MILFORD — As a native of the Devon section of Milford, Christina Pritchard is not only thrilled to see the neighborhood coming back to life, she is proud to be a part of it.
Pritchard has just opened Scoot Paddle — scooter, cycle and kayak rental business — on Naugatuck Avenue at Walnut Beach. An outdoors enthusiast, Pritchard is excited to bring a business to the area that reflects her passion for nature and the neighborhood.
“A lot of people are really starting to come to the area now,” she said, noting new ice cream and cupcake shops that are helping to make it an inviting destination, especially as the weather turns warm. Pritchard sees it as a perfect place to launch her new business, which gives people a taste of kayaking and stand-up paddleboards at the beach or around the surrounding marshlands, as well as the opportunity do some biking or motorized scootering on the area’s flat, less-traveled roads.
“The area really needed something like this,” she said. “In the past, people have asked where they can go and rent kayaks, so I just thought it was a business that would do well and be a benefit to the area — get people out of the house a little bit more.”
Along with regular kayaks, Pritchard offers fishing kayaks, which are rigged for the sportsman. Life jackets, mandatory by state law, are provided with rentals. For couples looking to share togetherness, Scoot Paddle also has some tandem bicycles available.
“We have the largest coastline in the state,” Pritchard said. “You can really scoot all the along the coast of Milford. We have nice, wide streets down here (and) you can follow the beach pretty far, and there are lots of back roads.”
Tyyne Catapano, owner of Wild Expressions florist, said she is thrilled to have Pritchard’s shop join the area’s commerce.
“Scoot Paddle adds to our beach neighborhood in the best possible way,” she said. “We have all come together as a community in Walnut Beach, whether it be for our monthly Art Strolls, or in the time of need after both storms,” she said, lauding Pritchard’s role as secretary for the Walnut Beach Association.
“She’s always willing to lend a hand and help to make Walnut Beach the place to be,” Catapano said.
“I live right in the same neighborhood as the business,” Pritchard said, having been a stay-at-home mom until her son started preschool this year.
While she has a website up and running, business has already gotten busy through social networking.
“It’s great,” Pritchard said. “We have a ton of traffic, and a lot of people asking a ton of questions. I think I’ll be taking reservations for holidays pretty soon.”
For more information, you can visit the Scoot Paddle website: http://scootandpaddle.com/.