Hampshire Shakespeare Company Welcomes Beth Cook to Board of Directors
July 3, 2002 - Hadley, MA - Proximity is only one of the reasons for Hadley farmer and businesswoman Beth Cook's
decision this spring to accept a spot on the Hampshire Shakespeare Company's Board of Directors. The theater group performs at The
Hartsbrook School on Bay Road, just a stone's throw away from the Cook farm and its popular ice cream store and restaurant, Flayvors of Cook
Farm on South Maple Street.
"I wanted to broaden my involvement with the community," said Cook in a recent interview, "so when Tim (Holcomb, one of the
founders of Hampshire Shakespeare) asked me, I said yes!"
Theatergoers are familiar with Cook's 'snackers'- the ice cream sandwiches sold by Hartsbrook School eighth-graders as a
fund-raiser during intermissions. Cook tailors the names of the varieties and the flavors to match the Shakespearean play being
performed. Last year's snackers were called 'As You Like 'ems' and 'O-tell-ems'; this year she's offering 'Measure of Pleasure' for the
first show. She hasn't figured out a name for the ones during The Winter's Tale yet - she welcomes suggestions!
As she stirred a pot of strawberry jam for canning, Cook described the evolution of her business from a small roadside
stand selling produce to the current well-stocked and busy operation in a spacious building designed and constructed by Hardwick Frame Company
in 1998. She and her husband Gordon had operated the dairy farm along with its 100+ head of cows on 150 acres (plus rented land) since
1985. The farm has been in Gordon's family since 1909, and for a while, he and his brother had been working it. Gordon's mother,
Marjorie, 88, and father Gordon, 91, still play an active role in keeping things going. In 1993, their son Hank decided to join them,
providing the rationale and added hands to make the store possible.
In addition to 20 or so varieties of home-made ice cream, Cook stocks sherbets, sorbets, and sugar-free ice
cream. Their own milk is available, and each month she features a special flavor - in July, there are two: Hooray Hooray USA (blueberry
and red berry swirls in vanilla) and lemon ice cream. Fresh bread from the Euphoria bakery in Cummington arrived during the interview,
and Cook also offers homemade soups and sandwiches. She carries some produce from local farms in season as well as cheeses.
Flayvors is open 11 am to 9 pm daily year-round, though Cook cuts back the hours in the winter months depending on
business. She supplies ice cream in bulk for special events - during the interview, a friend was taste-testing all the varieties for a
rehearsal dinner treat. Working with only one full-time employee in addition to herself, she hires high school and college students to
fill in during busy times.
Hampshire Shakespeare is very happy to have Cook on board. Its summer season is well underway. Measure
for Measure is currently running, with performances Wednesdays through Sundays at 7 pm through July 14. On Wednesday, July 17,
The Winter's Tale will begin its run through July 28. The HSC Young Company will present its own production of The
Winter's Tale August 2-4, also at 7 pm.
Tickets are $12 for adults, $9 for students and seniors, and $6 for children to age 18. Reservations are not
necessary for individuals or small groups. Group discounts are available for groups of 10 or more by calling 413-498-2210. For
additional information, check the HSC web site: www.hampshireshakespeare.org or call 413-788-4750.