Editorial: Anniversaries make a statement

  • After picking out her wedding dress, Greenfield Recorder news editor Shelby Ashline adds her signature, wedding date and future last name to the wall at Aliber's Bridal shop in Greenfield. Staff Photo/Melina Bourdeau

Published: 1/17/2020 10:31:21 AM
Modified: 1/17/2020 10:30:27 AM

Congratulations to Aliber’s Bridal of Greenfield, celebrating 100 years of outfitting brides and their parties. As owner Cristen Rosinski says, “The advice I always like to give brides is, you’re not just planning a wedding, you’re planning a marriage — don’t forget to be a team with your significant other.” Looking beyond the sale is part of the reason for the success of long-lived businesses. Maybe that’s why Aliber’s has endured the vicissitudes of changing times, from the flapper era through the hippie era to present day. Through it all, brides and their parties are still wearing gowns they found at Aliber’s Bridal, as recounted in a story in the Recorder supplement, Celebrations, published yesterday.

Businesses that are long-lived have something to teach all of us.

Focusing on the customer is a proven formula for success, according to Greenfield Co-Operative Bank President Michael Tucker. “We focus on people because we’re a service business. We help guide people through the (banking) process, and it’s important to us that everything works out right for the customer.” The Co-Op Bank celebrated its hundredth anniversary in 2005.

Strengthening the community has held Greenfield Savings Bank in good stead for more than 150 years with programs like the Franklin Technical School Building Society, a foundation in which the profits from home-building projects can go into an endowment fund that will eventually make the home-building program self-sufficient. “This is why we’re here,” said CEO John H. Howland at the program’s inception in 2015. “We want to make a difference in this community.”

Last summer, the family-owned Bar-Way Farm of Deerfield also celebrated a century of success. “We’ve always done different things,” owner Peter Melnik said. “The only way you can survive 100 years is to change and adapt to whatever the markets are. As the world changes, you’ve got to change.” Bar-way Farm had just installed a 750,000-gallon methane digester, capping off a century of innovation and diversification.

Another century-old business is the Greenfield Farmers Cooperative Exchange with a retail store on High Street. Making sure customers are getting the best for less is one of the things General Manager Jeff Budine keeps on his radar. “People walk into our store and compare the prices with things online, so we have to be prepared to compete with those retailers,” said Budine, as the cooperative celebrated 100 years in 2018. “Funny thing is, though, we find a majority of the time that we’re cheaper. And customers will tell us that, too.”

Back to Aliber’s Bridal: Recorder News Editor Shelby Ashline was inspired to write a sidebar of her recent shopping experience. She went in to look at bridesmaid gowns and came out with a wedding gown she hadn’t expected to find. “I found the perfect dress that I didn’t even know I was looking for,” said Ashline, who appreciated Rosinski’s skill and patience with her. Now that’s another thing you won’t find online. Ashline added her name to the store’s blackboard of happy brides.




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