The board of Matrushka wishes to thank the entire school community, both past and present, for its support of the toy store over the past 16 years. On December 11, 2007, the store’s board was able to finalize the sale of Matrushka to Brooke Redpath, an alumnus of the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School and mother to three children currently enrolled. We feel extremely fortunate that in Brooke’s hands, Matrushka and the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School will continue to enjoy a close relationship.

Matrushka has been in a rare situation for a “school” store. Rather than remain under the roof of the school, like similar stores, Matrushka moved and opened its doors in early 1992 on Main Street in Great Barrington. With the blessing of the school board Matrushka became its own separate entity, taking on financial and other responsibilities. To fulfill its mission, the store donated its profits every year to the school’s tuition assistance program. It also donated a percentage of sales from the annual Holiday Handcraft Fair.

Ruth Blair was Matrushka’s manager for 16 years, from its beginnings up until the recent sale. She has been an ambassador for Waldorf education, and has generously donated to the school community with goods, discounts and promotions. If you see Ruth, please take a moment to thank her for her years of service.

Under the new ownership, Matrushka will continue to serve the school community in the following ways: by donating goods and a percentage of sales from the Holiday Handcraft Fair; by supporting the teachers and school with discounts, donations and special orders; and by offering GBRSS parents a 10 percent discount (specific guidelines will be available at Matrushka; please identify yourself as a school family and ask for the guidelines). In light of this new discount, the SCRIP program for Matrushka will be discontinued. Those who still hold SCRIP for Matrushka are asked to redeem it by May 31, 2008.

As Matrushka embarks on this next chapter, the focus will be on making quality toys more accessible and on building the community. The addition of a new online store will make it easier for friends and family to support our preferences for toys and gifts in keeping with a Waldorf education.

Matrushka also seeks to support conservation and promote the Berkshire economy by finding local suppliers and craftspeople for goods (please let Brooke know if you have a talent that you would like to explore). Throughout this process she encourages your comments and suggestions to make the store a vibrant, valuable resource for our community. Please stop in to share your ideas!