BUSINESS BRIEF: Hancock Shaker Village employee opportunity; business highlight of Hot Plate Brewing Co.; 2nd Street wins support; Harlem Valley Rail Trail Association wins endorsement; BCC got new trustees; 2nd Street elects board members

Hancock Shaker Village. Image courtesy of Hancock Shaker Village.

Hancock Shaker Village is looking for a new Cafe Chef

Pittsfield— Hancock Shaker Village is opening a search for a dynamic chef/caterer/restaurateur to run the museum’s on-site cafe. The ideal partner will provide cafe hospitality to visitors during museum hours (snacks, coffee, lunches and drinks), prepare special events and collaborate to create a dynamic farm-to-table experience – where the farm is literally a step away from the kitchen door.

Open 7 days a week from the popular Baby Animal Festival through Halloween, then weekends and nights in November and December, Hancock Shaker Village is a favorite destination for local and international travelers to the Berkshires. A 75-seat café with an outdoor terrace is located at the entrance to the Village, a few steps from the museum shop and ticket counter. Turnkey operation of the coffee bar includes an equipped kitchen and table service. In addition to running the cafe during museum hours, the operator will also be responsible for catering lunches for scheduled group tours and serves as Hancock Shaker Village’s in-house caterer for ticketed dinners and other special events.

In addition to museum programming, Hancock Shaker Village can be rented for special events such as weddings, rehearsal dinners, proms, corporate parties and more. As the vendor of choice for the Village, the cafe operator has the opportunity to bid on catering and bar needs for these occasions.

For more information, including a list of requests for proposals, contact Nathaniel Silver, director of Hancock Shaker Village, at [email protected]

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Mike Dell'Aquila and Sarah Real of Hot Plate Brewing Company.
Mike Dell’Aquila and Sarah Real of Hot Plate Brewing Company. Photo courtesy of Hot Plate Brewing Company.

Hot Plate Brewing Co. was named one of The Imbibe 75

Pittsfield— Hot Plate Brewing Co., a Hispanic-owned brewery opening in downtown Pittsfield in early 2023, has been selected as one of The Imbibe 75 in the upcoming January/February 2023 issue of Imbibe. According to the magazine, The Imbibe 75 represents “individuals, organizations and companies that are dedicated to creating a more positive, sustainable, inclusive and just drinking world.”

As a BIPOC and women-owned business, Imbibe chose Hot Plate because of the company’s mission to make the world of craft beer more accessible and inclusive. According to the Brewers Association, less than 1% of all US craft breweries are owned by women of color.

In addition to its beers and marketing plans, Hot Plate also intends to make a tangible, positive impact in The Berkshires with its “Community Line.” In collaboration with a rotating list of mission-aligned nonprofits, Hot Plate’s Community Line will raise money for a variety of causes, with proceeds from these collaborative beers going directly to the charities they partner with.

Hot Plate Brewing Co. founded by award-winning homebrewers Sarah Real and Mike Dell’Aquila. Driven by the belief that craft breweries can and should be a force for good, Hot Plate’s products, services and taproom experience are designed to embody the company’s core values ​​of craft, community and conservation.

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2nd Street receives grant to expand program

Pittsfield— 2nd Street, an organization that supports formerly incarcerated men and women in Berkshire County, has received a $75,000 grant from the Massachusetts Community Empowerment and Reinvestment Grant Program (CERP).

Grant funding for 2nd Street will support:

  • Development of a sustainability planning study, including a plan for the source of revenue when the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding from the City of Pittsfield ends on June 30, 2025.
  • Comprehensive strategic plan
  • Creation of informative material for the target population of 2nd Street
  • Creation of materials for raising public awareness
  • Part of the operating costs as a supplement to funding provided by an ARPA grant, foundation support, and private philanthropy

The competitive grant program was developed to support communities that have historically faced disproportionate economic growth challenges, particularly those with high rates of incarceration and/or recidivism, widespread poverty, and large disadvantaged and underrepresented populations.

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The Harlem Valley Rail Trail will connect Wassaic and Chatham 46 miles when completed. Photo by Kelly Cade.

Allocate money for a trail connecting Philmont and Chatham

Millerton, NY — The Harlem Valley Rail Trail Association received a $375,000 grant to design a new section of trail that will connect the village of Philmont with the village of Chatham.

A grant from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation will be combined with a local grant of $125,000 to pay for the fully engineered and permitted construction documents for this new section.

Fundraising for the required amount has begun; donate here:

After the design and construction documents are completed, the organization will seek funding from grants and donations to build the new trail segment.

Currently, the trail consists of two sections totaling approximately 26 miles that pass through the rural landscapes of Dutchess and Columbia counties. The northernmost part of the trail currently ends in the hamlet of Hillsdale. Since the mid-1980s, the railroad association has been working on a possible 46-mile trail that would connect Wassaic to Chatham on the former New York Central Railroad Harlem Division.

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Berkshire Community College elects four new members to its Board of Trustees

Pittsfield— Four new members have been elected to the Berkshire Community College (BCC) Board of Trustees. The board consists of area residents appointed by the governor of Massachusetts.

Suzanne Bateman, student trustee, is a non-traditional student at BCC, mother of four and grandmother of nine. Since 2015, she has owned and operated Autumn’s Bistro, a restaurant and special events operator.

Jason Cuyler is the executive director of Second Street Second Chances, a nonprofit organization led by the Berkshire County Sheriff’s Office that connects Berkshire County’s formerly incarcerated people with the tools, programs and support they need to return to their community.

Harry “Chip” Moore III is executive vice president at Pittsfield Cooperative Bank, where he previously served as vice president/controller. A native of Washington, Massachusetts, he began his financial career in the Berkshires in 1990 as a tax consultant for H&R Block in Pittsfield.

Jennifer Vrabel is executive director of communications, planning and development at Berkshire Health Systems. She is a board member of Downtown, Inc. and is active at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Pittsfield.

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2nd Street elects four new members to the Board of Directors

Pittsfield— 2nd Street, an organization that supports formerly incarcerated men and women in Berkshire County, has elected four members to its Board of Directors, effective January 1, 2023.

Kristin Accetta is a clinician for the Acute Care/Emergency Services Program at the Brien Center for Mental Health and Substance Use in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Jay R. Green is the city manager for Adams, Massachusetts. Andy Ottoson is a senior public health planner with the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, which oversees substance use initiatives across the county. Nyanna L. Slaughter is the Central Massachusetts Regional Director for Senator Elizabeth Warren and Treasurer of the Berkshire Black Economic Council.

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