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Berlin’s Church Mouse will celebrate 50 years of charity

Posted On: 5/12/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

Berlin’s Church Mouse will celebrate 50 years of charity (May 12, 2016) For five decades, the Church Mouse Thrift Shop in Berlin has supported local nonprofits with hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations, along with providing clothing and other household items to countless people during their times of need. An extension of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, the store was originally located in one of the apartments attached to the Jefferson Street addition of Atlantic Hotel. When the Atlantic underwent extensive renovations during the early 1980s, the Church Mouse moved into a warehouse space on Old Ocean City Boulevard with dirt floors and a small pot-bellied stove for heat. A few years later it landed at 101 Main Street, where it remains today. Violet Matthews, also known as “Miss Vi,” along with Annabelle Hastings and Ruth Neville, were among the first workers there. Matthews continued volunteering at the shop until she was 100 years old, while Hastings remained well into her 90s. When she finally retired, almost...
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Fathom, Gilbert’s Provisions coming soon to dwtn. Berlin

Posted On: 5/5/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(May 5, 2016) Two new – and very different – businesses are in development in downtown Berlin. Both hope to add a vibrant, youthful atmosphere to the historic district, and both hope to open their respective doors this summer. At 14 North Main Street, in the area formerly occupied by jj Fish Studio and Fine Craft Gallery, Hunter Smith and Devon Bostic will open Fathom. The sisters, and Sea la Vie co-owners, have described the space as an “edgy” clothing store. “Sea la Vie is our sweeter side – this is going to have a saltier feel,” Bostic said. “It’s going to have fashionable, trendy clothing.” Smith said the new shop would have an “industrial” look, using the exposed brick of the old building to set it apart from other Berlin locales. Fathom will carry clothing for men and women, and will focus on current name brands, including Stance and Joe Browns. Construction is still underway and can clearly be seen...
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Berlin Printery, CFD, open up shop during 2nd Friday stroll

Posted On: 3/24/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

Berlin Printery, CFD, open up shop during 2nd Friday stroll (March 24, 2016) Berlin Printery and CFD Fine Jewelry, both located on 16 North Main Street, officially opened during Berlin’s 2nd Friday art stroll, March 11. Brian Robertson runs the print shop, where he creates and sells artwork, including posters, vintage-inspired post cards and prints, using a pair of vintage letterpresses. Caroline Forrester sells her original jewelry line in the space, using her experience in metalsmithing to transform silver – and occasionally gold – into wearable works of art. Both have backgrounds in graphic design. Robertson worked for a local marketing firm, and Forrester was the lead graphic designer for Burley Oak Brewing Company. When Robertson heard Forrester was eager to make the move into more handmade pieces, he envisioned her as a perfect partner for a collaborative shop. “I knew her through the graphic design circle and some mutual friends,” he said in January. “Somebody told me she was making jewelry now ...
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Industry veteran Robertson opens Sea Floor in Pines

Posted On: 3/10/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

Industry veteran Robertson opens Sea Floor in Pines (March 10, 2016) Sea Floor in Ocean Pines is the latest venture from industry veteran Don Robertson. If all goes well, it will also be his last. The shop, located at 11312 Manklin Creek Road in the Manklin Station Shopping Center, opened in mid-February. “I’ve been in the business for over 25 years,” Robertson said. “I started in Pennsylvania with the Color Tile corporation. When I moved down here to the beach, 19 years ago, I was working for Mohawk Industries. I was the territory manager for all the stores, selling all the carpet to them.” After starting in retail, Robertson was able to work in nearly all facets of the carpet business, including wholesale and manufacturing. When he grew tired of “driving 50,000 miles a year,” he took a year off, and then went back into retail, working for two other local carpet companies. It was then that Robertson decided it was time to open his own business. “Although the other companies are ve...
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Seaside Plumbing sets up new shop near ‘action’ in OP

Posted On: 11/5/15
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

Seaside Plumbing sets up new shop near ‘action’ in OP (Nov. 5, 2015) Family owned and operated, Seaside Plumbing recently moved from a home office to a new headquarters on Friendship Road in Berlin. Owner Josh Martin, who runs the company with his wife, described the business as “mom and pop.” “We slowly, slowly grew until we finally outgrew out home office,” he said. “We also wanted to be closer to the action, because Ocean Pines is a huge amount of our work.” Providing residential and light commercial services in the Maryland/Delaware area, the company is looking to grow its service calls on par with its remodeling and new construction work, Martin said. He said the company has worked with notable local builders including T & G Builders Inc. from Ocean City, Miken Builders Inc. from Bethany Beach and Boardwalk Builders Inc. from Rehoboth Beach. “We really haven’t been pushing service as much,” he said, adding that service calls generally include leaky faucets, clogged dra...
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All-natural boutique Beez Kneez opens doors in Berlin

Posted On: 9/3/15
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

All-natural boutique Beez Kneez opens doors in Berlin (Sept. 3, 2015) For Lori Wagman, owner of the newest business in downtown Berlin, the idea for her shop Beez Kneez Boutique grew out of a personal need. A former massage therapist, Wagman said her sensitive skin led her to begin making her own bath and body products. In April, she began selling her products at the farmer’s market in Berlin, and then opened the shop at 101 William Street, near Rainbow Florist, on Aug. 20. Wagman describes Beez Kneez, which is stocked exclusively with green and sustainable products, as a “lifestyle” store. “What I’m trying to achieve is get all the chemicals out of the products we use on a daily basis and leave a smaller carbon footprint,” she said. “For me, that lifestyle has meant big changes in my skin and my health.” Popular homemade products at Beez Kneez include Kaolin clay sugar scrubs, and castile-based bar soaps made with ingredients such as goat’s milk, shea butter, cocoa butter and ol...
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New owners make pharmacy, coffee shop family affair

Posted On: 9/3/15
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

New owners make pharmacy, coffee shop family affair (Sept. 3, 2015) For husband-and-wife team Ray and Arti Patel, Coastal Drug Institutional Pharmacy is not only their slice of the America dream, it’s a chance to operate a store that’s different from the big-box retailers where they worked years earlier. When the couple earlier this year took over the pharmacy, which also includes a Coffee Beanery with a seating area and several racks of books for sale, Ray was working at a Wal-Mart and Arti was a pharmacist at a Rite Aid near Hanover, Md. In Ray’s case, he was the assistant manager at the fourth-busiest Wal-Mart in the world, ringing in more than $180 million each year. “We like helping people, and having a change in scenery coming to the Eastern Shore to the ‘coolest small town in America’ – a place with a lot of Blue-Ribbon schools – it gave us the opportunity to work for ourselves,” Ray said. One noticeable change at the shop is the increase in staffing at the coffee beane...
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Davis, Sherr relocate to Berlin branch of Apple Discount Drugs

Posted On: 9/3/15
Written By:

Davis, Sherr relocate to Berlin branch of Apple Discount Drugs (Sept. 3, 2015) Apple Discount Drugs this week announced the relocation of Robert Davis and Zack Sherr to the team of pharmacists in the Berlin Apple location. Davis has 20 years of experience working behind the pharmacy counter and Sherr followed in his parents’ footsteps, becoming a pharmacist after graduating from UMES School of Pharmacy in May 2014. “We are thrilled to have a resident pharmacist like Bob working in conjunction with one of our newest pharmacists in our Berlin pharmacy,” said Jeff Sherr, president, Apple Discount Drugs. “We value the expertise and passion that an experienced veteran pharmacist brings to the business and customers, along with the fresh ideas and energy of a younger pharmacist to keep up with how the healthcare industry continues to evolve over time.”   Sherr graduated with a doctor of pharmacy from UMES School of Pharmacy. An Eastern Shore native, Sherr works as a retail pharmacist at Apple Discount Drugs in Frui...
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DePalma Dental celebrates decade in Berlin

Posted On: 8/20/15
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

(Aug. 20, 2015) Ten years ago DePalma Dental opened in Berlin with a staff of four, and just two chairs in a small office building. Today, Drs. Michael and Erin DePalma operate a large general dentistry practice with facilities and a staff that can see three times as many patients. The husband-and-wife team both attended University of Maryland School of Dentistry before beginning the search to find what would become the long-term home for both their business and their young family. “We were living in Pennsylvania at the time and knew we wanted to be in Maryland. We were looking at the D.C. metropolitan area, and it just wasn’t appealing to us,” Erin said. “I had vacationed here with my family, growing up in the suburbs of D.C., and we would come every year, but I was not familiar with the Berlin area at all.” Michael performed a little reconnaissance in the region, according to Erin, and almost immediate fell in love with Berlin. The small town feel...
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Cleary brings ‘neighborly’ approach to legal practice

Posted On: 8/20/15
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

(Aug. 20, 2015) You may have seen her picture around town in Berlin, or on rolling billboards on the backs of city buses, cruising down Coastal Highway in Ocean City.   The Law Offices of Patricia Cleary is attempting to boost its local profile in a major way this year, after Cleary moved to the area full-time in January. Cleary, a native of Prince George’s County, has practiced law in the state for 17 years, originally setting up a practice in Bowie out of law school. “I bought a home here almost 10 years ago and originally thought it would be a good vacation home and on long weekends, and hoped that I could gradually spend more time out here,” she said. “It ended up being that I was so busy I could never get away from the office.” Today, her main office is in Worcester County. A general practice attorney, Cleary said her passion lies in wills and trusts, estate planning and small business counsel. Her close relationship with clients, however, ...
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