Berkshire Country Store owner opening Cafe in Canaan

Berkshire Country Cafe logo
Berkshire Country Cafe logo.
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NORFOLK and CANAAN — Berkshire Country Store owner Ryan Craig will be opening The Berkshire Country Cafe in the old location of Pop’s Diner in Canaan.
Craig originally started the Berkshire Country Store in Cornwall back in 2014 and operated until 2015, reopening it in Norfolk in January 2017.
He has also been on the board of The Winsted Phoenix since it started in 2019. 
Craig said that he will continue to operate his location in Norfolk along with his new cafe in Canaan.
“One of the reasons why I decided to open the cafe in Canaan is because by expanding your footprint, you are expanding your advertising reach,” Craig said. “You get residual traffic from one location to the other location. Norfolk isn’t exactly exploding when it comes to population. So the question is: if you want to grow and want to bring more business in, how do you do that? By opening up a second location, we can bring in more business.”
Craig said that he wants to be able to enhance the downtown area of Canaan with the new cafe.
“A lot of these towns in the Northwest Corner do not have a little space where people can meet, or hold business meetings,” he said. “That is, unless they have a Dunkin Donuts or some type of corporate America type of thing. With that, there’s no local representation. You usually have someone from out of state to manage the place and then the whole hometown feeling goes away. I think it’s important to have hometown pride, especially in this day and age where everything is becoming corporate. I’m trying to service the needs of the people in these small towns in the Northwest Corner because that’s where I was born and raised.”
Craig said that the cafe will be different from the Country Store in Norfolk in several ways.
“We will not have groceries as we do in Norfolk because we are right across the street from a Stop and Shop,” he said. “We will have a similar meal selection to what we have in Norfolk, but we’re going to incorporate what Pop’s Diner brought to the table. We’re going to offer a robust breakfast, including pancakes, waffles, and French toast. But we will also canvass the neighborhood to see what they are looking for, including what they liked about Pop’s Diner and what we can bring back. We want to bring in meals that people like what they want to see.”
Craig said that he is aiming to open the cafe during the first week of January.
He also plans on having indoor dining, depending on the state’s COVID regulations at the time of opening, along with take out orders.
“We want to be flexible and accommodate everyone’s wants and needs,” Craig said. “We want to tailor what we offer to the needs of the community.”
The Berkshire Country Cafe, located at 85 Main St. in Canaan, will be open on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. starting in January. For more information call 860-453-4448. Or go to berkshirecountrystore.com

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