STAMFORD, Conn. — Alex Roldan’s father used to be the chef at Stamford’s venerable La Bretagne restaurant. While the restaurant has since closed, his son has taken on a business — in the same spot.
Roldan sells fireworks for Constitution Fireworks, which is a locally owned and operated business unlike the vendors that come from out of state.
“The traffic here is great,” Roldan told Daily Voice on Wednesday from a tent set up in the back parking lot of the restaurant facing the Commerce Street ShopRite parking lot on the Stamford-Greenwich town line. “People come from New York, Greenwich.”
Unlike other stands manned by out-of-state vendors, Roldan said his company is here to stay and stands by its products.
If a customer takes home a firework and it doesn't work, Roldan said he can come back for a replacement.
Roldan said he sees many repeat customers, many of whom have unique tastes. “They know what they want,” he said. And what's the most popular item?
“These are the highest sellers out of all,” Roldan said, pointing to bags chock full of a variety of fireworks. The fireworks are a good value, he said — $100 for a bag worth $175 and $200 for a bag valued at $375, he said.
Roldan usually mans the stand from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. from June 27 through July 4. And he said he accepts credit cards.
Aside from July 4, Roldan said his company sells fireworks year-round for parties and special events.
Regardless of the time of year, Roldan does advise people to keep safety in mind with fireworks. “Light them and walk away,” he said. He also warns people never to put fireworks near their face.
And when Roldan’s customers are done with the fireworks, he said they should never throw them in the garage. He advises customers to hose them down with water so they don’t reignite.
Officials are also reminding Connecticut residents to be careful when choosing and buying fireworks. “The only personal-use fireworks permitted by law in Connecticut are sparklers and fountains,” Wilton Fire Chief Ronald E. Kanterman wrote in a statement.
The following firework products are illegal, Kanterman said: Bottle rockets, Chinese Lanterns, firecrackers, black cats, lady fingers, roman candles, smoke bombs, party poppers, snakes, professional display aerial shells shot from mortar tubes without a permit from the State Fire Marshal, M-80’s, M-100’s, Cherry Bombs, Blockbusters, Quarter Sticks and similar devices.