Edible Berkshires




The roadside eatery on Rt. 7 in Sheffield, in front of Bogies, has reopened as The Bistro Box. Nick & Birdie, both graduates of the Culinary Institute of America, started The Bistro Box as a mobile food business in January 2010. They began their wild ride in Florida for the winter, serving up fresh food at arts and crafts shows, music festivals, farmers’ markets and catered events. This continued as they headed back home to New England for the remainder of the year. Life on the road brought them adventure, freedom, business experience … and a few flat tires! Even though it might have been the hard way, they experienced four successful years. Spotting an opportunity to settle down, they opened The Bistro Box this April. Looks like they’re off to a great start.

937 Main St., M–Su 11am–7pm; 413-717-5958; TheBistroBox.com


The Patrick Administration has announced statewide commercial food waste disposal ban regulations to take effect on October 1, 2014. The ban will divert food waste to energy-generating and composting facilities and reduce the Commonwealth’s waste stream. Residential food materials and food waste from small businesses are not included in the ban. The disposal ban affects approximately 1,700 businesses and institutions, including supermarkets, colleges, universities, hotels, convention centers, hospitals, nursing homes, restaurants and food service and processing companies.

The Recycling Works program provides free web-based resources and guidance at RecyclingWorksMA.com


Chef/owners Micah and Carrie Stone, Lee natives, have been honing their craft as a culinary team at home for seven years and knew it was time to take their favorite creations to busy Main Street. Knead a Bagel offers close to a dozen varieties of freshly made bagels and spreads. Specialty bagel sandwiches include smoked turkey Reuben and BBQ short rib; salads feature various toppings, such as curry chicken salad and farm-fresh egg salad, from their own chickens. Low-carb and gluten-free options as well. Continued success.

62 Main St., Lee; Tu–Su 6am–2pm; KneadABagel.com


We congratulate Klara’s Gourmet Cookies of Lee, for being a finalist in the Specialty Food Association’s “Outstanding Cookie’ category. The cookie chosen was their Coconut Macaroon, but we think they are ALL delicious! Good luck, Klara and Jefferson.

Klara’s was founded in 2006, and with a lot of hard work, faith and determination Klara and Jefferson have built their business into a success. They got their quality product to the public at farmers’ markets and specialty events, believing “if you bake it, they will taste.” So, if you are a fan, we’re sorry to say you will no longer be seeing their smiling faces at local events, as they now distribute to retail outlets only.

And to all who have their own product and dream: “If it’s good, they will buy.” To find a store near you, visit KlarasGourmet.com/all/store-finder.


Need a shot of caffeine on a lazy summer afternoon? Barrington Coffee Roasters invites you to visit them at the roastery. See what they do, sample a cup of freshroasted coffee and learn how you can order your favorite roast directly from their roastery.

165 Quarry Hill Rd., Lee; open M–F, 9am¬–4pm, roasting M–Th; BarringtonCoffee.com


New CSA for 2014, MX Morningstar Farm, Copake, NY. Pick up your share at the Berkshire Co-op, Great Barrington, available Tuesday or Thursday 1–5pm.

Welcome to the Berkshires.To sign up, visit MXMorningstarFarm.com or call 518-329-7994.


A passion for cooking, baking and feeding people in Bennington, VT, is how Karen Goggelin, describes her mission. Proprietor of the new Spring Street Market in Williamstown, Karen offers grab and go market basics, including fresh produce, milk and eggs, as well as preparing breakfast, lunch and dinner to go. All the best.

M–Sa 7am–6pm, Su 9am–2pm; TheSpringStreetMarketAndCafe.com


Studious Baker—culinary artisans, advocates of organic and local agriculture for inspiration. Jennie and Rob Heck create distinctive baking, working with complementary flavors, balancing them for both subtle and robust play of flavors, so sugar is not the emphasis. Cookies and bars, tea breads, scones, muffins, pies, cakes, savory breads and confections are menu constants. Dairy-free and non-gluten baked goods are also available. No preservatives; enjoy promptly! All the best, welcome.

123 North St., Pittsfield; W–Su 6am–4pm; Facebook.com/StudiousBaker


Kinetic, a student-run think tank at Williams College, is pioneering an innovative food assistance initiative. Suspended Groceries is a simple concept in which people pay in advance for fresh foods meant for someone else. The food assistance program is modeled after “paying it forward.”

Wild Oats Market in Williamstown quickly signed up, and became the first grocery store to offer Suspended Groceries. Shoppers at Wild Oats can “suspend” any or all of the following six items for someone in need: a carton of eggs, a 32-ounce container of organic yogurt, a bunch of fresh broccoli, a 10-ounce package of organic frozen berries, a pound of organic rolled oats and a cup of house-made soup.

Wild Oats Market marks suspended items with signs and prints customer coupons for each item that has been suspended. Their customer may add one or more coupons to their order and pay for it at checkout. The market then delivers the prepaid coupons to organizations like Berkshire Food Project, which distribute the coupons to people who need them most. A tip of the hat to all.

For more information please contact Robin Riley at 413-458-8060 or Marketing@WildOats.coop.

Cosmopolitan Café Comes to Berkshires



Restaurateur, archivist, designer and outdoorsman Craig Baro has moved the Cosmopolitan Café from Tribeca, NYC, to Main Street, Housatonic.

Proprietor of landmark West Village businesses the Grange Hall, Anglers & Writers, Village Atelier and the Bespeckled Trout, Craig found himself with a dilemma: It was right after 9/11, the West Side was closed from 14th Street down. Loyal customers of his Village establishments could not get to him.

With no business, he lost everything and had to shut down one by one. Deciding that if you can’t beat them, join them, Craig went to West Broadway and Chambers Street, two blocks from Ground Zero. Rented the boarded-up retail space, originally a “ladies’ lunch” counter, in the 1848 Cosmopolitan Hotel. Renovated from scratch and turned it into the Cosmopolitan Café—a small-town European-style cafe serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.

October 29, 2012, came Hurricane Sandy. Well, how much can one person take?

A restaurateur for 30 years, Craig sourced products from farms and producers in Columbia County, NY, and Berkshire County.

Among them were Deborah and Tom of Double Decker Farm, Hillsdale, who started supplying heirloom tomatoes over 20 years ago. Craig also became one of Barrington Coffee Roasters’ first restaurant accounts over 20 years ago as well.

Craig grew up on a farm in Wisconsin, for many years owned a second home in Crayville, NY, and has always had an attachment to the country.

Finding a “For Rent” sign on the Housatonic landmark was all he needed to return to the country life he so missed.

His current offerings are coffee bar– quality latte, espresso and cappuccino and breakfast– options such as eggs, quiche, oatmeal and delicious baked goods. For lunch there are salads, burgers and other sandwiches, and on Thursdays, Friday and Saturday, they offer $15 prix-fixe “community suppers.” Choice of soup or salad and choice of main course; the menu changes weekly.

Not to forget, there’s an old-fashioned ice cream parlor and tchotchkes (stuff ) galore, most for sale.

This exciting new business will be a great addition to the neighborhood. The city’s loss is the Berkshires’ gain. A warm country welcome, Craig. Pleasant & Main, Housatonic; M–Su 7am–3pm, dinner Th–Sa 5–8:30pm; 413-274-6303


Chef Dan Barber has been making unexpected yogurt flavors for years in his restaurants Blue Hill in New York City and Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, NY. His new retail line includes flavors like beet, carrot, tomato, butternut squash, sweet potato and parsnip. Blue Hill Yogurt is also a finalist in the Specialty Food Association’s “Outstanding Dairy Product’ category. (See Klara’s Cookies item on page 4.)

Blue Hill uses only milk from grass-fed cows from small farms in the Northeast, including Blue Hill Farm, farmed by native son Sean Stanton, on the Barbers’ family farm in Great Barrington. Good luck to Dan and Blue Hill Yogurt, can’t wait to try it. BlueHillYogurt.com; BlueHillFarm.com

Slow and Steady Will Win this Race



Blue-Ribbon Effort to Repurpose Barrington Fair

By Carole Murko

Have you driven by the Barrington Fair grounds lately? Sheffield couple Janet and Bart Elsbach are breathing life back into the property. But they are not doing it alone. Community engagement is key.

Bart Elsbach reportedly used his limited liability company to finance the sale. Plans are to turn ownership over to the 60-member, nonprofit Fairgrounds Community Development Project, which will pay Elsbach back.

Janet Elsbach said the fairgrounds purchase represents a bigger goal than restoring a fallen gem. She would like to see it at the hub of solving some big issues we as a society are facing: food security, importance of community, preserving and protecting vital resources, global warming, etc.

She believes everything needs to be connected and we can no longer pretend that there is no cost to the food system we currently have. It’s lofty thinking, but Janet is unflappable. The vision to create a central place to buy food, store food and learn to grow food is within sight. This May the Great Barrington Farmers’ Market claimed the fairgrounds as its new home. It began as an open-air market and ultimately will be held in the soon-to-be rebuilt cow shed.

Plans are under way to offer a timber framing class that will use the reframing and building of the cow shed as its hands-on project. This clever marrying of a learning opportunity with the desired outcome offers insight to how the Elbachs are utilizing community resources (several locally based timber-framing experts) to help the project along.

If you are inclined to get dirt under your fingernails, they have a list of projects that need tending to, and a schedule of Sunday Community Workdays on their website. Janet said she “loves the idea that people are down there, creating ownership like sweat equity. It’s all self-motivated.”

Janet appeared noticeably satisfied that their vision is unfolding. While going at it alone with private funding might hasten the beautification and restoration of the property, the Elsbachs and their board cling to a dream of a place where food and community are integrally connected, so much so that it becomes the lifeblood of a strong and sustainable local food system.

Schedule of Events

  • Great Barrington Farmers’ Market Saturdays May 10–Oct. 25, 9am–1pm The farmer’s market has a new market manager, Howard Lefenfeld. To inquire about space availability, contact; Howard. GBFarmersMarket@gmail.com
  • Community Work Days Sundays May –Nov. 16, 9am–2pm
  • Timber Framing Workshop, Fall Brunch and Fundraiser

Visit GBFG.org for details.