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North Adams Big Y Celebrates Renovations
By John Durkan On: 03:00PM / Friday November 08, 2013
Store Manager Raanan Hartman cuts the cake as Mayor Richard Alcombright, left, and others look on.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Some of the changes at D'Amours Big Y have been obvious throughout the last couple months.

An aisle was knocked down at the entrance for an expanded produce section. Pizza and grinder stations and a soup bar have been set up at the back of the store. New cafe seating now exists on the east side.

The list of changes go on at the 47,000 square-foot store: new floors, motion-sensor energy-efficient lights on the now completely encased frozen food cases, new signage, new equipment, and new storage spaces for meat and dairy.
The renovations began at the beginning of September. Store Director Raanan Hartman said there's not much left to get done except some back-of-house tweaks and replacing the lobster tank.
"I know my employees did a great job getting this ready and we're all happy that it's coming to an end," said Hartman. "And the store came out really nice, it looks great, and I look forward to the future here in North Adams."
Big Y celebrated the change with many samples for its customers and an official cake-cutting ceremony with Mayor Richard Alcombright on Friday morning.
Alcombright said although the investment speaks about Big Y's financial dedication, to the city, he credited the convenience and service to the store's success.
"People wouldn't come here if they weren't well served," Alcombright said.
At the entrance a table was set up with coffee and doughnuts. Employee Becca Pike raced around the store hustling fresh, made-from-scratch pizza and sharp cheddar cheese. Near the bread section, a popcorn machine was set up. And of course, a celebratory cake rested on a table at the cafe.
The cafe offers two rows of tables with chairs and is convenient for eating a slice of pizza, a sub or enjoying some coffee and doughnuts. A bar is set up against the window looking outside with stools to come, Hartman said.
"It's nice, it's great for my customers. It's great for my employees," Hartman said. "It's a nice change."
North Adams wasn't the only North County store to get a makeover. Next door in Adams, the smaller 27,000 square-foot store had some changes of its own.
Adams Store Director David Smith said the store expanded in many departments. The bakery now offers single-serving desserts. The produce and meat departments and the hummus and cheese section has expanded. The deli now offers premade on-the-go and hot foods, including stuffed roast chicken.
In addition, to compensate for the store's tighter space, there are new smaller carriages for easier mobility.
Hartman said the renovations cost a total of $1.4 million for both stores. The North Adams store employs 110 people while Adams has 100 employees.

BJ's Grand Opening Set This Weekend
Staff Reports On: 04:16PM / Tuesday October 25, 2011
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

BJ's Wholesale On Pace For Fall Opening
By: Andy McKeever On: 05:17PM / Thursday July 28, 2011

 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      
Big Y Buys Diesel Dan Property for $4.25M
By: Staff Reports On: 01:30PM / Thursday October 07, 2010

LEE, Mass. — Springfield-based supermarket chain Big Y Foods, Inc., has paid $4.25 million for 9.8 acres of property on which it intends to build a new store.

The site, situated between Exit 2 of the Massachusetts Turnpike and the Lee Prime Outlets, was originally home to Diesel Dan’s Travel Complex.

Colebrook Realty Services, Inc. brokered the sale of the property and its improvements.  Colebrook Principals B. John Dill and Mitch Bolotin represented the seller, NortherEdge/Plant One Realty Trust.  According to documents filed in the Registration of Deeds, the closing date was Sept 20.

Big Y plans to develop a 48,000 square-foot supermarket on the site, with 5,000 square feet of additional retail space. The Zoning Board of Appeals voted unanimously on Sept. 1 in  favor of the construction, which is scheduled to begin by the end of the year.

“We are excited to be one step closer to building a Big Y World Class Market in Lee as we continue to move forward with our plans to open this market to better affect customer service strategy for South County,” said Charles L. D'Amour, President and COO of Big Y Foods, Inc., in a statement released by Colebrook today, Oct. 7.

The sale of the property is part of a broader portfolio restructuring on the part of F.L. Roberts & Company, Inc.

According to Steven M. Roberts, President of F.L. Roberts & Company, Inc., “Along came our repurchase opportunity for some of our formerly owned Sunoco station and Colebrook Realty was instrumental in providing a key element to our asset shuffling strategy: a timely Purchase and Sale Agreement with Big Y.  Mitch and Jack did an excellent job in a difficult real estate market.”

Tags: Big Y      
Unions Reach Agreement With Stop & Shop
By: Staff Reports On: 04:46PM / Monday March 15, 2010

Stop & Shop and its unionized workers are heading toward a strike. United Food and Commercial Workers 1459 says it served notice it will terminate its contract with the supermarket chain as of Friday at noon, as have two other UFCW locals in Rhode Island and Connectictut.

In a update posted on the UFCW site Thursday afternoon, President Scott Macey said the union was willing to negotiate with the supermarket through Friday for "a fair and reasonable offer." However, the union can call a job action at any point and strike without notice, he wrote.

UFCW 1459 covers workers in Berkshire County and Western Mass. Employees at the store in North Adams have said they're prepared to strike and that they've been told by loyal customers that they won't cross at picket line. Stop & Shop also operates two stores in Pittsfield.

Stop & Shop took advertisements in local newspapers for temporary help last month in anticipation of a breakdown in negotiations; talks between the chain and its union have been rocky and a federal mediator was called in to help with the talks.

On its Web site, the grocer stated that "negotiations are continuing and this does not necessarily mean there will be a work stoppage; however the locals would be free to initiate a work stoppage after the 24 hour period ends. If a work stoppage does occur, Stop & Shop may use temporary replacement workers to support our stores."

Any work stoppage would affect more than 300 workers in Berkshire County.

Update at 8:46 p.m.: The five union locals say they're scheduling votes for Sunday on a new offer from Stop & Shop, per federal mediators. According to postings on the UFCW Web site, talks are closer on health and pensions, but the locals feel there should be significant movement on wages and new hires. Stop &  Shop has consistently stated its workers are well paid compared to similar nonunion workplaces.

Update at 9:27 a.m. , March 7: The five union locals say they reached a tentative agreement on Saturday night. The union membership will vote this afternoon; Berkshire County union members will be presented the contract and will vote at the Holyoke Holiday Inn beginning at 3 p.m.

Update, 9:35 a.m., March 8: UCFW has voted to accept the contract offered by Stop & Shop. Some 400 employees in Berkshire County and Western Mass. attended a presentation Sunday on the offer, which passed 307-23. UCFW 1459 President Scott Macey said the contract protected many benefits and contained other improvements. In a posting on the Web site, Macey said the union got about 92 percent of what it wanted.

"Today was a very good day. We were able to present a very good package," he said. "Tremendous improvements in health and welfare and pension plan staying the same, and a few other improvements, I couldn't be happier with the outcome today."

Four other UCFW locals also approved the contract, averting a strike.

Tags: Union, strike, Stop & Shop      
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