"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.”
Business of the Month
“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.”
273 Great Barrington Road, Great Barrington, MA 01126
Maddie: (413) 329-8389
Abe: (413) 429-6266
Imagine a currency that is backed by fermented cabbages, carrots, and garlic. Sound far-fetched? Here in the Berkshire Hills it’s a reality. Take a handful of BerkShares with you to the Great Barrington Farmers’ Market, for example, and you can quickly convert it to kimchi or sauerkraut.
“Hosta Hill is a cultured food business. We make lacto-fermented sauerkraut and kimchi and unpasteurized tempeh, and we accept BerkShares,” confirms Maddie Elling, who is co-owner with her partner Abe Hunrichs. “Our business is based in the Berkshires, and so accepting BerkShares is a really great way of ‘walking the talk’ of the local economy.” When you use BerkShares, Maddie says, “the money is happy wherever it goes.”
John Isaacs has never been afraid to try his hand at new things. At 17, the Brit hopped aboard a Norwegian merchant ship, swabbing the decks as a ship boy. As a philosophy student in the mid-60s he found a summer job with an advertising agency, acquiring a fascination with typography and his first graphic design experience.
Later, he threw himself into filmmaking, then became the executive director of a publishing company in New York. Now he runs his own small firm in Claverack, John Isaacs Design.
Tom Doyle and David Thorne, co-owners of Gateway Berkshire Real Estate & Services, are in the business of introducing people to the Berkshires–and they have enlisted the assistance of our local currency! “BerkShares are a great way to quickly inform new entrants to the area about our local economy,” says Doyle, who uses BerkShares to take clients out to lunch. People are always really intrigued, he says, and the “best part” of Gateway’s gift at a closing is a starter set of BerkShares, along with information about where to spend them. “The directory is filled with the types of shops and services new homeowners will need, so it’s like a tutorial.”
In the Berkshires you can find heirloom tomatoes, artisanal cheese, pasture-raised beef... but can you find a real bagel? Thanks to the Great Barrington Bagel Company, the answer to that question is yes. “We’re making an authentic New York-style bagel. It’s a specialty,” says owner Bob Climo with pride.
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
“The pottery is very quiet,” insists Daniel Bellow, owner of Daniel Bellow Porcelain. And if you see his work you’re sure to agree. Its strength is not in being flashy or cute, but rather in its gravity, simplicity, and its feel. “This is manufacturing,” Bellow says, “can’t you see the clay under
If you have BerkShares in your pocket and you feel like taking an autumn drive on the back roads of Berkshire County, this is a good time to visit Rawson Brook Farm. Even though most of Susan Sellew’s sales of Monterey Chevre are to local grocery stores and restaurants, selling
Trevor Cobb has been “racing and riding since he can remember,” says Olivia Norton, co-owner, with Trevor, of Treyson Racin,’ a parts and accessories service and maintenance shop on Route 7 in Great Barrington. Treyson Racin’ specializes in the vehicles that Trevor grew up with—ATVs
Can you guess which BerkShares business owes its existence to a fluke at a flea market? Phyllis Webb says The Magic Fluke Company would never have happened if her brother—a guitar player in the music industry—had not found a vintage ukulele at an L.A. flea market and realized “Gee, I could