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Frank Goncalves opened the minimart and liquor store earlier this year with a focus on Latin and South American foods and fresh local produce.
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Franky's Liquor Store and Market Holds Grand Opening

By Sabrina DammsiBerkshires Staff
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Frank Goncalves saw opportunity in a vacant mill building and a way to serve a local community and improve the entrance into the city. 
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — An abandoned building that had been sitting vacant for four years has been transformed into a mini-market featuring a diverse array of goods.
 
Franky's Liquor Store Latin Market & More, located at 1220 North St., held a grand opening celebration last week after being open for three months. 
 
The owner, Frank Goncalves, would drive by the building every day, saw the rough condition it was in, and made it into an opportunity to make the area look better and more welcoming. 
 
Prior to the opening of the market, the Hispanic, South American, and Central American communities had to drive an hour or longer to get authentic Latin food, Goncalves said. 
 
Goncalves hopes to create a welcoming space that feels like home to everyone through not only the  products the market sells but also through its customer service. 
 
He and his staff converse with everyone who comes in and encourages them to look around to see what’s new, even if they are just buying a bottle of water or just dropping by to say hi. 
 
Franky's features authentic Latin food from several countries, including Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador and Peru.
 
"The thing that I liked the best is seeing their faces when they first walk in, because they see the before and after [of the building] and I also love the joy of the Hispanic community when they see the authentic stuff from our countries that they ate when they were little," Goncalves said. 
 
"Their faces is just happiness. Like, you kind of like feel you brought a little piece of their country here, and that's amazing."
 
Hispanic food is not the market's only focus. Franky's also has local items like eggs, cheese, milk, meat, baking supplies, sugar, and Goncalves are looking to continue to grow its network of farmers . 
 
"We are looking into get some of the farmers to work with us as well. So, we pick a day or two out of the week and we have fresh fresh vegetables and fruit," he said. 
 
In addition to that the store has a wide selection of liquors, including Hennessy, scotch, bourbons, wine, and beers. 
 
It also carries rum, wine, beer, and liquor from countries like Colombia, Brazil, Peru, and Ecuador, Salvador, and Guatemala. 
 
Goncalves comes from Venezuela and moved to the Berkshires 22 years ago. The area has embraced him and the Berkshires has been nothing but home to him, he said.
 
He also works as a real estate agent for Berkshire Real Estate. 
 
"I actually have customers that come here and then we give them some advice and I set up an appointment at our office on South Street," he said. 
 
Since opening three months ago, he has had a lot of positive feedback from the community which built up the excitement for their summer grand opening ceremony.
 
Goncalves decided to wait on the grand opening so that the celebration could take place in warmer weather. 
 
On June 6, community members gathered in the newly renovated building, below the prominent "Welcome to Franky's" wooden sign, sampling the authentically crafted margarita drink Yuzy, and eating cups full of fruit. The local radio station Live 95.9 was also at the event.
 
When people come to Pittsfield from South County they see a beautiful city, but when people come from North County the area is not as beautiful, Goncalves said, but little by little if everyone comes together they can make this part of Pittsfield nice and welcoming place for the people who come from North County.
 
During the process of opening he has had a lot of people support him turn this idea into a reality. Goncalves thanked his wife, Dora Goncalves, his kids Valentina, Aiden & Mackensie, his father, Francisco Goncalvez, his mentor Steve Ray, Pittsfield Cooperative Bank President Jay Anderson, Paul Saldaña & Diplacon Builders, and many other people who helped him through this process. 

Tags: grand opening,   market,   package stores,   

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Pittsfield Starbucks Closed Temporarily

By Sabrina DammsiBerkshires Staff

A sign outside the coffee shop assures customers the closure is only temporary. 
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Your alarm goes off, you get ready, and you leave for school, work, or whatever your appointment a little bit early to get a cup of coffee to start your day, only to find that the Pittsfield Starbucks, located at  555 Hubbard Ave., is closed. 
 
The sign has been removed, and the drive-through is blocked, but Starbucks coffee addicts need not worry — this closure is only temporary. 
 
The coffee shop closed its doors temporarily on July 7 to undergo a standard renovation with the chain's new Siren System, a Starbucks spokesperson said. 
 
According to the signage, the reopening date is projected to be Aug. 21. 
 
According to its website, the Siren System is part of the chain's Starbucks Reinvention plan, which aims to improve the experience for partners and staff by responding to changing needs and increasing demands. 
 
"As a standard course of business, we continually evaluate our store portfolio using various criteria to ensure we are meeting the needs of our customers," the spokesperson said. 
 
The chain's article on unveiling its innovations said, "Over the past few years, the number of cold beverages ordered has surpassed the number of hot drinks year-round. And, two in three drinks ordered have requested customizations such as extra espresso shots and flavorings."
 
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