and Smoke, with mezcal, cynar, lemon, agave, orange bitters and aquafaba.

"We had some things that we really wanted, like a good margarita, an emphasis on fresh juices, things like that," she said. "But Leigh has a great handle on the bar and mixology, and she's always coming up with something new."

During a "Slices & Vices" weekday happy hour, available at the bar Tuesday through Friday from 4 to 6 p.m., Trigo offers jumbo pizza slices along with beer, wine and cocktails specials.

"We want to do good food, unpretentiously," McLaughlin said. "We want to source food from our neighbors here in the Quiet Corner and keep the food within this community. We're trying to make sure there's something on the menu for everybody."

"Our goal was to do good, fresh food, and keeping it simple with the smaller menu, making sure everything is as fresh it could be," Griffin said. "It felt like that was going to be something that this area would appreciate, and turns out that we've gotten a great response so far. We're happy where we're at, and we're going to keep working at it."

More for you

Trigo Wood Fired Pizza is at 744 Main St. in Willimantic. It's open Tuesday through Thursday from 4 to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 4 to 10 p.m. (860) 786-7164, trigokitchen.com.

EDITORS' NOTE: Patrick Griffin and Phil Griffin are not related to the author of this article.

A CT man was chosen to give a Memorial Day speech. First he got his heart fixed.

Bill Rood has a heart for Memorial Day, honoring those who have given their lives to their country, as well as veterans of the armed services.This year, he will speak at Willimantic’s annual Memorial Day ceremony on his favorite topic: freedom. He’ll be there because of a procedure he underwent this month at ...

Bill Rood has a heart for Memorial Day, honoring those who have given their lives to their country, as well as veterans of the armed services.

This year, he will speak at Willimantic’s annual Memorial Day ceremony on his favorite topic: freedom. He’ll be there because of a procedure he underwent this month at UConn John Dempsey Hospital that gave him a new aortic valve.

Rood, 83, was having a hard time last fall with a severe cough that resulted in his first hospitalization. “I was sick in November. … I had a bad cough. I just couldn’t shake it,” he said.

“I was going to work every day but this cough was just debilitating. I just couldn’t seem to shake it. I had a dry, hacking cough all the time,” he said.

Now, Rood said he has led “pretty much a normal life” since he underwent a transcatheter atrial valve replacement, or TAVR. While his groin is black and blue still, “I’m in pretty good shape,” he said. “I can walk across the field itself without having to stop for breath. I couldn’t make it all the way. Life is a lot better.”

Rood, who lives in north Windham, founded Windham Industries, a metalwork manufacturer that makes railings, stairs and mezzanines for building contractors, in 1974. He still does estimating and other paperwork while he turns the business over to his son.

UConn Health’s TAVR program recently marked its 25th procedure under Dr. Chittoor Sai Sudhakar, chief of cardiothoracic surgery, working with Dr. JuYong Lee, director of UConn Health’s Structural Heart Program.

When Sai Sudhakar saw Rood, “we noticed that he was having severe aortic stenosis, which is the narrowing of the valve and that does not allow blood to flow through as easily to the rest of the body … and the rest of the body does not get enough blood,” he said.

“So traditionally, when they’re symptomatic like that, you know that survival gets decreased,” he said.

The aortic valve can narrow with age, affecting more than 20% of people over 65, according to UConn Health. It can lead to heart failure and possibly death if untreated.

Sai Sudhakar has done more than 250 TAVR procedures in his career. “As a chief of cardiac surgery, I was very much interested in bringing the technology here,” he said. “Obviously any procedure is not a single-man show. It is a team effort. And we have a dedicated team to move this program forward.”

“In the past when the aortic valve is tight, narrowed, they had to open the chest and open the heart to take the old valve out and place a new valve,” Lee said. “There’s more increased risk. But recently with this transcatheter aortic valve replacement … we actually place a catheter in the femoral artery in the groin.”

A new aortic valve is sent on a wire at the tip of the catheter to the heart, pushing the old valve, which helps anchor the new one, to the side.

Doctors first gave Rood X-rays and checked for Lyme disease, since Rood spends a lot of time outdoors, tending to his honeybees. He was sent home, but came back in December and was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and fluid in his lungs, “in other words, pneumonia,” he said.

“And they gave me a prescription and the doctor said, This is all I can do. If you’re not better in 24 to 48 hours you’ve got to call the emergency room,” Rood said. “Forty-eight hours later I was in the emergency room. I was literally coughing 24 hours a day nonstop.”

He also could not walk up a flight of stairs. “I’d just have to stop and hold on to the rails because I couldn’t make it,” he said.

Hospitalized again, Rood spent six days on antibiotics. “They told me I was the sickest person on the floor and I didn’t understand why they were saying that, because I didn’t think I really felt that bad after the first or second day,” Rood said.

His cough was under control and he could sleep again.

Lee told Rood they could help him but various tests delayed his procedure, which was done May 11. He went home the next day. “I was amazed at what I could do compared to what I had before,” he said: climbing stairs, walking up the slight hill from his neighbor’s house, things he couldn’t do before.

And he’ll be able to take part in his annual ritual of participating in Memorial Day ceremonies.

“I’ve always been concerned about Memorial Day … In our town, they have what they call a pilgrimage,” visiting eight cemeteries and a POW memorial in town, he said.

“They raise a flag … they lay a wreath down and they play the taps. The chaplain says a prayer and then we go on to the next one,” Rood said. “The last one is kind of special … that’s a special memorial for POWs.”

Finally, there is a speech. “This year they asked me to give it and when they told me this I had to think about what to do,” he said. “At that point I started to meet with the people at UConn and they said, Yes, you can do this. You’ll be ready for it by that time.”

Rood’s theme will be freedom. “I don’t think people really understand why people do things that they do,” he said. “And I think that people have a desire for freedom. People have come to this country for freedom. They’re still coming to this country for freedom. … And I’m not really opposed to people immigrating to the United States.”

However, Rood is concerned “when they overwhelm our borders and it’s not done in any kind of orderly fashion whatsoever. We shouldn’t be just a territory; we should be a nation. Our borders should be protected.”

Ed Stannard can be reached at [email protected].

Homeless Persons Memorial Remembers Lives Lost in Willimantic

To commemorate the lives lost in the homeless community in 2022, Willimantic gathered for a memorial Tuesday night.Slide 1 of 31Homeless Persons Memorial Remembers Lives Lost in Willimantic...

To commemorate the lives lost in the homeless community in 2022, Willimantic gathered for a memorial Tuesday night.

Slide 1 of 31

Homeless Persons Memorial Remembers Lives Lost in Willimantic

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Parade marchers turn up the volume in Willimantic's annual Boom Box Parade

It is a unique and long-lasting Fourth of July tradition here in Connecticut - the “Boom Box Parade" - and on Tuesday, it took to the streets of Willimantic for the 38th time.What may be an antique to some, is the centerpiece attraction at this celebration. Portable stereos, a 1980s relic, provided the soundtrack for the eclectic street party.“Every year I come,” said Glastonbury’s Amy Bouchard. “I was so excited that it stopped raining so we could come.”Sandwiched betw...

It is a unique and long-lasting Fourth of July tradition here in Connecticut - the “Boom Box Parade" - and on Tuesday, it took to the streets of Willimantic for the 38th time.

What may be an antique to some, is the centerpiece attraction at this celebration. Portable stereos, a 1980s relic, provided the soundtrack for the eclectic street party.

“Every year I come,” said Glastonbury’s Amy Bouchard. “I was so excited that it stopped raining so we could come.”

Sandwiched between morning rain and afternoon thunderstorms, the tradition continued.

“I came prepared,” said Victoria Thomas, showing her umbrella.

Luckily, no umbrella was necessary for the 11 a.m. start. Community members marched, as some did gymnastics-like flips and youth cheerleaders waived pom-poms.

The tradition dates back to 1986. City leaders and WILI radio creatively found a solution to not having a marching band, instead inviting people to march with boom box stereos.

Many people, like Christopher Dean, were marching while holding their radios high above their head.

“They’re sore,” said Dean with a laugh, describing how his arms felt after marching the parade’s distance while hoisting his boom box.

With costume-clad marchers, a wide variety of vehicles and floats, community pride was clear. Even Windham’s mayor, with his grandson on his shoulders, had a radio blaring.

“I’ve used it in all 38 parades,” said Tom Devivo. “I’ve used it in every single one."

In outfits of red, white and blue, patriotism was on display as spectators celebrated America’s 247th birthday and those in the Willimantic community wouldn’t miss the Boom Box Parade.

“It’s great. I come every year with the family. It’s awesome,” said Windham's Joseph George, while wearing American flag colors from head to toe.

Perhaps, though, no one was happier than one of the event’s founding fathers: WILI radio host Wayne Norman.

“Given the weather today, it was great,” he said, thankful for the droves of people who came out to celebrate the holiday in such a uniquely traditional fashion.


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