All-star Orange Street ceramicist Kiara Matos got a high-profile visitor — but not a customer — on Friday, as Gov. Ned Lamont swung by to marvel at her pottery workshop, catch up on her small-business story, pose for a photo with one of her brightly hued bird sculptures, and then leave empty-handed.

Lamont made that visit Friday afternoon during a two-stop tour of downtown New Haven businesses run by female immigrant entrepreneurs.

The first stop was at Kiara Matos’s pottery storefront at 137 Orange St., the second at Havenly Treats at 25 Temple St.

She spoke about how she recently received a $10,000 grant from the Women’s Business Development Council to help cover the cost of critical but pricey equipment, including a new pug mill that cuts down from hours to minutes the amount of time she needs to rehydrate and repurpose scraps of clay into workable ceramics material.


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