The Nichols brothers celebrating 100 years in business in 2014.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Robert and Thomas Nichols have worked at Harry's Supermarket for their whole professional career and are ready to retire.
The century-old business is being turned over to another local family who say they will keep it mostly the same and continue its legacy as a generational venture.
"It's hard because, it's been in the family for over 100 years," Bob Nichols said. "But it's time, if we ever wanted to retire, this is the only way."
The Nichols sold the operation to Ravikant Patel, who owns a number of other businesses in the county including Williamstown Wine and Spirits and O'Geary's in Adams.
On Friday, the sale was official.
There will be no closure due to the change of ownership as the supermarket will largely remain the familiar location that many Pittsfield residents have shopped at for a lifetime.
Even its name will be unchanged.
"At this time, just a little bit in the store probably," Patel said about possible alterations to Harry's. "But not much at this time."
Patel added that the business, in partnership with Sam Patel, will remain in his Berkshire County-based family similar to the Nichols.
The new owners have been training on-site by Bob and Tom for over a month and feel confident going into this new venture.
Nichols said they are "very nice people."
In 2014, Harry's celebrated its 100-year milestone. Nichols' grandfather Harry Nichols Sr. opened the business as a variety store in Waconah Street in 1914 and it was run by his family of 11.
The family also operated Nichol's Package Store and a pharmacy, which have since been sold and closed.
"My grandfather started it in 1914. He had seven sons and two daughters, a big family. They all lived above the store where the pharmacy used to be. Their whole crew was the family," Bob Nichols told iBerkshires in 2014.
"When they came back from the war, they kind of split up. They opened the package store. They opened the supermarket."
In 1957, the family built the store that stands today to replace the variety store. Nichols even has fond memories of playing in the store before he was an employee and his father had taken it over.
"I've been here 42 years, I think Tom's been here 46 years full time," he said. "We were there way before that as part-timers. seventh grade, probably."
They leased a second location in the old A&P Supermarket spot on Elm Street for about 16 years that was closed and demolished in 2012.
Harry's is known for its meat department and hometown vibe and the Patels plans to continue that legacy. Staff is also being retained.
Nichols said the sale is purely out of a wish to retire and it has been planned since the beginning of the year. He said it is not because of the effects of COVID-19 or competing with big-box chains.
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue; please keep comments focused on the issues and not on personalities. Profanity, obscenity, racist language and harassment are not allowed. iBerkshires reserves the right to ban commenters or remove commenting on any article at any time. Concerns may be sent to email@example.com.
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue. Name-calling, personal attacks, libel, slander or foul language is not allowed. All comments are reviewed before posting and will be deleted or edited as necessary.
PITTSFIELD, Mass — Berkshire Community College (BCC) announced its plans to use $335,000 in federal Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) to erase outstanding balances accrued by students enrolled in credit degree or certificate programs from March 13, 2020 through May 31, 2021.
HEERF funds were earmarked as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
Students affected by the program have been informed via letter, which states:
"We care about you, and we are committed to doing everything we can to help you continue to meet your educational goals at BCC. We appreciate the challenges of being a college student during the pandemic, and we are here to help you moving forward."
Grady told the Central Berkshire Regional Emergency Planning Committee on Wednesday that they are reaching the end of the 14-day quarantine period and are confident that the inmates and staff will make a full recovery after testing positive.
click for more
The community is currently in the yellow incidence rate for having 10 or more cases per 100,000 people and is at a 2.4 percent positivity rate with around 75 estimated actively contagious cases.
click for more