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BJ's Grand Opening Set This Weekend

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — BJ's Whole Sale Club's grand opening is this weekend at 495 Hubbard St. The store is the 24th opened in Massachusetts and had its soft opening last week.

The club will be open to the general public during the two-day grand opening; membership is required to continue getting savings. 

The wholesaler has more than 85,000 square feet filled groceries, general merchandise, electronics and appliances, as well as a BJ's gas station. It is expected to add up to 120 new jobs.

The grand opening will include food and beverage samples, balloon artists and face painting for kids and
Current Members and the public at large are invited to sample a variety of food and beverages and visit with balloon artists and face painters.

BJ's Fresh Bakery
Full-Service Delicatessen
Grocery store and stock-up sizes
Rotisserie Chicken
New BJ's Cafe
Optical Department
Verizon Wireless Kiosk
BJ's Gas Station

The club will be open to the general public during the two-day grand opening; membership is required to continue getting savings. 
The wholesaler has partnered with the Silvio O. Conte Community School as part of its Adopt-a-School program. The school will receive a donation to enhance educational programs and curriculum objectives and a shopping cart full of school supplies. BJ's will also partner with the Berkshire Community Action Council by making a donation its Fuel Assistance Program, which provides eligible households assistance in paying winter heating bills.

"BJ's is excited to open in Pittsfield, and we look forward to serving this community," said Rob Mickett, the Pittsfield general manager. "Not only will area residents now have an even more convenient location to satisfy all their shopping needs, but we are eager to establish a strong relationship with the community and are honored to partner with the Conte Community School and the Berkshire Community Action Council."

Members can save more than 30 percent off retail prices and BJ's also accepts manufacturers coupons and major credit cards. 

Hours are Monday through Saturday 9  to 9 and Sunday 9  to 7.  For more information about the new Pittsfield location, visit www.bjs.com/Pittsfield.

BJ's Nearing Completion

Staff Reports
The new BJ's Wholesale Club in Pitsfield is expected to open on Saturday, Oct. 22, with a grand opening the following Saturday.  This store also includes a gas station and the big sign (at left) prompted us to stop last Friday to see if it was open — and if we could fill up. Unfortunately, the bargain price was just the crew doing a test; some of the pumps were sporting a not-so-bargain $9.99 a gallon!

The pumps should be working when the gas station opens on Thursday, Oct. 20. The store is located on Hubbard Avenue behind Berkshire Crossings.


BJ's Wholesale On Pace For Fall Opening

Andy McKeever

 PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The new BJ's Wholesale is set to be fully constructed by the end of the September and the store will open shortly after.

According Robert MacPherson, founder of Cape Breton Corp., the company that is building the store, construction and utilities are on pace to be completed and the store can be turned over to BJ's management for an October opening.

"The BJ's is looking, hopefully, to open in the middle or end of September," MacPherson said Tuesday. "Certainly before the first of October is our hope."

The construction, located on Hubbard Avenue behind Price Chopper, is expecting to bring 120 new jobs to the city. The club's website is advertising an array of jobs from an assistant manager to meat cutters to department supervisors.

Tags: BJ, Pittsfield      

Excelsior Brings Greeting Card Co. To North Adams

Andy McKeever
Photo courtesy of Excelsior   
Oatmeal Studios' owners Joe and Helene Massimino sold the Vermont company to Excelsior. To the right is new owner David Crane with new General Manager Joseph Gallagher.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Excelsior Printing Co. will bring its newly acquired business to the city.

The Roberts Drive printing company announced Tuesday that it purchased Oatmeal Studios of Rochester, Vt., and will bring the inventory and warehousing to the city, which could translate into local jobs.

"The founders wanted to retire. We were in negotiations for about a month and finalized the deal last week," Julianne Fruscio, Excelsior's business development and marketing coordinator, said on Tuesday.

Excelsior has been printing Oatmeal Studios' greeting cards for more than 20 years. Oatmeal's sales team will be offered positions first and unfilled jobs could be filled locally. Additionally, Excelsior hired Joseph Gallagher to be the general manager to develop even more products and expand into other markets.

"We're really hoping to develop the brand Oatmeal more," Fruscio said. "It's a new direction for us because we are now specializing in greeting cards."

Though Excelsior has the ability to do its own design work, it will continue using Oatmeal's database of freelancers to design the cards. Oatmeal also accepts submissions on a daily basis, Fruscio said.

Oatmeal Studios was founded by Helene and Joe Massimino and has been creating and distributing greeting cards and notepads for more than 30 years. The greeting cards are printed with vegetable-based inks on recycled paper. 

"We think it's a great fit," said Joe Massimino in a press release. "Excelsior has been a part of Oatmeal Studios almost from the beginning and they have a stationery pedigree of their own that will serve Oatmeal Studios’ customers well into the future."

In 2005, Excelsior separated from Crane & Co. and, in 2008, made a similar acquisition of SeedPrint. Excelsior now prints and ships seed packages while doing minimal design work.

Crane purchased the Excelsior companies — Excelsior Printing and Excelsior Process & Engraving — in 1970. Crane moved Excelsior Process & Engraving to the Robert Hardman Industrial Park in 1985 and then announced that it will close the Curran Highway location last year.

Excelsior Printing Co. on Roberts Drive was purchased by David W. Crane in 2005.

Tags: North Adams, Excelsior, Oatmeal Design, Crane, greeting cards      

Funding Secured For Pittsfield BJ's Wholesale

Staff Reports

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — More than a year after announcing the construction of a BJ's Wholesale Club on Hubbard Avenue, the Braintree developer secured a $9.2 million construction loan for the project this weekend.

Reported on Monday by Waltham-based Bostonsf.com, Cape Breton Corporation and Saxon Partners worked with real estate intermediary Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P. to get the loan through Sovereign Santander Bank.

The developers plan to build a 85,188-square-foot freestanding building and fueling station behind Berkshire Crossings.

The project was announced in October of 2009 when Robert MacPherson, president of Cape Breton, said the group will begin the formal permitting process aiming to break ground in 2010. It will be the county's first BJ's club and City Hall said it would create about 120 new jobs. The closest BJ's clubs to Berkshire County are in Greenfield, Springfield and Albany, N.Y.

BJ's Wholesale Club Inc. is a leading operator of membership warehouse clubs in the East. The company, now in its 25th year, currently employees more than 20,000 team members and operates 180 clubs in 15 states from Maine to Florida.

Formed in 1998, Saxon Partners is a retail and residential developer focused on the New England region and Cape Breton Corporation is a real estate development company specializing in the site acquisition and local permitting of retail buildings and shopping centers.


Tags: Pittsfield, BJ's, Wholesale      
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