Bountiful, Jamie Merida Interiors Announce Move to Gateway to Easton

Jamie Merida with staff

The Bountiful Interiors family of brands has announced the acquisition of a 16,000 square foot building located at the corner of U.S. Route 50 and Goldsborough Street in Easton, just across from The Country School. The property will serve as the new home of Bountiful Home, Bountiful Flooring, and Jamie Merida Interiors. Renovations are well underway and the new location is on track to open in late summer.

“We are thrilled to have found the perfect location at the Gateway to Easton,” said Jamie Merida, owner of Bountiful. “This year is our twentieth anniversary, so we have a lot to celebrate! It was the right time for us to buy a property that is large enough to house the entire company under one roof.”

Once renovations are complete, the building will feature an open floor plan with distinct areas for each part of the business. There will be a large furniture showroom for Bountiful Home, which will include much-needed space to expand the store’s selection of home accents and gifts. Bountiful Flooring will have an adjoining showroom that will allow for an expanded selection of flooring, carpet, stone and tile, and Hunter Douglas window treatments.

There are also plans to build a new mezzanine that overlooks the furniture showroom within the first year. The mezzanine will house the Jamie Merida Interiors design studio.“We’re fortunate that our interior design services continue to grow like wildfire,” said Merida. “We’re currently looking to hire new designers and need much more space for the studio. Adding the second level will really help us maximize the building’s potential.”

In addition to housing the Bountiful brands, the property will be home to Turnbridge Talbot, a new bakery and café by owners Rob Griffith and Chef Steve Konopelski. Konopelski is a pastry chef who has earned a strong local following through his flagship bakery Turnbridge Point in Denton and his many appearances on Food Network. Turnbridge Talbot will offer daily selections of pastries, breads, and cakes, as well as grab-and-go gourmet sandwiches and salads. The café will provide seating and free WiFi. Guests will also have a view of the cake decorating room where Konopelski will produce all of his couture wedding cakes.

“We’ve had customers asking for an Easton location for a long time,” said Konopelski. “We’re thrilled we can tell them that it’s finally happening!” Konopelski said the new location will not affect Turnbridge Point in Denton. “We will continue to offer all the same treats and events at our original location,” said Konopelski.

Merida said incorporating Turnbridge Talbot into the new building made a lot of sense for both businesses. “We love that our customers will be able to grab a coffee and a treat while they shop. And between interior design and cake design, there’s going to be so much creativity happening under one roof!”

Bountiful will continue to operate at its current locations in the Talbot Towne Shopping Center until the new building opens later this summer. Project updates and photos will be shared on Bountiful’s social media accounts and its website, JamieMerida.com.

About Bountiful: The Bountiful family of brands includes Bountiful Home, an award-winning retailer of furnishings, home accents, gifts, and one-of-a-kind antiques and handcrafted items; Bountiful Flooring, a retail store offering flooring, carpet, stone and tile, and Hunter Douglas window treatments; and Jamie Merida Interiors, the region’s premier interior design firm. Located in Easton, Maryland, Bountiful is known for its “traditional made modern” aesthetic. The Jamie Merida Interiors design studio serves clients throughout the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond. The studio’s work has been featured in leading publications, such as Southern Home, Romantic Homes, Home & Design, Chesapeake Views, The Cottage Journal, and House Beautiful. Owner Jamie Merida designs a furniture and home accents collection under the brand Jamie Merida Collection for Chelsea House. For more information, please visit jamiemerida.com.

Lorrie Twilley Celebrates 30 Years with Shore United Bank

Lorrie Twilley

Shore United Bank is honored to recognize Lorrie Twilley for 30 years of dedicated service.  Twilley began her career with the bank in 1989. She has held various leadership positions over the years as Operations Supervisor and Chief Banking Operations Manager.  In her current position as Vice President, Senior Deposit Operations Officer, Twilley is responsible for the overall operations of Shore United Bank Deposit Operations and Electronic Banking departments in Easton, MD.

Lorrie has completed coursework at Chesapeake College, American Bankers Association, Dale Carnegie and participates in MACHA and Federal Reserve Seminars.

“Lorrie’s extensive experience and comprehensive knowledge of deposit operations make her an invaluable member of our team and we are pleased to celebrate her tenure with the company,” said Donna Stevens, Chief Operating Officer at Shore United Bank.

Ms. Twilley has been active in the community for many years and enjoys giving back through volunteering.  She proudly participates in many fundraisers for Breast Cancer Awareness and is passionate about rescuing dogs and giving back to the local dog shelters.

Lorrie resides in Centreville, Maryland with her husband, Ralph.

For more information about Shore United Bank, visit ShoreUnitedBank.com.

Chesapeake Blooms Blossoms in Downtown Easton

If you have attended a wedding, fundraising event or other special occasion recently, chances are the distinctive and artistic floral arrangements were the work of Samantha Moore McCall.  I first became acquainted with this creative visionary when she set up a Pop-Up at Piazza Italian Market for Valentine’s Day last year. I was captivated how her use of unusual containers, the combination of flowers juxtaposed with vegetable plants, accents of twigs and other foliage and the mix of large and small blooms became a work of art in this gifted artisan’s hands. I also learned Samantha is committed to ecological practices and enjoys using seasonal blooms and branches in her creations.

Samantha’s award-winning first career was journalism but she always made time for her passion for gardening and plants. She became seriously interested in floral design and quickly realized this was a calling, not a career. She combined her love of the French language with a play on words and founded her first company, “Fleurish.”

Samantha recently created a partnership with Dede Hoopes of HoopsyDaisy Farm in Oxford. Like Samantha, Dede started her flower farm following her passion for horticulture and floral design after a long and successful career at JPMorgan Chase. Her micro-farm is a special place that is in tune with the season’s offerings and the environment. As Dede says goodbye to a bountiful peony harvest this spring, she is looking forward to the brightly colored flowers of summer, including old-fashioned annuals like zinnias, cosmos, and lisianthus. Each bloom is sustainably grown and the farm is a certified bay-wise garden.

Samantha had been a client of Dede’s for the last few years, purchasing fresh, locally grown stems for her designs and discovered Dede was also interested in floral design.  It was their shared passion for horticulture and floral design that fostered the partnership between the two and soon their new company blossomed to become Chesapeake Blooms.  They have set up shop at 22-B North Harrison St., in downtown Easton.

Both women share a common vision for the new business to honor eco-friendly and sustainable practices.  This vision carries through from the aesthetics of the store to the daily practices in the studio. They are very committed to an ethos of “seed to vase.”  The benefits of using local flowers include reducing and/or eliminating toxic chemicals, supporting local businesses, creating a product that has a significantly smaller carbon footprint than flowers purchased from around the world.  If harvested correctly, the result is some of the best quality and freshest stems that tend to last longer than their imported cousins.

Both Samantha and Dede are Master Gardeners, have studied at Longwood Gardens and are both active throughout the community including being members of local garden clubs. Samantha is a Member of the Independent Floral Designers Association and Dede is a member of the Association of Cut Flower Growers. Like other industry professionals, both regularly attend workshops and classes to stay inspired and to stay current with the latest trends.

Samantha and Dede are generous in sharing their passion for floral design and horticulture. When you stop in to visit, conversations and advice may ensue on topics such as flowers, floral design, horticulture and gardening issues. Stop by to pick up a “bouquet to go” or one of their planted creations that are perfect for centerpieces or host/hostess gifts. Consult with them about a special arrangement or event, or just browse through the shop’s growing collection of hand crafted containers, pots, accessories that frequently change. In addition to garden items, Chesapeake Blooms offers ongoing displays of art, jewelry, paintings, sculpture and other media by artists and artisans who share their design excellence and love of nature.

Chesapeake Blooms’ also offers Floral Subscriptions where hand-picked stems are delivered to your home or business. Many of the flowers are locally grown at HoopsyDaisy Farm in Oxford.  Subscription increments are flexible and are typically available in lengths of 3, 6, and 12 months with weekly, biweekly or monthly deliveries starting at a cost of $50 plus delivery and tax.

This talented duo also offers classes both in the learning studio and out in the flower fields. Students at all skill levels are welcome to deepen their understanding of flowers and floral design in an immersive environment. The goal is to spark each student’s imagination and increase their self-confidence to create beautiful arrangements to enhance their home or business.

Plan a visit soon to Chesapeake Blooms to see how Samantha and Dede’s shared passion for flowers has blossomed into Historic Downtown Easton’s new florist shop.

Chesapeake Blooms is located at 22-B N. Harrison Street in Easton. For more information, call 410-690-4812, email to info@chesapeakeblooms.com or visit their website www.chesapeakeblooms.com. Chesapeake Blooms is open Wednesday through Friday 10 am to 5 pm, Saturdays 10 am to 1:00 pm or by appointment.

Jennifer Martella has pursued her dual careers in architecture and real estate since she moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004. Her award winning work has ranged from revitalization projects to a collaboration with the Maya Lin Studio for the Children’s Defense Fund’s corporate retreat in her home state of Tennessee.

 

 

Easton Utilities Welcomes Summer Interns

Easton Utilities welcomed six interns to participate in the summer-long internship program, now in its tenth year. The internship program is a formal, comprehensive experience consisting of tours, learning workshops, projects and presentations. The tours and workshops educate the interns on the various services, infrastructure, and demands of each department at Easton Utilities.

The most recent group of interns includes:

• Julie Andrew, Business Administration Major from Salisbury University
• Octavia Doughty, Information Systems Major from Salisbury University
• Dylan Nepert, Mathematics Major from Washington College
• Will Peerman, Geography & Business Administration Major from Salisbury University
• Luca Tondin, Electrical Engineering Major from University of Maryland
• Sienna Wroten, Accounting & Information Systems Major from Salisbury University

Front row, L to R: Octavia Doughty, Julie Andrew, Sienna Wroten. Back row, L to R: Luca Tondin, Dylan Nepert, Will Peerman.

Upon completing this in-depth orientation, the interns are fully submerged in their respective departments for a true hands-on experience. In the first few weeks, they each select a specific project to focus on during the internship and are required to give a presentation at the culmination of the program. “Our goal is to provide an environment conducive to learning by assigning skill-based tasks and promoting leadership in a professional setting,” said Melissa Book, Human Resources Generalist for Easton Utilities.

The internship program, led by Book, has helped many students secure full-time positions with both Easton Utilities and elsewhere upon graduating.

For more information about the internship program at Easton Utilities, please call 410-822-6110.

Mid-Shore Commerce: Ten Years of Crow Farms

Judy Crow, from Crow Vineyard and Winery, remembers 10 years ago when The Spy came for lunch on the patio of the newly renovated Farmstay B&B. She remembers mentioning during the interview that the questions on the minds of the locals were, how were they going to get people there and why would they come? “For us,” says Judy, “it felt like people are going to want to come to be a part of the farm and stay at the farm. It just seemed like that wasn’t a challenge. And with the Internet the way it was back then, you’ve put yourself up on a few platforms, and people find you. We had no problems filling rooms.”

This innovation, foresight, and daring is the reason why The Spy is here 10 years later, talking about the expansion of Crow Vineyards and their influence on local development.  Judy perceives it this way: “I think when we see opportunities, we are fluid enough that we can change. And I think it’s also about the diversity of the management team: My husband Roy, myself and our son, Brandon. All three of us have a little different approach. But we have seen that each new idea can be proven to be successful. It doesn’t matter whose idea it is because we all work together at it.”

The B&B was just the beginning of their plans. Next, they learned how to grow grapes and used three and a half of their 365 acres to plant some vines. Then, Brandon thought they should be involved in wine-making. “So, we started to think about renovating an equipment shed and making some wine, says Judy.” While they were doing that, they also became intentional about growing their 10-15 Angus cattle herd and raising them as beef. Today, the 100-head herd, the 12½ acres of wine, the 5,000-case wine production, and a store at Queenstown Outlet are just some of the changes affecting the farm.

Clearly, Crow Vineyard’s success has also been an enormous boost for the entire area. Led by Judy, a collaborative and marketing relationship formed known as the Rivers to Canal wine trail. It encompasses three wineries located within 15 minutes of each other: Crow, Broken Spoke, and Chateau Bu-De and encourages visitors, tourists, and residents to tour all three locations during their trip. “When you have this Upper Eastern Shore region becoming a destination for people coming for the day or the weekend from areas such as New York, Philadelphia, New Jersey, or Baltimore, it just makes sense.”

The collaboration does not end there. Crow Vineyards is also committed to supporting the growth of the Eastern Shore wine industry by renting out their wine-making production to other new startup wineries. “Some people we make wine for would like to satisfy the sweeter pallets of a wine drinker,” says Judy. “So, there they have sweeter wine. Or they just want to make a few wines and have a good tasting room. Then we work with them to do that. As we’re growing, we’re bringing others along with us to really map this out as a tourist destination.” The effort to expand Maryland’s diverse wine growing regions is one Judy can speak about with authority. For the past two years, she’s served as the President of the Board of Directors of the Maryland Wineries Association.

When asked to reflect on how she measures their success, Judy responds: “I think it’s two things. One is we’ve been able to make really good wines, and I think that speaks to our commitment to, have something pleasing for everyone. The other thing is our focus on teamwork and good customer service.” The type of customer service that Judy talks about means that visitors who want to hear how the farm got started will get to hear it directly from the owners. It means visitors who express interest in helping to harvest the grapes get to do so by signing up and joining them in the fall. It means that anyone who wants to stomp grapes can do so at the Crow Fest on September 8th.

Speaking of the Crow Fest, Judy sees the annual event as an opportunity to expand their enthusiastic customer base and support those who have supported them throughout the years. The festival will feature live music, wine seminars, cooking demonstrations, exhibits from local vendors, and yes, grape stomping. “The grandchildren are the first to stomp the grapes, and then the public is welcome to join them. Monies raised are donated to the FFA (Future Farmers of America).”

As for what may be forthcoming, Judy knows they will continue to be open to new possibilities and will involve their other children if they are interested. “When I first met Roy (and even though he owns the farm), he said his philosophy has always been, that he’s the caretaker of the farm. There will be somebody else for the next round, whatever the next round is. When I married him, I bought into that concept that I’m a supporter and caretaker here. Everything I think we’ve done so far has invigorated, not only the farm but the local economy and it’s pretty exciting when you can do that.”

Whatever that future might bring, today a visitor can come to stay overnight, be part of a working farm, taste the wines, enjoy the breathtaking farm views, chat with the owners about how it all was different years ago, before the vineyards, before the festivals. Today they’ll leave with some great memories, some fresh beef and their favorite wines. Not bad for 10 years!

Val Cavalheri is a recent transplant to the Eastern Shore, having lived in Northern Virginia for the past 20 years. She’s been a writer, editor and professional photographer for various publications, including the Washington Post.

Silver Linings Gifts “Pearls of Promise” for Ninth Year

Silver Linings, a sterling silver and gemstone jewelry store located in St. Michaels and Easton, will give every female graduate of Talbot County high schools a strand of freshwater pearls. Each necklace, valued at $75, is finished with a sterling silver clasp.

Aida Leisure, owner of Silver Linings and DBS Fine Jewelers, developed the initiative in 2011 as a way to give back to the community. Now in its ninth year, the Pearls of Promise project has gifted a strand of pearls to over 1,400 young women, Leisure estimates.

Photos: (Left) Cassidy Stewart, presents a Pearls of Promise Necklace to her sister Savannah Stewart, a 2019 graduate of St. Michaels Middle High School. Cassidy was a St. Michales Middle High School graduate and Pearls of Promise recipient in 2014. (Right) Michaela Pinkney is a 2019 graduate of Easton High School. She is a member of NJROTC and hopes to become a dog handler in the United States Marine Corps.

“These young woman will now own and wear a classic piece of jewelry,” says Leisure. “It may be the predominant accessory she wears for professional interviews. It very well could be worn on her wedding day, and she may even pass the necklace on to a child in future years. Even if she never purchases or receives another piece of fine jewelry in her life, she will always have her Pearls of Promise.”

Pearls are symbolic for Talbot County graduates, most of whom were born and raised on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, an area famous for the Eastern oyster. Pearls are formed within the soft shell of certain oyster species.

The Pearls of Promise necklaces will be distributed prior to graduation, allowing students the opportunity to wear their pearls at commencement ceremonies.

About Silver Linings
Silver Linings is a sterling silver and gemstone jewelry store located on Maryland’s Eastern Shore in St. Michaels and Easton. Shop nautical and Chesapeake Bay themed jewelry, designer collections, and one-of-a-kind pieces in stores or online at www.silverliningsmd.com. For more information, call 410-745-0266.

Trade Whims: “Whatever the Wind Blows In” by Jenn Martella

I love the specialty shops and galleries along Goldsborough and Harrison Streets in Easton so I was greatly relieved when Alice Ryan and Susan Wilford bought Trade Whims after the previous owner retired. As ardent community supporters, Alice and Susan couldn’t imagine Easton without this unique store. Neither could I-Trade Whims has been my source for special occasion or host/hostess gifts. They have expanded the gift, linen and clothing boutique to offer selections for newborns through 4T sizes. They also have a Baby and Wedding Registry.

 

On the day I visited, new merchandise from recent trade shows were a visual delight throughout the store. The line “Le Cadeaux-Art for the Table” is aptly named for they are beautiful gift sets consisting of an oval platter encircled with painted vegetables, overlaid with a dishtowel and a spoon rest that were hard to resist. One platter had an orange theme with a ring of “maple glazed carrots” as a border with orange cursive writing on the spoon rest. The other set had a green theme with its ring of “smoky asparagus”. I love fish plates so I was delighted to find two designs with a fish motif from elegant to whimsical.

A new line of beautiful china with nautical, hunting and watermen motifs is perfect for the Eastern Shore. The elegant designs include an oval platter, plates, bowls, mugs and coasters. The compass rose is the recurring motif and is on the center of each item. The line is designed by Kent County artist Kate Ballantine.

The sought after “Scout” line of bags, totes, wallets, purses, etc. has a colorful and prominent display in the store. I was also enchanted by a line of “Beer Gear“-small bags of heavy duty plastic and wooden double beaded handles. The colorful designs ranged from a sunflower, crab, shell, etc. that would be the perfect gift for ladies of all ages.

I firmly believe a touch of whimsy is good for the soul and I couldn’t help smiling when I saw the grouping of voluptuous bathing beauties in various poses-sitting on a beach ball, poised for diving, snoozing on an Adirondack chair. Smaller ladies rested on the ledges of the shelves. These delightful designs were the work of Dr. Livingston and Co.

Above the entrance to the children’s area was a string of miniature felted mice dressed in clothes with different accessories. Alice noted the staff add them to their gift wrapped packages for a whimsical touch. I remarked they were also the perfect size for Christmas decorations. Above the mice was a row of colorful clocks waiting for a new home in a newborn’s nursery. These artisan clocks are the creations of an artist in Massachusetts and the colorful designs including a barn, train engine, fox and llama would delight children of all ages.

Another delightful find in the Children’s section were the “Bunnies by the Bay”. Books, rugs and toys would complete any nursery or playroom.

There is so much to see at Trade Whims and with art from local artists, stationery, candles, ceramics, clothing, jewelry, and so much more if you can’t find the perfect gift here it doesn’t exist-see you there!

Trade Whims is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and Sundays 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. The Trade Whims Too store in St. Michaels is located at 207 S. Talbot Street. For more information, please call 410-822-9610 or visit www.tradewhims.com.

Spy House of the Week is an ongoing series that selects a different home each week. The Spy’s Habitat editor Jennifer Martella makes these selections based exclusively on her experience as a architect.

Jennifer Martella has pursued her dual careers in architecture and real estate since she moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004. Her award winning work has ranged from revitalization projects to a collaboration with the Maya Lin Studio for the Children’s Defense Fund’s corporate retreat in her home state of Tennessee.

Long & Foster’s Linda Wilson Returns from Kenya

Linda Wilson, an agent in Long & Foster’s Easton’s office recently returned from Kenya, where she worked with orphans and underprivileged children.

Wilson founded Caring for Kids of Kenya (CFKK), a non-profit organization that sponsors children to go to school.  She travels to Kenya yearly to work with the children and the schools they attend.  Wilson also spends time in the orphanage where CFKK holds an annual Christmas party for children who would otherwise not have a Christmas celebration.

In addition to her work with CFKK, Wilson sells customized safaris.  While in the bush, she explored nearly 20 lodges, so she can make informed recommendations to her safari clients. “We were all amazed when Linda sent photos of lions right beside her vehicle,” said Martha Suss, manager of Long & Foster’s Easton office. Wilson commented that she has been to Kenya and Tanzania so often, that for her, it’s just another lion.

“Now that the spring real estate market is in full swing and simmering along quite nicely, it’s time to get back into real estate to help clients here on the shore,” said Wilson and Suss.

To learn more about Wilson’s work or safaris go to caringforkidsofkenya.org  or untamedexpeditions.com.

 

Rising Tide Partners Awarded State Funded County Campaign

Russell Granger

The Talbot County Health Department (TCHD) Prevention Office has awarded the development of its new and expansive media campaigns to Easton-based marketing communications firm Rising Tide Partners.

With specific focus on responsible alcohol and drug abuse issues, the TCHD projects are partially funded by the Maryland state Substance Abuse Block Grant (SABG) program. “We are honored to be bringing important life-affirming messaging to a community that has been so welcoming and supportive, both personally and professionally,” said Russell Granger, CEO of Rising Tide.

Granger moved his digital marketing agency to the Eastern Shore from Brooklyn several years ago when he inherited his father’s sales training business, then based in Easton. Using the methodology from his father’s critically acclaimed book, The 7 Triggers to Yes, the combined company now covers the full scope of customer communication through consulting, training, and creative services.

“It’s great for the area that media and technology firms like Granger’s are finding success here,” offered Dan Watson, who engaged Rising Tide to produce campaigns for the Bipartisan Coalition for New Council Leadership last year. “These kinds of businesses have a low carbon footprint, attract highcaliber talent, and contribute to both the cultural and commercial life of the region,” he said.

One of Rising Tide’s largest local accounts is Qlarant. Head of marketing for the Easton-based data science and technology firm, Pat Boos, echoed the enthusiasm for media communications proficiency so close to home. “We have clients and vendors nationwide,” she explained. “But to have the caliber of talent and experience Rising Tide offers right here in town is fantastic.” Rising Tide has produced print, digital, and video programming for Qlarant, as well as consulting on marketing and media strategy.

“Rising Tide did really wonderful work for Talbot County Empty Bowls,” added Naomi Hyman, the chair of the organization’s steering committee. “The TV spot they produced for airtime donated by Easton Utilities was even more than we’d hoped for. It was emotional. And it really helped us to get our message out.”

In addition to its growing regional client roster, which also includes Chesapeake Treatment Centers and the Chesapeake Film Festival, Rising Tide has both agency and training accounts nationwide, including top companies in pharmaceuticals, financial services, and technology.

Rising Tide specializes in customer strategy and brand, marketing, and media communications for commercial, political, and community campaigns. Design, production, and training to connect and engage people in more meaningful and profitable ways. Visit RisingTidePartners.com for more information.

Carolyn Fuss Thompson joins Heck & Company

Carolyn Fuss Thompson, an experienced non-profit professional, has been named an associate with Heck & Company, the fundraising consulting firm announced this week.

Fuss Thompson specializes in volunteer management, communications, marketing, program development and event planning and has worked with the Humane Society of Kent County, Washington College, and the American Red Cross of Central Maryland. She also performed two years of national service with Volunteer Maryland!, an AmeriCorps program, and served as a volunteer management consultant for YouthBuild U.S.A.

A graduate of Washington College, Carolyn holds a Masters degree in Nonprofit Management from Notre Dame University in Baltimore, where she earned the top Academic Achievement Award in 2006.  A recipient of the Governor’s Citation in 1999 and 2000 for her accomplishments in AmeriCorps, she also was honored with the George M. Elsey Award for youth programs she developed at the American Red Cross.

“Carolyn is an enormous asset and we are very fortunate to have recruited her,” Principal Barbara Heck said. “We are delighted to be able to offer her many talents to our clients.”

Heck & Company provides on-site fundraising expertise to non-profits on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and beyond. The firm helps organizations with campaign planning and implementation, major gift strategy, annual giving, stewardship, prospect research and management, grant writing, corporate and foundation relations, marketing and graphic design, special events, and social media. For more information contact: Barbara Heck at Heck & Company or visit their website.

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