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Consumer News

Luxury indie fragrances tap into something deep inside us

Sunday, March 22, 2015

SEATTLE — Nicole Miller and Aaron Way, the masterminds behind Seattle’s Blackbird brand of edgy perfumes and incense, work in an atmosphere redolent of beautiful gloom. Approaching the black bungalow that serves as the headquarters for the online business and as company founder Miller’s actual home, exotic smells wrap around you like a stranger’s embrace. The scent wafting from inside, a mix of ceremonial resins, smoked spices, burnt citrus, dry …

Competing smoke shops in Amherst offer ‘functional art’ driven by popularity of delivering nicotine in vapor form

Sunday, March 22, 2015

AMHERST — Numerous miniature bottles holding the liquid used in e-cigarettes and personal vaporizers fill racks along an entire wall of the Exscape Smoke Shop. Heating this so-called e-juice — which contains nicotine, flavor, propylene glycol and vegetable glycerine — inside his device over a period of weeks last summer, Dan Kirby successfully …

Starbucks CEO defends new ‘Race Together’ campaign after criticism

Sunday, March 22, 2015

NEW YORK — Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz last week defended the company’s new “Race Together” campaign that has been criticized for being naive and even using racial tensions to boost its bottom line. The chain, best known for its Frappaccinos, will have U.S. workers write “Race Together” on cups. Starbucks also plans to …

Steve Schechterle of South Deerfield opens third Spirit Shoppe in Gill

Friday, January 30, 2015

GILL — Steve Schechterle of South Deerfield earlier this year opened his third Spirit Shoppe beer, wine and liquor store in the former Jan’s Package Store overlooking the intersection of Main Road and Route 2 in Gill. Schechterle …

Hadley gets double the expected revenue in meals tax earnings

Friday, January 23, 2015

HADLEY — Town Administrator David Nixon accepted a windfall earlier this month — about twice the amount of local meals tax revenue as he expected. Nixon said he was not sure whether that resulted from a trend of more people eating out in Hadley or whether there were …

Tootsie Roll’s 53-year CEO dies at 95

Thursday, January 22, 2015

CHICAGO — Melvin Gordon, who helped turn the enduring popularity of the humble Tootsie Roll into a candy empire, has died. He was 95. The longtime Tootsie Roll Industries Inc. chairman and CEO died Tuesday in Boston after …

Veteran chefs design very different menus at two new restaurants in Amherst

Sunday, January 18, 2015

AMHERST — In Amherst center, the chef at a new restaurant focused on northern Italian and Mediterranean cuisine is encouraging patrons to pair their food with a glass of wine. In North Amherst, the chef at a new …

All Things Local Cooperative reduces space in Amherst

Friday, January 16, 2015

AMHERST — A store specializing in products grown and made locally is reducing its retail space to save money. The All Things Local Cooperative at 104 North Pleasant St., which expanded in January 2014 to a portion of the former Food for Thought Bookstore, is relinquishing this additional …

Mounting losses force Target out of Canada

Thursday, January 15, 2015

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Target is giving up on its money-losing foray into Canada after just two years, closing 133 stores and cutting loose more than 17,000 employees. Target said it didn’t see how it could stop losing money …

Sporting goods shop planned for Charlemont

Thursday, January 15, 2015

CHARLEMONT ­— In its bid to become the outdoor adventure hot spot in New England, Charlemont will soon have another attraction — a year-round hunting, fishing and sporting goods shop called Overwatch Outpost. If all goes as planned, …

Steve Vogel opens Stuff on Avenue A in Turners Falls

Thursday, January 15, 2015

TURNERS FALLS — Visitors to Avenue A will notice a change in the makeup of the Third Street intersection. Madison on the Avenue moved down a storefront and Stuff moved into the corner space. The business is owned by Steve Vogel of Montague Center and filled with furniture, …

Ashfield Lake House nears change in ownership

Thursday, January 15, 2015

ASHFIELD — It appears the Ashfield Lake House will change owners in the coming weeks. The Select Board this month unanimously approved a liquor license transfer for the local landmark restaurant. Now all that remains is state approval …

Funeral industry veterans open new home where William Ryder once operated in South Hadley

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

SOUTH HADLEY — The newest business owners in town have careers in the funeral industry that span three generations and bring more than 30 years of experience to the Curran-O’Brien Funeral Home & Cremation Service. West Springfield business …