Kemble Inn & Table Six Restaurant
The Kemble Inn and Table Six Restaurant have grabbed ahold of BerkShares and they’re not letting go. This 13-room boutique hotel and restaurant have been all atwitter since they started accepting BerkShares a year ago.
Located across from Trinity Church in Lenox, the Kemble Inn has been under the ownership of Scott Shortt since 2010. Shortt has been lovingly restoring the Inn, carefully balancing the architecture of the Guilded Age mansion with modern furnishings and technology. The elegant lodgings at the Inn are complemented by the seasonal fare served at Table Six Restaurant—a perfect synergy of bed & breakfast, lunch & dinner, all under one roof.
Table Six Restaurant, which is captained by chef Ron Reda, formerly of the Clinton White House, does it all—serving breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner, depending on the day. The New York Times lauded Reda’s breakfast as “the best in the Berkshires.” Saturday evenings are reserved for prix fixe dining, accompanied by live piano music and a roaring fire. And Thursday evenings in the summer and fall boast sunset bonfires on the back lawn, with local craft beer.
Within the last year, the Kemble Inn and Table Six Restaurant have started to use the Berkshire Region’s local currency as a tool to promote their own business, support other local businesses, and add to their guest’s experience of the Berkshires. For stays during the week in the winter months, the inn offers a special package that includes a “BerkShares Shopping Spree.” Scott Laugenour, a member of the Kemble Inn team, explains, “When guests come to the Berkshires they want a unique experience. We have a lot of culture and nature and museums, but we also can offer a unique shopping experience by giving our guests some local money to spend.” Guests receive 50 BerkShares, a list of the BerkShares businesses within walking distance, and a BerkShares pocket directory.
The guests enjoy the novelty of using a different currency and also like the fact that the money they spend is supporting the independent business community in the Berkshires. “So many of our guests have responded favorably,” says Laugenour, “The next step would be for more of the hospitality industry to be part of promoting BerkShares and saying to guests, especially in the slow winter months, ‘Hey, go shopping!’”
In concert with the BerkShares special at the Kemble Inn, Laugenour has successfully invited new businesses to join the BerkShares community. His pitch is simple, “If you take BerkShares I’ll patronize your business more frequently and I’ll send more customers through your doors.” He explains that BerkShares work just like U.S. cash, and that once you take them in it is best to keep them circulating by spending them at one of the other 400 participating businesses. “It’s surprising to a lot of businesses because they can just do it. It’s not complicated.
“We accept BerkShares because it’s another way to identify ourselves as a local business that cares about the community of local entrepreneurs. We’ll continue to proudly promote our local currency to visitors and be part of the circulation and the success of building a strong local economy."