Business of the Month

Business

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 Food Co-op

Berkshire Food Co-op
34 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 Food Co-op. 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 Heaton and Christine Bump 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

Barrett Tree Service

Barrett Tree Service
93 Ashley Falls Rd. Sheffield, MA 01257
(413) 229 9914
www.barretttreeservice.com

Do all arboriculturalists drink green tea? Or is it only the crew of Barrett Tree Service? Founder and owner Winthrop Barrett laughs, “Yeah, we’re always drinking the green tea.” It’s by no means a profession-wide tradition, he explains, but it does serve a purpose. “It’s a performance drink. It gives you a nice steady buzz, whereas coffee brings you up and then you crash.” And when you’re in a business like tree care, you want an even keel.

 

Friday, April 1, 2016 - 10:15am

Teamflys

Teamflys
807 State Road, North Adams, MA 01247
(413) 862 9359

Teamflys offers a new perspective on the local economy: a bird’s eye view! Based out of the North Adams airport, Teamflys offers scenic flights, aircraft rentals, and professional flight instruction to locals and visitors alike – and they accept BerkShares! “We’re not a typical start-up business,” says manager Trevor Gilman, explaining that the business launched with zero money in the bank. “We found a principal investor who bought the airplane and then we started up the business and began to take on students.”

Tuesday, March 1, 2016 - 11:30am

Only In My Dreams Events

Only In My Dreams Events
(413) 528 0285
South Egremont, MA 01258


Oskar Hallig had so much fun planning his own wedding that he was inspired to start a business – planning other people’s weddings! Though matrimony was his entrée into the business, Hallig’s company, Only In My Dreams Events, plans all sorts of to-dos, including birthday parties, fundraisers, and memorial services. “We do everything from beginning to end, so to speak."

 

Monday, February 1, 2016 - 12:00pm

Ooma Tesoro’s

Ooma Tesoro’s
Windsor, MA
(413) 684-0898

"My grandmother never wrote down a recipe, not even on an index card,” says Michael Tesoro. Tesoro and his wife Robin are co-founders of Ooma Tesoro’s, a family business that makes premium marinara sauce based on the recipe that Ooma never wrote down. “My grandmother wanted me to say ‘Nonna,’ which is the Italian word for grandmother, but it came out of my mouth ‘Ooma’ and the name stuck.”

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 8:30pm

Dana Bixby Architecture

Dana Bixby Architecture
25 Swamp Road, West Stockbridge, MA 01266
413 232 7834

“It’s all about something that’s real, you can touch it, you’re there,” says Dana Bixby, owner of Dana Bixby Architecture, teasing out the threads of what inspires her to accept BerkShares for her architectural services. She might be talking about BerkShares, but you could almost say that she is talking about her own practice. “I do ‘spatial architecture,’ which is different from fictional or superficial architecture,” says Dana. “I want to create the possibility of experience, rather than a representation or idea of experience.”

Tuesday, December 1, 2015 - 12:00pm

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Lester Blumenthal claims to have lost all his marbles when he decided to make a go of the restaurant business.  But anyone who succumbs to Bessie the fiberglass cow’s beckoning glance and follows the arrows to the Route 7 Grill will see that Lester has not lost anything but instead has found

July, 2013

Say hello to the stalwarts of Railroad Street, Great Barrington; say hello to Steve and Tony Carlotta of the Snap Shop. They have been in business since April Fools’ Day in 1972. That’s 41 years, no fooling!

But it’s no wonder that they have held down the fort for so long, even in the face of

June, 2013

Ask anyone in the southern Berkshires where they got their bike, and they are more than likely to answer, “Berkshire Bike & Board.”

Steffen Root was knocking at the door when the local bike shop first opened in 1995 (it was known as Berkshire Bike & Blade then

May, 2013

Locke Larkin, the man behind Berkshire County’s oldest established gourmet food shop, Locke Stock & Barrel, laughs when asked about “the local movement,” because for him it just means that he has been around long enough to see things come full circle.  A native of the Berkshires,

April, 2013

The Bookloft
332 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, MA
(413) 528-1531

How often can you still find an independently owned bookstore, one with the local flavor leant by a used book section, a large collection of local histories, and books signed by local authors?  Less and less often, as Eric Wilska, co-owner of the Bookloft on Stockbridge Road in Great

March, 2013

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