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Fathom brings taste of city to downtown Berlin

Posted On: 2/23/17
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

Fathom brings taste of city to downtown Berlin (Feb. 23, 2017) Sisters Hunter Smith and Devon Donahue have moved off Artisan’s Way onto Main Street in Berlin with their new, urban-inspired clothing and gift store Fathom. That’s “Fathom.” with a period at the end of the word, regardless of its placement in a sentence, Donahue noted with a laugh. Her sister is apparently a stickler. The shop officially opened last Friday, following about a year of renovations to the building. Smith said the new space only took about a week to furnish once construction wrapped. The entire façade was remade and the doorway was restored to its original look when it was a barbershop, complete with floor-to-ceiling glass windows. A rear entrance was also added, which opens next to The Globe restaurant on Broad Street. Exposed brick walls, minimalist wooden shelves and metal display racks evocative of industrial plumbing fixtures were inspired by visits to showrooms in New York City, according to Smith. “Every ti...
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Local business vies for prize to create jobs

Posted On: 2/16/17
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(Feb. 16, 2017) When Kim Shanahan, owner of Gifts Fulfilled, saw the theme of this year’s SCORE/Sam’s Club small business contest, “What Makes Your Business Unique,” she knew she had to enter. What makes her business unique is its mission to provide jobs for people with disabilities. Shanahan created her business, which sells baby, birthday, get well and special occasion gift baskets, specifically to provide employment for adults who live with a disability. She saw a great need for jobs, and decided to start a business that would enable people of differing abilities the opportunity to have a fulfilling work experience and earn a paycheck. In the social service field this is called an Affirmative Business or a Social Enterprise. To Shanahan, it was simply the right thing to do. Shanahan started her business in 2015 and shortly after teamed up with the Worcester County Developmental Center in Newark, Maryland, to provide employment for WCDC clients. “I f...
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Bunting Realty Inc. hits quarter-century mark

Posted On: 2/2/17
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

Bunting Realty Inc. hits quarter-century mark (Feb. 2, 2017) Twenty-five years ago Cam Bunting started a fledgling real estate business in Berlin. Her father and brother were both agents based in Salisbury, and she was working for Moore, Warfield & Glick in Ocean City, at the time. “Real estate was in my blood,” she said. Because virtually all of her listings happened to be in Berlin, she started to look for a way to relocate there, at first looking for a place to work as an agent. When that didn’t happen, she decided to open her own operation, Bunting Realty, Inc. Bunting bought a former doctor’s office on 24 Broad Street in Berlin, a space large enough that her husband, Woody, could also run his surveying business out of. Jumping into owning and operating her own office, Bunting said, was not something she thought twice about. “I’m a type-A person, so I have to be doing lots of things. It was just a normal progression,” she said. “I loved Moore, Warfield & Glick ...
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Hileman Realty celebrates 20 years in business

Posted On: 1/26/17
Written By: Kara Hallissey, Staff Writer

Hileman Realty celebrates 20 years in business (Jan. 26, 2017) Debbie Hileman admitted she thought about a career change before opening her own real estate business 20 years ago on Cathell Road in Berlin. “I can’t believe it has been 20 years already,” she said. “I found a niche in the rental market and built a reputation on helping people. I started out in rentals and the sales came hand-in-hand. People trust me to take care of their property.” Hileman Realty opened its doors on Jan. 20, 1997 with two rooms and a welcome desk, before expanding to a number of other areas in the building. By 2003, Hileman purchased the property in Berlin. “My philosophy is to take care of someone else’s home the way I’d want them to take care of mine,” Hileman said. “That mindset flows through to my sales agents. We all have the same commitment to service. This is our community and we love it. It’s a great place to raise a family.” Currently, there are 24 sales agents at Hil...
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AGH cuts ribbon on new surgical office in Barrett building

Posted On: 1/19/17
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AGH cuts ribbon on new surgical office in Barrett building (Jan. 19, 2017) Atlantic General Hospital and Health System recently held an open house at the new location for its Surgical Associates and Bariatric Center offices in the James G. Barrett Medical Office Building in Berlin. Atlantic General Surgical Associates and the Atlantic General Bariatric Center provide advanced minimally invasive surgical procedures performed by board certified doctors including bariatric, oncology and vascular surgeries. The bariatric center is led by Alae Zarif, MD, who performs gastric bypass and gastric sleeve procedures for Atlantic General Bariatric Center and general surgeries. Zarif is certified by the American Board of Surgery and performs multiple advanced laparoscopic procedures. Xin Zhong, M.D. recently joined Atlantic General Surgical Associates and the staff of Atlantic General Bariatric Center from North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, New York, where she completed a minimally invasive surgery fellowship in robotic and bariatric proce...
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Big turnout during ribbon cutting for Royal Farms store

Posted On: 1/12/17
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(Jan. 12, 2017) The mood was noticeably light during the official ribbon cutting for the new Royal Farms at the corner of Route 50 and Stephen Decatur Highway in Berlin, which drew about 100 people last Friday, including several local officials and many members of town staff. They were there for the free chicken, but also to welcome the new store to the area, which had been in development since at least early 2015. Berlin Mayor Gee Williams said the shop was a perfect example of what makes the town unique and successful, balancing both environmental stewardship and economic development. “We are very proud to have you here,” he said. “We think that you’re leading by example. Berlin is trying to lead by example on a small scale [environmentally]. “Please have fun,” he added. “If you’re going to be a part of the Town of Berlin, fun is required.” Worcester County Commissioner Bud Church joked that he would show up every morning to...
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For TaDa, business all about family

Posted On: 12/1/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

For TaDa, business all about family (Dec. 1, 2016) Twenty years ago Patty Falck marched into her husband’s office on Williams Street in Berlin. She had good news, bad news and really bad news, she told him. The good news was she was going to open a shop. The bad news was she was going to open the shop inside his office, and the really bad news was she wanted to be open in 30 days. Steve Falck, at the time a custom home builder, happily obliged, moving his office to the rear of the building and helping in any way he could, including building many of the shelves and fixtures. The shop, called TaDa, opened on Black Friday in 1996 and at the time mostly sold Falck’s hand-painted furniture and glassware. “He was so easy going. He said, ‘What do you need me to build and when do I start?’” Falck said. “Within those 30 days, I painted morning, noon and night just so we could have enough stock to put in.” She also came up with the one-of-a-kind name, because Falck “wa...
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Sneaker Dreams come true in downtown Pocomoke City

Posted On: 11/24/16
Written By: Brian Gilliland, Associate Editor

Sneaker Dreams come true in downtown Pocomoke City (Nov. 24, 2016) Daniel LaMontagne left teaching high school math behind, for now, to do what a lot of serious hobbyists wish they could do — open a store dedicated to their passion in order to devote themselves to it full time. LaMontagne’s passion is sneakers, and has been with him for a long time. “I was born in 1985 when sneaker culture really took off, with Run DMC’s “My Adidas” and Michael Jordan took Nike to the next level,” he said. “I love reminiscing about those days.” His personal collection includes about 100 pairs, give or take the several shoes now in stock at his downtown Pocomoke City store, Sneaker Dreams. Open for about a month now, the store features a tiny fraction of what LaMontagne envisions as the eventual end product of his passion. “I want to get to 400 pairs of sneakers at least, and have ten times the amount of clothes I do right now,” he said. “It’s hard to keep the clothes...
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Fins reels in Berlin customers during first full week open

Posted On: 11/3/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

Fins reels in Berlin customers during first full week open (Nov. 3, 2016) Fresh, local seafood, a slate of happy hour specials and plenty of craft beer are the stars of downtown Berlin’s newest restaurant, Fins Ale House and Raw Bar. Fins officially opened last week after moving into the space vacated by Leaky Pete’s on 119 North Main Street. “The first week was crazy busy in here,” owner Jeff Hamer said. “The people here have been awesome. This is truly the nicest small town in America – by far. Everyone has been unbelievably welcoming. I’m just overwhelmed.” Hamer opened the first “Fins” in Rehoboth in 2005, followed by several other locations in Delaware, and then a brewery in 2014. He said baked oysters have been the biggest seller during the inaugural week in Berlin, and that oyster po’ boys and crab cake sandwiches have also done well. Much of the product, including tuna, rockfish, scallops, calamari and oysters, are brought in from local suppliers. Fins also featur...
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Blue Dog Café features bit of ol’ Broadway

Posted On: 10/27/16
Written By: Brian Gilliland, Associate Editor

(Oct. 27, 2016) About 20 years ago, when Salisbury native Gary Weber walked into Snow Hill, he brought with him his love for theater, his knowledge of restaurants and a steady flow of income during the early century’s real estate boom to bring the culture of one of the world’s biggest cities to one of the lower shore’s smallest towns. “Ours is a special events place,” he said. “We always have entertainment, and it’s always something different.” Sometimes, it’s just birthdays, when staff and local musicians belt out renditions of “Happy Birthday” to groups — sometimes up to seven times per night, he said, but other times, it’s in support of local and regional causes, like the event scheduled for tonight, that benefits local emergency shelter Diakonia. “We try to give back by sponsoring a soccer team, raising money for Jesse’s Paddle or, in this case, Diakonia, which is the only local place for...
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