Archives for FCCDC News

Brands We Love: Tasty AF Chili Oil

We love Aya Forster’s chili oil! Aya was born and raised in Japan and her mother and grandmother’s homemade Japanese comfort food continue to influence her cooking style. She says Asian food should be approachable and wants to show others that they, too, can learn how to make everything from dumplings to noodles to sushi. She took courses at Le Cordon Bleu in Tokyo and other classes in Tokyo, Kyoto, and NYC to polish her culinary skills. Today, she continues to learn from fellow chefs, cookbooks, and even from students who take her cooking class. We posed a few questions to this food lover
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Client Focus: Fat Moon Farms

A mushrooming business, in more ways than one Mushrooms are just the coolest. Neither animal nor plant, they have their own taxonomical kingdom: Fungi. Most importantly, they taste amazing, absorbing whatever sauce you cook them in and returning it with an umami that packs a punch! We’re not the only ones swooning over mushrooms. We reached out to Fat Moon Farm’s Elizabeth Almeida to learn more about the delicious fruit of the mycelium. Tell us about your business and products. Fat Moon grows organic, gourmet mushrooms for chefs, independent retailers, and CSAs.  What makes you excited about Fat Moon Mushrooms? I
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Client Focus: Nutwood Farm

The patient path to a nutty crop Nutwood Farm in Cummington is not your typical farm. In addition to growing tree nuts, mostly hazelnuts and blight-resistant chestnuts, and raising ducks and sheep, owners Seva and Kaylan Water follow regenerative agroforestry practices to restore soil health and sequester carbon, exploring longtime indigenous land management techniques. The Waters recently worked with Massachusetts Agriculture Innovation Center (MAAIC) Financial Business Advisor Myra Marcellin and received a small grant from the Franklin County CDC to go on a nut processing adventure in upstate New York. Loaded down with three years’ worth of their stored harvested hazelnuts,
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Client Focus: Silver Screen Design

A custom T-shirt company continually adapts to keep their customers covered For four-plus decades, Silver Screen Design—a custom T-shirt and branded apparel company located in the Franklin County CDC’s Venture Center—has thrived by providing full-service to customers while remaining small and nimble enough to navigate a complex and constantly evolving industry. The family-owned company started as part of the Renaissance Community in 1975. Cheryl Termo, who started as an artist at the company, and David Senior in 1984 bought it. Cheryl is now Owner and President. Silver Screen Design moved into a 15,000-square-foot space in the Venture Center in 1993;
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2023 Holiday Gift Guide

  The holiday season is upon us! Looking for a way to support a local small business and give functional, fun, and delicious gifts? Consider purchasing from one of our clients, below! From mushrooms to meats, merch to mouth-watering condiments (and even live elves for your seasonal party) you’ll find something for everyone here. Interested in working with us or need help with your business? Learn more about what we do and get started here. Want to support the work we do with entrepreneurs throughout western Massachusetts? Donate securely here. Africana Villa – Egusi soup, anyone? Order melon seeds or
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Client Focus: Nostalgia Scratch Pastry

Cynthia Walton and Amanda Perreault were part of the team that in 2019 launched The Break Room, a restaurant located in the Greylock Works converted mill in North Adams. Professionally trained pastry chefs—and friends since high school—they worked together for years building a reputation for high-quality, delicious pastries. After four years at The Break Room building a successful pastry program, they decided to start their own dessert business. With a positive reputation, high-level baking and organizational skills, many commercial and retail fans, and support from the commercial kitchen landlords at Greylock Works where they currently bake, Cynthia and Amanda were
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Client Focus: Nostalgia Scratch Pastry

Two top-tier bakers seek sweet success Cynthia Walton and Amanda Perreault were part of the team that in 2019 launched The Break Room, a restaurant located in the Greylock Works converted mill in North Adams. Professionally trained pastry chefs—and friends since high school—they worked together for years building a reputation for high-quality, delicious pastries. After four years at The Break Room creating a successful pastry program, they decided to start their own business. With a positive reputation, high-level baking and organizational skills, many commercial and retail fans, and support from the commercial kitchen landlords at Greylock Works, Cynthia and Amanda
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Client Focus: Africana Villa

Entrepreneurs turn a 6,000 square foot vacant building into a neighborhood asset providing healthy food that also meets the needs and tastes of a culturally diverse population. Africana Villa—a food market, West African restaurant (the first in the city of Springfield), and clothing store—opened its doors earlier this month at the corner of Locust and Dickinson streets in Springfield.  When Roseline and Obioma Chiuwa first reached out to FCCDC in the spring of 2022, it seemed like a logical progression to grow their Afro-Caribbean food buying “club” to a retail storefront in the Springfield neighborhood they called home. When staff
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Client Focus: Flis Market

Owners bring a lively market to an Erving landmark If you’ve driven on Route 2 in Erving, chances are you’ve seen Flis Market. Located in a 200-year-old structure formerly called Erving House, the community-based general store serves up house-made grab-and-go lunches and dinners seven days a week, as well as meat and cheese; beer, wine and spirits; and grocery items. Owners Jon and Liz Flis have invested heavily in the historic building (there is a photo of it dated 1825), recently securing a Healthy Food Financing Initiative grant through the U.S.D.A. to improve access to fresh, healthy foods in underserved
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The Heart Work and Artwork in Creating a Racial Justice Reflective Journey

Artist Mari “Mars” Champagne poses and answers important questions Imagine an interactive program that provides business owners—from corporations to entrepreneurs—with a way to account for how race and racial justice take form in their workplace. The Racial Justice Reflective Journey tool prompts reflection on race, business demographics, and biases in order to facilitate a more open conversation about how racial perspectives play out in each individual workplace. The tool has been developed by a team led by Traci Talbert, the Racial Justice and Community Engagement Leader at the Franklin County CDC, with artist and activist Mari Champagne, Liz Goodman, and
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