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.

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.

 

 

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.

Lamotte Company Honored By World Trade Center Institute

At its 23rd Maryland International Business Leadership Awards reception, the World Trade Center Institute (WTCI), Governor Larry Hogan, and the Maryland Department of Commerce joined hundreds of business leaders from around the state to acknowledge and celebrate the international reach and community involvement of Maryland’s top global companies. https://www.wtci.org/leadershipawards/

At this year’s reception, LaMotte Company was recognized by WTCI and the Maryland Dept. of Commerce with a 2019 Maryland International Business Award.

“It was a very special evening and such an honor to be selected as one of the 7 Maryland companies, out of 70 nominated this year. To be standing on stage accepting the award from Governor Larry Hogan—with other winning companies like Under Armour and Dap—elevated my sense of pride for all that everyone at LaMotte Company does every day to make our company a success in so many ways.” —David LaMotte, President, LaMotte Company

Each year, the Maryland International Business Leadership Awards celebrate the state’s global success through the recognition of a handful of recipients who exemplify international business growth, growth in the State of Maryland through workforce development and/or revenue growth, and support efforts to give back to the local community.

The evening began with a chance to meet, network and learn from inspirational Maryland business leaders, followed by opening remarks from the World Trade Center Institute CEO and a seated dinner during which guests learned more about LaMotte Company and the other award winners that have led their firms to success, as well as show support for Maryland’s increasing global footprint. During the event, Gov. Hogan presented the 2019 Governor’s Award to Arne Sorenson, president & CEO of Marriott International, Inc.

“This year’s award recipients represent the state on a global level, and we couldn’t be prouder,” said WTCI CEO Deborah Kielty.

This year’s event took place on April 11, 2019 at the American Visionary Art Museum. The featured speaker was Samuel Hoi, president of the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). Sponsors of the event included T. Rowe Price, CallisonRTKL, Jhpiego, and Maryland Institute College of Art.

Pretty Cool: Mid-Shore’s David LaMotte to Receive Maryland International Business Leadership Award

LaMotte Chemical’s CEO, David LaMotte, has received the prestigious Maryland International Business Leadership Award for 2019 in Baltimore next week. The award is sponsored by World Trade Center Institute.

In receiving the award, which was presented by Governor Larry Hogan, LaMotte was acknowledged for LaMotte Chemical’s  mission, international reach, and community involvement as one of Maryland’s top global companies.

For more information on the awards and the awards program please go here.

After the First Decade: Piazza’s Emily Chandler Looks Back and Forward

As the Spy celebrates its own tenth year of operation, it dawned on us that there were quite a number of businesses on the Mid-Shore that started at the same time the Spy began publishing.  Ranging from bakeries to contractors, dozens of small businesses opened their doors amid a significant economic recession, relying on instinct and self-confidence that their services would be sought after, no matter the current business climate.

With that in mind, the Spy has decided to interview many of these brave entrepreneurs over the next year for them to reflect on their experiences.

We start with Emily Chandler, the owner of the now extremely popular Piazza Italian Market, in Easton.

This video is approximately four minutes in length. For more information about Piazza please go here.

 

Commerce: Rise Partners Purchase Easton Marketplace

Rise Partners, an investment group focused on shopping center acquisitions, redevelopments and ground-up development, today announced its purchase of Easton Marketplace, a 126,650 square foot shopping center located in Easton, Maryland. This is Rise Partners second acquisition and is a solid fit to its strategy of buying premium location redevelopment opportunities.

“Easton Marketplace provided us with an excellent chance to enter a market with high barriers to entry, that has the added benefit of serving a large second home market, with additional drive-through traffic from the Washington D.C. metro en route to the Atlantic beaches,” said Greg Wilson, a Rise partner. “We are excited about working with retailers and the city of Easton to take this center to the next level.”

A redevelopment beginning this fall will subdivide a now-vacant 33,000 square foot former JCPenney building to create two new tenant spaces, which will be occupied by well-known national retailers. The project will complement the existing tenants, which include Weis Markets and shadow anchors Lowes and Kohls.

“Easton is such a beautiful and historic community with easy access to Washington DC and Baltimore. We are all excited to spend time there working to enhance Easton Marketplaces’ longstanding position within the market,” said Rise partner Geoff Smith. “

Andy Stape and Vito Lupo, of KLNB Retail Investment Sales Group, represented the seller.

The Power of Being Agile: Qlarant Embraces the Agile Manifesto

There’s a good chance that most people, even those running major businesses on the Mid-Shore, have never heard of the Agile Manifesto nor its twelve principles of project management but there is an equally good chance they will soon.

This project planning strategy, which was created in 1983 by software developers in a remote ski lodge over a long weekend, has been the go-to system for complex product development but rarely used beyond its intended silo. In most cases, upper management was pleased to get their products to market but didn’t pay too much attention to what system was used to create those products.

But in the last decade, all of that has changed dramatically. Hundreds of companies have now adopted this unique methodology and applied it to other functions like marketing, business administration, human resources, employee education, and countless other areas of a business.

The Agile approach has become so effective that companies are not only using it but in some cases will not even be able to bid on projects unless they are officially certified as an Agile-based business.

Easton-based Qlarant had been one of those companies who adopted the Agile principles early on in the development of their sophisticated software to uncover health insurance fraud and waste. So impressed with those results, management took the Agile model and has now used it in almost every part of the company’s mission. But more recently, the company took it to another level; they applied for and received approval to train and implement these techniques with their clients.

The reason is quite simple; the Agile method works exceptionally well. While a few large corporations have had some trouble in developing the cultural shift needed to successfully deploy the twelve principles, the vast majority of companies using Agile have shown remarkable success.

In fact, the enthusiasm for this simple approach has been so great that advocates demand that nonprofit organizations and schools to integrate its use while others have promoted its use to manage their family life

Needless to say, the Spy was intrigued by this new development and what it may mean for Qlarant  to be one of the first in the country to offer this as an important part of their tool chest. We sat down with Qlarant’s Ellen Evans and Andrew Welsh a few weeks ago to learn more. 

This video is approximately five minutes in length. For more information about Qlarant please go here.

Bartlett, Griffin & Vermilye Joins Fleetwood Insurance

Pictured from left to right: Scott Bramble, Bill Griffin, Josh Johnson and Creg Fleetwood

Bartlett, Griffin & Vermilye, one of Talbot County’s oldest and best-established insurance agencies, has joined forces with Fleetwood Insurance Group, another prominent Eastern Shore agency based in Chestertown.

Effective January 2, 2019, the two Mid-Shore insurance agencies are uniting their resources to offer expanded services along with added convenience. According to Creg Fleetwood, president of Fleetwood Insurance Group, customers of both agencies will benefit from this in several important ways.

“This partnership of equals will allow us to offer our customers expanded services from more insurance carriers, along with accessibility to industry leaders,” Fleetwood states. “We’re also planning to introduce improved technology, including mobile apps and online account access.”

By acquiring BG&V, Fleetwood Insurance gains a desired presence in the Talbot market. Established in 1967, over the past half-century Bartlett Griffin & Vermilye has built a strong reputation for outstanding customer service and support. Fleetwood Insurance Group (formerly known as FAM&M), has a heritage of providing insurance services to the Eastern Shore region since 1946, going back more than 70 years. According to Fleetwood, those well-established relationships will continue, with services being provided by the same friendly and professional team members at both entities many of whom have 25 years or more of insurance industry experience in supporting their local customers.

Bill Griffin of Bartlett, Griffin & Vermilye commented, “Bartlett, Griffin & Vermilye will continue to provide the level of service our clients are accustomed to and remain locally owned and operated”.

In addition, as part of the new partnership, Spencer McAllister, Fleetwood’s agent in Easton, will join the staff at the Bartlett, Griffin & Vermilye office.

For more information about the new partnership and the expanded services being offered by Bartlett, Griffin & Vermilye, please call 410-822-2400.

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