Owning a business


Happy Small Business Every Day

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Jamie Roth

December 14, 2023 ⋅ 5 min read

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Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday. Was your business ever made or broken by a single day? Nope. You might find yourself in an eventful chapter: your bakery rolling extra dough with seasonal help, your landscaping business changing over from leaf-blowing to light installations, or your retail business sprinting on fulfillment. But you’re writing the story of your business every day.

Most business owners are too heads-down in the day-to-day of running their businesses to surface and look at where they’ve been, where they’re heading, and what they’ve built. This fall, 12 businesses in The Berkshires, MA, took the time to do just that.

These are their stories, from their “Main Street” to yours ❤️.

A movie theater’s grand reopening: The Triplex Cinema

Managing Director, Ben Elliott, and President of the Board of Directors, Nicki Wilson, teamed up to lead the revival of The Triplex independent cinema in Downtown Great Barrington.

They chatted with us about what a movie theater can mean to a town’s economy and community. Hear what Ben and Nicki had to say.

Ben Elliott and Nicki Wilson at Triplex Cinemas

Running a restaurant “with love”: Momma Lo's BBQ

Buddha, co-owner of Momma Lo's BBQ knows the grind of opening and running a restaurant business. For him, it’s a family affair, with his mother and brother at his side. He described it as “like a dream,” but after about two years in business, he tells other aspiring restaurateurs: “Just keep going: open it, keep going, and make sure you make the best food possible, and do it with love. That's all I’ll tell you. Do everything with love, and it'll work out.”

Momma Lo's BBQ in Great Barrington, MA

The “best flower in town”: Calyx Berkshire Dispensary

Donna Norman, Founder and CEO of Calyx Berkshire Dispensary, is quick to tell you that the conversation you have with her in her shop is not a transaction. She’s passionate about selling the best products, educating customers, and representing women in a male-dominated industry.

Hear what Donna had to say.

Donna Norman at Calyx Berkshire Dispensary in Great Barrington, MA

New ideas and efficiencies. Same granola: BOLA Granola

Michele Miller aka “Miss Bola” and Riley Murkett, owners of BOLA Granola, told us how their small batch business started and how they’re evolving alongside the next generation of customers.

“… people would say, ‘oh, you should go into business,’ but that's the easiest thing to say when you don't know what business is. But I woke up when I realized that if it was gonna really work, I had to do nothing else, and just be focused on introducing it to people and getting it in stores. And we were off.”

- Michele Miller

Michelle Miller & Riley Murkett of BOLA Granola in Great Barrington, MA

Values first, growth second: Bilmar Veterinary Services

Owner of Bilmar Veterinary Services, Emily Newman, worked for years as a vet for the prior owner of her business. When the owners were ready to sell, they could have chosen a corporate buyer that Emily didn’t want to work for. Realizing she was ready to step up, Emily became a first-time business owner. With the move, she was able to keep small-town values and service to the community at the heart of her practice.

Dr. Emily Stanton of Bilmar Veterinary Services in Great Barrington, MA

From roadside stand to staff of 300: Guido’s Fresh Marketplace

Co-owner of Guido’s Fresh Marketplace, Anna Masiero, tells aspiring business owners to put their bootstraps on: “I don't know if people realize the amount of care, passion, detail, and drive that you need.” But her family has it: The small business started out as small as they come - a roadside stand selling tomatoes and potatoes. Today, the marketplace has two specialty food stores that employ 300 people between them. Anna passes on her father’s advice: “Hire people that are smarter than you and pay them as much as possible.”

Anna Masiero of Guido's Fresh Marketplace in Great Barrington, MA

Unbridled passion and heart: Sebring Stables

Jessica Sebring, owner of Sebring Stables, lives horses 24/7, and that’s alright with her. Her boarding business was passed down from her parents, so you could say that horses are in her blood. “All my time is equine-based. I do try and find balance, but what I've learned since doing this, it takes a true, true passion and true heart to do this job because it's not easy.” And that’s great advice for any small business owner. Not all are living their business 24/7, but the best have a passion for the work they do.

Jessica Sebring of Sebring Stables in Richmond, MA

“A bolt of lightning”: Birdhouse Events

Jessy Turner, owner of Birdhouse Events, fell in love with event planning as event manager at Hancock Shaker Village. When she moved from “the background” to the foreground, becoming a first-time small business owner, she “dove in with both feet.” Cheers to Jessy on her business’s steady growth since.

Jessy Turner of Birdhouse Events

Proud of starting small: Barrington Outfitters

Barrington Outfitters Co-Owner Peter Drucker proudly shared with us how he and his brother/Co-Owner, Kevin Richard, grew up in Great Barrington — along with several of their team members — and grew their business there. “We always started small,” he explained. “If you try to be too much, too fast, it won't work.” Over 30 years, the business has grown from 1,000 SF to 8,000 SF, and the owners are equally proud that everyone who works for the business likes being there.

Peter Drucker - Barrington Outfitters

El Punto de Encuentro Latin Market

Finally, a special thanks to Betsy of El Punto de Encuentro who let us poke around and photograph her fantastic store, which features fresh foods from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico.

El Punto de Encuentro - Great Barrington, MA

Head of Design: Ann Li
Sam Backhaus
Event Planner:
Taylor Garrett

What’s your story?

At Baton, we wake up every morning grateful for the chance to hear the stories of owners who want to know what their businesses — their “babies” — are worth. We’re also grateful for the chance to help tell those stories to potential buyers for our owners who are ready to sell a business, and we have caring humans who support each sale. Learn more about how we help small businesses.

Happy Small Business Every Day to you.