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Biz Briefs: Guido's Fresh Marketplace Brothers Named Members of the Year
01:18PM / Monday, August 06, 2018
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The Masiero brothers began their professional partnership in search of the very best produce they could source and sell.

Feeling fresh

The Southern Berkshire Chamber of Commerce has named Matt and Chris Masiero of Guido's Fresh Marketplace as the Business Persons of the Year. The Masiero brothers began their professional partnership in search of the very best produce they could source and sell. They named their roadside stand after their father Guido, determined to carry on the commitment to good health and personal integrity that ran through everything Guido did. That little roadside stand has grown, but the brothers' mission remained the same: to find the freshest, highest quality products from Lenox to Lyon; to help you feed families well; and to support the community both within their stores and around it.

The Masieros now operate Guido's Fresh Marketplace at two locations in the Berkshires: 1020 South St. in Pittsfield and 760 South Main St. in Great Barrington. Their success continues as the brothers work side by side in strong partnership with 300-plus employees and five local family-operated businesses: Bella Flora, Mazzeo's Meat & Seafood, The Marketplace Specialty Foods, and The Chef's Shop.

Matt and Chris Masiero will be celebrating 40 years in business in 2019. The Southern Berkshire Chamber will honor Masiero brothers on Wednesday, Sept. 12, at the Norman Rockwell Museum. Contact the SBCC for ticket information at 413-528-4284.

 

Say cheese

The American Cheese Society has awarded Cricket Creek Farm in Williamstown the second place prize in its category for Maggie's Reserve. The category is formally titled "Farmstead Category – Aged 60 days or more – Less than 39 Percent Moisture – made from cow's milk," and applies to all firm, aged cow milk cheeses that are made on the farm where the milk is produced. This is the second ACS award for Maggie's Reserve, and the fourth ACS award received by Cricket Creek Farm. In total, 1954 cheeses from 259 companies were entered in the competition.

Maggie's Reserve is made from raw (unpasteurized) milk from Cricket Creek Farm's herd of mixed breed cows, which feed on Berkshire pastures in the warmer seasons, and locally grown hay in the winter. The farmer's milk between 30 to 40 cows at any given time of year. The cheese is modeled after the rustic aged cheeses of the Italian Alps. It is aged in temperature and humidity controlled aging rooms on the farm for 18 months to two years.

Maggie’s Reserve is available for purchase at the Cricket Creek Farm store, at local farmers markets (including Pittsfield, Lenox, Great Barrington, Northampton and Troy, N.Y.), and at fine cheese counters around the country.

Cricket Creek Farm is a small, grass-based cow dairy nestled in the Berkshire hills of Williamstown. The farm produces raw milk, grass-fed beef and whey-fed pork, in addition to seven different styles of artisanal farmstead cheeses. The farm and farm store are open to the public seven days a week. The farm's historic Stone Barn is also available for wedding and event rentals.

 

Happy 45th birthday

The Mill on The Floss Restaurant is celebrating its 45th year of serving the Berkshires and beyond. The Champagne family began operating the restaurant in August 1973. The Mill on The Floss is located on Route 7 in the town of New Ashford, the second smallest town in Massachusetts, which once had national prominence when it polled its presidential vote ahead of all other communities in the country. The restaurant is open for dinner Tuesdays through Sundays from 5 p.m.; it is closed on Mondays.

"The Mill," as it is widely known, takes its name from the old grist mill that was originally located and operated on the property back in the 19th century and floss, an old English word for a small tributary or stream of water. The first old cider and grist mill, a relic of pre-Revolutionary War days, originally stood on Route 7 in New Ashford at what is now the entrance to the Mill on the Floss restaurant. Built around 1796, the old mill came into existence soon after the first settlers arrived in New Ashford. The original mill was operated by the Roy family during the 19th century.

Judge Clarence M. Smith purchased the mill from Fannie Roy of New Ashford around the end of the 19th century. The mill was later restored in 1931 by Smith, and was eventually razed for the widening of Route 7 back in 1954. The Mill was later purchased on Aug. 1, 1973, from the Van Cott family by Canadian-born Maurice Champagne, a talented chef trained in the classic French cuisine, and his wife, Jane Champagne. Since 1973, with the tender loving care and expertise of the Champagnes, The Mill on the Floss has become a gastronomic destination. Chef Suzanne Champagne Ivy has created the perfect balance between her contemporary approach to French cuisine and the classical techniques taught to her by her late father, Maurice Champagne.

 

Financial move

Financial advisers John D. Eisenhour and Corey Phillips of The Bulfinch Group recently established an office at The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America's Pittsfield Office at 700 South St. Both Eisenhour and Phillips advise on insurance and investments, and both do financial planning for individuals, families and businesses to address concerns, goals and objectives. They work with clients on life and disability insurance, annuities, and investments as part of a comprehensive plan that looks at everything that could impact the individual, family or business – either financially or legally.

A graduate of Penn State University, Eisenhour lives in Cummington where he serves on the Conservation Commission and Council on Aging. He has a grown daughter, Gretchen. Phillips is board president and coach for Pittsfield's Catholic Youth Center. He also serves on the boards of the Pittsfield Educational Foundation and Pittsfield Family YMCA, as well as the steering committee for Berkshire Young Professionals. A Trinity College graduate, he lives in Dalton with his wife, Erica, and daughter, Olivia.

 

Giving back

The employees of Adams Community Bank completed their annual fundraising initiative to benefit both Moments House and PopCares. A record amount of more than $31,000 was raised during a six-month period through a combination of fundraising initiatives including special events, customer donations, combined with both employee and bank contributions. Hosted events included a Corn Hole Tournament at the Cheshire Rod & Gun Club, a Pitch Tournament at Forest Park Country Club, Mexican Night at the Bounti-Fare Restaurant, as well as a golf tournament, held at the Stamford Valley Golf Course.

Customers showed their support by attending the hosted events and by contributing at individual bank branches with the purchase of paper ribbons. The ACB "Dress Down for Charities" program, when employees pay to "dress down," and all money collected is donated to the charity of choice, rounded out the fundraising efforts.  

Giving thanks and appreciation to the ACB team were representatives from each organization. Alice Trumbull, Moments House co-founder and director, said, "Thank you so very much for your continued support of our efforts at Moments House on behalf of our community members living with a cancer diagnosis." Bill St. Pierre, PopCares' co-founder and board member, said, "I was blown away when I saw the amount of this year's donation. All I can say is 'wow'! You and your team are amazing. We would not be able to do it without contributors like ACB. When we started we never thought we would have this much support and it would get as big as it is. It is unbelievable and we are so blessed."

Moments House is a nonprofit day-time facility located in Pittsfield serving anyone impacted by a cancer diagnosis. It is run by a caring volunteer staff that is there for the person who hears the words "you have cancer," as well as their family, friends, co-workers and caregivers. PopCares Inc., a nonprofit charity, was established in honor and memory of Bill "Pop" St. Pierre, who taught people the importance of sharing small acts of kindness with others on a daily basis. It is the mission of PopCares to ensure that every person fighting cancer and their caregivers in our local Northern Berkshire community have the opportunity to benefit from that same level of support. Visit www.momentshouse.org and www.popcares.org for more information about these two organizations.

 

Practice makes perfect

Greylock Insurance Agency, a subsidiary of Greylock Federal Credit Union, announced that it has achieved Best Practices status from the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America. With this status, the agency, for the third consecutive year, becomes part of an elite group of independent insurance agencies around the United States. Greylock Insurance achieved this honor by participating in the IIABA Best Practices Study Group. This annual survey and study of leading independent insurance agencies documents the business practices of the "best" agencies and urges others to adopt similar practices.

The selected Best Practices agencies retain their status during the three-year cycle by submitting extensive financial and operational data for review each year. This is the third year of the current three-year study cycle, where more than 1,500 independent agencies throughout the United States were nominated to take part in the annual study in 2016, but only 262 agencies qualified for the honor. To be chosen, the agency had to be among the 35 to 45 top-performing agencies in one of six categories.

Greylock Insurance Agency has offices in Adams at 2 Park St., North Adams at 131 Ashland St., Pittsfield at 150 West Street and 5 Cheshire Road, Williamstown at 552 Main St, Great Barrington at 325 Stockbridge Road and Westfield at 30 Court St.

 

Helping hands

Berkshire Bank has been selected as one of three national finalists for the Corporate Philanthropy Award in the Financial Institutions category as part of the 12th annual Invest in Others Awards. The Invest in Others Awards program recognizes the charitable work of financial advisers and financial services firms in communities around the globe. The awards will be presented on Sept. 27 at the 12th annual Invest in Others Awards Gala in Boston, a premier event attended by nearly 800 financial advisers and financial services executives. Five categories of awards will also be presented to individual financial advisors in recognition of their philanthropic contributions.

Invest in Others launched the Corporate Philanthropy Award in 2015 to recognize the importance of encouraging philanthropy at a corporate level. The organization received nominations this year from a diverse range of companies in two categories: Advisory Firms and Financial Institutions. Finalists were selected based on their community impact, contribution, inspiration, and incentives to encourage employees to give back.
 
Berkshire Bank was selected as a finalist for its deep commitment to philanthropy, volunteerism and broader social corporate responsibility activities. Annually, Berkshire Bank and the Berkshire Bank Foundation provide more than $2 million in financial contributions, as well as scholarships to high school seniors. The company also provides every employee with $500 in matching gift funds to amplify their own individual giving. In addition to financial support, the XTEAM, the company's nationally acclaimed employee volunteer program, provides employees with paid time off to volunteer during regular business hours. Last year, 100 percent of Berkshire’s employees nationally donated 40,000 hours of service to benefit community organizations.

 

Job Search

1Berkshire has launched an online employment portal, "the jobs thing," which hosts positions that are permanent, full-time and pay $40,000 and more a year. The job site is being marketed across the country and targeted to specific audiences to help recruit new employees and residents to the region and was created in partnership with Berkshire Health Systems, General Dynamics Mission Systems, Williams College and Greylock Federal Credit Union through a "jobs collaboration" project. 
 
More than 500,000 individuals have already been exposed to employment opportunities here in the Berkshires and a significant number clicked through to the partner websites. Detailed information on postings as well as rate information is available at Submit Jobs. Questions or comments about the jobs thing can be directed to Benjamin Lamb, economic development projects manager, blamb@1berkshire.com
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