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Consumer News

After 20-year hiatus, Alfa Romeo officially back in the US

Thursday, November 20, 2014

LOS ANGELES — Alfa Romeo is back in the U.S. after a 20-year hiatus. This week dealerships are starting to receive shipments of the low-volume 4C sports car, which starts at $53,900, said Reid Bigland, head of the brand in North America. The plan is to provide eight Alfa Romeo cars and SUV models for North America by 2018 with total sales of 150,000. Globally, the business plan is to …

Hearing draws apology, admission in air-bag mess

Thursday, November 20, 2014

WASHINGTON — The global quality chief of Takata Corp. apologized and an official from Honda acknowledged the automaker broke a disclosure law as a Senate committee put the spotlight on a growing problem with exploding air bags. Hiroshi Shimizu, Takata’s senior vice president of quality, said the Japanese parts supplier is “deeply sorry …

Consumer group lists ‘10 worst toys’ for kids

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

BOSTON — A light-up bow whose arrows are advertised as flying up to 145 feet and the “Catapencil” — a pencil with a miniature slingshot-style launcher on its end — are on an annual list of unsafe toys released Wednesday by a Massachusetts-based consumer watchdog group. World Against Toys Causing Harm, or W.A.T.C.H., …

Hungry Ghost Bakery in Northampton will host 11th annual bread festival

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — The owners of Hungry Ghost Bread bakery know a tried and true recipe when they see one. That’s probably why the are gearing up this weekend to host the 11th Annual Wonder Not! Bread Festival. On Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Hungry Ghost …

Market Basket chief reflects, looks ahead

Friday, September 12, 2014

TEWKSBURY — The Market Basket supermarket chain’s 71 stores have accomplished a remarkable turnaround thanks to employees who worked day and night to restock shelves left empty by a worker revolt, the company’s chief said. Arthur T. Demoulas is back in control after offering more than $1.5 billion …

Apollo Grill to close Dec. 31 after 12 years at Eastworks in Easthampton

Monday, September 8, 2014

EASTHAMPTON — After a dozen years anchoring the Eastworks building, the Apollo Grill will close on Dec. 31. Owner and head chef John Casey Douglass said Monday that he and Eastworks owner William Bundy were unable to agree …

Market Basket recovering after turmoil

Sunday, September 7, 2014

RAYNHAM — Alice Farrington has her pick of four supermarkets, all a quick drive from her home. But this week, instead of going to one of those stores, she drove about 10 miles to shop at a place she’s heard a lot about lately: Market Basket, the family-owned …

Starbucks to try new store sizes

Friday, September 5, 2014

Starbucks plans to roll out several new store formats, including bite-sized “express” stores plus more than 100 boutiques dedicated to the highbrow Reserve brand of small-pot coffees. The coffee giant also said a Reserve roastery and tasting room in Seattle, where it will shift all roasting for small-batch …

Former gasoline station in downtown Florence demolished, making way for new brick building

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — A former gasoline station in downtown Florence met the wrecking ball Tuesday, clearing the way for a new brick building at one of the village’s most prominent sites at the corner of Main and Maple streets. …

Market Basket announces that Arthur T. Demoulas will return with majority control of supermarket chain

Thursday, August 28, 2014

TEWKSBURY (AP) — A New England supermarket chain that has been in turmoil for weeks over a workers’ revolt and customer boycott has announced that the former CEO will buy a majority stake in the business. In a statement issued late Wednesday, Market Basket said popular CEO Arthur …

Judie’s Restaurant in Amherst to add room for ‘paint-and-sip’ events

Monday, August 25, 2014

AMHERST — A downtown restaurant best known for its popovers will soon be adding a room where customers can drink a glass of wine while painting their own masterpieces. Judie’s Restaurant at 51 North Pleasant St. is taking over the 650-square-foot space in the attached Boltwood Place building …

New shop in Amherst caters to patrons seeking a more natural style

Saturday, August 23, 2014

AMHERST — Citing a trend of more women of color opting to keep their hair natural, the owner of a new downtown Amherst shop says she hopes her store will help them find the shampoos, conditioners and stylers …

MAP Fort Hill Brewery in Easthampton releases first beer as a third brewery takes shape on Pleasant Street

Friday, August 22, 2014

EASTHAMPTON — Standing at the wooden bar in the tasting room of Fort Hill Brewery this week, owner Eric Berzins held a glass of Oktoberfest, the first beer his brewery has released, and indulged in a proud moment. …