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Brewhaha's owners Barry and Nancy Garton say business has increased since moving the coffeehouse to West Main Street earlier this year.

North Adams' Brewhaha Settled Into New Location

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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The Gartons have maintained the historic art deco facade of the former market. They've owned the building for at least a dozen years.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — After moving and settling into its new location in the West End, Brewhaha has not only retained die-hard customers but picked up a few new ones.
 
"We haven't lost anyone I think potentially we have more customers," owner Barry Garton said. "It is a much better location because of the exposure. When we were downtown if people didn't know where we were, they might not be able to find us."
 
Garton, who owns the café with his wife, Nancy, just moved to the former West End Market on West Main Street this spring. The coffeehouse was located on Marshall Street since the early 2000s.
 
Garton said there were doubters who thought the move would send the café into the red but in reality, it has been the opposite.
 
"Everyone thought we were going to go out of business and they didn't know where people were going to park," he said. "But there is parking right behind us … it is much better here and there is so much happening in the West End right now."
 
Garton said he purchased the market 12 years ago so there was some time to prepare for the move.
 
"It gave us a chance to make it exactly how we wanted it or mostly so for the actual move we closed in March and it took two months," he said. "Which I think is really good because we had to move every piece of equipment and plum and wire everything in." 
 
He said the move went smoothly even if there was a lot of back and forth.
 
"I made about 130 trips in my Forester with all of the stuff I could move — the smaller stuff. Then we hired a guy for one day and he moved all of the big stuff it was pretty miraculous and went well," he said. "We actually moved in without air conditioning and it just so happened to coincide with that hot spell. It was like 95 to 100 in here for the first five weeks and it was horrible but people are still coming." 
 
Now into the winter months, Garton said business is continuing as expected. 
 
He said the new location is twice as big as the old one.
 
"It feels like four times as big, but it is actually twice as big," he said. "It is not a lot more seating – I think we might have increased by maybe 10. It is less snug."
 
As for the menu, the Gartons are sticking to what works and what patrons have grown to love on Brewhaha's menu isn't going anywhere.
 
"It's is the same menu but just because over the years business patterns have changed," he said. "When we first opened you couldn't get a fried egg croissant anywhere now you can basically get one in a gas station. A lot of things that were unique back then are pretty much everywhere but we do still have a few unique items."

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MountainOne Marks 175 Years Since Founding

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff

Board Chairman Daniel Bosley calls the meeting to order.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — MountainOne ended a successful 175th anniversary year approaching $1 billion in assets and a future that looks to be "busy."
 
"So with all this you might say we're busy, except for MountainOne, we're not allowed to say we're busy. You've got to work, you're supposed to be busy, right?" said President and CEO Robet Fraser after ticking off a list of positives. "So we're not busy. We're fulfilled, and this year is going to be incredibly fulfilling."
 
The banking institution held its demisemiseptcentennial, or maybe it was a septaquintaquinquecentennial, business meeting on Wednesday night. Whatever the preferred Latin is for 175 years, MountainOne was marking a significant milestone with more than 120 guests and bank members at Norad Mill and another grouping at the Weathervane Golf Course in Weymouth. 
 
Fraser, speaking via livestream from the South Shore, joked that "we have this unique business model where we give you the money — but you have to give it back."
 
That's been the standard since April 1848 when Isaac Hodges, Thomas Robinson and William Brayton founded the North Adams Savings Bank on Main Street. 
 
The first merger occurred in 1962 between North Adams Savings and Hoosac Savings banks, later becoming simply Hoosac Bank in 1998; Hoosac acquired True North Financial and Coakley, Pierpan, Dolan & Collins Insurance a year later; in 2002, MountainOne Financial Partners is formed as holding company for Hoosac and Williamstown Savings and MountainOne begins its South Shore adventure with the merger of South Coastal Bank; a year later, all three banks change their names to MountainOne. The investment and insurance arms also come under the MountainOne moniker and the newest affiliate, a Longmeadow insurance agency, was acquired in February.
 
"When I think about MountainOne, I think of one organization that was comprised of three different banks, two insurance agencies and investment division," said Fraser. "And we've been able to come together and be incredibly successful working with each other. 
 
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