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Greenfield Mercantile Announces PDF Print E-mail
Written by GREENFIELD MERCANTILE/Laurie Broussard   
Friday, 16 May 2008

Greenfield, MA --

As it gets ready to launch its first media campaign, the Greenfield Mercantile welcomes Marie-Francoise Walk and John Peters, Jr., to its Board of Directors.  The community-owned department store expects to open its doors this year to sell affordable clothing and housewares in downtown Greenfield.

Both new board members are Greenfield residents who love and appreciate the town's beauty and what it has to offer. "I’ve lived here for 21 years and I love its small town atmosphere," says Francoise Walk. "And it's great to walk or bike to all my shopping, business, and entertainment destinations." She is strongly behind the concept of a community-owned store declaring, “Having a store like this in a downtown location is an inspired idea. With gas prices and the economy being the way it is, the time is right for this store to happen."

John Peters, Jr., decided to get actively involved in the Greenfield Mercantile project after attending several informational meetings. Says John Waite, Greenfield Mercantile board member and Executive Director of the Franklin County Community Development Corporation, "John is another wonderful asset to us. He has many years of experience in managing both large and small stores, and he knows how to get a store successfully up and running. He is a wealth of experience and information."

Mr. Peters has 32 years of experience in retail department stores, starting in 1974 at King's in Greenfield, located where the Home Depot is now. But Peters got his start in the retail business even before that – working week ends at his grandparents' business Peters General Store in Heath. From there, his professional career was a succession of promotions into higher levels of management at stores including King's, Jamesway, Ames and K-Mart Department Stores. Under his management, a struggling K-Mart in Burlington, VT was restored after increasing its sales by over $5 million! He was then chosen to manage their largest regional store in Poughkeepsie, NY.
He has since moved back to Greenfield and is now Regional Sales Manager for Harvest Homes, which he used to build his own home with the help of family and friends. Mr. Peters resides with his wife Lori and daughter Joan who is attending Greenfield Community College. They have a daughter Ashley going to college at Central Connecticut State University. Their older children Jennifer and Mike live in Vermont and New York, respectively.
“I'm involved in the Mercantile because after working with several regional department store chains, I believe the community would be better served by a local department store that is conveniently located and can react to the local needs of it's customers." said Mr. Peters. 

Ms. Walk is the Associate Director of the UMass Water Resources Research Center and has been actively involved in environmental nonprofit organizations. She is also President of the Deerfield River Watershed Association and has served on several other community-focused boards.  "My goal in joining the board is to help with communications--  to make sure that potential and committed investors get their questions answered and their ideas considered,” says Walk.
The board is preparing an awareness campaign to get more people to buy shares in the store, and thus become co-owner s. People who want to invest can do so by visiting
Mercantile shares are now available. Shares are $100 each, sold in bundles of five (thus $500). You can purchase shares online at or by calling Laurie Broussard at 413-774-7204 ext. 301 or 413-665-1271, or email This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it .

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