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Business Briefs: 100 Main; chocolate shop rebranded; 1Berkshire Youth Leadership Program; Austen Riggs lauded; new Berkshire Workforce Board hires

Bunny Williams formed the concept for 100 Main after being impressed by the quality and talent of the many local artisans in the local area.

100 Main to feature artisans of the tristate area

Christina van Hengel and Bunny Williams inside 100 Main in Falls Village, Conn. Photo courtesy 100 Main

Falls Village, Conn. — Interior designer and longtime Northwest Corner resident Bunny Williams has announced the opening of the new shop 100 Main, which will sell products and the work of artisans from the tristate area of Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts.

Williams formed the concept for 100 Main after being impressed by the quality and talent of the many local artisans in the local area. Williams purchased an old grocery store in Falls Village and felt it would be the perfect place to open a cooperative. Williams revitalized the building with the help of local builder Seth Churchill. Williams has partnered with Great Barrington, Massachusetts, resident Christina van Hengel to open and run the store. With a background in finance and fashion, van Hengel has worked for the ethical womenswear collection Maiyet and for Harper’s Bazaar.

The store will showcase art, furniture, ceramics, glass, textiles, jewelry and other products. 100 Main opens Friday, Aug. 9. Artisans interested in showing their work at 100 Main should reach out to


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Mielke Confections, formerly known as Catherine’s Chocolates, on Stockbridge Road in Great Barrington. Photo courtesy Mielke Confections

Catherine’s Chocolates changes name to Mielke Confections

Great Barrington — Steve and Trent Kinney, the new owners of Catherine’s Chocolates, have announced a new name, look and logo.

The original Catherine’s Chocolates was named for the grandmother of former owner Kathy Sinico, and operated for 40 years under that name. The Kinneys are continuing the tradition of creating handmade chocolates as a family-owned, local business as well as their choice of the new name, which is Trent Kinney’s family name.

Mielke Confections’ Turtle Delights. Photo courtesy Mielke Confections

The business makeover also includes a new website from which Mielke Confections can be ordered. The chocolate shop will remain in the same location, and while outside has been repainted, the interior has seen no changes yet. Plans to remodel the inside are in the works but not immediate. Some new handmade products are available such as Mielke Confections’ Turtle Delights, made with the classic Nut Delight candy base and 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,” said Steve Kinney.


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1Berkshire’s Youth Leadership Program class of 2020. Photo courtesy 1Berkshire

1Berkshire welcomes Youth Leadership Program Class of 2020

Pittsfield — 1Berkshire has welcomed its 10th class into the Berkshire Youth Leadership Program. The group of 29 high school juniors from across the Berkshires came together for the first time as a class at Williams College over the weekend of July 26–28th for their kickoff retreat.

Over the next 10 months, the students will meet monthly at locations all around the Berkshires to participate in workshops, learn from speakers, and to develop and execute their selected project. Benjamin Lamb, 1Berkshire’s director of economic development and program coordinator of the Youth Leadership Program, noted, “Students in this program leave with a new group of friends from all around the county, a unique and deep understanding of career opportunities right here in the Berkshires, and the pride of completing a project that has positively impacted their community.”

The 2020 Youth Leadership Program participants are Sage Macken of Monument Mountain Regional High School in Great Barrington; Cecelia Caldwell, Isabella Kemp and Mickey Masters of Mount Everett Regional High School in Sheffield; Quinn Burnell of Lee Middle and High School; Fiora Laina Caligiuri-Randall, who is home schooled; Marley Gamberoni of Lenox Memorial Middle and High School; De’Lisia Adorno, Marlon Binns, Gabrielle Cohan, Connor Hayford, Evelyn Layden, Emmanuel Nda, Luke Peplowski and Jaleix Rosa Soto of Pittsfield High School; Gianna Arace, Andrew King and Ava Sinopoli of Taconic High School; Lauren Bean, Olivia Gazzillo, Benjamin Klose, Patience MacPherson, Vienne Peltier and Timothy Therrien of Wahconah Regional High School in Dalton; Aleah Tarjick of Hoosac Valley High School in Cheshire; Felicia Deane of BART Charter School in Adams; Caroline Cellana and Ryan Goodell of Drury High School in North Adams; and Grace Towler of McCann Technical School in North Adams.


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Austen Riggs Center named High Performing hospital

The Austen Riggs Center

Stockbridge — The Austen Riggs Center has announced that it has been recognized as a High Performing hospital for 2019–20 by U.S. News & World Report.

For the 2019–20 rankings and ratings, more than 4,500 medical centers nationwide were evaluated in 25 specialties, procedures and conditions. Fewer than a third of all hospitals received any high-performing rating.

Austen Riggs Center’s medical director/CEO Eric M. Plakun, M.D., remarked: “We are honored to be recognized again this year for our clinical excellence in psychiatry. For 100 years we have stood for a way of working that puts patients first, respects their voices, searches for the meaning of their struggles, and emphasizes relationships and community. This honor is a testament to our dedicated staff and unwavering mission.”


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Berkshire Workforce Board adds two

Shannon Zayac. Photo courtesy MassHire Berkshire Workforce Board

Pittsfield — The MassHire Berkshire Workforce Board has announced the hiring two professionals to its workforce team to help move a number of initiatives forward.

Shannon Zayac, manager of industry relations, will be engaging employers throughout Berkshire County to define their workforce needs and assist with recruitment and retention strategies. Zayac was previously the STEM program manager at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams, where she managed the Berkshire STEM Pipeline Network. Prior to her move to Berkshire County, she received her Master of Science degree in biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; and her Bachelor of Science in biochemistry at Stonehill College in Easton. Zayac lives in Lanesborough with her husband, Ryan, and their dog, Madigan.

Kathleen Toomey. Photo courtesy MassHire Berkshire Workforce Board

Kathleen Toomey, youth program specialist, will be responsible for enhancing the region’s Career Readiness models serving Berkshire County youth ages 14–21. Toomey comes to her position with a wealth of experience in evidence-based youth programming, having served as the coordinator of positive youth development at the Berkshire United Way. Toomey was the central county coordinator for the annual 411 in the 413 youth development conference and on the planning team for Berkshire Community College’s South County eighth-grade career conference. Other projects she’s led include Humans of the Berkshires, a social media campaign featuring the hopes, dreams and aspirations of county youth. Toomey graduated from Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley with a Bachelor of Arts in cultural anthropology. She holds certifications in nonprofit leadership from Wheelock College in Boston and the BEST Initiative’s Advancing Positive Youth Development through Health Resources in Action.



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