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Beth Carpenter and her husband and son run Yummy Treasures in Pittsfield.

Biz Briefs: Yummy Treasures Named Microenterprise of the Year for Massachusetts

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Congratulations: The Small Business Administration has named Yummy Treasures the 2017 SBA Microenterprise of the Year for Massachusetts. Yummy Treasures earned the recognition for its success as the No. 1 seller in the United States on Etsy.com — a global online marketplace of handmade, vintage and creative goods. Yummy Treasures is also the No. 3 seller in the world on Etsy.com — exporting unique crafts and jewelry supplies all around the world from their boutique shop in Pittsfield.

In 2008, Beth Carpenter was trying to reduce clutter in her basement crafting room and first floor which was overflowing with beads. That’s when she discovered Etsy.com and decided to sell her excess supplies online. Yummy Treasures was officially in business — and after a few months passed, Carpenter soon found that there was a great demand for her vintage supplies and decided to start her home-based business full-time. Seeing the growing sales, her husband Greg left a 20-year career to assist with the blossoming family business. With a corporate background, Greg implemented an inventory management system to help track products, orders, and shipments. With Beth's ability to hunt down new and exciting products, and Greg's hunger for increased efficiency, Yummy Treasures began to surpass other sellers on Etsy.  

At the same time, Beth and Greg's son Zac was graduating from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with a double major in business and communications. He soon joined the family business focusing on website design and social media. With the continued growth in sales and staff, it was apparent that the basement could no longer sustain the business. In January of 2015, Yummy Treasures became fully operational as Yummy Treasures Inc. and, by March, had moved to its new location in Pittsfield.

In early October, the store opened with a goal to not only have an array of new and vintage product, but to foster a sense of community. This was done through a series of beading classes, Mother's Day events, Trunk Shows, and open tables for crafters to work at anytime. The feedback from these events provided critical information for the continued growth of the company. Further, this feedback has allowed continued improvement to the shopping experience, as well as a tailored inventory to meet customer's every need. This dedication to community and customer service helped Yummy Treasures to be named a Berkshire Records "Best of 2016" selection.

The Microenterprise of the Year award is presented annually to a growing business that has used assistance through SBA loan programs, or has been a client of one of our SBA technical service providers; nominee has also had at least a three-year track record and five or fewer employees. The Carpenters were honored at an SBA awards lunch along with the other 2017 Massachusetts Small Business Week winners at Granite Links Golf Club on May 2.

 


Jesse Egan Poirier of Public Eat + Drink.

Drink to that: On the evening of May 4, a sold-out crowd filled the event barn at Quonquont Farm in Whately for The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts' Farm to Cocktail Competition. This fundraising event challenged eight local bartending teams from around the region to mix their most creative cocktail using locally-sourced ingredients. At the end of the night, it was Jesse Egan Poirier, of Public Eat + Drink in North Adams, who was crowned the Farm to Cocktail champion.

All of the competing bartenders chose from a variety of spirits (from Berkshire Mountain Distillers) and locally sourced ingredients to craft a signature cocktail. Event guests sampled the cocktail creations and voted for their favorite. The top two vote-getters, Lattitude (People's Choice winner) and Public Eat + Drink, advanced to the next round of the competition, where they had two minutes to craft a new cocktail using a special mystery ingredient — sriracha hot sauce. A special panel of judges sampled the mystery cocktails and determined the champion.

The event raised $35,000 for The Food Bank (the equivalent of 105,000 meals) to support its mission to feed more than 223,000 of our neighbors in need.

 


Good year: Adams Community Bank held its annual meeting on April 12 at the McCann Technical School in North Adams. Charles O'Brien, president and CEO, said 2016 was a record year for the bank in a variety of ways. O'Brien attributed the bank's successful year to a great team of employees. During the year the bank originated a record $85 million in loans, growing the loan portfolio by $25 million or 6.5 percent.

In April the bank hired Jacqueline McNinch, VP Mortgage Origination, and Kaylin Choquette, Mortgage Loan Officer. Both bankers joined the residential mortgage lending sales team serving the home financing needs of the Berkshire County market.

Other business of the evening included O'Brien celebrating the 200th anniversary of the first mutual savings bank in the country. In addition the bank re-elected trustees and corporators, plus added six new corporators. With these elections the bank now has 105 corporators and welcomes the following:  Pauline Green; Mary Jo Piretti Mille; William "Smitty" Pignatelli; Linda Shafiroff; Bryon Sherman; and George Whaling.

 

Rising in the Rankings: Tighe & Bond, one of the leading full-service engineering and environmental consulting firms in the northeastern United States, climbed 15 spots to No. 260 on Engineering News Record's 2017 Top 500 Design Firms ranking. ENR ranks its list of top 500 design firms based on design-specific revenue from the previous year.

"We are thrilled to jump 15 spots in ENR's ranking since 2016," said David Pinsky, president and CEO of Tighe & Bond. "We owe this significant jump to exceptional service, strong relationships across our public and private clients, and superior staff at all levels. We continue to add staff across our service areas, and at all locations to support our clients' full service needs."
 
Tighe & Bond provides engineering and environmental services with a staff of more than 300, including offices in Worcester and Westfield.



Winners: Berkshire Bank recently was honored with six awards for community engagement and marketing of leading edge products. The bank was recognized at the Financial Marketing Awards in Newport, R.I., and the New England Financial Marketing Awards in Burlington, Mass.; both events took place in March.
 
The Financial Marketing Awards are the oldest and most respected financial awards in New England. The awards program honors banks and credit unions for creative marketing and branding efforts, while the Community Champion Award recognizes a bank or credit union for the difference they make in the community. Berkshire received recognition in the following categories: Community Champion Award, Gold for Pittsfield Public Schools attendance billboard; Loan Award, Silver for  home equity (HELOC) campaign; Deposit Award, Bronze for Leap Year deposit campaign

The New England Financial Marketing Association is one of the country's largest and most respected trade associations of its kind and has a diverse membership representing financial institutions with assets ranging from less than $500 million to over $5 billion. Their annual awards program honors banks and credit unions in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont for creative marketing, branding and community efforts. Berkshire received recognition in the following categories: Overall Community Service, second place for Xtraordinary Day campaign; In-Branch Design, second place for Mid-Atlantic region branch design; Customer Service, second place for Game Plan point of sale.


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