Who’s In Charge?
Both The Old Inn on the Green and The Southfield Store (not really a store but a casual country café open from May thru November) are owned and operated by husband-and-wife team Peter Platt and Meredith Kennard.
As executive chef and proprietor since 2005, Platt brings over 20 years experience in innovative American cuisine to the inn’s top-rated dining rooms (#1 in the Berkshires says Zagat in 2014). His dishes balance creativity with tradition and French technique, a style of cooking he honed as chef of the renowned Berkshire estate, Wheatleigh, for 12 years, and before that at the famous Parker House in Boston. Platt’s cooking has attracted the attention of numerous national publications, from the NY Times to Town and Country. Food & Wine magazine named the inn “one of America’s 50 top hotel restaurants,” and Travel & Leisure tagged it “one of 30 Great U.S. Inns.” When not in the kitchen designing seasonal prix fixe, a la carte and tasting menus, Peter donates his time to the board of Berkshire Grown.
As general manager of the inn and co-proprietor, Kennard wears many hats every day: guest services coordinator, gardener, server, local resource, and occasional hostess. Her background includes 8 years in the mental health industry and several years as the farm and garden manager for Hancock Shaker Village, home to one of the world’s biggest medicinal herb gardens. Kennard graduated from Emerson College and has lived in the Berkshires since the mid-80s. She and Peter have two grown children.
What and Where Is The Southfield Store?
A store is erected on Main Road in the tiny village of Southfield (you can reach it by car just four minutes south of The Old Inn)
A fire completely destroys the building
After rebuilding on the same footprint, the store reopens with a connected U.S. post office
The store is sold to partners Tim Oates and Gardner Rugg. Within two years, Oates sells his share to Rugg, who runs it with his wife Dorothy for 30+ years.
As in so many rural communities, the store in Southfield carried merchandise ranging from diesel fuel to deli, and from groceries to garden soil.
After Gardner’s death in 1967, “Dot” as she was known to all, operated the store solo for another three years.
“Dot” remarries, and sells the store and the small house behind it to a couple from Waterbury, CT
The store is sold again, and operated for the next 21 years by David and Barbara Lowman. Sandwiches are now available, and patrons took them out, ate them in, or sat outdoors on porch benches. For only the second time in its history, the Southfield Store is closed in 2001.
Tim Newman purchases the store in the winter, renovates it for 7 months, and reopens the following summer. In order to better serve the needs of its clientele, who have now morphed from country folk to vacation property owners from NY, NJ, CT and Boston, it is no longer a general store, but a café’ and coffee bar with seating for 30.
The Southfield Store is purchased by Peter Platt and Meredith Kennard. In addition to coffee, the store has a full bar, a cold case with baked-daily pastries, daily luncheon specials, and ala carte and prix fixe dinners four nights a week. On Thursdays from May thru November, the store’s Mexican-born chef creates an authentic Oaxacan menu that remains a “local secret.”