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Business - Articles


Sprout Creatives offers web advice, graphics, branding

Posted On: 8/14/14
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

BERLIN– Clean, simple cross-platform websites are the mission statement of Sprout Creatives, one of the latest businesses to take advantage of the resurgent downtown community. Founded in 2007, the company moved to its new location on 29 Broad Street in July. CEO Paul Starkey brought his design background as Art Director at Ocean City Today to the business, offering web development, internet marketing, graphic design and branding, and commercial printing. “This is just something I always did,” he said. “I saw a niche – a possibility – and just moved on it.” Sprout spends roughly 85 percent of its time on web development, specializing in Adobe Business Catalyst. Business Catalyst uses active data centers by Amazon Web Services and includes third-party integration with services including Google Contacts, QuickBooks and eBay. “It’s an all-in-one platform,” said Starkey. “We provide ongoing maintenance for our clients...
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Visitor spending bolsters island’s labor force

Posted On: 8/14/14
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BERLIN–A new National Park Service report shows that 2,056,827 visitors to Assateague Island National Seashore in 2013 spent $84,350,400 in communities near the park. That spending supported 1,052 jobs in the local area. “Assateague Island National Seashore is proud to welcome visitors from across the country and around the world,” said Superintendent Debbie Darden. “We are delighted to share the story of this place and the experiences it provides and to use the park as a way to introduce our visitors to this part of the country and all that it offers. National park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy–returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service–and it’s a big factor in our local economy as well. We appreciate the partnership and support of our neighbors and are glad to be able to give back by helping to sustain local communities.” The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by U.S. ...
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BUSINESS BRIEFS

Posted On: 8/14/14
Written By:

RECOGNITION Atlantic General Hospital has announced the Nurse of the Year and Clinical Associate of the Year. These awards were presented during National Nurses Week based upon votes submitted by the nursing staff. Nurse of the Year: Melissa Welch, RN, is a charge nurse on the Med Surg unit and is the clinical coordinator for the Stroke Center. She has been instrumental in the Atlantic General Hospital Stroke Center obtaining the highest recognition from the American Stroke Association. This was her fourth nomination for the award. Clinical Associate of the Year: Debbie Patterson is the Unit Secretary for Med Surg and has worked at Atlantic General Hospital for more than four years. She is committed to customer service, patient safety and acts as a mentor to new associates. She is described by her co-workers as someone who “always goes above and beyond.” During National Nurses week, which encompasses Florence Nightingale’s birthday, Atlantic General Hospital re...
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Blacksmith restaurant uses products from local farms

Posted On: 8/7/14
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

BERLIN– Berlin’s newest restaurant continues to challenge its clientele with a creative and constantly evolving menu. Blacksmith, located on 104 Pitts Street, opened in March. Owner Justine Zegna, boasting more than 20 years of experience as a professional chef, and Brooks Sullivan run the kitchen with plenty of help from their supporting cast. “We’ve got a lot of people back there and all of us have cooked for a long time,” said Zegna. “Brooks and I are basically the ones making the menus, making the dishes and dealing with the vendors. We deal with so many vendors and so many farmers that it’s sort of a part-time job in of itself – getting new things and then figuring out what we’re going to do with them.” The restaurant uses Berlin Organics and other local farms, including aquaculture oysters and clams, to source the best-possible ingredients. Blacksmith only uses bay-grown oysters, something Zegna believes contributes...
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Theatre makes historical mark on Dagsboro

Posted On: 7/31/14
Written By: Maria Counts, Staff Reporter/Coastal Point

DAGSBORO–The Dagsboro’s Clayton Theatre this week unveiled its new Delaware Historical Marker, celebrating the theater’s 65 years in business, along with its unique nature and its historical impact on the community. “It literally started with a question,” said Dagsboro Councilman Brian Baull, who was instrumental in getting the historical marker placed for the theater. “My wife Amy and I decided one day to go out and look at a bunch of historic markers throughout Sussex County. We wound up by Seaford and the Maryland-Delaware line, and looked at a bunch of them along the way. “On the way back home, I said, ‘Wouldn’t it be neat if we got one of those for the Clayton celebrating its 65th anniversary? I wonder what you have to do.’” With that thought, Baull sent an email to the Delaware Archives, and, he said, “the stars aligned.” After providing the theater’s history — courtesy of “Memorie...
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Hunt and Lane offers unique imported furniture inventory

Posted On: 7/24/14
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

BERLIN– Generations of skill and technique go into each unique piece of furniture at Hunt and Lane. Partners Taber Bartoshesky and Jon Lane personally import all of their inventory from Bali, Indonesia. “I completely fell in love with the culture and the furniture,” Lane said. “We went there last year, and when we got back we both had the same idea. It made it a little bit more feasible to put our funds together, so we just planned a trip and made it happen.” After a 30-hour plane ride and an 18-hour drive, the pair met with owners from Java furniture and filled up a 20-foot shipping container. “It’s all handmade in tiny family-owned factories,” Lane said. “Each factory makes something different. The one that makes Java benches doesn’t make tables, and the ones that make tables don’t make mirrors.” Lane, who works part-time with Bartoshesky at Ocean City restaurant Hooked, said filling up the enormous contai...
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Exchange students looking for host families for school year

Posted On: 7/24/14
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

BERLIN–Visiting international exchange students are looking for host families for the upcoming school year. International Experience-USA, a 501(c)(3) non-profit based in Northfield, Minn., is seeking housing for students ages 15-18 from countries including Germany, Spain, Switzerland and Thailand. Brothers Kevin and Thomas Gilner founded the organization in 2002. “Their father was a high school principal in the D.C. area for many, many years, and he was one of the original people affiliated with student exchange when student exchange became a thing in the 1950s,” said Regional Director Joseph Bissell-Maynard. “Their father was very involved with student exchange from the start. They had people in and out of their homes their whole lives, and their father instilled in them a lot of the passion that they have now.” When Germany began sending exchange students into the U.S., the Gilners, who have dual citizenship in both countries, decided they could do i...
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Tex Mex & Country Cookin’ renovates, changes menu items

Posted On: 7/17/14
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

BERLIN– After leaving a bad taste in many customers’ mouths, one local restaurant rebranded, changed their menu and renovated the interior. The results, so far, have been extremely positive. Tex Mex on 119 Main Street changed to Tex Mex & Country Cookin’, adding a southern slant to their southwestern slate of offerings. The restaurant also hired a new manager, Donna Smith, in April. “I really can’t say if it’s me or us being the coolest small town in America, but business has definitely increased,” Smith said. “We changed the menu in March and had the whole re-launch. We put booths in and the menu went more to southwest Texas-style country cooking, not just strictly Mexican food the way it was.” During the winter, the restaurant closed for renovations, and management and ownership held a brainstorming session. “We were trying to figure out what we could do to increase sales and get rid of this reputation,” Smit...
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Study to determine viability of family-friendly railroad

Posted On: 7/17/14
Written By: Nancy Powell, Staff Writer Ocean City Today

WORCESTER COUNTY–A feasibility study will be conducted to determine the viability of a family friendly excursion train from Berlin to Newark and Snow Hill. A contract was expected to be signed Wednesday with the consultant who will perform the study. “It’s great news,” Worcester County Economic Development Director Bill Badger told the Berlin Town Council on Monday. “It’s actually a consultant that Strasburg [Railroad] recommended to us.” Strasburg Railroad and Maryland Delaware Railroad are interested in partnering to provide a local Strasburg Railroad franchise in the county. Badger and representatives of Maryland Delaware Railroad had spent a day in early April with the director of operations for Strasburg Railroad. The director said he was interested in the Worcester County project. Strasburg Railroad is known for its family-oriented attraction and it has replica of Thomas the Tank train and The Polar Express, Badger said. Passenger...
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Planning Comm. gives okay to site plan for Micro-tel

Posted On: 7/10/14
Written By: Nancy Powell, Staff Writer/Ocean City Today

WEST OCEAN CITY - The Worcester County Planning Commission approved the site plan for the proposed Micro-tel Hotel and retail spaces in West Ocean City last week after making some concessions. The 79-unit hotel and 5,500-square-foot retail building are planned for property of the south side of Route 50, approximately 300 feet east of Keyser Point Road. It will replace the existing Bed Time Inn. With a color palette of green and red cedar, the Micro-tel Hotel will have architectural features similar to those of the Holiday Inn Express, now under construction. Architectural features for the retail building will be deferred until tenants for it have been secured, but before a building permit is issued. Land planner Bob Hand said he did not know at this time how many entrances or how many shops might be in the retail building. Hand said landscaping would be up to 16 feet wide in some areas of the front of the building, but he asked for and received a waiver for landscape buffers els...
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