THE BERKSHIRE RECORD MAGAZINE
Welcome to the Best of what the Berkshires has to offer residents and visitors alike. The Berkshire Record, Berkshire Courier and The Berkshire View have compiled this years’ awards based on reader surveys from six weeks of intensive voting as well as votes from our editors and clients’ choices.
After tallying all of the Best votes votes (from all over Berkshire County as well as neighboring New York state, Connecticut and southern Vermont), we are proud to present you with The Berkshire Record Magazine’s The Best 2016.
The Best 2016 is our annual comprehensive, Berkshire County magazine featuring the best parts about living, working and playing in the Berkshires. Welcome to The Best 2016 – enjoy!
The Best 2016: The Best Berkshire Record Magazine
Make sure to pick-up your copy of the Berkshire Record Magazine’s Best 2016 at locations throughout Berkshire County OR you may download a digital (PDF) version of South County’s hottest and most anticipated magazine of the year – The Best 2016.
This year we’ve added even more awards this year- submitted by our readers both in paper and electroinc submissions and, of course, even more editors awards.
The Berkshire Record Magazine (TBRM).
Take a tour of the Best 2016 with this year’s Berkshire County with out tour guide – Gigi.
Download and read all about the Best in the Berkshires 2016:
Community, Dining, Shopping, Nightlife, Arts & Culture and Home & Design
Oh, hello there traveler, have you lost your way? Well, let me tell you a little something about the place you’ve just stumbled upon. This little wonderland is the Berkshires, and as you’ll soon find out it is filled with some of the finest creatures and customs in the natural world. Even better, there’s no need to fumble down a rabbit hole or peer through a looking glass to reach this gem of a county.
I’m Alice, by the way, and I’m so glad I found you before that naughty Cheshire Cat. He can be so devilishly misleading. He really does give the town a bad name.
Having spent some time in mystical lands filled with the stuff of fairy tales (and nightmares) I can say with certainty that the Berkshires toe a fine line between fantasy and reality.
Between the beautiful forests and mountains, the wonderful characters that call the county home and the thriving music and arts scene, sometimes this place seems too good to be true. I’m always happy for any excuse to return here.
Given my knowledge of adventures and wonderlands, and my love of the Berkshires, I have gladly accepted the Berkshire Record’s call to be your guide through this handy little manuscript they’re calling the Best 2016.
You’ll soon find that the Berkshires have quite a bit to offer. Inside, you will see six main sections to organize your dive into these bustling and rolling mountains: Community, Shopping, Dining, Nightlife, Arts & Culture and Home & Design.
In each of these sections you will find the Reader’s Choice awards, where you have gone against the Queen of Heart’s tyrannical wishes and placed your own votes as to whom you think is the best in the county, as well as the Editor’s Choice awards for which the Berkshire Record staff took the initiative and did some voting of its own. You’ll also find the Client’s Choice awards in the Home & Design section, in which you’ll get to see some of our advertisers’ specialties.
I know it can be daunting to be a fresh face in a bizarre and magical world, so never fear, I will be by your side every step of this journey. So, what are you waiting for? We simply must get going before we are late for what I’ve heard may be a very important date with the very best that Berkshire County has to offer!
COMMUNITY: Editors’ Choice
Best Youth Outreach Organization
The Railroad Street Youth Project
RSYP work with young people in the area to give them a safe space to learn, interact and have fun outside of school. With programs and activities focusing on helping youth find their voice and realize the benefit they can make in their communities. They have been a tireless advocate and have had hugely positive impact in the region.
Best Local Non-profit
With a bevy of local nonprofits serving the Berkshires it was a tough race. But the tremendous work done by Moments House grabbed them the top honors. Moments House brings a home-like feel to its daytime facility for residents living with a cancer diagnosis. The 501(c) 3 charity works with the patients and their families offering information and support. Working with partners throughout the community, they proved programs and services that are free and open to the public to comfort and support including therapies, dance and music, yoga, workshops, support groups, social activities and bereavement services. The Berkshires are a lucky place to have them.
Best New Law
Plastic BAG Bans
Sure, having the ability to forget your own bags at home is nice, but the fact that so many Berkshire communities are ahead of the curve on something we all now will be a state law soon enough is always a good thing. It isn’t every day that western Mass. is ahead of the curve from Boston.
Pittsfield Police Department
By best we mean the best to sit by and watch the drama. A city police sergeant filed a suit in U.S. District Court claiming that he was improperly passed over for promotion and then retaliated against for having issues with the hiring system of the city. The lawsuit, filed by Sgt. Mark Lenihan, named the City of Pittsfield, former Mayor Daniel L. Bianchi, Police Chief Michael Wynn and Police Capt. David Granger as defendants. Lenihan claims he was passed over for a promotion three separate times. The suit alleges that he was “subjected to disparate treatment, a hostile work environment, retaliatory acts, and denial of promotion, loss of income and other benefits from his employment.”
Best Local Hero
Representative Wm. Smitty Pignatelli
No matter what the charitable event is, you can be sure that Smitty will be there. Even though being a state rep can keep you busy, he is a member of the Berkshire County Deputy Sheriff’s Association, a past board member of the Berkshire Association of Retarded Citizens, the Board of Directors of the Berkshire Visitors Bureau, the Berkshire County Red Cross and is a former president of the Lenox Historical Society.
Best Election Upset
Stockbridge Select Board
While the Board of Selectmen got the support of residents at the town meeting one day later one longtime member lost that support and her re-election campaign. Five-term Selectwoman Deborah McMenamy lost to the town’s Fire Chief, Ernest Cardillo, by 52 votes, 334 to 282. Both McMenamy and Cardillo entered the race as longtime residents who brought extensive histories of being involved in public service.
Best Town to Town Cooperation
From Lenox to Sheffield, 14 Southern Berkshire County towns are throwing their support behind an initiative with Gov. Baker’s office that could provide long-sought funds for a regional shared services program. At the suggestion of State Rep. William “Smitty” Pignatelli (D., Lenox), the select boards of each town have each signed up in the past few weeks for a joint Community Compact, a program through Baker’s office designed to develop a program for collaboration among consenting school districts. As Smitty loves to say, we should make sure that as these changes come we drive the bus, not just go along for the ride
Best Local Battle Over a Cosmic Issue
Sheffield UFO monument
The placing of a monument on town property by a man who claims to have witnessed an unidentified flying object more than 45 years ago upset many in this town and raised questions about who gave him permission to install the unwelcome addition to Sheffield’s history. In a ceremony Aug. 26, Thomas Reed and a small group of supporters gathered to commemorate the event that occurred Sept. 1, 1969, when Reed and others said they saw a UFO near the covered bridge in Sheffield.
Best Shocker of the Year
Lenox Library changes
The sudden ousting of the town’s librarian shocked many in town. Sharon Hawkes, who joined the Lenox Library as its executive director in 2010, was placed on paid administrative leave on Friday, Oct. 9. The board held a special closed-door meeting two days before that to approve the move.
Best Move of a Market
Great Barrington Farmers Market
After a rocky season at the Fairgrounds south of town, the Great Barrington Farmers Market returned to downtown. The market announced it has reached an agreement with cosmetics mogul Jane Iredale to move the market to a parking lot she owns at 18 Church Street, just off of the east side of Main Street behind the building that houses Lee Bank and Barrington Outfitters.
Best Drug Bust
A Holyoke man was arrested Feb. 19 for possession of 2,000 bags of heroin in his car with intent to distribute, after a state trooper tracked him from the Mass. Pike heading north on Route 7, a path dubbed Berkshire County’s “heroin highway”. Gabriel Cordero, 34, of Beech Street, Holyoke, was pulled over at a rest area on Rte. 7 just past Housatonic Street, where police found 50 bundles of heroin, with a street value of $20,000, along with $1,838 in cash in his car trunk.
Best Managed Town
With an infusion of energetic and highly trained staff in the recent years, the town is running like a well-oiled clock. Town Manager Chris Ketchen and new Town Planner Gwen Miller have guided the town through a number of controversial issues in the last year and have both shined brightly in the process. Also, Lenox has stepped to forefront in the ongoing talks to regionalize for both savings and better service.
Best Elected Official
State Senator Ben Downing
As he leaves office, has anyone done more for the Berkshires to earn this honor? Downing,34, was first elected to the state Senate in 2006. In a post on his website, the Pittsfield-based politician wrote that he promised himself he wouldn’t serve for more than 10 years. Setting his own term limit alone could win an award, but his work on energy and poverty issues was his real claim to fame.
Best Dressed Politician – Male
The Pittsfield City Councilman always shows up looking, as the kids would say, “fresh.” From meetings to events the suits always looks good, the tie is always straight and the smile always shines through. Krol has set the tone for elected officials’ dress in the last year.
Best Dressed Politician – Female
The Lee Selectwoman shines through as the best dressed woman. Maybe it helps that the always busy Carlino is running back from her day job as a town administrator, a job where they all seem to dress well. But either way, we like the effort. Looking good can take you a long way, kids, write that down.
Best Election Battle
Whenever two people with offices across the hall from each other at work are running for the same seat it’s bound to get ugly, and in this race it did. The two fought back and forth all year long and the outcome was a surprise. It wasn’t a complete surprise that Tyer won, In the closing weeks it was expected, but the massive mandating-giving win was a bit of a shocker.
COMMUNITY: Readers’ Choice
Abbott’s Limousine Service & Livery
If you are trying to get where you need to go in comfort and style look no further than Abbott’s Limousine Service & Livery. This family-owned and operated business has provided high quality transportation for the Berkshires for 50 years, serving Pittsfield, Great Barrington, Lenox and everywhere in between, as well as routes to all surrounding airports. Their fleet, staffed by a team of experienced, courteous and personable drivers, includes luxury SUVs, town cars, mini vans, extended sedans, a fleet of luxury limousines and a 14-person limo bus perfect for everything from wine tours to corporate travel.
Best Storage Facility
When you need your possessions to be safe, you turn to B-Safe. Since 2004, this local family-owned business has provided the Berkshires with a high quality, 24/7 self-storage center. B-Safe Storage offers professional service at its two Lee locations with modern facilities offering the most cost effective flexible solution with secure, fully insulated storage units to keep your possessions safe from the elements. Whether it is for moving, storage during house renovations, storage of antique cars, or more the staff at B-Safe are the best choice for you.
Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School
The foundation of a successful and fulfilling life starts with education, and the best place to help your child live up to their full potential is the Rudolf Steiner school. Their programs help instill a love of learning and sense of wonder vital to a successful education and their curriculum is specially catered to work in concert with the developmental stages of human beings. Their staff of exceptional educators are committed to their own personal and professional development and are given the freedom to work creatively. As part of the tradition of Waldorf Education, The Rudolf Steiner School teaches nursery school through eighth grade as well as offering parent child courses, after school music programs and summer programs to enrich and complement the in class curriculum that has prepared thousands of students to be future leaders in their communities.
Berkshire Botanical Garden
This year make sure you share in the beauty of the natural world at Berkshire Botanical Garden. Its public display gardens are some of the oldest in the United States, and offer a variety of plant species with collections that highlight those found in Berkshires. Called “a glistening community gem” by Virginia Small, author of the book “Great Gardens of the Berkshires”, the garden’s mission is to fulfill the community’s need for information, education and inspiration concerning the art and science of gardening and the preservation of our environment.
Braman Chemical has been serving Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, eastern New York, and southern Vermont with quality pest control service since 1890. A service you always hope you never need, but this company shows their commitment to residents by offering a money-back satisfaction guarantee and offering 10-percent off to first-time customers. Bed bugs, bees, roaches, termites, mice, rats, and ants don’t stand a chance against Braman Chemical.
Best Hardware Store
Great Barrington, Lee, Pittsfield, North Adams
In an age when so many small-town hardware stores have disappeared, Berkshire residents have lucked out have Carr Hardware. With four locations throughout the county, Carr offers everything you need to tackle any project in your home. Electrical, plumbing, painting, kitchen and home— whatever the supplies, whatever the tool—Carr will have you covered. They also offer rental equipment for lawn and gardening and tent and concession rentals for weddings and events. Their friendly and professional staff is always ready with an answer and the highest quality service. They are members of the American Rental Association and offer TrueValue rewards.
Best Bowling Alley
For more than 50 years the Berkshires has turned to Cove to unwind with a few frames in a fun-filled and friendly atmosphere. With a charm and look reminiscent of the golden age of bowling, Cove offers two dozen lanes, as well as an indoor miniature golf course, arcade, pool tables and more. On Fridays and Saturdays the lanes host a fun cosmic bowling night with four projection screens playing your favorite music videos and throughout the year they host leagues and clubs, as well as being the home of the Monument Mountain Spartan’s bowling team. With all of that it is no wonder they take home this award so often!
Best Building Designer
Dresser Hull Lumber and Building Supply Co.
For years Dresser Hull has been THE place Berkshire residents trust with their construction projects. Tracing their lineage back to 1883, this long-standing supply company has been a cornerstone of Berkshire business for generations. They provide kitchen planning and design services to make crafting a new room a breeze and allow you to see what your product will look like before the first nail is hammered. With a sprawling lumber yard and supply store, Dresser Hull has everything you need to build, add and improve your home or business. The friendly and professional staff has been serving the area for decades, with most working with the company for more than 15 years. Dresser Hull also has a fleet of various vehicles that offer free deliveries.
Best South County Insurance Agency
This family owned insurer has been in business since 1942, providing customers with experienced service and advice for decade after decade. With their affordable rates, Consolati promises that clients will receive market competitive quotes for all of their home, auto, business, and life insurance policies. Located on Main Street in Lee, this trusted insurer provides unbeatable protection for local families and businesses.
Best Photography Resource
The Snap Shop
Even as times have changed when it comes to photos, the Snap Shop is still the quintessential place to visit for both your analog and digital photography needs. With a retail department for equipment and supplies and a full specialty lab to process and image photos, the small store is a personable, one-stop shop for local photography enthusiasts.
Best Gourmet Treats
Chocolate Springs is the place to treat yourself when you just want to indulge. People come from across the country to try their gourmet, hand-crafted chocolates meticulously designed that are works of art before they are even tasted. Chocolatier Joshua Needleman has spent his life fascinated with chocolate and has created treats that offer a therapeutic escape. Along with classic assortments, they offer chocolate-dipped chocolate chip cookies, special wedding favors, chocolate-dipped pretzels, pastry and cookies and coffee and tea.
Best Maple Syrup
Ioka Valley Farm
Rob and his wife, Melissa, revived the art of maple sugaring in 1992 with 13 taps and Mom’s kitchen stove. Today, Ioka Valley Farm has more than 10,000 taps and two modern boilers housed in the sugar house, built especially for production of the sweet treat. With years of experience and a passion for maple syrup, Ioka Valley Farm cannot be beat.
Whether you are looking to brighten up your home or the day for someone special, then look no further than Jodi’s Flowers in Pittsfield. They use only the freshest, highest quality flowers and the shop has a professional and caring staff to serve all your floral needs. If you shop here, your gift will arrive beautifully presented and personalized with a message of your choosing.
Best Appliance Service
When Mike’s Maytag Home Appliance opened in 1992, Mike Spelman had already been repairing appliances for more than 20 years. Today, Mike’s Maytag carries a full line of major appliances including Jenn-Air, Kitchen Aid, Maytag, Whirlpool and Amana, making it the premier appliance store in the Berkshires.
Best Member Benefits
MyCom Federal Credit Union
Not only does MyCom Federal Credit Union provide local high school students with scholarship opportunities among other community outreach programs, but the company also offers membership benefits that truly elevate their appeal. Being a credit union member gives customers exclusice access to discounts and benefits, including special savings from partnering businesses like Sprint, DirecTV, Chevrolet, GMC, Best Buy, Windows, Macy’s, and Sony, among others.
Best Place to Buy a Custom Pool
With over 44 years of experience, Aqua Pool is here to design and build your custom dream pool. Working with you every step of the way from the planning, designing and permitting phases throughout the construction of your custom pool, the professionals at Aqua Pool are there to help and guide you every step of the way. And remember, behind every great home is an Aqua Pool. It is not just the company’s slogan, it’s how you’ll feel in your new Aqua pool.
Best Home Improvement Services
Morrison’s Home Improvement
Morrison’s Home Improvement handles all parts of the home improvement process, from handyman services to refurbishing and new construction. A fully licensed and insured General Contracting Company (GCC) established in 1992 by Steve Morrison, they specialize in saving customers energy and money through the installation of energy efficient windows. They offer a large selection of products in every price range. They also guarantee quality work and customer satisfaction.
Best Roadside Assistance
Sayer’s Auto Wrecking
No need to panic in the event of an auto emergency—Sayer’s Auto Wrecking earns high marks for reliable 24-hour AAA-approved roadside assistance and towing, whether you need help in the middle of a rush hour or the middle of the night.
Best Job Recruiters
United Personnel Services
Finding a new job in western Mass. is not easy. Luckily, there’s’ United Personnel Services located 76 North St. in downtown Pittsfield. Each day, United Personnel connects more than 700 people with great jobs throughout western Massachusetts, and beyond. From temporary and contract work to direct hire placement, they provide clients with staffing solutions in a variety of industries and fields, including: administrative, professional, accounting, light industrial, manufacturing, medical office and hospitality. For more than 30 years, United Personnel has developed a deep knowledge of the local employment market. Their close partnerships with some of the area’s largest employers, as well as smaller, local businesses, result in great matches for employers and candidates alike. Your next great job is just one phone call away – 413-449-5050.
There is a reason West Automotive boasts repeat customers of 20 years or more. The skilled mechanics at this full-service auto repair and maintenance shop have a well-deserved reputation for honesty, quality and reliability. They’ll tell you exactly what’s wrong and fix it rapidly.
Best Clock Shop
West Side Clock Shop
The clocks at this city shop are more than just time keepers. They can bring your home to life like a piece of art. From a beautifully hand-carved German Black Forest cuckoo clock to modern clocks from the Westminster Time Company in Ontario, they have offered a wide selection for the past 35 years. The shop also provides repairs to bring your cherished family clock back to life.
Best Auto Repair
William’s & Kingsley
This auto repair shop consistently earns high marks for friendly, knowledgeable mechanics and fair prices from customers.
Best Place to Buy an Instrument (North County)
Wood Bros. Music
For all of your musical needs, visit this well established shop. Stretching as far back as 1880, Wood Bros. Music has supplied Berkshire County with musical instruments and accessories. Today, they continue to operate with the same great reputation, selling new and used guitars, drum kits, and pianos, among other instruments. They also offer a wide variety of fine rental gear and equipment, as well as lessons from reputable instructors.
For more than 100 years, the Berkshire Museum has served the residents of Berkshire County as the Mecca of cultural and historical artifacts and information. Described as the “window on the world,” this local museum has hosted numerous accredited collections and exhibitions, including the work of Rembrandt Peale, Pierre Auguste Renoir, and Andy Warhol. Their aquarium and special cinema make for great additions, as well.
Best Community Center
Berkshire South Regional Community Center
Offering a wide variety of resources and activities, Berkshire South Regional Community Center has been providing southern Berkshire County with a sense of community and common purpose for more than ten years. As a recreational and educational establishment, the Community Center offers programs for children, teens, adults, and seniors, including ballroom dancing lessons, foreign language classes, and fitness activities. Memberships are affordable and financial assistance is available for those in need.
Best Body Repair
Carlson Auto Body
When the unthinkable happens you want the most trusted people to repair your automobile and bring it back to life. That’s when you turn to the people at Carlson Auto Body. The professionalism and hard work at Carlson Auto Body is what allows them to get any auto body repair job done on time, as expected and for competitive affordable prices. Always friendly and courteous in their service to customers, they are the go-to specialists for any auto body repair needs.
Guido’s Fresh Marketplace
Pittsfield, Great Barrington
Born in the Berkshires, Guido’s Fresh Marketplace has served the county since 1979 with the simple idea of bringing exceptionally fresh robust produce to western Massachusetts. Since they started as a humble roadside stand, Guido’s has expanded to offer meat, fish, flowers and prepared food from vendors who came together to offer an old-world style food emporium that supports both local vendors and the community providing the highest quality foods to its customers. The market also offer special events and has an on site dietician to help guide shoppers to make the right decisions with their diet.
Best Local Philanthropist
Both entrepreneur and philanthropist Jane Iredale, founder of the eponymous cosmetics company, has always found time to make the world and her community a better place. Jane Iredale’s organization supports Greenpeace, The Nature Conservancy, The Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity and has been in partnership with Living Beyond Breast Cancer for seven years. Iredale also believes in being a meaningful supporter of the community, regularly contributing to Construct, Berkshire Humane Society, Berkshire Grown, Women’s Cancer Wellness Fund, Berkshire Creative, Berkshire Botanical Gardens and Fairview Hospital. Iredale and her staff also remain active participating and serving on the boards of a number of local organizations including the Literacy Network, IS 183 art school, Berkshire Habitat for Humanity, the Elizabeth Freeman Domestic Violence center, ReStore, Shakespeare and Company, and The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center. She was also instrumental in the design and construction of the Giggle Park, a playground behind Town Hall in Great Barrington.
Best Oil Supplier
Kimball Fuel Oil
In the Berkshires we need a reliable way to stay warm, and Kimball Fuel Oil exists to provide that. With an expert fleet of tank trucks that has supplied the region with fuel oil for years with hard to beat prices. Their courteous and knowledgeable staff works with customers to provide payment plans for those in need and their technicians are available to fix any problem that arises from your heating system. They are on call, too, for any emergency. It’s not hard to find a Kimball truck in your neighborhood, as the county’s trusted source for fuel oil they are the Berkshires best.
Fairview Hospital has provided special care for the residents of South County for more than a century. With a staff of award-winning physicians and specialists, the people who walk through its doors put themselves in the best possible care. The hospital offers primary services including cardiology consultation and testing, critical care, diagnostic imaging, endoscopy, physical therapy and rehabilitation, nutritional and diabetes counseling, the family birthplace, surgical care, dialysis and a wide variety of support groups and community programs. They are also home to the advocacy for access non profit that helps get health care access into the hands of those whose health care needs are underserved.
Best Blueberry and Apple Picking
Windy Hill Farm
There’s no better way to enjoy the beauty of the Berkshires while having a fun afternoon than going blueberry and apple picking at Windy Hill Farm. With 7 acres of apple orchards and one acre of blueberry fields, the farm offers a diverse and unique horticultural experience that has served the region for 28 years. Their orchards feature 25 varieties of apples including honeycrisp, macoun and their crunchy, tart Paula Red apples and their blueberry fields are a must visit come summertime. And with their affordable prices, you’ll be able to keep your home filled with their delicious fruits all season long.
Best Co-op Market
Berkshire Co-op Market
This cozy consumer cooperative’s ownership is made up of its shoppers. Berkshire Co-op Market provides customers with quality organic products that are often locally produced. The store also has a wonderful café with a hot bar that serves a variety of prepared foods that differ each day of the week. The co-op is community focused, with one-percent of Wednesday sales going to local organizations.
Best Auto Detailing
Larkin can handle any vehicle, from small cars and motorcycles to RVs and boats, for all your auto detailing needs. They can also handle window tinting, headlight restoration, sign creation/installation, graphic design, and more. Servicing all varieties of vehicles in the tri-state area from small businesses to local law enforcement, no job is too big or too minute for their dedicated and careful approach.
Best Reliable Builders
The developers of such scenic properties as Barrington Brook, Devon Meadow, Pines at Bosquet, and Lenox Woods South, are known as the most dependable builders in the Berkshire area. Owner David Ward is a Lenox Commons member.
Best Help in a Heat-Wave
LePrevost Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling
Global warming has been baring its ugly fangs lately, and you may find yourself in need of some relief. LePrevost is available for help whenever you need it. Really – they offer 24-hour emergency service, with a reliable response time of 30 minutes. Whatever happens to be going wrong with your house, they will be there with the tools to fix it.
Best Gold and Silver Dealers
Pittsfield Precious Metals
Whether you’re a collector of fine antique coins or just have some gold that you’d like to sell, Pittsfield Precious Metals is the place to go. They offer same day cash for all unwanted gold, silver and platinum from pins, chains, and rings to charms, earrings, and dental gold. You can browse their selection of jewelry and maybe find the perfect gift for that special someone.
Best Place to Get a Tan
Sun Capsule Tanning
With the summer season fast approaching, it’s time to bring your pale winter body into the season with a tanning session at Sun Capsule. With 14 Units including a WHR Booth, Avantgarde Bed and KBL Bed you’ll get the look that you need in time for swimsuit season. And no need for an appointment, Berkshire’s largest tanning salon happily welcomes walk-ins. And for those who keep coming back, get a $25 customer loyalty discount bracelet.
Best Community College
Berkshire Community College
Founded in 1960, BCC was the first community college established by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. BCC helps students overcome financial, physical, and/or social barriers and welcomes them into a college environment of academic excellence.
Best DIY Supply Store
As a fourth-generation family-owned and operated building supplies business, Ed Herrington, Inc. is your one-stop shop for construction/restoration supplies and assistance. They offer professional repair, building supplies, and even provide architectural assistance if needed. Today the company has six locations in Chatham, Hillsdale, Hudson, Lakeville, Millerton, and Sheffield.
Dedicated to enriching the community they serve, Salisbury Bank offers a wide swath of personal and business banking such as trust and wealth, retirement planning, personalized investment and mortgage services. Between their annual scholarship program and their frequent support to many non-profit organizations in the tri-state area, they have carved out a reputation as both a reliable banking institution and a good corporate citizen.
Best Indoor Round of Golf
Golf season lasts all year at Downswing’s, a local indoor golf center. The staff and owners abide by what they call the Three Es: entertaining, educational, and economical services. You can play a couple of rounds, take lessons, or purchase golf gear from top-quality brands. They even offer club repair services. All golf shots require downswings!
Best Muddy Outdoor Fun
International Motor Sports
IMS is a 5,000-square-foot bazaar of outdoor equipment, for both work and play. They carry scooters, dirt bikes, mowers, chainsaws, log splitters, and even trailers. There’s no better place to go to sate your desire for some outdoor power sports. And the helpful staff are all technicians who can work on and repair all the vehicles they carry. IMS is accredited by JCAHO.
Best Vape Juice
Peaselee’s Package and Variety
This popular local institution has the widest selection of vape juice you’ll find anywhere, aside from maybe Brooklyn. You can get your liquor, smoking products, lottery tickets, and a satisfying deli lunch all in one go. Plus, coffee is $1 any size, which you really can’t beat.
Best Student Art Gallery
Good Purpose Gallery
Helping to connect art and education in a meaningful way, the Good Purpose Gallery works closely with students from founder Michael McManmon’s College Internship Program to showcase the importance both visual and performing arts. The “campus” provides opportunities to mingle with locals, tourists, artists, and others and exhibit art in a professional gallery space.
Best Doggie Spa – Central
Shamrock Dog Grooming
Your four-legged friend will thank you for a visit to Shamrock Dog Grooming, a place suffused with owner Paula Philips’ kindness and Irish charm. She is a professional dog groomer and handler who works with a team of groomers to provide the best luxury experience for your dog. They also offer dog day-care and classes.
Looking a little shaggy? Come to Shear Design and they’ll fix you right up. You can get your hair cut, colored, and styled as well as treat yourself to a manicure or pedicure. They also carry a range of Aveda hair products. Who knows, your haircut may even end up featured on their Facebook page!
Best Retirement Home
This retirement living community in Williamstown is the perfect place for your elderly loved one to begin their next phase of life. Each spacious apartment has a full kitchen, large closets, and a private patio or balcony. The warm and welcoming Sweetwood staff will make your living experience feel more akin to being in a luxury hotel than a retirement home.
Best Window Supplier
For the past 20 years, Thermo Experts have been the most trusted supplier of windows and window services in the Berkshires. They have services for all types of buildings, and products from top lines such as Kawneer, Traco, and Graham Thermal Products. Whatever your building plans, Thermo Experts can help you work to realize them.
Best Anniversary Gift in a Pinch
It’s your anniversary and you’ve only realized it on the day of – what to do? Call up your partner’s favorite restaurant, raid their Amazon wish-list, and drive by Viale Florist on your way back home to make breakfast in bed. Viale offers high-quality floral arrangements and gifts, even silk arrangements and fruit gift baskets. They’ll be your salvation on your anniversary, but also have flowers for all other occasions.
Best Historic Museum
Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum
This Jacobean Revival-style mansion, built in 1893, is home to the Museum of the Gilded Age — an in-depth look at American life, industry, and society during the Nineteenth Century. The museum hosts many lectures, exhibits, theatrical performances, and other events. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and declared an official project of the “Save America’s Treasures” program.
Best Community Health Organization
Proud of serving Berkshire County residents for 40 years, Community Health Programs is a network of health centers and caring professionals that provide outstanding primary and preventative care for patients of all ages. What’s truly unique to CHP is its broad spectrum of support services that extend well beyond medical and dental issues to strengthen families and improve children’s well-being. Each year, CHP makes a difference in more than 15,500 people’s lives throughout Berkshire County.
Best Tattoo Shop
From great work on tattoo design and a talented team of piercing experts Crazy Chameleon has something for everyone that needs any kind of body work in Berkshire County.
Best South County Ski Area
Ski Butternut offers 110 acres of skiing across 22 downhill trails with snow making equipment to keep conditions crisp and fresh. For the 2014-15 winter season, Butternut completely overhauled their Ski & Snowboard Shop with 800 new Rossignol skis and 600 Rossignol boots. The tubing area was also upgraded, making Butternut the perfect place for tubers and skiers alike!
Best Resource for Seniors
Seniors Helping Seniors: Berkshires and Western Mass.
If you are a senior looking for some in-home help, or if you have a loved one who is, Seniors Helping Seniors wants to help. This nationwide organization has a vibrant branch of staff in the Berkshires who match seniors with volunteers. They work hard to honor everyone’s personal needs, schedule, and personality to make sure they get the help they need and deserve.
Best Bowling Alley
It’s no surprise how frequently Cove Lanes takes top honors as the region’s best bowling alley. For more than 50 years the Berkshires has turned to Cove to unwind with a few frames in a fun and friendly atmosphere. With a charm and look reminiscent of the golden age of bowling, Cove offers two-dozen lanes as well as an indoor miniature golf course, arcade, pool tables and more. On Fridays and Saturdays the lanes host a fun cosmic bowling night with four projection screens playing your favorite music videos and throughout the year they host leagues and clubs as well as being the home of the Monument Mountain Spartan’s bowling team.
Best Pest Control
Catseye Pest Control
When you need to take back your home from pests no one does it better than the pros at Catseye. A staple in pest control for almost 30 years, the company has had a successful presence in the Berkshires helping both homeowners and businesses with their experienced, professional and top-rated team. Catseye also offers nuisance wildlife removal to trap and remove critters and rodents that wreak havoc on your property in a safe and humane manner. The company also offers CatGuard exclusion systems to help securely seal off entrance points into the home and indoor air control to reduce the amount of harmful pollutants affecting the quality of the air you breathe. With all they offer on top of their affordability, it’s no surprise why Catseye is consistently ranked at the top.
Best North County Ski Area
With 45 trails, 9 lifts covering its 167 acres of land, Jiminy Peak is a skier and snowboarder’s paradise. The largest ski and snowboard resort in New England, Jiminy Peak has a wide variety of trails for both begginers and experts including its longest run, the Left Bank, which stretches for 2 miles. The Peak also includes three terrain parks, hits and rails, two mogul runs and a glade trail and come summer time, the restort transforms into the the Mountain Adventure Park.
Best Insurance Agency
Bardwell Bowlby & Karam Insurance Agency
Day-to-day, one-on-one, everyone at the agency makes it clear to every customer, every company representative, and every vendor that they are a valued part of the BB&K family.
Best Local Appliance Service
Need a new appliance? Or want to just get your current appliance up and running again? You will have their prompt and professional service to help you with all of your needs. You’ll find most makes, models, and parts in stock.
Best Hard Cider
Award-winning Furnace Brook Wines are made from northeast varietals and produced right at Hilltop Orchards — the French style Cider’ and Johnny Mash hard cider are made from estate grown apples and are sure winners.
Best Place to Host a Party
PortSmitt’s Restaurant, has quickly become a “Berkshire dining favorite” under the guidance and expertise, of local Chef Mike Lewis. Planning a business meeting or luncheon in the Pittsfield area? If so, let PortSmitt’s Restaurant be your choice.
Best Wine & Liquor Selection – Central
Berkshire Wine & Liquors
Not only does Berkshire Wine & Liquors offer a large and varied selection of beer, wine and liquor, it is also run by some of the most helpful and knowledgeable staff in the county. You’re sure to find exactly what you’re looking for and more at a great price.
Best Storage Facility
When you need your possessions to be safe you turn to B-Safe. Since 2004, this local family owned business has provided the Berkshires with a high quality, 24/7 self-storage center. B-Safe Storage offers professional service at its two Lee locations with modern facilities offering the most cost effective flexible solution with secure, fully insulated storage units to keep your stuff safe from the elements. The company also offers 8’ x 20’ and 8’ x 40’portable storage containers that can be stored on their site or yours. Whether it is for moving, storage during house renovations, storage of antique cars, or more the people at B-Safe are the best choice for you.
Best Limousine Service
Abbott’s Limousine Service & Livery
If you are looking to get to where you need to go in comfort and style look no further than Abbott’s Limousine Service & Livery. This family owned and operated business has provided high quality transportation for the Berkshires for 50 years, serving Pittsfield, Great Barrington, Lenox and everywhere in between as well as routes to all surrounding airports. Their fleet, piloted by a team of experienced courteous and personable drivers, includes luxury SUVs, town cars, mini vans, extended sedans, a fleet of luxury limousines and a 14-person limo bus perfect for everything from wine tours to corporate travel.
Best Luxury Car Dealer
Flynn Volkswagen Audi BMW
Interested in a luxury vehicle but tired of pushy sales reps? Look no further than Flynn’s Volkswagen Audi BMW, where the staff is helpful and informative without encroaching on the decision process. Browse the best of British and German auto manufacturing and know that you’re in good hands when it comes to parts and service.
Best Building Designer
Dresser Hull Lumber and Building Supply Co.
Dresser Hull is the place the Berkshires trust with their construction projects. Tracing their linage back to 1883, this long standing supply company has been a cornerstone of Berkshire business for generations. They provide kitchen planning and design services to make crafting a new room a breeze and allow you to see what your product will look like before the first nail struck. With a massive lumber yard and supply store, Dresser Hull has everything you need to build, add and improve upon your home or business. The friendly and professional staff have been serving the area for decades, with most working with the company for more than 15 years. Dresser Hull also has a fleet of various delivery vehicles that offer free deliveries.
Best Credit Union
Greylock Federal Credit Union
Williamstown, North Adams, Adams, Lanesborough, Pittsfield, Lee, Great Barrington
Prefer member-owned establishments to lending banks and other financial institutions? Greylock Federal Credit Union is the largest credit union in Berkshire County, serving the region for almost 25 years. With a Board of Directors elected by the membership, decisions are sure to positively influence account holders both individually and collectively. Their new app for Android and iOS devices makes it a breeze to deposit checks on the go, too!
Best Wireless Repair
Berkshire Wireless Repair
Berkshire Wireless Repair is the place to go for those looking to fix their broken cell phones and laptops. Berkshire Wireless Repair fixes both Apple and Andriod phones. Conveniently located in the Berkshire Mall, there is no better place for your broken wireless device. Have your phone or laptop repaired within just a few hours.
Best Wellness Boutique
Renaissance Arts Center
The Renaissance Arts Center’s new Great Barrington location is a place where wellness and the arts converge. The space offers courses in art, music, photography, writing, dance, and theater, as well as gallery space and art supplies for local creators. Their fitness boutique specializes in yoga, Zumba, TRX, core and toning workouts, among others, to keep South County residents both fit and cultured.
Best Swimming Pool
Berkshire South Regional Community Center
When you’re looking to cool off this summer, come to the Berkshire South Community Center. Their pool is top-notch and they also offer programs for children, teens, adults, and seniors including ballroom dancing lessons, foreign language classes, and fitness activities. Memberships are affordable and financial assistance is available.
Best Appliance Store – North
Central Radio is known for its excellent selection, customer service and competitive prices. Central Radio is an authorized dealer of the brands you are looking for. Based in North Adams but serving all of Berkshire County since 1933, Central Radio can help anyone choose from a selection of appliances, mattresses, furniture and electronics on any budget.
Best Orphan Outreach Program
Hearts of the Father Outreach
Hearts of the Father Outreach provides a noble service to orphans and abandoned children. HOF provides groups of 10 to 20 children a loving home with husband-wife couple as the houseparents. There the children receive the care and needs they deserve.
Best Propane Supplier
Carlson Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc.
This family owned and operated full-service company began in 1979 as a one-man operation before eventually growing into what it is today: a highly competent local company providing design, fabrication and installation of heating and central air conditioning systems. Carlson uses quality materials and the most efficient systems. They offer automatic deliveries using your tank or they can supply a tank for your use.
Best Local Non-Profit
Moments House is truly a gift to the Berkshires. Their cozy, soothing daytime facility is a welcoming place for anybody living with a cancer diagnosis. They offer mind and body therapies, art therapy, workshops, support groups, social activities, and bereavement services. All of their services are free, and they’re always looking for volunteers if you would like to get involved.
Pamper yourself or give the gift of luxury to a loved one at this luxurious salon and day spa. You can enjoy a single service or book yourself for one of their famous spa packages. This is also a perfect place for bridal makeovers. You’ll be in very good hands here at this professional pleasure destination.
Best Local Farm
Holiday Brook Farm
Holiday Brook Farm has 1300 acres of forest and farmland with hiking trails to enjoy and farm animals to visit, making it a wonderful place to visit for people of all ages. The farm, located in Dalton, offers maple products, grass-fed beef, pork and lamb, Guiseppe’s local honey, seasonal products as well as many others local products. Holiday Brook Farm also offers Horse-drawn carriage rides, making it a wonderful destination any time of year.
Best Service By a Bank
The team at Lee Bank believes in banking that is simple, direct, and personal. The cornerstone of their success is outstanding customer satisfaction, and their customers continually provide us with feedback that they get exactly that!
Best Little League Games
Named after one of the original settler families in the region, Deming Park is a great place to get some fresh air on those warm spring and summer days. But it is also used for a variety of youth sporting events including Pittsfield Babe Ruth – the premiere youth baseball league in the area. Come and cheer on your MVP in this welcoming family setting.
Best Yoga Studio
Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health
The Kripalu Center has served the Berkshires for more than 30 years, drawing celebrities and vacationers from all over the world to its peaceful atmosphere. Their expansive grounds are the site of holistic healing and study and they offer some truly enviable R&R packages. Frequent presenters and learning programs make this an epicenter for the study of yoga.
Best Tennis Courts
Wyantenuck Country Club
Come unwind and get in some cardio at this local sporting institution. Wyantenuck converted three tennis courts into clay courts in 1926, yielding a beautiful red playing surface for members to enjoy. They hold a variety of daily activities and tournaments, still leaving plenty of room to practice!
Best Ski Resort
A local landmark for outdoor fun, Ski Butternut offers 110 acres of skiing across 22 downhill trails. They even offer lessons for all ages with friendly, safety-minded instructors. They valiantly fought the heat until March, but will be back and going strong once again for the 2016 winter season.
Best Ski and Snowboard Shop
Butternut Ski & Board Shop
Voted the number one ski shop in New England by the New England Winter Sports Reps Association, Butternut’s full service ski shop at the base of their iconic resort has earned its reputation. They have all of the equipment you’ll need to get out on the slopes, from top-quality brands such as Burton, Rossignol, Marmot, Toko, and more.
Best Freestyle Skiing and Snowboarding
Twisted Terrain Park at Ski Butternut
If you’re looking to test your skills on a more off-course, freestyle slope then take a jump into Twisted Terrain Park at the famous Ski Butternut. You will encounter all manner of jumps, jibs, walls, and log rides to make your trip down that much more interesting. They also host some exciting competitions, if you want to test your skills.
Best Local Hero
Will at the Paddy Wagon Chair (Ski Butternut)
Will has been in the ski industry for a long time as a “liftie,” and is the best person to get kids comfortable with skiing. He greets everyone with a happy, infectious smile and focuses on teaching safety, while also encouraging independence. Parents rave about him, and people of all ages are always glad to see him. He is a great asset to Ski Butternut and to the community.
Best Golf Course
Waubeeka Golf Course
With its breathtaking views, excellent course conditions and wonderful service, Waubeeka Golf Links in Williamstown is the premiere golf course in the Berkshires. Waubeeka offers a number of products and services; an 18-hole golf course, driving ranges, practice facility as well as lessons, clinics and golf leagues. Waubeeka is the destination for any golfer in the Berkshires.
ServiceMaster of the Berkshires
Whatever may need fixing up around your house, ServiceMaster will be there to help you clean things up. They can handle any kind of residential cleaning and disaster restoration you may be able to throw their way. Service is punctual, thorough, efficient, and of the highest quality.
Best Craft Store
Owned and operated by local residents Harry and Deborah Sano, Wonderful Things is a craft store that features an extensive selection of yarn, needlework, and handcrafted gifts, including pottery, glassware, toys, jewelry, and candles, among others. Their annual 25-percent off yarn sale has gone on for 22 consecutive years and draws crowds from all over the region.
Best Foreign Auto Repair
Bob Denley’s Foreign Car & Park St. Tire
Bob Denley’s Foreign Car & Park St. Tire is a locally owned and operated auto repair shop with more than 25 years of experience in the industry. They are also the authorized tire dealer stocking foreign tires within 70 miles of the tri-town area. The staff at Denley’s is eager to assist customers and will even help to arrange towing to get your damaged vehicle to the shop.
Best Nearby Pool Supplier
Aqua Pool & Patio
East Windsor, CT
This custom pool company offers award-winning pool and patio design, construction, and service for a reasonable price. With 100-percent financing options available, Aqua Pool & Patio equips homeowners with the tools to build or renovate an impressive pool area that’s easy to maintain. With their 10-point quality assurance guarantee, your new pool remains in good hands during each stage of the design and construction process.
Best Staffing Agency
This employment agency has offices in Northampton and Springfield, as well as Hartford, CT, but their office in Pittsfield was established to serve the job seekers and employers in the Berkshires. Launched in 1984, United Personnel connects people with jobs in administrative, professional, accounting, light industrial, manufacturing, medical office, and hospitality positions across Western Massachusetts.
Best Pet Groomer
BowMeow Regency’s all-inclusive pet resort is a professional lodging kennel that welcomes all breeds of dogs and cats. With expert staff on-hand to provide their furry guests with private outdoor recreation three times per day, the BowMeow care team is dedicated to providing your pet with a safe, healthy space while you enjoy some time away. The facility also offers a program where dogs can be dropped off to exercise during the workweek.
Best Propane Supplier
Carlson Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc.
This family-owned and operated, full service company began in 1979 as a one-man operation before eventually growing into what it is today: a competent local company providing design, fabrication and installation of heating and central air conditioning systems. Carlson uses quality materials and the most efficient systems. They offer automatic deliveries using your tank or they can supply a tank for your use.
Best Radio Station
WSBS is the best companion you could ask for on your morning commute – or evening commute, weekend joyride, whenever you just need to drive and relax. With their commitment to local news, as well as a focus on talk shows and great music, WSBS is a dependable and versatile source. They have a strong local fanbase and continue to garner more listeners.
Best Historical Immersion Experience
Hancock Shaker Village
Get in touch with New England’s traditional Shaker roots at the Hancock Shaker Village. This historical village, museum, and farm offers day-long tour experiences, dining, shopping, school group tours, and even hosts wedding parties. For the scholarly-minded, their research library has a fascinating collection of primary and secondary sources about Shaker life. The September Country Fair is a big draw, as well as their Discovery weekend workshops.
Best Human Services Organization
Berkshire County ARC
Serving more than 600 individuals per year through a number of programs, Berkshire County ARC is a great boon to the community it belongs to. Berkshire County ARC offers services through programs such as Advocacy and Family Support, Brain Injury Services, Day Habilitation, Employment, Residential and more. Through these programs, ARC supports both individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.
Best Community-oriented Bank
Adams Community Bank
Williamstown, North Adams, Adams, Cheshire, Lanesborough, Lee
With their many charitable acts, including raising more than $70,000 for Northern Berkshire United Way and a recent cash donation for a bus shelter for needy students in Cheshire, among others, Adams Community Bank is undoubtedly one of the most community-focused establishments in the region. Promoting and supporting the local community is one of their core values — and it shows.
Best Hometown Parade
Lee Founders Weekend – Lee Chamber of Commerce
The Lee Founders Weekend a must-see for both Berkshire residents and visitors alike. Complete with a Duck Derby, 5K Road Race, plenty of vendors and featuring a truly spectacular parade unlike any other in the county, the Lee Founders Weekend is a delight year after year. This year, the weekend is set for early September, so be sure to mark your calendars.
Best Community Event
Apple Squeeze – Lenox Chamber of Commerce
The highlight of New England’s Fall Season is the Lenox Apple Squeeze now celebrating its 37th year as a Harvest Festival Weekend filled with fun for everyone. The Historic Village of Lenox will host this magical weekend on Saturday and Sunday, September 24 and 25th from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Handmade crafts, sculptures, and original art work fill the streets along with handmade jewelry, textiles, wood carvings, leather goods, and hand woven clothing.
The place where gardeners grow, Ward’s Nursery has everything you need to tackle your gardening projects. Since 1957, the experts at Ward’s have served the region, expanding from 2 small greenhouses to their massive 10,000 sq ft energy efficient and sustainable space. Ward’s grows over 1,400 perennial selections and 700 different houseplants. They also carry soil, seeding supplies, tools, pottery, and fertilizer, among other garden needs. In November and December, Ward’s makes decorating for the holidays a breeze with Fontanini candles, lighting and fresh cut and permanent wreaths, garlands and greenery. Phone: (413) 528-0166.
Best Financial Advisor
Edward Jones has nearly 7 million clients and 11,000 offices across the country and yet they manage to make each client interaction feel personal. The company’s Adams office has a friendly, reliable staff that illustrates the firm’s foundation of principals for sound investing. They’ve been ranked among the best advocates for clients at a national level and their Adams office is no different.
Pilling Landscaping, Inc.
These landscaping specialists have been providing expert service for more than 30 years. They work hand-in-hand with clients to bring their ideas and projects to life. Whether it’s new homes, additions, or revitalize existing gardens no job is too difficult for their design team equipped with backhoes, trucks and excavators. They offer patio and stone steps building, garden restorations, tree planting annual flow garden up keep, walkways, waterfall and pond creations and maintenance services for all their completed projects. When you need plantings and stone work done right, Pilling Landscaping, Inc. is the best.
Best Auto Body Shop
Carlson’s Auto Body
Carlson’s Auto Body & Collision Services has been serving Southern Berkshire County for 59 years. This family owned, third generation repair shop works with all insurance companies to make for a more convenient, less stressful experience. Using only the highest-grade DuPont Quality Paint System, Carlson’s Auto Body services range from minor dents to major collision repair.
Best Plumbing Services
LePrevost Plumbing, Heating and Cooling
For over a decade, the Berkshire have turned to LePrevost for their plumbing needs. The nationally recognized company provides commercial and residential services in a wide range of plumbing, heating and air conditioning jobs from as small as a minor leak to a full bathroom remodel or plumbing system installation. With a 24 hour hotline to handle any emergency and 5,000 happy, repeat customers, it’s clear there is no competition that can hold a candle to the experience, service and staff of LePrevost.
Best North County Art Museum
With a keen eye toward exciting new works that challenge contemporary ideas of art, MASS MoCA has been a flagship of the arts and culture scene in the entire region. With awe inspiring sculptures, paintings and just about every other medium you could image for artwork, MASS MoCA is an incredible experience for anyone who appreciates the arts. The museum also boasts a great resume for live performance, bringing in some of the country’s best in music, dance theater and other performance arts.
Best South County Art Museum
Norman Rockwell Museum
One of the must see location in the Berkshires, the Norman Rockwell Museum is a beacon for arts in the county celebrating the life of the American icon. The collection of timeless classics that have been ingrained into the fabric of the country are within arm’s reach as you tour the halls of the works of Rockwell. The museum also embraces and celebrates the arts world outside Rockwell as well with year-round special events, rotating exhibition highlighting other great artists and a yearly student artists showcase.
Best Local Grant Organization
Berkshire Taconic Community
If you run a non-profit in the Berkshires you need no introduction to the great work this group does. Through the generosity of their donors, they provide essential funding for programs in education, health care, basic human needs, the arts, the environment and more—helping the community thrive now and long into the future. Their grants touch all aspects of life and every person in the Berkshire Taconic region.
Best Adult Educator
Empire Education Corp.
This fast growing school, which operates a career college with three locations and a separate cosmetology school, has been serving the needs of adults who want to build a new skill set in the region. Attending Mildred Elley means you not only receive a quality higher education experience, but it also means you get access to the most advanced job training available.
Best Pottery Store
Sheffield Pottery is the Berkshires’ place to go for everything and anything in ceramics or pottery related. They’ve been supplying ceramic supplies for artists, craftsmen, school and industry since 1946 and have grows over the years from a tiny kiln over six decades ago, to their 26,000-foot production warehouse today. They are also home to an extensive and exquisite retail selections in their showrooms. They’ve built a reputation for premium quality products, excellent customer service and dependability that makes them the best.
Best North County Lumber Supplier
This family-owned business has been helping the Berkshires with their construction jobs for more than 100 years. Their fully enclosed lumber yard is the largest in the county and supplies the highest quality spruce, pressure treated and engineered framing materials offered in the industry. They have the ability to fulfill your entire order with a vast selection of spruce dimensional framing lumber under its roof. LP Adams also offers fir species engineered laminate veneer lumber, ranked among the highest quality in the market. They also offer free estimating, free designs and free delivery for their customers as well as tools and hardware, windows and doors, and kitchen and bathroom remodeling services along with a multitude of other services to help complete any construction job.
Best Ice Fishing Bait & Tackle Shop
Crea’s Bait & Tackle Shop
With their own weigh station and a wonderful selection of live bait and ice fishing tackle, Crea’s Bait & Tackle Shop is the destination for Berkshire County’s ice fishing community. Everything an ice fisher could ever need, from sounder, hooks and wire leaders to augers, chisels and jigging rods, can be found at Crea’s Bait & Tackle Shop.
Best Local Community Market
On top of your grocery needs, don’t let the corner-store-look fool you, The Public Market has some of the best sandwiches you will ever have. Not to mention it is a go-to coffee stop on your way through town if you need a little pick me up. The Public Market really has everything you need in one small little, local store.
Best Community Center
Berkshire South Regional Community Center
Berkshire South Regional Community Center has been providing Southern Berkshire County with a sense of community and common purpose for more than 10 years. As a recreational and educational establishment, the Community Center offers programs for children, teens, adults, and seniors, including ballroom dancing lessons, foreign language classes, and fitness activities. Memberships are affordable and financial assistance is available for those in need.
Best One-Stop Service Station
Gulotta’s Mobil Service
This local, family-owned station has reasonable gas prices, its own garage and mechanics, and a convenience store with all of the necessities: coffee, soda, snacks, newspapers and more.
Best Place to Take Flight
The pilots at Berkshire Aviation have been helping the people of Berkshire County take to the skies for generations. With services ranging from sales to sightseeing tours, you’ll be flying like an eagle in no time. Their fleet of Piper and Eagle aircraft are piloted by the area’s most skilled aviators and their grounds are home to the Great Barrington Airport. Whether you’re looking for a private or commercial pilots license, biennial flight reviews, charter service you’ll find their personal and friendly service like being at home. And being situated in the Berkshires, every flight is guaranteed to be a scenic treat.
Best Way to Start a Summer Weekend
Sheffield Farmers Market
Open every Friday afternoon from 3 – 6 p.m. at the Old Parish Church from June 5 – Oct. 9, the Sheffield Farmers Market is your one-stop shop for fabulous local, farm-fresh food, including meat, eggs, vegetables, seasonal specialties, cut flowers and more.
Best Adventure Park
Jiminy’s Mountain Coaster was the first of its kind on the East Coast. Popular in Europe, the Coaster is thousands of feet of twisting, turning fun through the woods and that is just one of 11 great family activities. The Alpine Super Slide takes you through tunnels, curves and dips and turns and the Soaring Eagle zipline lets you feel the thrill of flight. A giant swing, rockwall, and more activities guarantee you’ll have an action packed time.
Best Quilt Shop
Brookside Quiltworks should be the destination for every quilt lover and sewing aficionado. You are sure to find a top-quality quilt or a new sewing machine. They offer sewing machine service and cleaning on all brands, old or new, as well as repairs and restoration for vintage and modern quilts. Brookside also holds a number of classes for beginners, mothers & daughters, couples, kids and even individualized classes.
The people at Berkshire Meadows are the advocates you want to have in your corner. The professionals working with children and young adults living with developmental disabilities create a supportive, caring environment that enriches their lives. With year-round programs offering educational, health and therapeutic services, they are in the best of care. Their individualized education plan identifies individual and achievable goals to help the children grow and make progress and help them reach their highest level of personal independence and skill development.
Best Barber Shop
Pittsfield, Great Barrington
When you need to look sharp trust in the pros at Sims Salon and Barber shop. An old school corner barbershop with a friendly and welcoming atmosphere, Berkshire folks have been getting their haircuts from Sims since 1936. Open seven days a week with convenient hours, you can get the cut you’re looking for at an affordable price.
Marriot Fairfield Inn & Suites
This is the only Marriot hotel in Berkshire County, so the Fairfield Inn & Suites is maintained to impress. Offering free high-speed Internet and complimentary breakfasts, as well as access to an indoor heated pool, hot tub, and fitness center, this hotel is simply sensational. Situated 500 feet back from Route 7, you’re sure to have a quiet, comfortable stay at the Fairfield Inn & Suites.
Best AM Radio Personality
Jesse Stewart, WSBS
Jesse Stewart’s “Let’s Talk” deals with the most prevalent issues facing the tri-state Berkshire region by inviting state representatives, town managers, and other important officials on the program as guests. A self-proclaimed “Berkshire tradition,” the show covers various topics, including health care, politics, state and town government, home repair, auto maintenance, and computers, among others. Stewart’s personality is just the icing on the cake.
Best Ski Resort
Yet again the Great Barrington slope takes home the readers pick. Butternut provides 110 acres of skiing, spread across 22 trails. All ski trails are covered with snowmaking. A family oriented ski area that is ideal for those just learning to ski or learning to snowboard.
Shear Design’s stylists have a loyal following of clients who look forward to their appointments with the talented staff who give great cuts and are also great company.
With stores in Great Barrington, Pittsfield, and North Adams, Verizon provides high-speed FiOS Internet to a number of homes in the region. With quantum Internet plans starting at 50/50 Mbps and going all the way up to 500/500 Mbps, even the most rabid of Netflix streamers should be satisfied. All plans include Speedmatch, where upload speeds are guaranteed to match download speeds, putting them ahead of other cable and Internet providers.
Best Personal Trainers
Cranwell Resort’s fitness and recreation facilities offer swimming, skiing, golf, and many other activities for those who enjoy staying active. They also have a variety of great, certified personal trainers to assist guests with personal fitness goals. Reasonably priced for 30 minute, 50 minute, and 80-minute sessions, these trainers will motivate, support, and challenge you on your journey.
Best Yoga Studio
Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health
The Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health has served the Berkshires for more than 30 years, drawing celebrities and vacationers from all over the world to its pristine, holistic living facilities. Yoga classes, including yoga summer camp, hiking and yoga, kayaking and yoga, beginners yoga, and the science of yoga, offer a comprehensive exploration of the exercise as an artful physical, mental, and spiritual practice.
Best Dressed Politician
Henry “Hank” Sayers, Jr.
Elected as an interim Selectman in 2013 and voted onto the board full-time a year later, Henry “Hank” Sayers is the newest member of the Lanesborough Select Board. Seen always sporting a half-zip or button-up shirt with his signature jeans, Sayers makes even the most casual event feel important. His term as Selectman expires in 2017.
Best Electrical Appliances
Family owned and operated since 1946, Henry’s Electric is the authorized dealer of over 40 brands, which allows them to offer something for every budget. Their staff with people who have the breadth of knowledge of their selection to get you the tools you need. They also service what they sell, and have a full service department that consists of factory-trained technicians who are able to repair and maintain all the quality appliances they sell for many years.
Best Golf Course – South County
Egremont Country Club
The Egremont Country Club, located in the beautiful Berkshire mountains of Massachusetts, features a challenging 18-hole public golf course, fully stocked pro shop, and driving range. Public tee times are available up to seven days in advance. The well maintained course is surrounded by rolling hills, beautiful views and winding streams.
Best Tennis Courts
Wyantenuck Country Club
What began at Wyantenuck Country Club at Brookside in 1903 with two tennis courts has developed into their five current courts over the years. Wyantenuck converted three tennis courts into clay courts in 1926, yielding a beautiful red playing surface for members to enjoy. They club holds a variety of daily activities and tournaments and there’s still plenty of room to practice! A wonderful sporting spot, this place is a real ace if you love tennis.
Best Auto Repair Service
Williams & Kinglsey
Consistently earns high marks for friendly, knowledgeable mechanics and fair prices from customers.
Best Hair Salon
With 35 years of experience Hair Unlimited Hair Salon offers the best style, for each individual. Recently relocated from Lee, they look forward to greeting their long-time following or someone for their first visit, offering the best style, for each individual.
SHOPPING: Editors’ Choice (Return to The Best top)
Best Kitchen Supplier
The Chef’s Shop
This kitchen store has been around, in one way or another, for more than 20 years. What began as Berkshire Cottage in Lenox has grown into one of the premier chef supply shops in the area. With numerous cooking classes, live demonstrations, and tasting experiences held in-store, the Chef’s Shop is the best place to grow your kitchen. They also offer free warranty extensions and a low price guarantee.
Best South County Appliance Store
There is no wonder why they have been touted as “the appliance specialist of Berkshire County.” Henry’s Electric is an impressive family-owned and operated appliance store located right in the heart of downtown Lee since 1946. Authorized dealers of more than 40 brands, including Viking, Subzero, Whirlpool, Maytag, Electrolux, and Frigidaire, this full service establishment is sure to carry what you’re looking for.
Harry’s Supermarket is a locally owned, 3rd generation, hometown supermarket, making it the best place to buy your meat in Berkshire County. Voted Best Meats for the last 17 years, Harry’s Supermarket, located at 290 Wahconah St. in Pittsfield provides the area’s best and freshest meats – without exception. At Harry’s, not only will you find a wide variety of meats, but you’ll also find fresh produce and just about anything you can get at the large chain supermarkets. And as the area’s premier IGA supermarket, they have built a great reputation with their loyal customers. This reputation is why the Nichols family has been able to serve their community for almost a century. Visit them today and select from their best meats and grocery items.
Best Hard Cider
Hilltop Orchards’ French style Cider’ and Johnny Mash hard cider are made from estate grown apples and are sure winners. Their award-winning Furnace Brook Wines are made from northeast varietals and produced on location at Hilltop Orchards.
Best Place to Buy an ATV
When you are in the market for a quality all-terrain vehicle, North’s has you covered. Since 1964 they have been serving the needs of ATV and Motorcycle riders with the excellent service and a reputation for being the best. As the local, authorized dealer for Honda and Suzuki motorcycles and ATVs, North’s Services takes pride in its ever growing list of satisfied customers in the Northern Berkshire, Southern Berkshire and Central Berkshire areas.
Best Bicycle Selection
Whether you’re looking for a Recreational bicycle, Racing bike, or a Mountain Bike you have come to the right place. Ordinary Cycles carries Road Bikes, Mountain Bikes, Cyclocross Bikes, Touring Bikes, BMX Bikes, Sport Comfort, and Children’s Bikes to suit any and all cyclists needs.
Best Custom Clothing Outfitter
Peace Train Tees
Peace Train Tees is the place to go for those looking to see their t-shirt creations brought to life. Peace Train has burst onto the scene with their high quality clothing design operation located in the Berkshire Mall. Since 2010, has specialized in creating everything from custom shirts and sweatshirts to bags and mugs with heat applied vinyl that wont fade over time or through washing. From 1 to 1,000, no order is too big for the team at Peace Train. They also offer a variety of tie dye items, custom vinyl lettering for vehicles and are the largest stock of Berkshire items in the county.
Most unique Mother of the…..Dresses
From Mother of the Bride or Mother of the Groom, Purple Plume has interesting, arty, and unusual dresses for the women who want to look a cut above! Their dresses come in silk, and other delicate fabrics, some textured, others embellished for that one of a kind look. They also have a huge collection of print silk jackets to go over simple long silk dresses for that arty look.
Best Customer Service
With the motto “You will NEVER be treated better elsewhere”, RJ Stohr Diamonds & Fine Jewelry, 90 North Street Pittsfield, has a lot to live up to. They deliver on that promise every day with an extremely friendly, experienced staff that makes you feel at home the moment you walk in the door. You’ll never feel pressured to buy, and they never use tactics to get you to spend more than you’re comfortable with. Downtown Pittsfield’s only full service jewelry store is in their 9th year. Store owner Rick Stohr began his jewelry career over 20 years ago. For a customer service experience that is second to none, visit RJ Stohr Diamonds & Fine Jewelry. You will NEVER be treated better elsewhere.
Rock Business Solutions
Rock Business Solutions provides 100% customer service and satisfaction for both small, medium and large retail businesses. They provide everything from computer-based Point of Sale to credit card equipment and processing. Rock Business Solutions, located at 346 North Street in Pittsfield, are licensed and trusted dealers of Digital Dining and Keystroke POS and offer Handheld POS terminals that will increase table turn and customer satisfaction. It’s clear why over 300 businesses have already turned to Rock Business Solutions. They also offer the most competitive credit card rates around. Rock Business Solutions also specializes in surveillance cameras and digital video recorders, credit cards/gift cards, and many other products and services.
Best Big City Style Collection
This unique mercantile in downtown Pittsfield buys and sells vintage collectibles and Danish and mid-century furnishings. The Berkshires’ self-proclaimed “resource for Big City Style,” opened in the summer of 2012. Owner Rebecca Barnini has tapped into a thriving niche market, taking advantage of the growing opportunities on North Street.
Best Jeweler – South County
Known for the dazzling light display atop their building during the holidays, Great Barrington’s only full-service jewelry store offers an incredible selection of diamonds, diamond jewelry, colored gemstone jewelry, gold and silver jewelry, and famous name brand watches will make sure you look your best accentuating any wardrobe. They offer on site ring sizing, diamond setting, jewelry repair watch batteries and bands and watch repairs. Or bring in a piece for a custom engraving that will turn any gift into a cherished keepsake.
Best Car Wash
Swell’s Car Wash
After a long winter and mud season, with salt and muck clinging to your car, you’ll need the best care you can get to make your vehicle look good as new. That’s where the pros at Swells step in. Serving the area for more than two decades Swells Car Wash will improve the look of your car with their state of the art, automatic car wash. Their staff of professionals give an extra bit of TLC to take care of your car with their top notch washing and drying equipment. Their 24-hour self serve bay allows you to get your car clean any day, any time and accept debit, credit and cash for your convenience as well as an outside self serve wash for larger vehicles.
A green destination supplying gardeners in the Berkshires, eastern New York, and northwestern Connecticut, Ward’s grows over 1,400 perennial selections and 700 different houseplants. Founded in 1957, they opened a new garden center as recently as 2010, becoming more energy efficient and sustainable in the process. They also carry soil, seeding supplies, tools, pottery, and fertilizer, among other garden needs.
Best Place to Buy Chain Saws, Grass Trimmers and Leaf blowers
West Farm Equipment
When you need to get yard work done, West Farm Equipment has literally all of the tools you need for the task. Whether it’s chain saws, hedge trimmers, leaf blowers or any other piece of outdoor power equipment their stockpile of the top brands is at the head of the pack. With their customer service and experienced staff, they are guaranteed to put the right equipment in your hands.
Best Luxury Auto Dealer
Flynn VW, Audi, BMW
Once you become a Flynn customer, you’ll be with them for life. Why? Because they are experts at meeting and exceeding the high expectations for a luxury auto dealer. Their commitment to excellence is rooted in treating each customer with paramount concern. Their organized and efficient dealership office is staffed by a friendly, knowledgeable staff who give individualized care to help you drive off with the vehicle you’re looking for with all questions answered and all concerns taken care of.
Best Mother’s Day Gifts
Karen Keenan Gifts & Home
As you step into Karen Keenan Gifts and become enveloped in the soothing candle-scented atmosphere, you know you can find something for any occasion; but especially Mother’s Day. This is your one-stop shop for all things cute, classy, and kitschy, with home décor and jewelry guaranteed to please one of the most important women in your life. They feature a selection of Alex and Ani jewelry, as well as other well-loved brands.
Best Affordable Jewelry
Nelson’s Jewelry and Gifts
If you’re looking to add a little pizzazz to your wardrobe but don’t want to break the bank, Nelson’s is the place for you. This charming local shop has a wonderful selection of jewelry, scarves, and gifts for special occasions (especially bridal ones.) They’ve been around since 1949 so they must be doing something right.
Discriminating shoe-shoppers from far and near have made Barrington Outfitters the sole destination for shoes and boots in the Berkshires. With an excellent selection of great products – including great deals and steals on their outside sale rack during the warmer months – as well as helpful and friendly staff, Barrington Outfitters is the perfect place to think on your feet.
best men’s clothing
Guys, in the never ending battle of looking good, make Steve Valenti’s your fashion arsenal. This up-beat, contemporary men’s clothing store has been providing quality menswear since 1983. From suits and sport coats and sportswear to dress shoes and leather accessories whatever you need to dress for the occasion is at your fingertips from top brands. They also will help you suit up for prom season and special occasions with an amazing formal wear section and tuxedo rentals with staff ready to outfit you to make whatever the evening is, incredible.
Best Women’s Clothing Store
Louisa Ellis’s posh boutique of women’s fashion, with an impressive selection of clothing, jewelry and handbags, is the perfect place to keep your finger on the pulse of the Fall runway shows’ iconic looks, without the hassle of shopping in NYC. It has quickly built a solid reputation with a large, loyal fan base from far and near for its convenient and high quality offerings.
Best Auto Detailing and Service
East Street Auto Mall
With East Street Auto Mall, your car is guaranteed to get the maintenance and detailing it needs. The best part is, you’ll never overpay for these services. Whether you are shopping for a new or used car or just looking to get an oil change, East Street Auto Mall has you covered.
Best Vacuum Sales & Repair
Kent’s Vacuum Center
Conveniently located at 267 Stockbridge Road, Kent’s offers appliance sales and services for vacuum cleaners. If you ever need repairs, give. Kent’s a call for efficient service providing the best service in south country.
Best Paint Store
Lee Hardware is the place to start a project off right, and that goes double for anything that needs a coat of paint. Since the 1950s, Lee Hardware Store, Inc. has been serving commercial, industrial and residential customers, and has earned a solid reputation through friendly and knowledgeable staff, sound advice and the best service. In their Benjamin Moore Signature Store paint section, you’ll find myriad of colors available in samples, as well as the necessary equipment and know-how to bring your paint project ideas to life.
Best Dog Food and Accessories
Dogs love shopping at Petco. But whether your best friend is furry, feathered, scaly, or finned, Petco has everything you need to keep them happy and healthy. It also doubles as a dog spa, with full grooming salons and training classes. If you are looking to buy a pet, they also host adoption events throughout the year for you to meet that special someone.
Price Chopper is one of the local shopping staples, not only for groceries but also seasonal gifts, flowers, health products, and pharmaceuticals. Their pharmacy offers online prescription refills, RxAdvantEdge saving on generic brands, pet medications, personal attention from pharmacists, and free vaccinations.
Best Bike Shop
Berkshire Bike and Board
Great Barrington and Pittsfield
Whether you are looking to buy a new bike or get a tune-up on your trusty current one, Bike and Board is the best place to go. Their professional bike mechanics offer lifetime free tune-ups on all new bikes purchased, and the store has all the accessories you need for your personal biking life. You can depend on them, for the long term.
Best Used Car Dealer- South County
Bachetti’s Auto Sales
Bachetti’s is the place to go for reliable, high-quality used cars. You can go on their website to browse the current selection and even fill out a form outlining the type of vehicle you’re looking for, so they can search for you! They also offer inspection services.
Best Cemetery Services
This family-owned and operated cemetery service company is the only full-service monument dealer in Berkshire County. They offer custom grave markers, sand-blast lettering, pet markers, repair services, and decorative stepping stones. There is no more dependable place for the kind of attention to detail your loved one deserves on their grave marker.
Discriminating shoe-shoppers from far and near have made Barrington Outfitters the sole destination for shoes and boots in the Berkshires. With an excellent selection of great products – including great deals and steals on their outside sale rack during the warmer months – as well as helpful and friendly staff, Barrington Outfitters is the perfect place to think on your feet.
Best Women’s Clothing Store
Louisa Ellis is the perfect place to keep your finger on the pulse of the fall runway shows’ iconic looks without the hassle of shopping in NYC. This fun, upscale boutique of women’s fashion carries an impressive selection of clothing, jewelry and handbags. It has quickly built a solid reputation with a large, loyal fan base for its convenient and high quality offerings.
Best Men’s Clothing
Guys, in the never ending battle of looking good, make Steve Valenti’s your fashion arsenal. This quality, contemporary men’s clothing store has been providing quality menswear since 1983. From suits and sport coats to dress shoes and leather accessories, whatever you need to dress for that special occasion is at your fingertips from top brands. They have even opened a location for women’s clothing, on North St.
Best Car-Buying Experience
Haddad is the Berkshires’ largest auto group, with top-quality new and used cars for sale from their friendly and helpful staff. They strive to keep every sale low pressure, transparent, and tailored to the needs of every customer. There is even an insurance agency onsite at the dealership.
Guido’s Fresh Marketplace
What started as a small roadside produce stand manned by two brothers in Pittsfield has grown into the quality food institution known as Guido’s. Thirty years later, readers continue to vote this store as the best marketplace in the Berkshires. Famously fresh, locally sourced, and conscientious, this old-world style market has maintained its well-earned reputation and will continue to far into the future.
Best Consignment Shop
Yours Mine & Ours
This consignment emporium has everything: clothes, furniture, toys, gifts, stray oddities and collectibles; so you’re willing to walk out with more than you thought you would! The owner has the grand title of The Resale Queen, and would be happy to look at any items you’re looking to pass on to someone else. Great prices and quality stock make this the best consignment shop in the region.
Best Toy Store
Matrushka Toys and Gifts
Find new and retro video games at Matrushka Toys and Gifts and play your way to victory. You’ll love all of the great memorabilia offered at this great shop. Revolutionize your life with the digital devices available such as video game systems. What’s better to snuggle with at night than a cute stuffed animal? Make sure to check out what’s available. Get your hardhat on! Pretend to be a construction worker today with your kiddos and start building with a fun set from this Matrushka Toys and Gifts. Can’t beat good old-fashioned fun with board puzzles and card games. Your boundaries are unlimited when you are in control of an awesome radio control toy. Take it anywhere you want! No toy chest is complete without an action figure. Pick up one at this store to make sure you have this for your next play date! Keep your children happy and smart! A toy is not only fun but will also teach anybody a lesson or two.309 Main Street. (413) 528-6911.
Best Liquor Store
Since 1973, Domaney’s has supplied the widest selection of best products at the best prices in the Berkshires for beer, wine and spirits. Their eye-popping inventory, from the highly affordable to the finest discriminating tastes – their ever-present specials are tough to beat – is complimented regularly by fun community events such as wine and beer tastings as well as showcases from breweries, vineyards and distilleries from near and far. Their selection of craft beers from local breweries is unmatched, showcasing some of the best ales, stouts and lagers from the area.
Best Luxury Auto Dealer
Flynn VW, Audi, BMW
Once a Flynn customer, always a Flynn customer. Why? Because they enjoy meeting and exceeding the high expectations for a luxury auto dealer. Their commitment to excellence is rooted in treating each customer with paramount concern. Their organized and efficient dealership office is staffed by a friendly, knowledgeable staff who give individualized care to help you drive off with the vehicle you’re looking for with all questions answered and all concerns taken care of.
Best Place to Buy a Truck
As a General Motors ceritified pre-owned dealer for Chevrolet, Buick and GMC, Berkshire GMC is certainly the best place to go the next time you need a truck. With dozens of models to choose from, you’re sure to find the truck you’ve always dreamed of with Berkshire GMC.
Best Foreign Auto Repair
Bob Denley’s Foreign Car and Park St. Tire
Specializing in foreign auto repair, Bob Denley’s combines excellent service and a friendly approach with a deep and constantly updated body of knowledge and experience in repairing and extending the life of your car. With special equipment to evaluate and efficiently test any problems your car may have, their staff is happy to answer customers’ questions, and can also advise the ideal products to use to extend the life of your automobile. Additionally, they’re also the only authorized stocking tire dealer in the tri-town area.
Best Family Clothes Shopping
Amidst the depersonalized, cookie-cutter big-box clothing stores, friendly, hometown customer service makes Ben’s stand out and stand tall. Serving the Berkshires for eight decades, they offer high-quality brands to suit everyone’s needs, from toddlers’, children’s, women’s and men’s, including men’s big and tall department, as well as a generous footwear selection.
Best Pharmacy Flynn’s Pharmacy
Flynn’s Pharmacy and Home Medical Equipment is a family-owned business that has been serving Berkshire County for more than 50 years. As Pittsfield’s only accredited independent pharmacy, Flynn’s provides a variety of pharmacy services, including prescription filling, direct insurance billing, free blood pressure checks, respiratory therapy, and medication counseling. They also offer respiratory care products and home delivery for those in need.
Best Auto Insurance
Viale Insurance Agency
As a third generation family company, Viale Insurance continues to follow the same mission they’ve followed for the better part of a century – to meet the insurance needs of Southern Berkshire County. Always available for a free review and evaluation of anyone’s present coverage, they’re committed to seeing their clients properly protected. Treating customers as more than just a number, they strive to offer personalized service to each individual who comes through the door, echoing their motto of “our customers, our neighbors, our friends.”
Best Country Department Store
Jack’s Country Squire
Just because you’re out in the country doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice a good shopping experience. Jack’s Country Squire offers high-quality clothing and footwear for the entire family, with a huge selection of the finest name brands. Whatever it is you’re looking for, you can find here with the aid of their ever-courteous and helpful staff, who dutifully tend to the individual clothing needs of each customer.
Out of Hand
From the quirky to the sophisticated, the fashionable to the fun, Out of Hand’s impressively expansive inventory has a huge selection of everything from clothes, tapestries, furniture, fine glass and just about everything else if you’re looking for a unique gift for anyone on your list, or an item to spruce up the décor of any interior.
Best Auto Detailer
Serving the tri-state area, no one beats the service, stock and affordability in detailing and sign services provided by Larkin. The one and only stop for any and all vehicle detailing needs. With 6 different detailing package options and pickup and delivery service offered, they can handle any vehicle – from small cars and motorcycles to RVs and boats In addition to their normal detail offerings, they also perform excessive pet hair and odor removal, window tinting, headlight restoration and more. Servicing all varieties of vehicles from small businesses to local law enforcement, no job is too big or too detailed for their dedicated and careful approach.
Best Unusual Jewelry
Unusual Wedding Rings & More
Not only does Unusual Wedding Rings & More offer a wide range of wedding bands, diamonds, earrings, bracelets and pearls, they also offer superb jewelry repair services, professional cleaning, insurance appraisals, metal type testing and consignment on fine jewelry. Next time you’re in the market for jewelry, visit the folks at Unusual Wedding Rings & More for an array of less traditional options.
Best Beads & More Shop
The people at Yummy Treasures have a deep passion for vintage jewelry components. Yummy Treasures is a top seller on Etsy, not only serving the Berkshires, but delivering to customers across the US. With a large variety of designs, fast shipping and over 350 products available online, there’s plenty to be excited about for any arts & crafts or jewelry fanatic.
Best Camera Shop
The Snap Shop
A picture is worth a thousand words, and one done with the help of The Snap Shop is easily worth a million bucks. Since 1972, The Snap Shop has been the region’s one-stop destination for everything photography. Their customer service is nearly as unmatched as their wide array of available services, with a staff that is happy to talk about cameras, pictures or even photo projects. The offer camera repair and film developing, along with old photo copying and retouching/restoration, slide scanning, printing from black and white negatives, darkroom chemicals, and basically anything else someone with a camera could possibly need.
Best Place to Buy a Used Car
Anthony’s Auto sales
The most trusted pre-owned car and truck sellers in the Berkshires, Anthony’s is the place to go when you want a quality automobile at an affordable price. They offer everything from sedans to SUVs at some of the best prices in the area. Their sales associates will help you find the right vehicle from their carefully compiled selection, each meticulously inspected to ensure its quality. Their website also offers a comprehensive list of their lot including specials at hard to beat prices.
Best Pet Supplies
When it comes to your pets, only the best will do. That’s why owners and animal lovers of the Berkshires have turned to BensDotter’s Pet for their furry friends needs. The raw diet specialists at BensDotter’s offers carefully selected kibbled and canned foods, along with supplies, supplements, medicinal and truly natural treats and chews along with the best selection of raw diets, raw diet supplements, and freeze-dried and dehydrated foods that are high quality and nutritious. The store also offers special programs for pet owners as well as Housdtooth non-anesthetic dental cleaning clinics for cats and dogs.
Best Place to Buy Fresh Bread
Berkshire Mountain Bakery
Having lived as a bread maker in Canada, France, the Netherlands, and a number of other regions in Northern Europe, owner Richard Bourdon’s Berkshire Mountain Bakery is nothing short of a professional establishment. After serving South County for almost 30 years, Bourdon opened a second location in Pittsfield to bring his sourdough bread, pizza crusts, and croissants, among others, to the people up north. It’s delicious!
The Bookstore has existed in the Berkshires since 1976 and hosts a rotating schedule of live readings and events to stay resilient in the digital age. That, paired with the aptly named Get Lit win bar, located right next door, makes for an awesome local spot that owner Matt Tannenbaum calls a “community living room.” What’s better than a glass of wine and a good book?
Best Place to Learn to Ride a Horse
Whether you’re an equestrian or just want to learn how to ride the best place to go is Bellwether Stables. Bellwether Stables has developed riders and horses to their highest potential in a friendly and professional environment with a team of patient and experienced teachers. They offer private and group riding lessons along with instruction for all ages and riding levels with professional licensed intructors. Their facilities are top quality with an all-weather riding campus in their large indoor arena as well as a beautiful new outdoor arena to see the beautiful Berkshires on horseback.
Best Awning Manufacturer
Cheyne Awning Company
Berkshire County’s most experienced manufacturer of custom awnings, canopies, retractables and other exterior shading solutions, they have been serving the county since 1926. Owner Tim Harrigan leads a team that does it all. From knowledgable sales professionals to graphic design for your businesses logo to the manufacturing and installation of their high quality products, you can count on getting the best service whether its for a residential or commercial use. They offer annual maintenance services and repairs, project management and internal lighting. They also signage services for all types of signs to get your business looking sharp
Best Children’s Consignment Shop
A new consignment shop in downtown Pittsfield, Kidding Around offers top quality used items for babies and children as part of their stock. Carseats, stuffed animals and playsets, toys and games, and an eclectic mix of clothing for all different ages all with prices that are incredibly affordable. Their staff and management care about their customers well beyond the purchase in an atmosphere that is loving and supportive of families new and old. As new kids on the block, they have already made a great impact in their community.