Autumn in the North Cemetery.

Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?

These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.

Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...

...seems to be working so far

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

All Hail And Welcome The Mole People

It's nice to read about a successful company moving into town. Mole Hollow Candles of Shelburne Falls, MA is owned by David and Beth Dunn. The Dunn's bought their first home out here in Sturbridge, and now are bringing the company they bought five years ago to town. Their reason is simple, Sturbridge is centrally located, and offers great highway access for the distribution of their candles. Mole Hollow Candle has been around since 1969, and has now grown to the point where the move makes sense. They will move into space owned by All Star Premium products on Route 20 (Charlton Road).

The Dunn's knew all about Sturbridge's great highway access, and central location because they lived here. They took that information and have used it to their advantage.

I'll bet you you anything there are many other companies out there that desire the same central location as Mole Hollow Candles did, but have no idea where it is, or where to start looking.

Looks like a job for Town Promotion Man, or woman. OK, OK.

Town Promotion Person!

From the rural roads of central Massachusetts to the corporate offices throughout New England, this promoter of excellent highway access, central location to everywhere in New England, and just plain good 'ol New Englandness spreads the message that Sturbridge is ready and willing to take on more industry!

Whoa. So cool. A person just for the sole purpose of promoting what we are, who we are, and what we could be for those companies exploring new opportunities.

Sounds like a paid position to me, or maybe a volunteer position with really great benefits.

In the hands of the right person, this is one position that could be very, very beneficial to Sturbridge.

So, what are we talking here? First, develop a plan. That's simple: Attract industry to town. How? Offer incentives. What kind of incentives? Tax breaks are popular. Help with infrastructure, such as sewer, and water connections. Anything that will get the owners of companies to pause, and look at what we have to offer is an incentive. Something that helps a company out during the moving and settling in phase, and after a period of time, fades away. After all, it is an incentive, not the "gift that keeps on giving."

Then we will need a knowledgeable, motivated person that is willing to work for peanuts. We know the town will not make this a paid position. I know a lot of good, knowledgeable people, but working for nothing is asking for a lot.


Maybe one of our multiple business organizations could help out?

The end result? More companies on the tax roles is one thing, and more local folks being employed locally, too, is another. Activity, or in this case, industry, begets activity. More will come if the conditions are right, the locations offer good access, and town utilities.

Yep, those Mole Hollow folks are onto to something. Now, if we could take the torch and do our part we might be able stimulate our own packages here in town instead of waiting for the government to do it for us.


  1. There exists a wonderful, comprehensive web site called

    Strictly a volunteer effort by a resident who is proud of her small town. Would love your thoughts and suggestions.

    Kathryn Acciari

  2. Kathryn, I have been to your website a number of times, and have enjoyed it. This is the kind of marketing, and promotion I wrote of being done on one venue, the web. Imagine if that same enthusiasm was taken on the road as well. A booth for Sturbridge at Sportsman shows, and travel shows would be excellent. Ads in industry literature about what we have to offer would work as well. There are many ways in which to promote our town outside its borders. Keep up the fine work you are doing on "Ask Me About Sturbridge", who knows, maybe it will lead to another "volunteer" position.


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