Saturday January 5, 2013

Special to The Eagle

PITTSFIELD -- In what both sides describe as an amicable transaction, Guido’s Marketplace has acquired Berger’s Specialty Foods -- the deli, bakery, prepared foods and grocery business -- housed inside Guido’s 1020 South St. location for the past 27 years.

The sale of the business owned by John and Christine Berger took effect Jan. 1.

Guido’s co-owner Christopher Masiero told The Eagle that it was "the right time for both sides. Now my brother Matthew and I can own another business." The transaction price remains confidential, he said.

The nine employees of Berger’s (six full-time, three part-time) have accepted the Masiero brothers’ invitation to stay on as employees of Guido’s. The group includes John Berger’s brother, Tom, the general manager of Berger’s, and his sister, Kathy Dimitropoulos of Adams, who does the baking.

Reached at his Pittsfield home, John Berger said he intends to "take a break after a lot of years in the retail industry. It seemed like the right time to do this, to take a sabbatical. It was an amicable agreement, there was no falling-out. It was a business decision, we had a lot of great years there."

After some travel to Florida next month, he plans to "try to figure out where to go from here." His wife, the former Christine Nejaime, remains a full-time teacher at Herberg Middle School.

The couple took over the business inside Guido’s in 1986 after two years of operation by the Nejaime family.


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Guido’s opened at its current location in 1984; it was extensively renovated and expanded in 2011. The store first opened in 1979 at what is now the Berkshire Flower Co., originally the Quarry snack and gift shop, on South Street near Dan Fox Drive.

"I can’t believe how well the renovation has been received, above and beyond my expectations," said Masiero.

Guido’s, which has an additional location at 760 S. Main St. in Great Barrington, retains several independently operated businesses under its roof -- Bella Flora, the Chef’s Shop and Mazzeo’s Meats and Seafoods at both stores, as well as Marketplace Specialty Foods in Great Barrington.

Berger’s Specialty Foods was the last remaining original tenant operating inside Guido’s Pittsfield store.

"We look forward to expanding the current offerings in the specialty foods department," said Christopher Masiero.

On the retention of Berger’s nine employees, Matthew Masiero stated: "We extend a warm welcome to them, and look forward to their valuable input as new members of Guido’s outstanding staff, contributing their diverse talents to our company."

Both Guido’s locations, which feature local and regional products year-round, sell fresh, high-quality produce, meat, seafood, prepared foods, flowers, baked goods, natural foods, and deli meats and cheeses, as well as health and beauty items, wine, and beer.

The stores carry extensive selections of organic foods and goods, as well as self-care products, wellness supplements, and foods for those with special dietary preferences or health requirements.

Information: www.guidosfreshmarketplace.com.

To reach Clarence Fanto:
cfanto@yahoo.com,
or (413) 637-2551.
On Twitter: @BE_cfanto.