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Several new stores to open for business in Berlin this fall

Posted On: 8/28/14
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

BERLIN– After a summer of surging business, several new shops will open their doors this fall. Inca Ruins on Pitts Street, Fireplace Supply on Old Ocean City Boulevard, Una Bella Salute on Broad Street and an as-yet unnamed coffee shop are joining the thriving Berlin marketplace. Handmade items, mostly imported from Peru, make up the bulk of the merchandise at Inca Ruins. “I’ve been doing it for nine years online and in flea markets and things like that,” said owner Kenneth Briggs. “Our main store is going to be in Rehoboth next year, but we saw this space (in Berlin) and said, ‘why not?’ There’s a lot of growth in this area right now.” An Ocean Pines resident, Briggs said he frequents Berlin often. “We’re always down here,” he said. “We thought this would be an unusual shop for the area because it’s not very antiquey. The bulk of it is Fair Trade, so it helps other people, and our prices are re...
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Shop owners report profits in sixth month after ‘cool’ contest

Posted On: 8/28/14
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

BERLIN– Six months after being named “America’s Coolest Small Town” in an online vote hosted by Budget Travel Magazine, Berlin’s business is predictably booming. Lititz, Pa., last year’s “coolest” town, saw a 30 percent uptick in sales. Berlin shopkeepers say the same thing is happening here in 2014. “It’s been a very busy summer,” said Terri Sexton, owner of Treasure Chest on 20 North Main Street. “What I have found is that a lot of people that come over that are tourists don’t necessarily know about the designation until they get here, but I’m seeing a lot of people that live within a day trip or a two-hour drive coming to town because they haven’t been here in so long. They’re discovering what we have here in Berlin and it’s been packed all summer long. “We’re a destination now,” Sexton continued. “You can come and spend the day and shop and eat, and I ...
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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
Written By:

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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