Hilltown Voices: Local artisans featured at Williamsburg holiday shop

  • Items for sale at Hilltown Christmas Place in Williamsburg.  SUBMITTED PHOTO

  • Items for sale at Hilltown Christmas Place in Williamsburg.  SUBMITTED PHOTO

For the Gazette
Published: 11/15/2019 11:51:33 AM
Modified: 11/15/2019 11:51:20 AM

Serena Zononi always wanted to provide a place for local craftspeople to sell their products, and since 2013 she has been doing just that at her seasonal shop in Williamsburg called the Hilltown Christmas Place.

The Christmas Place operates in conjunction with Paul’s Sugar House, which is run by Zononi’s husband, Paul Zononi.

During the months of November and December, Zononi’s store offers a wide variety of handmade items produced by artisans throughout and around western Massachusetts.

While the store has “Christmas” as part of its name, and there are plenty of holiday-themed items like Christmas stockings, cards and ornaments, most of the diverse crafts on sale are not holiday-specific.

From pottery, pens and pet products to wooden bowls, cutting boards, quilts, knitwear, jewelry, photography, stationery, jams, maple syrup and more, the store is packed with unique handmade items.

The inventory also runs the price gamut.

“I wanted to be sure to have something of quality for everyone,” Zononi said, “so someone can come in with a buck and a quarter in their pocket and still find something nice.”

Zononi began her business with around 20 crafters. Over the last six years, however, the popular shop has had to expand five times in order to accommodate the over 70 artisans that now bring their wares to the store.

“Last year, I started with about 50 (craftspeople) at the start of the season, and that increased over the two months,” she said. “This year, I started with 72, and I wish I had more room to expand, but I don’t.”

Zononi also sells wreaths, roping and Christmas trees.

“We custom make wreaths and roping of any size,” she said. “People can call and let us know what they want, and it will all be freshly made.”

Located at 29 Goshen Road (Route 9) in Williamsburg, the shop is now open Wednesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. After Thanksgiving, the store will be open seven days a week until 2 p.m. on December 24.

For more information, contact the store at 413-320-2597.


Worthington working to get senior center

WORTHINGTON — For roughly one year, a committee appointed by the Worthington Select Board has been conducting a preliminary study to determine the need and interest in building a senior center that would serve the town’s 482 residents over 60.

After conducting a town-wide survey, creating three focus groups, completing a site feasibility study and analyzing costs and possible funding sources, the committee is now ready to report its findings to the town.

A public informational meeting will be held on Monday at 7 p.m. at the Town Hall.

Project Manager Kathy Ford said that of four sites that were considered, a property adjacent to the Town Hall is the committee’s current recommendation.

“Currently, the COA is leasing a small room in the building where the corner store and post office is,” Ford said. “For anything that involves a good number of people, they have had to use the Town Hall.”

Ford said that having a senior center near the Town Hall would strengthen the town center. 

“This meeting will let people know what the process was, how we reached our conclusions and recommendations and what the next steps might be,” Ford said.

The committee is also hoping to get input from residents and is hoping for a good turnout on Monday.

Fall seed swap

CUMMINGTON — The 8th Annual Hilltown Fall Seed Swap will take place next Saturday, Nov. 23, from 2 to 4 p.m., at the Cummington Community House, located at 33 Main St.

Sponsored by the Hilltown Seed Saving Network, this event is for those interested in learning how to save their own garden seeds, get answers and tips on seed saving and exchange their seeds with those of other local growers.

No seeds? No problem! You do not need to bring seeds to attend the event. Organizers say they welcome people at all levels of experience, including those who have never saved seeds before.

This event is free and open to the public. There is a suggested donation of $10.

Ideas for this column on life in the Hilltowns can be sent to Fran Ryan at fryan.gazette@gmail.com.

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Northampton, MA 01061


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