Bisque, Beads & Beyond Looking At McClelland's Storefront
By: Andy McKeever On: 08:57PM / Friday February 25, 2011
Bisque, Beads & Beyond owner Donna Rivers at the grand opening of her Pittsfield location. Rivers may host another ribbon-cutting ceremony as she now looks to open a second storefront on Main Street in North Adams.
McClelland's Office Supply closed up its Main Street location last week after 28 years.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The empty space of McClelland's Office Supply has barely had the chance to get cold before a prospective replacement was found.
Pittsfield-based arts and crafts store Bisque, Beads and Beyond will look at the Main Street location as a possible second storefront. The company already has a store on North Street in Pittsfield but according to owner Donna Rivers, more than 30 percent of her business comes from the north.
"I've been looking at North County for five years," Rivers said on Friday. "We wouldn't be moving. This location is working well for me so we'd be opening a second store."
Rivers said she was approached by city councilors about the 85 Main St. location after the office supply store decided to close. Rivers expects to look at the site next week with David Bond, who does commercial leasing for the building's owner, Scarafoni Associates. Bond is also a city councilor.
"I think this is the type of business we need downtown," Bond said on Monday. "My goal is by the end of the year to fill all the empty spots downtown."
The crafts store had come close to a downtown location before but the deals always fell through, she said. The business requires a lot of space to accommodate its materials and many workshops at a reasonable price and McClelland's may be just right. The space previously was Apothecary Hall, once renowned for its mocha sundaes.
"I've looked a couple times under the previous administration but I couldn't put it together," Rivers said. "It's definitely a possibility. If I don't do it now, I don't know when there will be another chance."
According to Bond, the McClelland's building is 3,000 square feet - right in the range Rivers is hoping for. If Rivers likes the location, the two will negotiate a rental price, Bond said.
"We're willing to work with anyone to make the numbers work," Bond said. "We'll have an honest discussion about what the business can afford for rent and we'll set up a rent structure that would work."
Rivers said city councilors have been helpful in ushering in the possible expansion and told her the business would fit well with the city's long-term plans.
"We'd be a really good mix up there," Rivers said.
Bond said the craft store fits because it is unique, is not a competitor with the "big box stores" and brings the creative element that the city is trying to embrace.
McClelland's announced it was closing in early January, after 28 years at several locations on Main Street, and was liquidating its merchandise.
Shortly after Bond met Rivers through common friends and found out she wanted a North County location.
On Wednesday, the McClelland's lettering over the windows was scraped off. The store sold greeting cards, gifts and limited stationery and office supplies. Its store on Spring Street in Williamstown closed last year after more than 80 years in business.
Rivers opened her North Street location last July. The store offers workshops in ceramics, beading and other crafts to all ages.
Edited with more information on Feb. 26, 2011, at 2:30 p.m.
Edited with quotes from David Bond on Feb. 28, 2011 at 3:49 p.m.
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Mr. Bond works for David Carver. It is his job to do this. He is not doing this as City Councilor Bond, but I am sure will tout his success on the campaign trail in the fall.
"I looked a couple of times under the previous administration but I couldn't put it together" What does this mean? Is the City Council now in the real estate business? The previous administration would not allow your business? Why did the City Council become involved to help and how can other local loandlords employ them to go and secure tenants for their vacant space? Lots of other stores far less popular then a craft store opened in the downtown under the past administration with no problem. Just do not understand why it is only now that you are able to open it. P.S. - Good Luck!!!
Bisque would be an extraordinary addition to the main street. Donna is an outstanding business owner, and her events are reasonably priced and well attended in Pittsfield. I've been to many, and most of the people in attendance are from North County. We should all feel very lucky that she is using that space.
MAT - with all due respect ... please remember that "popular" had very little to do with getting a thumbs-up or thumbs-down from the previous administration. A misinterpreted remark or "wrong" affiliation with perceived enemies of the mayor was enough to stop you in your tracks. Don't pretend it was otherwise.
This would be a great addition to our downtown. We should all support and encourage new business that is interested in locating here. I believe this is what some of the City Councilors and local business leaders are trying to do. [isn't that what they are supposed to do??] Good luck Donna, hope to see you on Main Street soon.
Editor: Everybody's making a lot of assumptions here. The mayor's office (generic) has often helped businesses make contacts in the city. Sometimes things don't work out for various reasons - space, rent, financing, etc. Sometimes things come together. That's all she said. Can we please stop rehashing the past and start looking forward? I Agree (0) - I Disagree (0)
I don't understand why this person would want to cut their Pittsfield customers by 30%. They will be doubling their expenses but losing business in Pittsfield - can they make that much up from a North Adams location?
Dear Editor - You ask that the past not be rehashed. Fine, but this story which you presumably read before you posted allows a very nasty and unproven charge against the Barrett administration to go unchallenged. Your above comment was accurate. Many things can cause a business opening to be delayed. But in the article, when she describes why she had been unable to open her business in North Adams before this, the store owner is very specific. She pointedly says it didn't work out under the "previous administration". This was clearly a mean-spirited and unproven slap against former Mayor Barrett, not to add a very bizarre way for a new business owner to open up shop in a city where the memory of that "previous administration" is growing fonder and fonder with each passing day of the current one.
Editor: What unproven charge? She said, "I couldn't put it together." Are you insinuating the former mayor did something we don't know about? What do you have against Mayor Barrett? I Agree (0) - I Disagree (0)
I could not have said it better myself. Actually I tried but the editor decided not to publish my comment. This article rehashed the past by printing the crude comment of the supposed new business owner. I say supposed because I am questioning why an article is being published about a business that is considering opening. What prompted the writing of this article? Did iberkshires stumble upon someone looking at the space or were they contacted by the landlord to report on someone looking at an empty store? Lot of other businesses looking at opening but we do not have articles done on them until they put their money where their mouth is. Off base reporting.
Editor: We try to post all comments so I'm not sure what you're talking about. Second, "crude" and "mean-spirited" is your interpretation of her statement. I Agree (0) - I Disagree (0)
Ms Rivers will be a nice addition to Main Street. You should be ashamed of yourselves for insulting someone without knowing the whole story. I didn't read she had anything against Mayor Barrett. All she said is it didn't happen with the previous administration. Bond was not the property manager before. She could be referring to him as an administrator making the deal. If she did mean Mayor Barrett she could have been using that as a timeline, not a personal attack. Either way, what does it matter. Can't you be happy there's a new business wanting to to come to North Adams and welcome her. I will agree it was premature for iberkshires to post this story. I would be a shame if it fails due to all the embarrasing negative comments posted along with it. It would make one question the rude people not wanting new businesses.
In answer to your comment questioning the intent of my original posting, allow me to explain exactly what I meant. It's my opinion that this store-opening article was nothing but a slap at the Barrett administration. You can be as disingenuous as you want with your counter-arguments, but it's clearly and obviously inferred in this story that this particular store owner was now considering locating in North Adams primarily because there is a new administration, not the "previous administration" under which she failed to make her business relocation a reality.
Editor: Fine. It's my opinion that there will always be some people who insist on finding insult in the innocuous and ulterior motives in the matter of fact. I Agree (0) - I Disagree (0)
Use common sense iberkshires. Allowing these posts are up there with the Topix board. You're allowing innuendo and rumors to build for no good reason. You know what your story meant, why are you allowing others to twist the facts? You had a good story about good people and now it's polluted with crap.
Editor: I agree; some people just don't want good news. But if I don't allow them, they'll claim I'm covering things up. Sigh ... I can't win for losing. I Agree (0) - I Disagree (0)
Your name is on the story and iberkshires.com is not public domain. Keep the site respectful and honest. There's enough junk on the internet and community TV to allow them to voice their opinion elsewhere. If this was between teenagers and on facebook it would be considered cyberbullying. Allowing it here teaches the younger generation it's ok to insult and spread rumors.
Sorry Madame Editor but there really is too much of your opinion in many of your stories about North Adams. It is well known that you and others in your family don't care for the former Mayor thus your reporting is slightly biased. Your response to this comment like your writing certainly appears to have "uterior motives".
Editor: I write the way I write; no one is forcing you to read it. I am tired of people hijacking comment sections for their own agendas and finding fault and tossing out baseless allegations while they hide behind anonymity. Well, I'm putting an end to this. You've ruined what should have been good story about a new business and are now dragging my family into it, of all things. If you have something to say, then say it to my face. I'm at 106 Main St. most afternoons and my door is open. I Agree (0) - I Disagree (0)
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