Business News in Brief


Family Footwear Center named New England Retailer of the Year

BENNINGTON -- Family Footwear Center is proud to announce it has been awarded New England Retailer of the Year 2014 by the Boston Shoe Travelers Association, a leading industry trade group. Criteria for nomination include outstanding achievements in the following categories: Business growth, community involvement, customer service, and other special achievements.

Organized in 1901, BSTA is the oldest regional shoe travelers association in the United States and represents more than 250 sales representatives and 600 lines of footwear and accessories. BSTA began giving away the award in 2001, making Family Footwear the 14th recipient of Retailer of the Year.

"We are very honored to receive this award," said Scott Feathers, owner of Family Footwear Center. "As a privately owned business, our mission is to provide top quality brands, backed by unsurpassed customer service. We are proud, to say the least."

Family Footwear Center is one of New England's largest footwear retailers, with headquarters in Bennington, Vt. and five retail locations in Bennington and Manchester, Vt., Lenox, Mass., Troy and Lake George, N.Y.

"The committee unanimously selected Family Footwear Center," said Steve Perry, president of the BSTA. "We look for a recipient who has consistently shown improvements to better their business in the footwear industry. This includes everything from their store layout to their website, and Family Footwear Center has certainly done that."

The BSTA Retailer of the Year Award is a great achievement for Family Footwear Center, who recently celebrated their 21st anniversary of being in business. "We would like to thank our employees, valued customers and the BSTA for all their support," said Feathers.

In February, Family Footwear Center will be honored at the Northeast Shoe Expo, which is held at the Radisson Hotel, located in Manchester, N.H.

Witten exhibit extended at South Street Cafe

BENNINGTON -- Artist Anita Witten's recent work is on exhibit at the South Street Cafe. The show has been extended through the month of January for public viewing, with a few additional works. Known regionally for both her watercolor abstractions and assemblages, the Shushan, N.Y. artist here has assembled multi-media dynamic and quiet pieces that "push the envelope." She said, "I hope viewers will free-associate on their own wavelength."

Included in this exhibit and sale are Chinese Fortunes, a Framed Feathers group and 3-dimensional boxes as well as a dozen other interplay images. Prices are affordable to celebrate 2014.

South Street cafe is open seven days a week offering homemade fare, espresso, plus jazz on Sunday mornings. To learn more, call the cafe at 802-447-2433.

Manchester Wood moves factory outlet to the Antique Center at Camelot Village

BENNINGTON -- Manchester Wood manufactures high quality hardwood furniture for some of the nation's leading retailers and catalogue sellers.

What is offered are structurally sound pieces with some very minor imperfections -- many of which are so slight that they are hard to see. The offerings also include discontinued pieces and prototypes, at a 40 percent discount from those charged by the major sellers who offer furniture made by Manchester Wood.

Manchester Wood, originally located in Manchester, began production in 1976. Only solid American grown hardwoods are used in the production of its furniture, principally ash, cherry and maple, all of which are harvested from sustainable forests located in the Green Mountain and Adirondack regions.

Offerings include Mission, Shaker, and Adirondack along with other traditional and classic lines. It is a perfect union with the antique and vintage furniture offered at the Antique Center, notes Brian Lewis the owner of Camelot Village.

Manchester Wood's offerings can be found at the Antique Center and Furniture Barn at Camelot Village located on Route 9.

Curves Workouts now offered at Curves of Bennington

BENNINGTON -- Curves of Bennington is now offering Curves Workouts with Jillian Michaels, total body workouts that feature the Curves Circuit strength training machines in conjunction with functional bodyweight-based exercises that ramp up metabolism and transform physique.

"We invite women in Bennington to come by for a free consultation and to learn more about this innovative program to kick start weight loss," said Kathy Whitman, owner.

Contact Curves of Bennington at 802-442-0600 or or visit the club at 748 Main St. For more information about Curves, visit

The Tutorial Center, Smokey House Center join forces

DANBY -- The Tutorial Center and the Smokey House Center have joined forces in an innovative partnership to reboot educational services on the 5,000-acre property. Central to the partnership, and building on SHC's decades of work-based programming, is the new YouthWork & Learn for high school students. Environmental field studies and agricultural programs are also in place for local elementary and middle schools.

TTC's YouthWork & Learn, is a full-day place-based and work-based educational model that uses an experiential, interdisciplinary approach to develop academic and personal skills. "We're excited to resume education programs at Smokey House with a new, individualized approach," said Jack Glade, TTC executive director. "The farm, field and forests provide a great learning space for high school students. They thrive within our work-based system in this non-traditional setting."

"It's great to have the students using our outdoor classroom," said Jesse Pyles, SHC executive cirector. "Smokey House has a long history of success reaching high school students in creative ways, and this partnership with the Tutorial Center brings out the best of both organizations."

For information on the YouthWork and Learn program at Smokey House, contact Juanita Burch-Clay at 802-293-9300 or


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