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While maintaining Catherine's Chocolate's time-honored hand-made traditions and offerings, some new hand-made products are available, such as Mielke Confections 'Turtle Delights' made with the classic 'Nut Delight' candy base with the addition of whole pecans, caramel and chocolate drizzle in the shape of a turtle.

Biz Briefs: Catherine's Chocolates Changes Name to Mielke Confections

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Chocolate changes

Steve and Trent Kinney, the new owners of the Great Barrington landmark store Catherine's Chocolates, have announced a new name, look and logo. The original Catherine's Chocolates Store was named for the grandmother of the former owner, Kathy Sinico, and operated for 40 years under that name. The Kinneys are continuing the tradition of a family-owned local business, creating handmade quality chocolates in the same location, as well as their choice of the new name, which is Trent Kinney’s family name.

The logo, designed by Trent, has a simple upscale look in ivory, chocolate and gold and features a modernist allusion to a chocolate bean. The familiar well-known and well-liked chocolates will still be offered. "We want to stress to our customers that even though our name and look is changing, the quality products and service will remain the same as they have come to expect from the local chocolate shop," Steve Kinney said.

The Kinneys made headlines in April when they purchased Catherine's Chocolates this spring, finalizing the transfer of ownership right before Easter. Trent and Steve met while serving in the Army and stationed in Afghanistan. Steve has retired, and Trent is serving his last tour of duty and will retire in the fall. Steve Kinney grew up in Pittsfield. Kathy Sinico worked closely with the couple prior to the finalization of the sale.

The business makeover also will include a domain and website where Mielke's confections will continue to be available for purchase online. The chocolate shop will remain in the same location, and while outside has been painted dark chocolate brown, the interior has no changes yet. Plans to remodel the inside are in the works, but not immediate. While maintaining Catherine's Chocolate's time-honored hand-made traditions and offerings, some new hand-made products are available, such as Mielke Confections "Turtle Delights" made with the classic "Nut Delight" candy base with the addition of whole pecans, caramel and chocolate drizzle in the shape of a turtle. "We are constantly experimenting with new creations and hope to continue to add more to our menu in the near future," Steve Kinney said.


Stop & Shop Same-Day Online Pick-Up

Stop & Shop has launched same-day online pick-up for Peapod by Stop & Shop orders at its Pittsfield store, located at 660 Merrill Road, and the service will be coming soon in North Adams. The new offering provides local customers with a faster and more convenient way to shop with pick-up available in as little as four hours. Customers can now place an order online, head to the store, and have a Stop & Shop associate load their groceries right into their car.

To use the new service, customers can visit the website and select "Pick-up" at their preferred store. Customers then head to the store at their chosen pick-up time, park in a designated Pick-Up spot right near the front of the store, then call a designated phone number to let the store team know they have arrived. Stop & Shop's team members will then deliver their order right to their car. New customers can receive the service free for 90 days by entering SSFREEPICKUP at checkout.



Haddad Motors' General Manager Mike Coggins presented John Perrault, executive director of the Berkshire Humane Society, with a check for $2,193. The donation was a result of last month’s Haddad Pet Game social media initiative. "We can’t thank Haddad’s enough for what they do in the community, for not only the Berkshire Humane Society, but for all the organizations that they help. They are a great community partner," Perrault said.

The Haddad Pet Game took place throughout the month of June. In order to play, participants had to post a picture of their pet on any of the Haddad Dealerships social media pages with the hashtag #haddadpetgame. Haddad increased the donation with every post. More than 800 pet photos were submitted to help support the Berkshire Humane Society.


Berkshire Bank grant

The Berkshire Bank Foundation has made a $10,000 grant to the CCommunity Development Corporation of South Berkshire, funding its work building low-moderate income housing and creating jobs in the Berkshires. This grant will support organization’s staffing and general fund in support of their important work helping families and individuals in the southern Berkshire region.

"We are so pleased to support the work of the CDCSB, which aligns with our priorities and directly serves families in need the South Berkshire community. We look for programs that don’t simply address the issues, but create real change. Education and community/economic development are two of our Foundation’s focus areas, as is serving the needs of low-income individuals," said Vice President and Director of the Berkshire Bank Foundation, Lori Gazzillo Kiely. "The CDCSB’s work resonates with our Foundation’s goals, as does their patient persistence in continuing the long-term work needed to provide more homes for families and elders, and jobs in our communities."

The CDCSB is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating job opportunities, promoting economic development, and building low-moderate income housing in south Berkshire County. In collaboration with other like-minded organizations, CDCSB has helped build over 60 affordable housing units and leveraged over $30 million in private and public funding.


LNA training

Over the past several years, Southwestern Vermont Health Care has trained hundreds of people to become licensed nursing assistants. Many have gone on to rewarding careers in the health system's skilled nursing facilities or in the hospital’s inpatient units. The training typically costs as much as $1,400. Those who enter SVHC’s program agree to a one-year contract, receive free training, and earn the starting hourly rate while they train.

Those who are interested apply and are hired at SVHC in the care assistant role. From there, they may be considered for a slot in the class and are provided with time off to complete the three-week training and study for the state licensing exam.

The next training section begins at 8 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 14, at the Innovative Learning Center on the Southwestern Vermont Medical Center Campus in Bennington, Vt. The training schedule is Monday through Friday. Prospective students should apply to the care assistant position by Aug. 16 to be considered. Visit the "Current Openings" link online and search for "care assistant" to get started.

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Berkshires Beat: Clinton Church Restoration Awarded $75,000

Clinton AME Zion Church outing (date unknown).

Church grant

Clinton Church Restoration is one of 22 sites and organizations dedicated to preserving African American history to receive grant support from National Trust for Historic Preservation's African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund (Action Fund). As part of the second class of Action Fund grantees, Clinton Church Restoration was awarded $75,000 to continue its efforts to restore and repurpose the historic Clinton A.M.E. Zion Church in Great Barrington as an African American heritage site and cultural center.

"We are honored to receive this grant and be in the company of so many worthy projects," said Wray Gunn, former church trustee and chair of Clinton Church Restoration. "The Clinton AME Zion Church embodies the rich history of black life in Great Barrington, where W.E.B. Du Bois was born and raised. The grant will help us develop detailed plans for a heritage site and cultural center that will share the community's untold stories and interpret Du Bois's life and legacy in his hometown."

The Action Fund is a $25 million multi-year national initiative aimed at uplifting the largely overlooked contributions of African Americans by protecting and restoring African American historic sites and uncovering hidden stories of African Americans connected to historic sites across the nation. This year's grantees include the African Meeting House in Boston, the Langston Hughes House in Harlem, and God’s Little Acre, an African burial ground in Newport, R.I.

Clinton Church Restoration was chosen from a pool of more han 462 applications totaling over $40M in requests for support. The community-based nonprofit was formed in 2016 to save the vacant National Register property after it was deconsecrated and put on the market. The group subsequently purchased the historic church, developed its vision for a heritage site and cultural center, and commissioned a historic structure report. In January, the award-winning African American firm Huff + Gooden Architects was hired to restore and repurpose the church, which will include a performance space, fellowship hall and visitor center offering interpretive exhibits, tours and programming focused on African American history and the life and legacy of W.E.B. Du Bois. An initial phase of stabilization work is under way with funding from the National Park Service, the Massachusetts Historical Commission and a Great Barrington Community Preservation Act grant.


Cancer Center donations

Members of Sheila’s Crew of the Cancer Center Community Crusaders present a donation of more than $1,400 to the Cancer Center Community Crusaders (4Cs).

The Cancer Center Community Crusaders (4Cs) received a donation of more than $1,400 from the Pinsonneault Family and Elks Lodge No. 567 in Bennington. Ed and Pat Pinsonneault and their children served countless meals to locals and visitors at the Vermont Steak House on Main Street in Bennington for 35 years. For the past four years, the siblings have used their famous hospitality and the restaurant's signature recipes to recreate their parents' restaurant to benefit local charities.

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