The new mall has five new businesses, including a cafe with drive-thru, an antique store and a general store with basic groceries | Berkshires Center

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Joe Prince, local entrepreneur and owner of three Lanesborough businesses, poses for a photo with the menu at Greylock Grounds Cafe and Drive-through.

LANESBOROUGH – As the pandemic raged in the summer of 2020, Joe Prince was looking for a space from which he could operate his antique business when he came across the dilapidated former Vacation Village sales center, which was vacant for about 12 years. .

The vegetation was overgrown, some of the boardwalks were warped and warped, there was water damage from minor flooding in some of the buildings, and there was a partially collapsed shed in the center of the property.

“It was perfect,” Prince said. “I thought my dream was coming true.”

Flash forward two years, and we find Prince owning and operating three businesses in three rented buildings on the site, now called The Village at Greylock, and two other owners have opened new businesses in the remaining structure. The buildings are surrounded by manicured lawns and gardens, the buildings look up-to-date with a quaint New England feel, and bright colors and other creative touches give it a fun and heartwarming vibe.

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Thousands of antique artifacts line the shelves of Mantiques, Lanesborough’s relatively new antique shop.

His first step was to open his antique store, which he named Berkshire Mantiques. A collector for years, he particularly enjoyed collecting old signs of long-gone companies. His shop now has thousands of items for sale. He said the owner, Normal K Realty, was proactive in cleaning up the property and repairing structures.

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Since 2020, The Village at Greylock has been the site of five business openings.

“The owner stepped in and took care of it,” Prince said.

It opened on October 1, 2020. Then it started thinking again. His idea was to use a building at the back of the property to establish a wholesale coffee pod assembly operation.

Working with grounds produced at No. Six Depot in West Stockbridge, he experimented with different combinations of coffee grounds. Prince has found the “perfect” blend of coffee grounds to fill the pods, which fit into Keurig-style coffee machines. He chose to use biodegradable and compostable pods and set up an assembly line for packaging, which includes packaging and labeling. He named the product Greylock Grounds.

Prince launched the operation about three months after Mantiques opened.

Since then, he has lined up a number of businesses to buy and sell his product, including Guido’s Fresh Marketplace, Whole Foods, Wild Oats Market, Big Y and other retail stores.

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The Statue of Liberty’s little sister greets drive-in customers at Greylock Grounds Cafe in Lanesborough.

Once that was settled, Prince’s mind kept returning to the broken-down old shed adjacent to the antique store. After some thought, he figured this would be a great spot for a drive-thru cafe and snack shack.

Working with the owner, they set up a new structure, roughly the same size as the shed, complete with food preparation and cooking facilities, and launched the Greylock Grounds Coffee Drive-Through, which has opened a little over two months ago.

Since then, it has added a bright yellow walkway for patrons to stop and eat outside at the picnic tables. The menu is varied and inventive. A plastic clown chef displays part of the menu, and drive-thru customers place their order where the Statue of Liberty miniature stands.

“We knew we needed it for the synergy here,” Prince said. He said he employed eight to ten local young adults on a part-time basis, depending on the season.

The colorful drive-thru, along with several vintage cars and trucks dotting the parking lot, add to the intriguing feel of the new retail enclave. To further enhance the center’s appeal, Prince said, it hosts a family party every Friday and Saturday with live outdoor music and a car show every other Friday.

After the snack opened, there was still space to fill in the enclosure, but Prince had his hands full.

But that wasn’t the case for Anna Bradbury, and she was looking for a retail opportunity. After looking at the open space of what is now known as The Village at Greylock, she liked it, although there was good water mediation and some renovation needed.


Anna Bradbury, owner of the local Lanesborough market, opened the store almost a year ago.

She opened Lanesborough Local in October 2021, and the store will celebrate its first anniversary on Columbus Day weekend. The store offers basic groceries, which locals find very useful since the old local grocery store closed several years earlier. There’s also a delicatessen and florist, and there’s a gift shop offering local handcrafted items.

“We had a lot of local support,” Bradbury said. “It’s always nice to hear people say, ‘We’re glad you’re here now.’ And we’re trying to offer a lot more groceries.

She said the surgery was a perfect match for her vision of what she was hoping for.

“I’ve always wanted to have a little country store and felt there was a need in the area,” Bradbury said. “We were very lucky that people liked it. He’s worth the pain.”

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So, with the general store added to the mix, about six months later, a beauty salon moved into the remaining space next to Lanesboro Local.

The Root 7 lounge opened on March 9. The owner, Trista Nowak, rented five of the six chairs from other local beauticians, and everything has been going well ever since.

Nowak had worked at other Pittsfield-area salons for 20 years and eventually decided to go out on her own.

“Never in my wildest dreams did I think this would become a reality,” she said.

While everyone on the team brought many of their long-time customers with them, they began to see many new walk-in customers from across the central Berkshire region, Nowak said.

She says the mall she ended up in is perfect.

“It was a real ghost town for so many years, and now it’s just beautiful,” she said. “I love it.”

About Walter Bartholomew

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