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Berlin, MD 21811
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Business

Side shops contribute to Berlin’s charm

8/23/12 | By Nathan Brunet, Staff Writer

BERLIN -- While many are attracted to visit the multitude of shops on Berlin's Main Street, plenty of highly regarded retail shops exist off the main road and many don't even require a great number of footsteps to reach.

Serving fresh coffee, tea, baked goods and ice cream, among other things, is the focus of Jason Hagy and his mother Peggy, owners of Berlin Coffee House on Jefferson Street.

"The Globe used to be a coffee house. Then it was sold and we realized that it was a huge market that had been eliminated. It was either us or somebody else who was going to open up a new place," said Hagy, who owned a landscaping company before going into business with his mom.

When the business opened in 2009, its operators have been adamant to keep products sold as local as possible.

Teas are served that were blended in Cambridge, Md. and the coffee is roasted in Lewis, Del, which is just a bit out of town, but the ice cream served at the coffee house comes from Chesapeake Bay Farms in Berlin.

Food items other than the baked goods that are made in-house include hot and cold sandwiches, such as a bean cheeseburger topped with guacamole.

The Hagy family has built a successful business and is currently considering new services and products, but nothing is set as of yet.

Barely even a block away from the coffee house is John McDonald's shop, John's Premium Cigars on Broad Street.

"We have a wide variety of cigars from around the world," McDonald said.

More than 100 different types of cigars are available at the store and come from notable tobacco growing countries such as Nicaragua and Honduras.

Customers are allowed to stay in the shop and enjoy their just-purchased cigar in a lounge filled with recliners, tables and flat screen televisions.

Personal humidified lockers are situated in the room that allows a customer to purchase space to store his or her cigars in a safe atmosphere. These lockers also give a 10 percent discount to whoever purchases a spot.

Once that cigar is finished, it's not hard to walk over to Bruder Hill on Commerce Street and shop for women's clothing, jewelry, and many other accessories.

Owned by Shelly Bruder, the shop sells elegant and vibrant designs.

After all that time on one side of the street, it's time to cross Main Street and relax and have some desert at Baked Dessert Cafe on Bay Street.

Co-owners and sisters Robin Tomaselli and Shelly Eppard moved their three-year-old bakery to Bay Street this year and have been busier than ever.

 Both bake the all-natural foods, as no artificial flavorings are added in their drinks or breads.

"It's important to us and makes a big difference in taste," Tomaselli said.

Some of the fresh-baked foods served are cupcakes brownies, pies and bread.

Going along with the theme of staying natural, multiple beer and wines are categorized based on how environmentally friendly they are.

While business is booming, the two plan to release an all-natural cake mix to sell at their store and other areas around town.

Easily seen from the window of Baked Desserts Cafe, are multiple stores on William Street that liven up the aesthetics of the town with colorful and unique exteriors.

Neighbors Bungalow Love, owned by Heather Layton, and Coconut Trading Company, owned by Leslie Carson, sells trade gifts such as handcrafted jewelry, antiques, art and furniture.

Next door, Mark Showell of Mark Showell Interiors offers numerous items for home furnishings.

Flowers from Krissy Wheaten, owner of Rainbow Florist, can also be purchased on Williams Street.

Turning the corner onto adjacent Pitts Street reveals a grouping of Berlin mainstays.

Dennison's Trackside Hobbies, owned by Walt Dennison, has everything a model train hobbyist can ask for.

Couple Michael and Vera Spalt opened Flashback Fashion Gallery to bring clothing and accessories of the 1960s and 1970s back in style.

With a location already on North Main Street, owner Patricia Fischer expanded Town Center Antiques, which sells a variety of antiques and collectables, to a second location on Pitts Street.

Another quality antique store, Stuart's Antiques, is located on the same road and is owned by Toni Stuart.

While many of Berlin's businesses that are slightly off Main Street have been named, there would never be enough time to mention all of the special services offered by Berlin's local retail stores.

For more information on any of Berlin's shops, whether they are on Main Street or not, visit www.berlinchamber.org.

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