Who We Are
The Old Creamery Co-op is a retail store and café offering conventional, local, natural, and organic products to meet our customers’ need for quality and convenience at a fair price. The Co-op supports the local economy by employing local people and selling local products whenever possible. The Co-op is a hub of activity and a social gathering place where dialogue and education are valued and fostered. We promote local and regional production, practice environmental sustainability, and welcome and reflect diversity. The Co-op is open to all.
A Cooperative History
As you approach the Old Creamery’s white turn-of-the-twentieth-century building the first thing you notice is the sizable statue of a cow on the front roof overlooking Route 9. The cow connects us with our roots. In 1886 this building housed the Cummington Cooperative Creamery, the co-op of local dairy farmers. These co-op members brought fresh cream from their farms to be churned into butter here. At its most active, 145 dairies produced 20,000 pounds of butter per month. With the advent of widespread refrigeration and motor trucking in the 1940’s, the needs of the community changed and the Creamery began a long legacy of transforming itself to respond to those changing needs. The Creamery has evolved from its co-op roots to becoming at times a restaurant, at times a general store, and thanks to the Berenson family, who purchased the building and business in 1988, the two functions merged into one vision. The Berensons oversaw major renovations that added a sunny café area and many other improvements.
Alice Cozzolino and Amy Pulley purchased the Old Creamery in 2000 and helped transform it into a vibrant community hub in the Hilltowns. In November of 2012, after 3 years of fundraising and cooperative development the community purchased the business and we became the Old Creamery Co-op. LINK HERE for an overview of our journey to a co-op.
The Old Creamery Co-op is passionately committed to supporting local producers and artists. Year round the Creamery carries many items from Hilltown and Pioneer Valley producers including produce, naturally raised and organic meats, cheeses, dairy, breads, bottled and canned grocery items, ice cream, locally roasted coffee, herbal and medicinal products, candles, beer, wine, hand made greeting cards, crafts by local artists, and books by local authors.
We look forward to your visit where we hope you’ll feel the warmth of the Old Creamery and enjoy all we have to offer.
Our Vision and Values
The Old Creamery Co-op believes that communities are vital, healthy and sustainable to the degree that they are:
Connected and Communicative:
- Members conscientiously foster and support the positive aspects of the community.
- Members come together to discuss and solve problems affecting the community.
- Members are aware and responsive to the needs of the community.
- The community creates time and spaces to gather, support and celebrate each other.
Inclusive and Supportive:
- All community members are respected and respectful and value difference.
- Members remain open to new ideas and perspectives about the community.
- Members appreciate and foster the diversity of the community.
- Visitors to the community feel welcomed and appreciated.
Interdependent and Resilient:
- Natural and agricultural resources and cultural heritage are valued, protected and conserved.
- Working lands and wild lands are recognized as essential elements of the community.
- Members who live in, work in, or visit the community value the contribution each makes towards the overall health of the community.
- The “triple bottom line”, meaning planet, people and profitability, is used to assess the Co-op’s contribution to the community.
Thriving and Dynamic:
- The community offers jobs with working conditions that are safe and respectful, and that allow people to care for and provide for themselves and their families.
- Members assume responsibility for one another and ensure that all are nourished, sheltered, safe, and cared for.
- Community members have the skills and knowledge necessary to achieve personal growth and satisfaction and contribute to the community.
- The community respects and nurtures innovation while respecting the wisdom of the past.