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Consumer News

In this May 7, 2015 photo, Dan Kleban, a co-owner of the Maine Beer Company, poses in the company's tasting room in Freeport, Maine. Craft beer now accounts for 1 of 10 beers sold. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Small craft brewers connect with local beer drinkers

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

PORTLAND, Maine — In a nondescript industrial park, beer geeks line up several times a week outside Bissell Brothers to get the latest batch of fresh beer — much like foodies seeking the freshest baguettes, pomegranates or kale. Jeremy Ritz didn’t get the beer he wanted on a recent day because it was sold out. So he decided to buy …

Wal-Mart pushing for better animal welfare

Friday, May 22, 2015

NEW YORK — Wal-Mart’s push to get its suppliers to give farm animals fewer antibiotics and more room to roam is expected to have a big impact on the food industry, experts say. Though the steps are voluntary, Wal-Mart, which sells more food than any other store, has a history of using its …

Foxwoods opens new shopping center

Thursday, May 21, 2015

HARTFORD, Conn. — Foxwoods Resort Casino and a retail outlet opened a $129 million shopping center Thursday to throw some elbows in a crowded market, draw more visitors, make a play for younger gamblers and promote an enterprise that’s increasingly an entertainment destination rather than a gambling mecca. Felix Rappaport, president and CEO …

Can Etsy stay folksy while making shareholders money?

Thursday, March 5, 2015

NEW YORK — If craft seller Etsy goes public later this year it will be a test of how well the company can balance an explicit social mission with shareholder expectations for making money. Founded in 2005, Brooklyn-based …

Harold Tramazzo, owner of Hangar Pub and Grill, takes over operations at Amherst Brewing Co.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

AMHERST — The owner of the Hangar Pub and Grill is taking over all operations at the nearby Amherst Brewing Co., including food preparation, customer service and beer brewing. Hangar owner Harold Tramazzo said Wednesday that he intends to keep Amherst Brewing moving forward as changes are made …

Former employees André and Devon Boulay take ownership of downtown icon A2Z Science & Learning

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Florence resident André Boulay remembers trips to Northampton when he was around 7 from his Blandford home — they invariably involved stops at a place he adored, A2Z Science & Learning Store in Thornes Marketplace. Extra …

Northampton’s Tunnel Bar named No. 1 bar to ‘drink at before you die’ by Buzzfeed

Sunday, March 1, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — If you’re a bar owner in the Internet age, when Yelp reviews can make or break you, there may be nothing better than having a hugely popular website tell hundreds of thousands of people that your …

Lawsuit against Purina claims food sickens, kills dogs

Thursday, February 26, 2015

SAN FRANCISCO — A dog owner has filed a lawsuit against a pet food company alleging that thousands of dogs have been sickened or died from eating a brand of dry dog food. Pet owner Frank Lucido filed the suit on Feb. 5 in U.S. District Court in …

Local activists say Wal-Mart wage increases a step in the right direction toward a living wage for all

Saturday, February 21, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Shoppers at the North King Street Wal-Mart lauded the national chain’s decision to raise entry-level wages to $9 an hour, while local labor activists contended it’s only a step toward paying a living wage for the …

‘Adaptive use’ of old buildings can be alternative to new construction

Saturday, February 21, 2015

With a high price tag attached to new construction, some businesses are choosing to remodel and repurpose older buildings to suit their needs. “Adaptive use” — the reusing of old buildings for a new purpose — makes sense …

Wal-Mart to pay a little more

Thursday, February 19, 2015

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is hoping its decision to boost workers’ paychecks will help it boost its bottom line. The nation’s largest private employer announced on Thursday that it’s giving a raise to about half-million U.S. …

US reports 64 million vehicles recalled last year

Thursday, February 12, 2015

DETROIT — For the U.S. auto industry, 2014 was the year of the recall. Automakers issued 803 recalls totaling almost 64 million vehicles, more than double the old record from a decade ago, according to government figures. The …

Spike in electricity bills a shock to some Valley customers

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Robert Carey was not pleased when he opened a monthly electricity statement for his Hatfield home this month and found the bill had jumped nearly 30 percent. The retiree said he and his wife made virtually no changes to their daily routines that would cause such …