NORTH ADAMS -- A new business is seeking to appeal to area gem and fossil enthusiasts, as well as people just looking for that special rock for their collection.
Berkshire Geological Treasures, located at the Oasis Plaza on American Legion Drive, celebrated its grand opening Saturday with an inventory millions to billions of years in the making.
Owner Marcia Brown said Saturday afternoon that the inspiration for the store came from the many trips she and her husband, Mark, have taken to California, where rock and fossil shops are a big thing.
"It's something we had talked about for a couple of years. There isn't a store around here like this," she said.
She had recently taken some time off from her job at North Adams Regional Hospital, and while driving around the city one day, she saw that T & T Tailor wasn't in the plaza anymore, she said.
"It was spur of the moment. We said, ‘Let's give it a try.' We put it together in two weeks," she said.
She has since left the hospital after 16 years to run the store, she said.
While Brown said she plans to get more inventory delivered over the next week, including some jewelry and soapstone products, the store already includes an array of rocks and minerals from around the world, fossils, dinosaur-building kits, rock tumblers, stone-carved chess sets, crystals and key chains.
"You won't find this stuff at the box stores," Brown said.
"We didn't have time to do a lot of advertising," she said.
Mayor Richard Alcombright came by Saturday morning for a ribbon-cutting ceremony, and people had come into the store throughout the day to look around, she said.
Her husband said no two rocks are alike, and customers are encouraged to take their time in choosing the ones that are right for them.
"Each rock has a different pattern depending on the minerals it absorbs," he said. "If you pick up a rock, there is a reason you pick up that rock."
As a life-long collector of rocks and fossils, he hopes the store will inspire children to get outside more and explore what nature has to offer, he said.
"What is nice about gems, rocks and crystals is that you can take them into adulthood. You can have them your entire life and then leave them to others. They're not just your basic plastic toy," he said.
Brown said once the business gets going, she would like to invite the local schools to have classes come to the store to learn about rocks and fossils.
She is also opened to suggestions from customers, as she builds an inventory geared to what people in the area want.
"We hope down the road that we can bring in the right products that will allow us to be here for a long time," she said.
What: Berkshire Geological Treasures
Where: Oasis Plaza, American Legion Drive, North Adams
Hours: Monday and Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.
More information: 413-664-9011