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Courtney Haner works on Desmond Phillip of Pittsfield at 3 Queens Emporium this week.

Williamstown Hair Salon Hopes to Fill Spot Left by Historic Barber Shop

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — A Spring Street institution got an infusion of new energy this fall when 3 Queens Emporium hair salon opened.
Stylist Courtney Haner of Pittsfield, who has worked in multiple shops around the county over the years, began seeing clients this month in the space that for decades was home to St. Pierre's Barbershop.
"I had a great opportunity to come up here," Haner said this week. "The shop is in a perfect location.
"I've always wanted to eventually branch out and open my shop, and I kind of got the opportunity to somewhat start that right now. Williamstown is perfect. We're located in a good location with all the college students."
Haner is an independent contractor who manages the shop and currently is its only stylist. The business is owned by Tim and Rosa Williams.
Tim Williams said he named the new business in honor of his wife and two daughters, his three queens.
3 Queens, the salon, is his way of honoring the tradition begun by the St. Pierre family, who established the shop at a different Williamstown location in 2015.
Williams said he helped develop a business plan for the last owner, who took over the shop when longtime proprietor Roger St. Pierre retired in 2015. And Williams was disappointed with the way that venture turned out.
"I started hearing negative stuff about the business," Williams said. "It wound up getting shut down, and my wife said, 'Why don't you open a business for yourself?' I thought about it for a while and said, 'You know what? I'm going to just do it.' "
Williams talks about the new salon as a labor of love.
"This is not something where I'm going in thinking I'm going to make a lot of money, because I'm not," he said. "It's something [Williams College] needs, and I feel I can provide that.
"I really like Roger [St. Pierre]. To be honest, I felt morally responsible for the shop that came in after Roger. I'm not that type of person."
Williams said he is happy to have found a partner in Haner to run the shop, characterizing her as honest and a hard worker.
When she wasn't working with clients in the chair, she was hitting the pavement, meeting people on the street and developing new relationships, she said.
"I also have clients coming, clients I've had for years, from Pittsfield and Great Barrington," she said. "I have two coming from Great Barrington tomorrow.
"Someone said to me, 'It's a 35-minute drive.' I'm like, 'It's OK. Leave your kids and wife behind, whatever you have to do, and take a drive.
"Once people find someone they like [to do their hair], they stick with them a while as much as they can."
Eventually, the plan is to add more staff and make the most of the salon's three chairs. Williams said he will take his time to screen potential stylists to bring in alongside Haner.
An entrepreneur with a master's degree in business, Williams does not see himself getting too hands-on at 3 Queens.
"I told Courtney, 'Your job is to run the shop,' " Williams said. "I don't want to need to come out there unless I need a haircut. I want you to become part of the Williamstown community. She loves it out there, so she's starting to build a rapport with the people who live there.
"I know she can handle the cutting and everything. The only thing I want to do is come by and get a haircut."
The salon is located at 18 Spring St. and its hours are 10 to 6 weekdays and 11 to 3 on Saturdays.

Tags: barber,   hair salon,   

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Historic Store at Five Corners Reopens in Williamstown

By Brian RhodesiBerkshires Staff

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Under new ownership and management, the Store at Five Corners reopened Tuesday morning for the first time in more than two years. 

The store and cafe, built in 1770 and located in the town's Five Corners Historic District, had been closed since July 2020. The 252-year-old building, originally a tavern, went through several recent owners before being purchased by the nonprofit Store at Five Corners Stewardship Association in January of this year. 

"It took us a few months to get it to where it is right now but I feel like our hard work paid off," said store operator Corey Wentworth. "I feel like it's really nice in here." 

The association had done an email survey of residents in October that had an 85 percent return, with most giving the store a high rating for its importance to themselves and the community and that it remain independent. The nonprofit, first working through the South Williamstown Community Association, has been working to raise the more than $1 million needed to purchase the property and secure its future. 

The stewardship association chose Wentworth as the store's new operator in April. He has several years of experience in restaurants, including the Salty Dog and Flour Bakery and Café in Boston, Duckfat and Fore Street Restaurant in Portland, Maine, and Tourists resort in North Adams.

There were some renovations, Wentworth said, to get the building ready for reopening day. Additionally, he noted that works from local artists are displayed on the walls across the store. 

"So far, it seems like, what we have been working toward, is working," he said. 

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