Business of the Month

Business

BerkShares Young Entrepreneurs

 

Andrew LaPatin is a young man from Pittsfield with a passion for art. He has autism, and his work reflects his unique perception of the people, characters, wildlife, & natural beauty of the enchanted hills of Berkshire County. After Entry to Entrepreneurship he plans to continue his education by taking college-level art courses, establish a store on Etsy, and start building his network. Andrew is ready to accept special commissions and sell his artwork. You can contact him through his Facebook page.

Monday, May 1, 2017 - 9:30am

Assembly Coffee Roasters

Assembly Coffee Roasters
814 East Street, Pittsfield, MA 01201
413 443 0280


“It is about caramelizing sugars,” explains Thomas Doyle, a fifteen-year coffee roasting veteran and co-owner, with his wife Julia, of Assembly Coffee Roasters in Pittsfield. The coffee bean, he points out, is a cherry seed; roasting coffee is really just the process of applying heat over a period of time to caramelize the sugars in that seed. Julia jumps in, “That’s why coffee really shouldn’t be bitter!”

Wednesday, March 1, 2017 - 3:45pm

Kenver, Ltd.

Kenver, Ltd.
39 Main Street, South Egremont, MA 01258
413 528 2330

“It’s about way more than just skiing.” So says Lucinda Vermeulen, owner of Kenver, Ltd. the outdoor specialty store in South Egremont that is famous for its atmosphere. 

 

When Lucinda’s late husband Ken Vermeulen founded the business with Ernie Beckwith in Great Barrington in 1959, the focus of the business was rather different. Both men were avid hunters and outdoorsmen and, Lucinda laughs, “if you can imagine, they used to hang deer on Railroad Street, with everybody walking around in neon orange!” 

 

Soon, however, Ken Vermeulen moved the business to its current location in Egremont. The iconic building, which dates back to 1731 and once served as a stagecoach stop, had been decimated by fire, but the beautiful marble floors, high ceilings, and original beams were still intact, and they captured Vermeulen’s fancy. 

Thursday, December 1, 2016 - 5:00pm

Newly Elected Board of Trustees

 

BerkShares, Inc. is a membership-directed non-profit organization focused on responsible economic development in the Berkshire region. BerkShares, Inc. has worked in partnership with local businesses and community banks to issue BerkShares, a local currency for the Berkshire Region. BerkShares help to build regional identity, raise awareness about the importance of local ownership, and empower community-based economic decision-making. On October 20th, BerkShares, Inc. held its Annual Meeting, where the membership elected the following five of their fellows to join the Board of Trustees of the organization:

Tuesday, November 1, 2016 - 11:00am

Wandering Star Craft Brewery

Wandering Star Craft Brewery
11 Gifford St., Pittsfield, MA 01201
917 573 3942

 

“Honey, I bought a brewery.” That is how Chris Post announced to the world (and in particular, to his wife) that his home brewing hobby had morphed into something more serious. At that point, Post was still working in finance in New York City, and brewing was something that happened on a two-ring burner in his apartment. But one day, while browsing eBay for home brewing equipment, he had stumbled upon the entire contents of a brewpub in Michigan, listed at “an absurdly low price.”

 

“I was convinced that I would be outbid, but I didn’t want to die wondering ‘what if I had taken that chance and pressed the button.’ So I pressed the button.” As it turns out, that was the beginning of Post’s adventure from banker to brewer.

 

Saturday, October 1, 2016 - 11:30am

Berkshire Co-op Market

Berkshire Co-op Market
42 Bridge Street, Great Barrington, MA 01230
413 528 9697

“The idea that a group of people can control a business by exercising the democratic process is a very powerful one,” says Daniel Esko, General Manager at Berkshire Co-op Market. And in Great Barrington that power, aligned with a common demand for high-quality food, has led the Co-op to evolve significantly from its “humble roots on Rosseter Street,” where it was incorporated by 160 families in 1981.

 

Friday, July 1, 2016 - 9:30am

Big Elm Brewing

Big Elm Brewing 
65 Silver Street, Sheffield, MA 01257
(413) 229-2348

If you are “fiercely local,” what is the best way to show it? By drinking local beer, of course! At Big Elm Brewing, Bill and Christine Heaton and their co-founders Jen and Russell Jaehnig have set out to make the task of showing your Berkshire pride both easy and delicious.

 

Founded in Sheffield in 2012, Big Elm beer has fast become a staple in bars, markets, and liquor stores throughout the region. After gaining a strong foothold here over their first three years, the company signed an agreement with the Craft Brewers Guild for statewide distribution in January, which has allowed them to gain, according to Heaton, “really good traction” in the lively Boston craft beer market. And on June 9th they filled their millionth can of beer!

 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016 - 10:30am

Berkshire Children's Chorus

Berkshire Children's Chorus
P.O. Box 18, Sheffield, MA 01257
(413) 229 2465


“I have these moments when I’m singing where everything feels exactly right,” says one young member of Berkshire Children’s Chorus, a non-profit community children’s chorus currently celebrating its 25th season. “Singing in a children’s chorus can be a very powerful and transformative experience,” agrees Artistic Director Julie Bickford. “It was in my life
.”

Sunday, May 1, 2016 - 4:45pm

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The Red Lion Inn
30 Main Street, Stockbridge, MA
(413) 298-5545

Rooted on Main Street in Stockbridge, the Red Lion Inn has been a hub in the Berkshires since 1773, says Sarah Eustis. She is a member of the third generation of the family that has been at the helm of the Red Lion since 1968. In that

October, 2014

Great Barrington Bra & Girl
306 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA
(413) 528-6069

“It was our ‘bottle-of wine-idea,’” says April Burch, owner, with her husband Dan Alden, of Great Barrington Bra & Girl, whose name is a cheeky play on ‘Bar & Grill.’ “When I came home from a particularly rough day at work Dan would ask me ‘ok, what would you like to do in an

September, 2014

Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center
14 Castle Street, Great Barrington, MA
(413) 528-0100

 

What do Darlene Love, John Philip Sousa and BerkShares have in common? They have all held center stage at the Mahaiwe Theater in Great Barrington, a prize possession of the Berkshires and one of the oldest surviving theaters in the United States.

Every community deserves

August, 2014

One Mercantile
8 Castle Street, Great Barrington, MA
(413) 528-1718

One Mercantile is, for owners Abby Webster and Andy Pruhenski, the perfect synthesis of their shared interests in design and craftsmanship, their Berkshire upbringing, and their entrepreneurial and artistic training. This is a little home goods shop with a high aesthetics and high

July, 2014

Abbott's Limousine & Livery Service
435 Greylock Street, Lee, MA
(413) 243-1645

“Is this a taxi?”  That’s the question that launched Abbott’s Limousine and Livery Service back in 1965.  Don Abbott had recently lost his leg in a construction accident, and was looking for a way to provide for his growing family.  He had gone down to the town park to people-watch and think about his options.  When a visitor to the Berkshires stepped off the

June, 2014

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