Bayside Gazette http://baysideoc.com Bayside OC For all your local news and events en http://baysideoc.com/images/logo.jpg Bayside Gazette http://baysideoc.com 48361494516559 New and improved: World of Toys opens back up in Berlin http://baysideoc.com/eastern-shore-business/New-and-improved-World-of-Toys-opens-back-up-in-Berlin

New and improved: World of Toys opens back up in Berlin

(May 11, 2017) The World of Toys just got a whole lot bigger. Berlin’s signature shop for educational toys, puzzles, games, books, dolls and stuffed animals moved across the street last week, from the narrow confines of 110 North Main Street into a comparatively sprawling 4,800-square-foot space on 115 North Main Street. The new location is about four times larger. Owner Olga Kozhevnikova said more than 5,000 people viewed a Facebook post announcing the reopening. The move was intense, she said. She closed the day after Berlin Spring Celebration and worked “for a couple weeks in 12-hour shifts – every day.” “We had some people helping and we moved the storefront in two days,” Kozhevnikova said. “It was boxes and boxes on top of boxes.” Kozhevnikova said she loves the new space. It means her displays are not pushed against each other or stacked or cramped or overcrowded. It also means her customers will have much more room. “I have one girl who is handicapped, who was one of my first customers when I opened my old shop [in 2012] and it was hard for her to come in and move around,” Kozhevnikova said. “She came in the new store and it was free for her to go around every display in a wheelchair. That was my biggest thing.” She said another customer called and asked if she could bring a stroller. “You can bring a stroller! You can go rollerblading!” Kozhevnikova said with a laugh. “There’s plenty of room to walk around and it gives you options to display things better.” That’s not to say the shop is empty, by any stretch. The back and side walls have long, white shelves filled with board games and puzzles, handmade dolls and figurines, buildable sets, remote-control cars and toy trains. Colorful stuffed animals sit atop many of the racks. In between are spinning and stationary displays filled with Ty and baby GUND stuffed animals, along with dozens of Playmobil play sets, Melissa & Doug toys and art supplies, Hape wooden toys, EDC Publishing board books and MindWare and Klutz paperbacks, Folkmanis Puppets, and eeboo and Peaceable Kingdom greeting cards. There are Star Wars and Marvel Universe characters, Ninja Turtles and Muppets and Sesame Street monsters, My Little Pony and Yo Gabba Gabba! and Super Mario and Sponge Bob. “You can see every product,” Kozhevnikova said. “And we expanded lines. A lot of [the manufacturers] brought new games and more products. I kind of stayed with the same style of the store, but we just bought more varieties of everything.” Kozhevnikova said the response by customers has been overwhelming. “Everybody comes in and screams and is happy,” she said. “There have been a lot of hugs.” Her 6-year-old daughter, Anya, also approves. “She loves it. She thinks its her business,” Kozhevnikova said. “She has an office in the back and an office on the side of the store. All her friends come in and she shows them around.” World of Toys opened on May 26, 2012. Kozhevnikova said an official grand opening could be scheduled for that date this year, but that would be up to the town. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/worldoftoys2012 or call 410-641-0601.
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Thu, 11 May 2017 00:00:00 -0500 Josh Davis, Associate Editor
48371494516696 Watch Me Grow offers fun summer learning activities http://baysideoc.com/eastern-shore-business/Watch-Me-Grow-offers-fun-summer-learning-activities

Watch Me Grow offers fun summer learning activities

(May 11, 2017) Watch Me Grow, a new early learning center in Berlin on 9040 Worcester Highway, Suite E, behind Pitt Stop Beer and Wine, will celebrate its grand opening on Saturday. The free event, 1-4 p.m., will include moon bounces and  children’s crafts and snacks. Lollipop the Clown will offer face painting and balloon art from 1:30-3 p.m. and horse rides will be available from 3-4 p.m. Shaved ice treats from the Tiki Hut will be available for sale. Owner Allison Stokely operated the Tiny Sunflowers Daycare center out of her home for 12 years, but decided to close to devote more time to her two young children, Aleesi, 3, and Landon, 20 months. “My son is severely high maintenance,” she said with a laugh. “I couldn’t do the hours anymore. It just got to be too much with two little ones at home.” Instead, Stokely will offer specialized summer programs at the new center that focus on getting children, ages 2 and up, getting ready for school through fun and activities. Classes, lasting just under two hours each, will be offered on Mondays and Wednesdays. “Nowadays with daycare, the kids need to know their alphabet and they need to be able to count and need to be able to write their names and tie their shoes, all before they get to kindergarten or preschool,” Stokely said. “That’s just too much. I’m seeing more and more kids having more and more difficulty doing what you’re supposed to do in school. By the time they hit second or third grade they’re tired of it because they have to start [school] at 2 or 3.” Stokely said her daughter went to the Children’s Book Garden, near Ocean Pines over the summer and “they just did wonders with her.” “They did a craft a day. They did story time. They sang. They danced. And that’s the only place around here that’s really doing anything like that,” Stokely said. “I was trying to put something near the Town of Berlin to serve the Buckingham and the Worcester Prep area because there’s not a lot around here.” Children will not do much “paper pushing” at Watch Me Grow, Stokely said. Classes each month will have a theme, starting with “Camping Underneath the Stars” in June. “There will be an activity set up for them as they arrive in the morning, and then we’ll have a circle time with a morning exercise and a little song, and then they’ll get to do a group activity and a craft,” Stokely said. “My goal is that every day they leave with something that’s handmade.” Classes will also include story time and a snack, as well as a free-play session during the last 15 minutes. The classroom has dozens of different things for small children to play and interact with, geared especially toward early learning and development. Several hand-painted murals adorn the walls, along with a sizable bookshelf filled with Dr. Seuss and other children’s classics. The idea, Stokely said, is to keep the little ones busy. “Kids really learn more by playing than by you constantly pushing papers and pencils and crayons,” Stokely said. “By the time the kids get to school, they’re so worn out that they don’t care to learn anything. Kids aren’t being able to be kids anymore – that’s why there are so many learning disabilities and behavior problems. I think they’re pushing it too much.” For more information, visit www.facebook.com/watchmegrow.handsonlearning or call 410-430-9156.
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Thu, 11 May 2017 00:00:00 -0500 Josh Davis, Associate Editor
47991493912051 Island Creamery opens sweet treat shop in downtown Berlin http://baysideoc.com/eastern-shore-business/Island-Creamery-opens-sweet-treat-shop-in-downtown-Berlin

Island Creamery opens sweet treat shop in downtown Berlin

(May 4, 2017) The best ice cream parlor in the country, according to Trip Advisor, now has a location in downtown Berlin.   The Chincoteague, Virginia-based Island Creamery, known for its unique flavors and local and natural ingredients, was also recently recognized by Food & Wine magazine and Buzzfeed as one of the top ice cream shops in the U.S. The announcement was made that Island Creamery would open in Berlin late last year in the former Cupcakes in Bloom slot on 120 North Main Street. After extensive renovations, both inside and out, the shop was open as of last Tuesday. “We wanted to bring elements and colors from Chincoteague, but we wanted to have more of a vibe that fit in with some of the places in Berlin,” owner Kelly Conklin said. “So we gave our creative people free rein and we got what we got, and we’re pretty happy with it.” The interior could be described as “cozy,” with a bright and colorful menu stretching across the long wall on the left hand side as you enter the building, and coolers filled with homemade ice cream extending down the length of the room. Outside, a makeover of the alleyway transformed the space between the Island Creamery and the adjacent office building into an alluring outdoor seating area, complete with a cobblestone walkway with eight benches separated by newly installed lampposts. “It really came together. We’re really happy with it,” Conklin said. On opening day, the shop debuted opened with little fanfare – just as Conklin had planned. “It was very rainy and it wasn’t a very nice day, but we wanted to get a nice, quiet soft opening just to work out the kinks – and there have been plenty, obviously. I just didn’t want to be overwhelmed by people expecting us to be perfect from the get-go and that not happening,” he said. More renovations – both inside and out – are taking place, and Conklin said his staff had to deal with a brand-new freezer breaking down on the night before opening. “There’s been issues, but that’s to be expected. That’s why we wanted to open unannounced,” Conklin said. Still, he said plenty of people in Berlin came out to welcome the new business – and to sample the goods. Despite a few hiccups, early returns have been overwhelmingly positive, Conklin said. “There’s not been one bit of friction with the town or the health department or anyone. Everyone was been so cooperative and personable and helpful,” he said. “The hold-up [for opening] had been getting concrete poured, fighting bad weather and just getting everything in place. The people in Berlin have been wonderful.” Island Creamery brought many of the favorite flavors from Chincoteague to the new location, including Bourbon Caramel Crunch, Wallops Rocket Fuel and Cake Batter. Conklin said several new flavors also were introduced, and more would come as fresh ingredients became available later this spring and summer. Almost three-dozen different flavors were available as of the opening, the scores of toppings make the possibilities nearly endless. “We’ve got the same number of flavors [as Chincoteague],” Conklin said. “We don’t have soft serve and we don’t have coffee because we don’t have room for it. So, there are a few things we’re not doing here that we do on the island, but for the most part, the flavors that we have there and the sundaes that we have there – we have here. “In a couple weeks, when fresh strawberries come up, we’ll have fresh strawberry sorbet here and fresh strawberry ice cream, and then later it’ll be fresh blueberry and peach and cantaloupe and watermelon sorbet – all of the seasonal things,” he continued. “The fact that we’re able to respond to whatever the season is really sets us apart, and if we think of a new flavor or hear of a flavor or somebody tells us about a flavor that’s intriguing, we can go ahead and make it here and we can control what goes in it.” While he didn’t rule out the possibility of opening a third store at in the future, Conklin said he’s focusing on making the Berlin location the best it can be. “All we want to do in Berlin is be good neighbors and make friends, serve the public and make people happy,” Conklin said. “If you can’t leave an ice cream parlor happy, something’s wrong with you.” 
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Thu, 04 May 2017 00:00:00 -0500 Josh Davis, Associate Editor
47731493246278 ReTag’d will hold grand opening on First Friday, May 5 http://baysideoc.com/eastern-shore-business/ReTagd-will-hold-grand-opening-on-First-Friday-May-5

ReTag’d will hold grand opening on First Friday, May 5

(April 27, 2017) One of Snow Hill’s newest businesses, ReTag’d Upscale Retail on 108 Pearl St., will hold a grand opening during the Arts on the River First Friday event next week. ReTag’d held a soft opening last month. Owner Anna Jones said the establishment’s initial reception has been phenomenal and she is excited for the official grand opening ceremony on May 5. “We’ve had a great turnout so far,” she said. “I’ve had people in here everyday.” Support and encouragement has also poured in from other local retailers, including The Flower Shop in Snow Hill and Mirror Salon, both of which sent bouquets after the business launched, Jones said. “This town’s so supportive it’s really been amazing,” she said. “I get a lot of people from the courthouse stopping by on their lunch break.” Jones anticipates larger crowds as the seasonal shift starts trending warmer. “People are just strolling around town because the weather is getting nicer,” she said. After spending the bulk of her professional time in the hospitality industry, Jones is excited to venture down a new, albeit somewhat unfamiliar, path. “I’ve never had any type of retail experience with owning my own business,” she said. “Don’t get me wrong I’ve been to a few stores and bought a few things.” Despite navigating relatively uncharted waters, Jones sounds prepared to cater to a wide clientele. “I’ve honestly got a little bit of everything and something for everyone,” she said. “I’ve got brand new clothing, used clothing, some still with tags, home décor [and] fashion accessories. I also have some handmade goods in here.” To stay in the spirit of local commerce, Jones said all of the handcrafted items in ReTag’d are produced by regional artisans, including sea glass pendants and hand-etched glass pieces. “I have some up-cycled wine bottles and some handmade earrings,” she added. Jones said she also purchases select clothing and household items, but noted her shelves have gotten stocked quickly. “It’s based on style, condition and seasonality,” she said. At present ReTag’d opens Monday through Saturday at 10 a.m. The shop stays open until 6 p.m. Wednesday to Friday and close at 4 p.m. during the rest of the week. Jones isn’t open on Sunday, but said that could change as her business and the town continues to grow. “I’d love to expand, but more importantly I’d love for the town to expand,” she said.
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Thu, 27 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0500 Greg Ellison, Staff Writer
47741493246413 Toy Town ribbon cutting planned next week http://baysideoc.com/eastern-shore-business/Toy-Town-ribbon-cutting-planned-next-week

Toy Town ribbon cutting planned next week

(April 27, 2017) Toy Town, one of Snow Hill’s newest and largest businesses, will hold a grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony at 5 p.m. during next week’s Arts on the River First Friday. Since opening earlier this month, Debbie Seaton, who operates the shop with her husband Richard, said scores of familiar faces have materialized. “It’s not just local people,” she said. “We’ve had a lot of our regular customers from all over.” As a result of operating a store in Berlin for numerous years prior to the recent relocation to Snow Hill, Seaton said Toy Town has attracted a slew of returning clients from a number of neighboring states. Seaton has also been impressed by the warm welcome from area merchants and residents. “All of the businesses in town sent me flowers and stuff,” she said. “They’re fantastic and they’ve been very supportive.” Seaton had been quick to embrace the spirit of cross promotion practiced by numerous Snow Hill businesses. “I keep their business cards up here and I’m giving their business card out instead of just ours,” she said. “You have to try and help each other out.” Despite the new digs providing Toy Town nearly double the showroom space of its previous location, Seaton said the business would continue obtaining unique antiques and collectables in the same manner. “Everything comes from somebody’s private collection,” she said. “We never do auctions and we never do online.” Typically, clients contact Toy Town directly with items they want to sell, but sometimes items are brought in unexpectedly, Seaton said. “I had three of four people stop in yesterday just selling stuff,” she said. “I never know what it’s going to be.” Seaton said her husband often makes house calls to hunt down antiques, which sometimes yields unanticipated treasures, like the 2 cylinder biplane currently suspended from the showroom ceiling. “He went to go look at a pinball machine and there was an airplane,” she said. “He was like, ‘hey is it for sale,’ and the guy was like, ‘yeah it happens to be for sale.’ So you never know, he’ll go for one thing and then he’ll end up buying something else.” Although Toy Town is already up and running at the corner of Market and Washington streets, Seaton said some of the finishing touches, such as signage, are still being completed. “I have to put one on the other side of the building that faces the courthouse because a lot of people don’t know to come this way and turn left at the light,” she said. Toy Town is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. While some have been surprised the business is operating on Sunday, Seaton said that is typically a prime day for antique merchants. “People like to drive on Sundays and go somewhere after church,” she said. “A couple of these stores had already been open on Sunday and they weren’t bringing in as much as they should so they decided to close. Now that we’re open I’ve actually heard a couple of them say, ‘hey we might consider being open on Sundays too.’”
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Thu, 27 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0500 Greg Ellison, Staff Writer
47551492705883 Ocean Elements Salt Spa features new Float Center http://baysideoc.com/eastern-shore-business/Ocean-Elements-Salt-Spa-features-new-Float-Center-

Ocean Elements Salt Spa features new Float Center

(April 20, 2017) Escaping the pressures of life and succumbing to relaxation are a couple of the benefits offered by a floating session at Ocean Elements Salt Spa in the Serenity Salon in Ocean Pines. “You can’t tell where your skin ends and the water begins,” owner Jeanne Mills, said. “It is quite an experience to offer the community and Eastern Shore.” Floaters lay naked on their backs in a 200-gallon water pod filled with 1,000 pounds of Epsom salt, which is kept at the skin-neutral temperature of 93.5 degrees, although it will vary throughout the session. “It releases tension, dopamine and endorphins,” Mills said. “A session offers stress and pain relief. The objective is to lay in the water, relax, mediate and clear your mind.” After shutting the pod door, all sounds from the outside world are gone. Patrons can choose a color light setting or unwind in total darkness and relax to calming music, bring their own meditative tracks or indulge in silence. “It is totally up to the person having the experience,” Mills said. A welcome message begins each session, which are generally an hour long. Ear plugs are provided. “The dissolved salt gives you a buoyancy and the feeling of floating on a cloud,” Mills said. Afterwards, an exit message will play and clients are encouraged to take a shower, with all the necessities for bathing provided. An appointment takes 90 minutes, including the hour-long session, but can be adjusted to be shorter or longer. “The skin is the biggest organ in the body and Epsom salts absorb magnesium, which helps with nutrient balance,” Mills said. Floatation spa therapy has been used to relieve chronic pain, anxiety and stress in addition to helping clients recover from injuries, PTSD and addictions, she said. “There are a lot of good benefits and it is a more natural alternative for chronic pain management,” Mills said. “This is something I am passionate about. I have been a nurse [for more than 20 years] and I really believe in this.” Mills discovered a salt spa when she was celebrating her anniversary with her husband during an October trip to Williamsburg, Virginia. “We were looking for something different to do and came across a salt spa,” Mills said. “We loved it. The first thought out of my head was I have to have one of these and it would be wonderful to bring it to my community. There is nothing around here similar. You would have to go to Williamsburg or Annapolis.” After doing research online, the couple found Superior Float Tanks, a manufacturer in Norfolk, Virginia. “Michelle [O’Ferrall] had space available and we approached her in November,” Mills said. “I appreciate Serenity Salon for taking the chance on me.” The sensory deprivation tank was delivered on March 3 and became available to the public by March 7. “We have been steadily booked ever since,” Mills said. The goal is to open a second location in West Ocean City during the summer that would include a salt cave, where people can lay back in chairs and breathe in the salt. “There is salt on the walls and floors,” Mills said. “Salt is a good relief for upper respiratory diseases.” Ocean Elements Salt Spa and Float Center in Serenity Salon on Manklin Creek Road in Ocean Pines is open Monday through Friday from 4:30-9 p.m., 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 9 p.m. on Sunday. Call 410-463-0857 to schedule an appointment. Package deals, memberships and gift cards are also available. “You sleep so much better after you float,” Mills said. “The relaxation effect lasts about 48 hours.” Additional information is available at www.oceanelements.life or email info@oceanelements.life.
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Thu, 20 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0500 Kara Hallissey, Staff Writer