I’d like to tell you about one of my favorite stories that I’ve profiled for our Making It Here series on Connecting Point this season. A.L. Avery & Son looks like any other small town shop as you pass through Charlemont on Route 2 in Franklin County. But as we all know, looks, however, can be deceiving…
As a 5th generation family-owned business that’s been in Charlemont since 1861, Avery’s is far from your average general store; it’s both a touchstone to the past and a look at the future of retail in rural communities. More than just serving the residents of the area for over 150 years, Avery’s is an intrinsic part of the community. The owners live and work with their friends and neighbors in addition to serving them. Need a special item? Bump into Dennis at church on Sunday, let him know and he will order it for you. Looking for a metric bolt for your snowboard among the hundreds in the hardware department? Swing by on your way out of town for the weekend and Karen will get it for you. Heck, Dennis will help you design your next plumbing project while you wait for your half-pound of freshly ground beef, and Karen’s writing down her standing rib roast recipe for you to help you plan your Christmas dinner.
It’s a resource, it’s history, it’s family, it’s a social gathering place… it’s a microcosm of everything we and our neighbors hold dear.
You can watch my profile of A.L. Avery & Son below, and in many ways I can’t think of a better story for this time of year: it’s one of family, tradition and community – all under one roof. Truly the spirit of the holidays!