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Cummington’s Old Creamery Co-op bustling despite construction

Cummington resident Jim Martin departs from the Old Creamery  Cooperative on Route 9. Renovations to the store in recent months haven't kept  Martin and other customers away. "I come here just about every day," he said.
LAURA RODLEY

Cummington resident Jim Martin departs from the Old Creamery Cooperative on Route 9. Renovations to the store in recent months haven't kept Martin and other customers away. "I come here just about every day," he said. LAURA RODLEY Purchase photo reprints »

Following its purchase by a member-owned cooperative in November 2012, the Old Creamery Grocery on Route 9 in Cummington has been getting a makeover.

“Right now we have a new produce area and bulk area,” said Peter Mitchell, a longtime employee and co-op member. The renovations have added more space for a kitchen and deli, and enclosed the side porch entrance, which is now covered with Tyvek. Next on the slate is relocating the aisles to create more space.

Despite the construction under way, The Old Creamery Cooperative, which now boasts 604 members, has stayed open.

“So far we haven’t had to close for more than half a day,” said Mitchell. And, judging from the crowd that filled the store last Saturday, the renovations haven’t kept anybody away.

Cummington resident Jim Martin has been keeping close tabs. “I come here just about every day,” he said, and is excited about the changes. The grocery is open 7 days a week, including Easter Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. For more information, visit the cooperative’s website, www.oldcreamery.coop.

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Easter egg hunt

Hilltowners will get a chance to watch children scatter across the grounds of the R.H. Conwell Community Education Center in Worthington as they search for some 700 plastic eggs during the 2013 Olympic Easter Egg Hunt Saturday. The event, which will be held rain or shine, will also offer adults the chance to hunt for eggs.

Hosted by veterinarian and Worthington resident Joanne Morrison and her family, the Easter egg hunt is open to Hilltown residents and will offer prizes and refreshments. The children’s hunt kicks off at 10:30 a.m.; the teens and adults’ hunt starts at 11:30 a.m.

In the past, 50 people have participated, with prizes ranging from little flower bouquets to gift certificates from local merchants for teens and adults.

“The prizes this year will be unique surprises,” said Morrison’s husband, David Morrison.

The event will also promote the 34th Hilltown Junior Olympics, which this year will be held in Worthington on Sept. 28. The day-long Junior Olympics is open to children from 5 to 14 from the towns of Goshen, Cummington, Chesterfield, Plainfield, Windsor and Worthington, which take turns hosting the event.

“It’s a long, long way away,” said Morrison, but not too soon to start thinking about it for kids who have never tried it before.

Meanwhile, the Morrisons are getting ready to stuff candy inside some eggs and distribute all of them around the Center’s grounds at 147 Huntington Road. For more information, call 238-5500.

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Donations sought

Donations are still being accepted for the Silent Auction Fundraiser that will take place on April 27 at the Cummington Community House to raise money for rebuilding a home for Eric and Monica Driver. The couple lost their uninsured home on Stage Road in Cummington in a Feb. 9 fire. The pair is currently living in Amherst.

Radio Free Earth, the two-member band composed of Stage Road residents Kimberly and Josh Wachtel, will play music at the event; other musicians are expected to join them.

So far, donated items include art prints from comic book artist and illustrator Greg Ruth of Ashfield, watercolors from Valerianna Claff of Chesterfield, as well as other fine art prints and shawls made of handspun yarn.

The event at 33 Main St. will take place from 3 to 6 p.m.

To donate, contact event organizers Kimberly Wachtel at 634-5005 or Sunderland resident Hilary Wilbur Ferro at 599-8757.

Laura Rodley can be reached at lrodley.gazette@gmail.com.

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