Archives for FCCDC News

Client Focus: Carson’s Cans

Walter Kleeberg Finds Success Through Commitment to Clients and Securing a Niche of His Own There’s a vital piece of infrastructure without which many businesses can’t function: the portable toilet. Walter Kleeberg, owner of Deerfield-based Carson’s Cans, understands that he’s filling a niche. “It’s not for everybody,” he concedes.   And when it comes to the odor emanating from the products he supplies and services for countless farms, construction sites, outdoor recreation facilities, and festivals throughout the Pioneer Valley, don’t worry about Walt. “I don’t smell it,” he said with a smile. “It all looks like cash to me.”  The business he took
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Client Focus: Massive Bookshop

Bookstore as Art Project with Social Justice at the Fore  When Andrew Ritchey began exploring the idea of opening a bookstore, his mind traced out the usual steps: get a lease on a space, buy a lot of books, hire people, etc. However, the traditional path was not for him. He decided on a unique business model, an anti-profit online bookstore, which places his values and social justice first.   Ritchey opened Massive Bookshop in 2020, operating out of his Greenfield home at first, and then in 2022 moving into the Franklin County CDC’s Venture Center. The bookshop’s structure gives
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Client Profile: Quabbin Harvest

Food coop as community connecting point  Quabbin Harvest Food Co-op in Orange, Massachusetts, is a grocery store and so much more for the community it serves. The store offers a full range of groceries for local shoppers as well as “Community Shares” programs that help to make food affordable to low-income customers.    It buys fruits, vegetables, meats, and other products from the small farms that dot the rural North Quabbin region, giving those farmers a predictable market for their goods. But, as the store’s Board Chair Cathy Stanton notes, the co-op most importantly provides a community gathering space for
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Moroccan Fellows Tour FCCDC

A group of Moroccan professionals attending the Amherst-based Institute for Training and Development toured the Franklin County Community Development Corp. last month. The nine visitors work in varied careers, from municipal jobs, to business owners, and professionals in education and nongovernmental organizations. They were here to learn about the FCCDC’s approach to helping small businesses and overall economic development. Executive Director John Waite and Business Development Director Amy Shapiro led the tour, along with Western Massachusetts Food Processing Center Food Business Coordinator Kate Minifie. Waite and Shapiro provided business counseling to one of the visitors previously, and even went to
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