Wednesday, December 30, 2020

FM #425 Fresh Start Market - 12/16/20 (audio)

FM #425 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 425 in the series. 

This shares my conversation with Fresh Start Market co-owner Bonnie Corso. We had our conversation via conference bridge to adhere to the social distancing requirements of this pandemic period.

We talk about how Bonnie and her husband Mark have spent many years developing the market which will open in the near future here in Franklin. They will be located in the Liquor World Plaza, in the space where the Shiva Market had been.

We talk about the timeline how they came to bring this to reality. How they used the Market Study developed by MAPC for Franklin to confirm three was an opportunity here. 

By way of disclosure: I did purchase a brick on their wall to help share the Franklin Matters Name. I did also contribute as an investor in their venture. We talk about this and how they will be part of the community in bringing a ‘farm to table’ approach to grab and go meals.

While I do believe in what they are doing, this radio program is part of my overall effort to share newsworthy goodness in Franklin. This happens to be a very good example of the stories I think are newsworthy.

Our conversation runs about 35 minutes, so let’s listen in. 
Audio file =

Follow Fresh Start Market on Facebook 
On Instagram 
Their investment opportunity page on MainVest 
EDC Meeting with the MAPC Market Study presented and discussed


We are now producing this in collaboration with Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio ( or 102.9 on the Franklin area radio dial. 

This podcast is my public service effort for Franklin but we can't do it alone. We can always use your help.

How can you help?
  • If you can use the information that you find here, please tell your friends and neighbors
  • If you don't like something here, please let me know
Through this feedback loop we can continue to make improvements. I thank you for listening.

For additional information, please visit

If you have questions or comments you can reach me directly at shersteve @ gmail dot com

The music for the intro and exit was provided by Michael Clark and the group "East of Shirley". The piece is titled "Ernesto, manana"  c. Michael Clark & Tintype Tunes, 2008 and used with their permission.

I hope you enjoy!


You can also subscribe and listen to Franklin Matters audio on iTunes or your favorite podcast app; search in "podcasts" for "Franklin Matters"

Finian, their pet parrot, provided some background commentary during our remote recording session. Here is a cropped photo of Finian shared on the Fresh Start Market Instagram page

Finian, their pet parrot, provided some background commentary during our recording session
Finian, their pet parrot, provided some background commentary during our remote recording session


  1. I'm beginning to think this was a scam. Here we are 4-months later and the store has not progressed.

  2. If only the permitting process was easier, per updates via Facebook they are closer.

  3. There are zero open permits for 365 West Central Street in Franklin. The liquor store had permits issued in early 2020, but they have all been closed. No one from Fresh Start Market has ever applied for a permit with The Town of Franklin ever. This can be verified easily at

  4. Thank you, "Anonymous" for commenting your concerns. To be sure, this is not a scam, and we are actually 8 months into our store. Let's use this as an update as well, since we've been posting our progress on our social media pages and many may have been missing them:

    Since very few people understand our position, let me be clear: we are a husband and wife team with 35 years each experience in food-service and both work(ed) full time jobs. As we are essential workers, we didn't get to stay home during quarantine like most and dedicate our time 100% to our opening, we worked on it in our spare time. I however, was not able leave my full-time job until November, which left Mark to clean the store in its entirety by himself and I was only able to help a few hours each night. We, up until our fundraiser and investment campaign, have been 100% self-funded and have been trying to take the most economical route possible so that we could focus on getting the necessary equipment we would need to compete with Big Box Chains in the area. If we won the lottery, sure, we'd be open already, but since we're just an average couple on an average income, we are doing what we can as fast as we can.
    We have been lucky to have friends and family help us paint and decorate on weekends. We welcome anyone who would love to come by and donate time to help finish cleaning, painting, and decorating! With so many people out of work this last year, we could have easily gotten the cleaning and de-greasing done much faster with volunteers.
    As for permits, we have been working directly with the Board of Health ladies and getting what we need in order to complete the permitting process, which we started back in October. Just because it's not public yet, does not mean we have not been working on them. Even they acknowledge we have a lot going on and we all agreed to take the process in chunks as we cannot complete the process until we had everything we needed to operate. Clearly no one understands how much goes into opening a store of this size, even we were amazed at how much is required. Every piece of equipment serves a purpose of which we need to show on paper. Every prepared food needs a written recipe and process. Every vendor needs documentation. HAACP and SOP plans need to be written and prepared and now implemented.

    We are both blessed and grateful for this opportunity and no one wants to see us open more than we do, so as for not progressing, we welcome anyone who is doubtful to definitely come by and say HI! Since you commented "Anonymous", we would love to have you come by personally and give you the tour, then perhaps you can help us post additional positive progress updates as we're also looking for someone proficient to handle our social media so I can focus on getting our permits completed and fully filed.

    Thank you for your concerns, we look forward to opening and meeting everyone in the next few weeks provided we don't run into any unforeseen issues.

  5. I remain concerned. The business is not registered with the State of MA to be able to legally conduct business. There is no Federal ID or Tax ID# under this the store name. If the store's legal name is different from the store's DBA name, could you please provide the name the store is registered under or the officers names as neither Bonnie or Mark Corso are registered as agents or officers for any active business in MA at the current time. If you could shed some light on this, it would alleviate many doubts investors are having at this time. Thank you!

  6. Hi again,
    I'm not sure where you're looking, but under the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Corporation Division, we are the first business entity that comes up. As for searching by my name, I see all 3 of the companies I've started with Fresh Start being the third. My other 2 are no longer active. You will find we filed our AoO on 9-24-2020 and our TaxID was filed on 7-23-2020, both under the store's legal name of the same. We would not have been able to enter into a lease without our EIN number or Articles of Organization and certainly would not have been able to enter into a contract with MainVest for our investment campaign. All of this information is available to our investors upon request as it was presented in our campaign's dashboard for investors.

  7. Monday, June 21 ,2021. As of today, no requests for permits have been filed with the Town of Franklin. The electric work completed thus far has not been permitted or inspected.

    1. your info again is inaccurate and as you are posting as "anonymous" I don't know if you are the same person who is so interested in this disinformation or another who happens to be.

      The inquiry of open permits at the Town of Franklin page does show open and working permits so your info is clearing incorrect.