Readers voted almost 60,000 times for businesses in Litchfield, Berkshires, Dutchess, and Columbia counties. The results are not only enlightening; they are also a guide to everything regional. That includes everything from where to eat, drink and shop; who to hire for wedding, home and financial services, to which organizations to consider supporting or to taking a class from. Thank you to everyone who participated — readers and nominees alike — and a big RI hug to all the winners.
Click an image below for results in each category.
- Nature & the Outdoors
- Home & Garden
- Health & Wellness
- Art & Entertainment
- Finance & Services
- Education & Learning
THE RESULTS ARE IN
All told, 3,304 businesses in Litchfield, Berkshires, Dutchess, and Columbia counties were entered into Readers’ Choice this year. Some of those businesses and organizations were new, many repeats — just the thing we like to see, because the results provide all of us with a guide to everything regional. That includes where to eat, drink and shop; who to hire for wedding, home and financial services; educational opportunities; which organizations to consider supporting.
Nominations in some of the categories were almost a given; there are businesses that are just that popular. In the bakery-bread winner lineup, we have Berkshire Mountain Bakery, Bartlett House and Pixie Boulangerie (in that order). Ward’s Nursery was voted favorite garden center both this year and last, as was Carr Hardware in the hardware category. And topping the list of leaf-peeping spots 2021 and 2022: Mount Greylock, an easy choice from on high. Jake’s Barber Shop is doing something right; it bested the Barber Shop category two years in a row.
But there were some first timers in the mix, too. Taft Farms, a new nominee, headed the list of farm stand/stores (and as an editor’s note, let me add my own recommendation for their chocolate chip cookie, which are perhaps the best ever, next to my mom’s). Thanks to our readers’ robust participation last year and nudged by both readers and businesses to expand our categories, we added 40-some more. Because of that, Klaus Roofing Systems by J. Smegal holds the top spot for roofer, while Pittsfield Pipers did the same in the plumber category (props for the name alone).
We expanded the education and learning categories and so we welcome and say congratulations to Greylock Elementary in North Adams, W.E.B. Du Bois Regional Middle School, Monument Mountain Regional High School, and Bard College at Simon’s Rock (those last three in Great Barrington) as favorites among those who know.
It’s been fun for us to see the Rural Intelligence Readers’ Choice Awards gather steam in its second year. A hearty round of applause goes out to our readers for nominating and voting, and to the many nominees and winners. Now, let’s all go out and do our best to support our local favorites.