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Art Ames

General Manager
Art grew up in Dorchester, MA. He spent a year in the Middle East in the 70's, and now that his children are grown, has been able to travel more to Central America and Chiapas, Mexico, along with extensive travel in the Southwest. His work with co-ops nationally has given him the opportunity to see many other parts of this country.

Originally having planned to be a teacher, a lawyer or Mayor of Boston, Art was surprised to find himself in the conventional grocery store world, predominately in Produce. At different times, he drove a cab, delivered the mail, spent a year on a Kibbutz picking grapefruit and working in the banana fields, and many moons ago ran a full-fledged security guard, investigation, and dog-patrol company.

Hobbies: Art saw his first Red Sox game when he was 5, and has been hooked ever since. He still watches or listens to as many games as possible. He also relaxes by playing “very bad” golf, and "borrowing" other people's dogs for walks or hikes into the woods. Theatre, as a one-time school performer and now as a spectator, remains a passion as well.

You can reach Art at 413.528.9697 ext. 11 or


Seth Marcantonio

Store Manager
Seth was raised in Westchester County, NY and briefly attended Johnson State College in Vermont before attending the University of Utah where he earned a degree in Minority Studies. In addition to his retail experience with national retailers Wild Oats Markets and the Discovery Channel Store, Seth has worked in country club management, as a substitute teacher, a natural foods sales representative, and a radio news anchor. Seth currently lives in Great Barrington and enjoys spending time in the woods and listening to music.

You can reach Seth at 413.528.9697 ext.15 or


Bob Crowle

Business Manager
Many in our community will remember Bob from his tenure at the former Bill’s Pharmacy, where he worked for nine years as their Business Manager. Bob was always a familiar, smiling face on the sales floor, and assisted all aspects of daily operations, customer relations, personnel, and accounts receivable analysis.

For the past twelve years Bob has lived in Otis where he had previously spent many years vacationing. As a part-time instructor at Otis Ridge for more than 20 years Bob was named one of top 100 instructors in the US in 2003. When not skiing, Bob enjoys relaxing with family and friends, cycling, boating and working outdoors. Bob was born and raised in Greenwich, CT and raised his three children in Milford, CT. His two sons, their spouses and seven grandchildren reside in CT; his daughter, her spouse and two grandchildren reside in Wake Forest, NC.

Prior to his time at Bill’s, Bob had worked in various capacities of finance, management and sales bringing a wide range of experience to the Co-op. Bob looks forward to utilizing his skills at the Co-op and will help to streamline all aspects of its systems, financials and human resources policies and procedures.

You can reach Bob at 413.528.9697 ext 41 or


Matthew Novik

Marketing & Communications Manager
Matt came to us after nearly ten years working for the now-closed Club Helsinki in Great Barrington. In addition to impressive experience in event planning and marketing, Matt brings with him a long history of management, customer service and communication skills that make him an excellent point man for Co-op Communications.

Matt has been at the Co-op since October 2009, and was promoted to Marketing & Communications Manager in late 2010.

If you have any questions, concerns or requests regarding your ownership, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Matt.

You can reach Matt at 413.528.9697 x13 or


Daniel Esko

Grocery Manager
With a lifelong background in whole & natural foods, Daniel grew up in the Berkshires in a large family with a holistic and macrobiotic lifestyle. After attending UMASS-Amherst, he went to work full time in the retail and mail order store at the Kushi Institute for several years. In 2002, he moved back to Boston where he was born, and worked for Whole Foods Market for two years after which he returned to the Berkshires and started working for the Co-op in 2004.

Daniel recently married and celebrated the birth of his first child, Charlotte Adalia Esko. A bass player for 12 years now, Daniel plays in a local band. A self-proclaimed "foodie" he thoroughly enjoys cooking and is also a self-taught videographer now focusing mostly on family video projects.

You can reach Daniel at 413.528.9697 ext 18 or


Andrei Smerechniak

Produce Manager
Andrei grew up on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, attending Brooklyn Tech High School and two years of film school at NYU. After school he became an entrepreneur and started a very successful New York City based courier service (known today as Flash Gordon Courier). Andrei then moved to Seattle and worked for the Washington State Lottery Commission as a route salesman.

Andrei then started a new career—as a professional poker player! He played in all of the largest poker tournaments in the world, including the World Series of Poker, where he did VERY well. Then, by the luck of the draw, he met his future life partner, Tina Pagliasotti (who also works at the Co-op!). Andrei and Tina decided to move to the Berkshires with their two kids Jake, 11 and Jesse, 8, to be closer to Andrei’s family. Andrei started at the Co-op in 2001 and became the Produce Manager in 2002.

Andrei enjoys his job, life, and family to the fullest everyday. He enjoys serving the community and living “the simple life” in the Berkshires.

You can reach Andrei at 413.528.9697 ext 28 or


Nancy Olsen

Finance Manager
Nancy grew up in Detroit, MI, and moved to a commune in Virginia in 1970 where she did the bookkeeping for the commune and a hammock business they ran. She eventually ended up in the Berkshires, and has been at the Co-op since March of 1999. Now our full-time Finance Manager, Nancy started as a part-time bookkeeper here while continuing to work as a weaver and doing the books for a few small businesses.

You can reach Nancy at 413.528.9697 ext 38 or


Jeffrey Schilling

Fresh Foods Manager
Jeff was born in Pittsfield, MA, and raised here in the Berkshires. He attended Lee High School and graduated in 1991. He attended our local Collaborative Program for Food Service at the Masonic Temple serving the local community here in Great Barrington and while learning the trade.

He then attended Johnson and Wales University, in Providence, RI, to receive his Associates degree in Culinary Arts and a Bachelors degree in Hotel Restaurant Management. He returned home to work for various establishments in the area. He was a chef at Canyon Ranch, Red Lion Inn, Sophia’s, and Crown Plaza. He worked as General Manager for a local, independently owned chain restaurant for fifteen years, before going on to work for the Great Barrington Big Y as the Prepared Foods Manager.

Jeff joined the Co-op staff in August 2009, which coincided with a change in his life philosophy; he wanted to prepare healthier food for the people he serves. This fell in line with the Fresh Foods Manager position, which really comforts him in knowing he is making a healthy contribution to his community.

You can reach Jeff at 413.528.9697 ext 24 or


Eric Jesner

Wellness Manager
Eric grew up in South Florida until moving to Boston in middle school and staying there though graduating from Babson College with a degree in business. From Boston Eric moved to Seattle where he began his career in natural foods retail, beginning in the prepared foods department at Whole Foods Market. After only one year, Eric moved back to Boston and into the nutrition department at the Whole Foods Market in Back Bay. The next 6 years were spent gaining knowledge in the supplement and body care industry and moving into a Team Leader role at the Whole Foods Market in Hadley.

Then in 2007 Eric moved to the Berkshires. Briefly he worked at the Berkshire Market Co-op as the Wellness Manager, and also as a Supplements Broker Rep throughout New England traveling to natural food stores throughout Vermont, up-state New York and Connecticut. He then returned to work at Whole Foods Market in Hadley as their Whole Body Team Leader until returning to the Berkshire Market Co-op in January 2010.

Eric has spent the last 9 years working with supplements and body care where he has acquired a great deal of knowledge on these topics.

You can reach Eric at 413.528.9697 ext 21 or


Michele DiSimone

Front-End Manager
Michele grew up outside of Philadelphia, but has lived in or around Great Barrington since 1996, and joined the Co-op team as a cashier in 2003. She became the Front-End Manager in 2004. She has 3 children, Lucas (6 months), Juniper (7) and Elias (9.5) -Juniper and Elias attend the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School.

Michele attended one year of college at Massachusetts College of Art before she moved here and started a family, but she still loves photography, crafts and of course, tattoos.

You can reach Michele at 413.528.9697 ext 27 or


Amy Demarest

Communications Associate
Amy originally joined our staff in the spring of 2006 as the Marketing and Membership Manager. After leaving the Co-op in 2008 to pursue a position as the Director of Individual Giving at the Mahaiwe Theater, she recently returned to us.

Born and raised in nearby Columbia County, New York, Amy has a life-long love of rural living, the outdoors and nature. She shares those loves with her daughter, Calista, currently a seventh grader at Monument Valley Middle School.

“It wasn’t until beginning work at the Co-op”, says Amy, “that I realized how passionate I have always about great food - and more to the point- great tasting, locally-raised food.” Amy’s long term goals include revitalizing her grandfather’s dairy farm in upstate New York, a place that she often stayed as a child.

“The very first principle in the Cooperative Principles is ‘Voluntary and Open Membership’. I believe that it is essential for our co-op to have a strong and active owner (member) base in order to achieve our mission to ‘cultivate a sustainable local/regional economy and cooperatively builds a vibrant community.”

You can reach Amy at 413.528.9697 ext. 10

Jenny Schwartz

Education & Outreach Coordinator
Jenny was hired as Education & Outreach Coordinator for the Berkshire Co-op Market in September 2008. Her experience with creating cooking classes for school aged children at the 92nd Street Y in NYC and at the Lenox Community Center, has assisted in creating new programs around educating our community on healthier foods. Her Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts allows her to apply her creativity to healthy cooking and snacks.

Since coming on to the Co-op staff, Jenny has increased our Education & Outreach efforts to include both local public school districts, as well as schools and after-school programs in Pittsfield, store affordability and nutrition tours, and cooking classes with CHP.

You can reach Jenny at 413.528.9697 ext 13 or



Berkshire Co-op Market
42 Bridge Street, Great Barrington, MA 01230
(413) 528-9697 tel (413) 528-6565 fax

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Monday - Saturday 8am-8pm, Sunday 10am-6pm


about us news/links café ownership the store