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Spend A Little Get A Lot

Posted on October 13, 2020Written by Elizabeth Nelson

Shopping for Good in the Berkshires

Shopping in the Berkshires. Photo by Kara Thornton.Unique boutiques, an incredible foodie scene, the exceptional craftsmanship of talented artisans: There are many ways to experience all that makes the Berkshires a special place. Now, more than ever is the time to shop and eat local. Aside from needing us to frequent their venues and spend money many of our local retailers are donating a portion of sales to organizations who support those in need.

At the Catwalk Boutique shops in Great Barrington and Lenox, your passion for fashion helps support the Berkshire Humane Society, a nonprofit shelter for homeless companion animals awaiting placement in their forever homes. Catwalk’s curated selection of on-trend gently used women’s clothing and accessories make this a favorite stop for many shoppers with an eye for upscale finds and a compassionate heart for animals. Be sure to watch for sale weekends for even deeper discounts on already affordable buys. The more you buy, the more your purchases benefit pets in need. Sounds like a win-win benefit for all!

If you love fresh, flavorful foods, pay a visit to the Berkshire Food Co-op in Great Barrington. You’ll not only find seasonal produce grown sustainably at area farms and delicious Berkshire-made goods: There’s a deep sense of community here, highlighted in a number of donation programs that support local organizations through your purchases. In 2020, recipients of the Co-op’s MAKE BIG CHANGE program—an offshoot of ROUND UP FOR CHANGE found at retailers throughout the Berkshires and across the country—include Berkshire South Regional Community Center, Guthrie Center, Blue Rider Stables, and Flying Cloud Institute. In September, proceeds from the Co-op’s Nickel Back Thursday initiative went to CLuB (Community Learning in the Berkshires) in support of working families with urgent childcare needs arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Sheffield, Big Elm Brewing has a robust new stout to shout about. Developed in association with a global initiative benefiting organizations focused on social justice, Black is Beautiful is a rich, chocolatey, coffee stout (6.7% ABV) made with Heart of Darkness coffee from West Stockbridge roaster No. 6 Depot. Proceeds benefit Multicultural BRIDGE (Berkshire Resources for Integration of Diverse Groups through Education), a dynamic nonprofit organization offering cultural competence education to promote equity and justice in Berkshire businesses and schools. Black is Beautiful Stout is but one of Big Elm’s lineup of small-batch brews made with ingredients sourced locally and found in stores and restaurants around the region. You can also order their brews online, stop by for a curbside pickup, or visit (reservation required) their on-site taproom.

Excursions are about making discoveries and finding new favorite places. While you’re exploring the Berkshires, keep an eye open for more ways you can help support our small businesses and nonprofits in meaningful ways!


Before heading out, be sure to check the latest local and state Covid-19 quarantine and testing guidelines

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