Business of the Month

Business

BerkShares Networking Event

An evening of networking and information on BerkShares for Businesses. 

 

Are you a business that accepts BerkShares local currency?

 

Would you like to accept BerkShares at your business, but aren’t sure how?

 

Would you like to meet other business owners that share your interest in growing the local economy?

 

 

Wednesday, May 9, 2018 - 5:30pm

The Bistro Box

The Bistro Box

937 South Main Street, Great Barrington, MA 01230

www.thebistrobox.rocks

(413) 717-5958

On opening day at the Bistro Box, you can expect long lines of people eager to get their hands on tomato-bacon jam, freshly-squeezed lemonade, and crispy hand-cut truffle fries.  Perhaps it’s the exclusivity of their seasonal schedule, or maybe it’s because the food is out of this world, but one thing is for sure: husband and wife owners Nick and Birdie Joseph have built a cult following for their twist on the classic American burger stand at their Great Barrington roadside eatery.

 

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Young Entrepreneurs!

 

 BerkShares, Inc. invites the community to experience and participate in “community supported entrepreneurship” at a free event on Wednesday, April 11th where students from the Entry to Entrepreneurship business planning program will present their business plans to the public.  The event will take place at Dewey Hall, 91 Main Street, Sheffield, MA from 5:30-7:30pm. Following the presentations, audience members will be invited to ask questions of the students and join a conversation about business opportunities in the Berkshires.

  

Monday, March 19, 2018 - 4:45pm

7 Arts Gift Shop

In the heart of Norman Rockwell country, the bright walls, groovy sounds, and eclectic offerings at 7 Arts Gift Shop stick out from the traditional Americana on Main Street. It’s “a little bit irreverant, a little bit funny” says owner Teresa O’Brient of Stockbridge’s premier retailer of vintage clothing, vinyl records, and cheeky accessories, “you just have to laugh.” She and her husband Alan have curated a unique shopping experience for the thousands of visitors that come through Stockbridge each year.  

 

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Tom's Toys and JWS Art Supplies

Can you be too old for toys? Tom Levin doesn’t think so.

 

His toy emporium, Tom’s Toys, has been delighting toy lovers of all ages for over 20 years. A mainstay of Main Street, Great Barrington, Tom opened up shop in 1996 after spending many years traveling all over to find unique toys for his young children. Tom saw a gap in the local economy and decided to solve the problem at home.
 

Monday, January 1, 2018

Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires

A nonprofit for nonprofits: That’s what Liana Toscanini dreamt up while shopping in the produce department at the grocery store a few years ago. “People kept approaching me with pleas for help with grant writing, marketing, and general public relations,” she recalls. Longing to pick out her apples without any interruptions, Liana started the Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires (NPC) in 2016. 

 

Friday, December 1, 2017

Ward's Nursery and Garden Center

Ward's Nursery and Garden Center

600 South Main Street, Great Barrington, MA 01230

(413) 528-0166

Donald Ward had a lot of ideas in 1957 when he and his business partner purchased what would become Ward’s Nursery and Garden Center. Now, decades later, many of Donald Ward’s ideas have been brought to fruition and Ward’s itself continues to be an anchor of the business community.       

 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Yummy Treasures

Yummy Treasures
10 Commercial Street, Pittsfield, MA 01201
413 344 4314


Bead by bead, Beth and Greg Carpenter have built a business—and it has far exceeded their expectations.Yummy Treasures Bead Shop “started out of our basement in Pittsfield,” says Greg. It all began because Beth loved collecting jewelry and crafting supplies such as beads, findings, and cabochons. In 2008 she set up a shop on Etsy.com to “see if she could make a few bucks” from this habit. “And it took off from there.”

 

Thursday, June 1, 2017 - 1:15pm

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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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On a weekend trip to the Berkshires in 2012, Jeffrey Blaugrund entered a tried-and-true recipe from his New Mexico roots into a chili cook off at the then Meat Market in Great Barrington. To his surprise, and perhaps the dismay of some local contestants, his Carne Adovada dish won! At the suggestion that he begin selling the red chile pork stew, Jeff  became consumed by the idea of starting a business.

Moonlighting as a Crossfit coach, Jeff loved the routine and convenience of prepared meals that allowed him to maintain his fitness goals and made for quick desk lunches during his busy day. In thinking through his business idea, he realized that it’s not one great product that makes a business, but rather “the value proposition of quality sourcing, thoughtful cooking and a convenient, delicious result.” Enter Braise Worthy: a line of frozen meals that Jeff and co-founder Austin Banach say are “exactly what you want to eat when you don’t have time.”

These aren’t your grandpa’s TV dinners. Anyone who has ever braised anything knows the cooking process can take hours to develop flavors and tenderize meats. They'll also know it tastes best after a night in the refrigerator, so all meals are flash frozen immediately after production to preserve freshness and taste. Each of Braise Worthy’s meals showcase locally sourced high quality ingredients, masterful cooking, and creative recipe development. From the Beef Satsivi, a regional specialty from the Republic of Georgia, Mississippi Pot Roast with pepperoncinis and homemade ranch dressing, to the vegan Menudo that calls upon mushrooms to replicate the texture of tripe in the classic Mexican soup, Braise Worthy’s products respectfully honor the tradition of each dish while bringing it new life.

Braise Worthy has a unique business model, too. Through a direct-to-consumer subscription service, meals are delivered weekly to three pick up locations throughout the southern Berkshires. Jeff and Austin say this format gives them flexibility when it comes to research and development while sustainably scaling their business operations. In addition to feeding the masses at community events, their baby blue taco truck can be seen traveling around the county acting as a testing ground for new recipes. Braise Worthy will soon be releasing 7 more dishes, offering a total of 16 omnivorous and vegan menu items.  

Fundamental to Braise Worthy’s commitment to quality and consistency, is transparency. That’s why each batch of their slow cooked meals includes an ingredient tracker that allows customers to see exactly where their food is coming from. Jeff and Austin source their proteins and vegetables from local farms as much as possible, including fellow BerkShares businesses North Plain Farm and Mayflower Farm. The same commitment to transparency is why they decided to take BerkShares. BerkShares distinguish local businesses from global counterparts and makes visible how money circulates in the region. As they continue to iterate and grow, Jeff and Austin look forward to deepening their connection to the local economy and community.