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Sports Shop Opens in Former Cheshire General Store

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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CHESHIRE, Mass. — Cheshire Sporting Goods has opened at the former H.D. Reynolds General Merchandise..
 
Travis Delratez and co-owner Jammie Sears wanted to bring a local community sporting goods store to the heart of Cheshire and chose the vacant storefront on Church Street. The general store closed in 2018 after nearly 175 years of operation.
 
"I sell a lot of different things than what is out there right now and I want to make it more or less a hometown sporting goods store," Delratez said. "I want to bring it back to where people can go back to their hometown instead of shopping on the internet."
 
Delratez said there was some sadness when the longtime and historic storefront was closing shop but they were happy to breathe life back into the property.
 
"There is some nostalgia to it," he said.
 
The store opened earlier in March and carries everything from basketballs to hunting and fishing equipment.
 
The proliferation of large box stores and online shopping hurt many small sports shops, but Delratez said, thankfully, this seems to be changing. 
 
"I think a lot of us did it  ... we thought it was great we could order everything online but I think it is turning back," he said. "People want to hold things in their hands before they buy. They want to hold a pair of binoculars, shoes, or a basketball instead of just taking the word of the online."
 
Delratez said business has so far been good and that the store had become a sort of hub for the outdoor community in Cheshire. 
 
"There are a lot of people who are supportive of it a lot of local outdoorsmen and outdoorswomen," he said. "The youth too we are really supportive of the kids."
 
Business obviously has slowed with the COVID-19 outbreak but he said they have been taking precautions.
 
"We are wiping the door handles every 15 minutes," he said. "We have hand sanitizer ... you have to take these precautions."
 
He said once the pandemic ends and the weather gets a little nicer, he expects the store will serve a real need in town. 

Tags: new business,   sporting goods,   

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Cheshire Cleaned Up In May

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
CHESHIRE, Mass. — A pandemic should never stop a little spring cleaning and residents took the month of May to spruce up the town.
 
Since 2014, the Cheshire Community Association has organized a community cleanup during the month of May and even with challenges this year they found a way to persist.
 
"The CCA's first community event in October 2014 was a town clean-up day that attracted more than 40 hardy souls, including State Representative Gail Cariddi (may she rest in peace)," Cheshire Community Association members John Tremblay and Eileen Quinn said in a joint email. "During this very challenging time of separation and anxiety, our objective is to use this shared goal as a way of maintaining connection among our residents and continuing to build on the theme of ‘Cheshire Proud'."
 
Of course there is a stress on health and safety this year and volunteers are asked to wear personal protective equipment and work with family members or alone to minimize contact with others.
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