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Crosstown Currents

New CrossFit gym in Hopedale ʽlifts’ members’ lives

By Rod Lee

One might say that the CrossFit Final Duel “box” on Rosenfeld Drive in Hopedale is where the rubber meets the road.

Rubber weights crashing with a resounding thud onto rubber mats near the end of a WOD (“workout of the day”) run by Owner Donna Lombard would be music to the ears of CrossFit Founder Greg Glassman, were he to pay a visit and see about a dozen of his disciples taking part in the hour-long program—a high-intensity combination of strength and conditioning, aerobics, calisthenics and Olympic weightlifting.

Bluegrass Jam helps Willow Brook hit the right notes

By Rod Lee

The “Bluegrass Jam” for which Willow Brook Restaurant on Hastings St. (Rt. 16) in Mendon is justly celebrated began to happen within a year or so of the establishment’s opening in November of 2009 and is still going as strong as a Bill Monroe or Hank Williams tune that lingers on the ears.

But don’t think for a minute that there is anything one-dimensional about the Hackenson family’s Tuesday-through-Sunday operation (the restaurant is closed on Mondays).

A new year, a fresh look for bankHometown

By Rod Lee

Few individuals, few entities are turning the leaf on a new year quite as excitedly as Webster-based bankHometown, formerly Hometown Bank.

A fixture in South County for well over a century, bankHometown is roaring into 2017 with what President/CEO Michael D. Hewitt describes as “a new, fresh and modern logo and brand.” The revamp, assuring that bankHometown’s future will be “brighter than ever,” resulted from a “strategic partnership” formed through the merger of the holding companies of Hometown Bank and Easthampton Savings Bank in September of 2015.

Trendzʽingʼ in the right direction for 2017

By Rod Lee

It is hard to imagine 2017 starting much better than it has, business-wise, for Tracy DeRienzo of Trendz Consignment Boutique on Providence Road in Northbridge.

There is her second-place showing to New To You in Holden for “Best Clothing” and “Best Consignment” in the T&G’s annual contest; this, coupled with a first as “Best Consignment Boutique” in the recent Readers Choice Awards.

“It’s an honor even to be a finalist” in those kind of customer-appreciation competitions, Ms. DeRienzo said.

Charitable giving comes naturally to MCU

By Rod Lee

One doesn’t have to look far to find evidence of Millbury Federal Credit Union’s extensive work on behalf of charitable organizations and community activities.

MCU’s participation in Millbury and Sutton’s recent Chain of Lights festivities is just the latest example.

Sandra E. “Sandy” Piscitelli, executive assistance to MCU President/CEO Joseph F. Barbato Jr., notes that “MCU employees participate in such other charitable opportunities as the Greenway Challenge, Grafton Celebrates the Holidays and the ACS Relay for Life, to name just a few.”

Shop Small 01588 thinks big, is a huge hit

By Rod Lee

Picture seasonably ideal late-November weather and Church Street in Whitinsville bustling with activity.

Picture people spinning the prize wheel in the lobby of UniBank in a bid for such giveaways as a canvas carrying bag or a piggy bank.

Picture one shopper at The Maker’s Waypost asking a companion as they perused merchandise “where for lunch, Thai or The Valley Café?”

The Gypsy Rose adds to re-flowering of Oxford

By Rod Lee

Enter Joanna Thomas with a plan to make The Gypsy Rose Floral Boutique at 250 Main St. an integral part of an evolving and expanding retail scene in the town of Oxford.

“Oxford can change. It’s not just gas stations and pizza places!” Ms. Thomas said last week, in explaining why after twenty-seven years in the floral industry and a period of time providing decorations for weddings out of her house she opted to open a store of her own.

New home suits Rebecca’s Place 3 just fine

By Rod Lee

After having occupied several previous locations, Rebecca Tredeau may have found a permanent home for “Rebecca’s Place 3” at 3 Farm St. in Upton next to the Upton Senior Center.

Her current spot, in a handsome building retrofitted by Owner Tim Davidson, seems to fit the bill in all regards with seating for approximately 85 people in space that has been nicely divided between an area featuring a counter and tables and a main dining room to go with convenient hours (7-2:30 daily and 7-2 on Saturday and Sunday), breakfast all day, and lunch.