Now in Wellesley Hills, computer repair and vaping: They go together like…like…like…
Now in Wellesley Hills, computer repair and vaping: They go together like…like…like…
Tutto Italiano owner Robert Palizzolo spends his days quietly putting together subs for the lunch crowd and selling high-quality olive oils, unusual pasta shapes, fresh mozzarella, and anything else you might need to keep your kitchen stocked, Italian style. For the past 19 years he has labored in what looked like obscurity in his store on the corner of Washington and Grove St., but I have discovered his secret life as a video star.
I came across what appears to be his acting debut on Vimeo, a website that allows videographers to upload and share their work. Palizzolo stars in the 2-minute clip, a sort of quickie infomercial about the store and all its delicacies. He doesn’t spill any trade secrets, but he does talk about how Tutto gets that great aroma that he says just can’t be reproduced. The secret: “…it’s the olives sitting out on the counter and the cheeses and the cold cuts being sliced fresh, and it just sends out this aroma, and it’s an amazing smell.”
He prides himself on his customer service and his ability to keep things in the store fresh, clean, and interesting, with new products arriving regularly to sit alongside the tried-and-true old favorites. I know first-hand about Tutto’s great service, which comes with a sense of fun and creativity, from the time an employee there helped me put together a bunch of gift bags when it was my turn to host Bunco (a mindless but fun dice game for three tables of four people).
With that hosting priviledge comes the great responsibility of supplying the prizes at the end of the night. And those prizes better be good, but at the same time they have to fall within the prize budget, or the Bunco ladies will tsk about profligate spending. Talk about pressure.
The employee at Tutto listened to my needs, said “This is going to be fun,” and got to work helping me put together 5 gift bags that turned out to be fan-favorite prizes for the year.
The hunky and photogenic Palizzolo perhaps thought that he could be a film star in the same way he runs a business — somewhat under the radar, just doing his thing, no big deal. Well, sorry if this post turns your world upside down with autograph-seekers and the papparzzi giving you no peace, Mr. P. Such is the life of an A-lister.
Oh, and the mozzarella and prosciutto sub I stopped in for recently? Molto bueno.
As we reported a couple of weeks back, the Button Box sewing/quilting/crafting shop on Rte. 9 West in Wellesley was looking for a buyer, as the owner is retiring. But now it looks as if that plan has been scratched. Owner Catherine Gentile shared this note with patrons late Thursday:
We have most disheartening news
As many classes as possible are being stuffed into the schedule before our last day.
We have a mission for you – Please hunt for a place we can hold sewing get togethers. None of us want to loose touch with our friends. Let us know if you know of a place with parking, easy access and decent light – where we can meet and sew all day for a low price.
We would love to continue sewing and software classes as well.
Things are still up in the air about the sewing machines and software. Pfaff is looking for a shop to take over the Dealership and it is too early to know where that will be. We will keep you posted.
For now, we are servicing machines and will continue to help you until a new local dealer is found.
In case you didn’t have a chance to close read all 20 of our posts over the last week, we’ve curated the best and most informative to keep you current. Here’s what happened in town when you blinked:
Wellesley’s own seriously legit runner and uber-fundraiser Carol Chaoui got some love in a nice segment on CBS Boston news. The mother of four, and her husband Amin, is prepping for this year’s Boston Marathon and raising funds for Dana-Farber cancer institute, while battling stage four breast and thyroid cancers.
The CBS film crews showed up at her home to catch Carol and dozens of friends as they ran through the streets of Wellesley for a regular trot designed to help locals get off their couches and run 5K road races. I joined right in that day as over 30 of us mugged for the camera crews and created a scene as we bopped along, laughing and chit-chatting. I’m a non-runner, but that didn’t matter, all were welcome. Anyway, I knew that the real fun would be the post-run refreshments back at Carol’s, a place as colorful as her personality and her clothes, a home decorated with a flair and vibrating with an air that makes it feel like a slice of Cambridge tucked away here in Wellesley.
If you’re as inspired as I am by Chaoui, click here to help her raise $65,000 in funds for metastatic breast cancer research through Dana-Farber.
Another Wellesley resident who got some attention was Mike Heffernan, who was appointed as the state’s new commissioner of revenue. You may remember that Heffernan ran for State Treasurer back in 2014 but lost his bid for that office. One of our Facebook commenters said about Heffernan, “He does my lawn. Just kidding. I know he’s the other one.”
Next, a part of Wellesley’s dark past was razed. 56 Cleveland Rd., the house where convicted wife killer Dirk Greineder and his family once lived, was torn down. The house where the former allergist and his family lived was, as are many split-level homes in town, knocked down to make way for a new home. The 4-bedroom, 3-bathroom, 1,867 sq. ft. house sold for a little over $800K in September, after last being purchased in 2002 for $655K, according to Zillow.
In other real estate news, a house with ties to Booker T. Washington may be headed for the wrecking ball. From the Townsman: “The home, which according to commission historian Joshua Dorin once housed a school for boys that counted African American icon Booker T. Washington’s son among its students, could be marked for demolition with no legal barriers standing in the new owner’s way.”
Around the college scene, Wellesley College’s Clapp library was called out by architectural blog Mid-Century Mundane as a building that “lack(s) elegance but continues to serve students’ needs ably.” Faint praise, indeed.
Also in education news, there’s a new Fiske School principal. Rachel McGregor, who has served as the interim principal at Fiske Elementary School in Wellesley for the current school year, has been appointed as permanent principal now. She was selected from a pool of 53 applicants.
In local business news, Your French Gift, the shop at 269 Washington St. in Wellesley that opened in 2013, is closing its brick-and-mortar location but will continue operating online. Signs hanging in the windows advertise space being available via Conviser Property Group. Au revoir to one of Swellesley’s earliest advertisers. We wish you the best.
Also in local business news, a new nail salon will be moving into the former LittleBits Toys shop space at 304 Washington St. Wellesley has about a dozen nail salons/spas, which might be gaining in numbers on banks, as one of our Facebook page commenters noted.
You absolutely have got to check out Wellesley College’s Ravencam. Pauline and Henry have returned to their nest for the third year in a row. Pauline has laid a clutch of five eggs, and she and Henry are busy making everything perfect for their soon-to-be-hatched family.
Your French Gift, the shop at 269 Washington St. in Wellesley that opened in 2013, is closing its brick-and-mortar location but will continue operating online. Signs hanging in the windows advertise space being available via Conviser Property Group.
The shop imported authentic French items, from scarves to umbrellas to perfumes. Owner Leila Cahillane was an early Swellesley advertising supporter, and we wish her the best.
If you’ve been nervously biting your fingernails wondering what might be going into the former LittleBits Toys shop space at 304 Washington St., then you’ll be glad to know a new nail salon will be moving in. We understand the business already has operations in Wellesley Square and Needham.
Wellesley has about a dozen nail salons/spas, and that’s why we’re all so pretty.
The Baker administration has announced that Wellesley resident, Wall Street veteran, and former state treasurer candidate Mike Heffernan has been appointed as the state’s new commissioner of revenue, as reported by the Boston Business Journal.
The BBJ reports that Heffernan “…replaces Mark Nunnelly, a former Bain & Co. executive who served as the state’s top tax officials for all of 12 monthsbefore agreeing earlier this month to become the commonwealth’s top technology adviser.
State officials said Kevin Brown, who serves as the Department of Revenue’s general counsel, will temporarily replace Nunnelly as the division’s acting commissioner beginning April 4. Heffernan will formally take over as DOR’s top official May 2.
Since last year, Heffernan, a Wellesley resident, has served as a board member for the MBTA Retirement Board and Pension Reserves Investment Management Board, appointments that were made by Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker. Prior to his unsuccessful run for state treasurer in 2014, Heffernan was a technology entrepreneur and before that was a regional sales chief for CitiGroup’s institutional equities desk.
Baker said Heffernan’s financial background proved a key reason for his appointment this week. Added Kristen Lepore, the state’s secretary for the Executive Office for Administration and Finance: “Mike’s extensive finance experience and entrepreneurial background will be critical to leading an agency with crucial responsibilities to the commonwealth and the customers who pay taxes here.”
As DOR commissioner, Heffernan’s primary responsibilities will include enforcement of the commonwealth’s tax, child support and municipal finance laws.”
Here at Swellesley, we wonder if this means that Mike will get to build on his TV career and make more commercials like this one. Spoiler alert: his wife, Peggy, seriously steals the show.
When Wellesley mom Kelly Barry was searching for a business opportunity that would let her capture her three big passions — children, cooking, and food — she kept circling back to the idea of giving cooking lessons. Barry has been happily up to her elbows in the kitchen since she was a child and knows from cooking with her own three children how much kids love to get involved in all things food. From there, her idea for Little Chefs was born, a business that teaches cooking classes to kids ages 3 – 9+ and runs specialty classes such as “Kids Cook and Adults Schmooze” or birthday parties that feature cupcake baking or pizza making.
Barry brings everything needed to homes or businesses. “I am a mobile class,” she says. “I bring all the supplies and food to people’s locations such as to companies, sports clubs, firms, and people’s homes.”
The most-requested classes she does are, unsurprisingly, her pizza parties. Least popular thing she ever did was the healthy chocolate cupcakes she once brought in for her son’s pre-school class. The thing is, they were healthy but they didn’t taste great, and the kids just flat-out wouldn’t eat them. From there a lesson was learned which now informs her every decision in the kitchen: “It’s really great that all the food in my classes is healthy, but the bottom line is that it has to taste good, too.”
The former attorney and active member of the Wellesley Mother’s Forum says she never says never to going back to practicing law, but for the foreseeable future you can find her cooking up a storm, running and hosting parties and classes for the next generation of cooks.
Safe exchange zones — areas often at police stations and under constant surveillance for buyers and sellers who use Craigslist or other online sites/apps — are popping up across Metrowest, including in Hopkinton, Wayland and Bellingham.
Could Wellesley be next?
Well, of course we have something of a safe exchange zone already in the Wellesley Recycling & Disposal Facility (not that there haven’t been a few scuffles there over the years). But the idea of trying to sell something on Craigslist without inviting unknown parties to your home might be a welcome option for Wellesley residents.
Wellesley Police Lt. Marie Cleary says: “We are currently considering it and we are in the process of speaking with law enforcement agencies who have them.”
If it’s something you think would be a good idea, now might be the time to speak up…
David Drumm, the former head of Anglo Irish Bank, was arrested by U.S. Marshals at his Wellesley home in late 2015 in answer to an extradition request of Irish authorities who wanted him to face more than two dozen criminal charges overseas related to that bank’s messy demise. On Tuesday Drumm was freed in Ireland after posting bail of 150,000 euros (about $167,000) at a district court in Dublin, as reported by Lorelei Stevens of the Cape Cod Times.
Drumm lived in Wellesley for 6 years, much to the chagrin of Irish financial regulators who accused him of all sorts of shenanigans that allegedly went down with Anglo Irish Bank, eventually leading the Irish government to prop it up during that country’s banking crisis earlier in the 2000s.
In December 2008, as Drumm resigned from the bank as it was failing, he relocated first to Chatham and then to Wellesley. He was arrested by U.S. Marshals at his Wellesley home on Oct. 10, 2015 on an extradition request from the Irish government
According to the Cape Cod Times report:
“Under the terms of his bail, Drumm has surrendered his passport. He must stay at a home in Skerries, a seaside town north of Dublin. He also must check in with police at the Garda station in an adjacent town twice daily and be available by cellphone at all times…Drumm is facing 33 charges related to fraud and other illegal practices that led to the near collapse of the bank, which contributed heavily to the economic crisis in Ireland at the time. Each offenses carries a five- or 10-year jail term, except for a one count of conspiracy to defraud, which has a maximum penalty of an “unlimited term of imprisonment” under Irish law. In court, an investigator quoted by the Irish Independent newspaper noted that the case against Drumm involves more than 400 phone calls and millions of pages of evidence. The spokesman for the court said the case “is not expected to go to trial until the middle of next year.” Drumm has yet to enter a plea in court.”
Meanwhile, Drumm’s attorney told the court that Drumm’s wife intends to sell the couple’s Wellesley home and return to Ireland. That Cliff Estates home was a sticking point with the Irish press, which questioned his claims of financial hardship even as he was spending oodles to gussy up the four bedroom, 3.5 bath, 4,000+ square foot home. The current estimated sale price would be just over $2 million. The home last sold in January 2010 for $2,042,891.
The story has been grabbing big headlines overseas, including in The Irish Times, which includes a timeline recounting Drumm’s story. We imagine it’s a relief to Drumm to be out of prison just in time for him to raise a glass to St. Patrick, who is widely credited with driving the snakes out of Ireland.
Also of interest…