Friday, February 27, 2015

Meet Your Merchant - Antiques on Talbot

Name Of Business: Antiques on Talbot
Location:  211 N. Talbot Street, St Michaels, MD 21663
Phone number: 410-745-5208
Hours of operation:
April- Dec 10am-5pm daily
Jan-Mar Sun/Mon/Thurs 10am-4pm,
Fri/Sat 10am-5pm (closed Tues/Wed)

Who are the owners?   
Carol Krasnowiecki, Mary Harrison, Carol Burke- partners/LLC
Step inside Antiques on Talbot
for treasures waiting
How and why you started your business? 
Each of us had been in the business prior to our current venture, which we began in May 2008. Prior to this opening, we were most recently together in another nearby location in town and also individually in other locations both in and out of St Michaels. Mary Harrison and her late husband had also built a reputation and following by participating in local antique shows.

What do you sell/make/do?   The three partners are joined by five other antiques dealers offering a variety of antiques and collectibles, ranging from oyster plates/cans, decoys, nautical, old tools, sterling silver, china, glassware, artwork, jewelry, lighting, furniture, books, quilts, linens, rugs and other unique items of interest. We like to say that we have everything from “Chippendale to Cannon Balls!”
Antiques on Talbot, open year round
Where is your business located and why did you choose your location?  
We are located on Talbot Street at the far end of town, on the same side as and just before the entrance to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. We are known for having a blue canoe out front around which we decorate seasonally. We actually have people taking pictures in front of our canoe and have won a prize in the annual Waterfowl Festival outdoor decoration contest two years running. We chose our location because the size and interior configuration of the space met our needs and the exterior provided parking for our customers. This encourages local full and part-time residents to drop by and become regular customers in addition to our ever changing tourist population.
New finds every week at
Antiques on Talbot
 What strategy do you use to draw people to your establishment?   In addition to being members of the St Michael’s Business Association and appearing in the annual tourist guide, we advertise in local publications, distribute our rack cards widely and have participated in developing a flyer/map in conjunction with other antique shops on the Eastern Shore. We also participate in donations, contests and try to conduct business so as to establish our reputation for honesty, integrity and above and beyond service.
What is your strategies for growth in the next year?  Given that the number of antique shops in historic St Michaels has diminished greatly, we are looking at how the antique business overall has evolved and determining/reassessing what we need to do/supply to meet the needs/desires of our consumers. Just as in fashion and food and decorating, there are trends of popularity of antiques/collectible items as well and we strive to keep current and knowledgeable. We are always interested in meeting with other quality dealers who are like minded and might like to join us.
What is the best thing about running a business here?   Definitely, the people who walk through our doors and our returning customers. Visitors to St Michaels come from all areas of the globe and it is fascinating to learn how they discovered St Michaels, if they are enjoying their time in town and what they might collect or what catches their eye. The town itself provides a fantastic get away and the restaurants, B & Bs and inns all help to enhance the overall experience.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Meet Your Merchant - St Michaels Winery

Name Of Business: St. Michaels Winery
Location:  609 S. Talbot Street St. Michaels, MD 21663
Facebook:  St Michaels Winery
Phone number:  410-745-0808
Hours of operation:

 SPRING:   Monday – Saturday 11 am - 6 pm 
                   Sunday 11 am – 4 pm
SUMMER: Monday – Thursday 11 am - 6 pm 
                  Friday & Saturday 11 am – 7 pm
                  Sunday 11 am – 4 pm
FALL:        Monday – Thursday 11 am - 5 pm 
                  Friday & Saturday 11 am – 6 pm
                  Sunday 11 am – 4 pm
WINTER:   Monday – Saturday 11 am - 5 pm 
                  Sunday 11 am – 4 pm

Who are the owners?
Mark Emon and Lori Cuthbert

How and why you started your business?  
Mark and Lori started the winery when they moved to town in 2005 from the DC Metro area.  Mark was a freelance film editor and had no wine making experience.  But a love of wine and all things local created the building blocks for St. Michaels Winery.

Award winning wines
and special events
What do you sell/make/do?
We make and sell award winning Maryland wines.
St Michaels Winery bottling day

Where is your business located and why did you choose your location?
The tasting room is now located in the Old Sewing Factory Building on Talbot Street.  We are classified as an “urban winery” – ironic in the small town of St.Michaels, we know.  Because the tasting room in located within walking distance of all of the restaurants, shops, and inns/B&Bs, we are able to take advantage of the phenomenal tourist season.

Favorite new
St Michaels Winery
shirts...drink local.
What strategy do you use to draw people to your establishment?
We are extremely fortunate because wineries in general, are popular destinations right now.  The web and social media play a big part in connecting directly with our customers.

What are your strategies for growth in the next year?
We are exceedingly happy with our growth in 2014, and are grateful that trend has continued into 2015.   We are also expanding into a new, related business, Filter Fast, that will service wineries along the east coast. 

St Michaels Winery can be found at many
Maryland wine festivals year round
What is the best thing about running a business here?

St.Michaels is the best of both worlds.  It is a small town in an ideal area that is perfect for raising your family.  It is also a very popular tourist destination that allows local businesses to flourish.

Meet Your Merchant - Pemberton Pharmacy

Name Of Business:
Pemberton Pharmacy & Gift St Michaels
204 S Talbot St, St Michael, MD 21663
Phone number: 410-745-8382
Hours of operation: Winter M-F 9-6, Sat 9-5
Summer M-F 9-7 Sat 9-7 Sun 10-6

Pemberton Pharmacy ribbon cutting 2014
 Who are the owners?  I’m the owner, Craig Schury, RPh but it’s really my entire work family that has helped made these stores special. St. Michaels very own Kim Holden Johnson (she grew up here) and Angie Gore do most of the gift buying. My son Willhelps run the store in the summer.  Courtney Hope, our pharmacy technician knows this place all too well, she spent much of her youth across the street at her father’s and grandfather’s shop, Hopes Hardware.

How and why you started your business?   I started my business 7 years ago in Salisbury by purchasing land and building my first store. Prior to that I had been a pharmacist for 20 years with Thrift Drug and Eckerd & I felt it was time to branch out on my own. I was confident I could do it better, give great service , be community minded and make a difference local at the local level. I’ve always loved St. Michaels, and when I found out the medicine shop was closing, I just knew it was the right opportunity! We completely renovated the interior making it larger and easier to shop. We kept a few very important things to the shop and community; the painting across the front of the store, and the side door that the locals use.  Besides loving everything about St. Michaels, we wanted to fill the need in the community for a pharmacy.  We live in the 21st century, people shouldn’t have to travel to another town to get a prescription filled. Now there really is no need to leave this little slice of heaven. 

Pemberton Pharmacy wide array of vitamins
What do you sell/make/do?   First and foremost, we are a full service pharmacy - meaning we can fill any prescription or OTC request. We also stock and have on the floor a full assortment of OTC medications and vitamins. We accept all insurances, offer many types of immunizations, MTM (medication therapy management) counseling, and medication simplification packaging.  We offer free delivery, curbside pickup, and fast, easy filling of all your prescriptions including transfers from other pharmacies. It's all about making it easy for our customers by making it easy to fill, pickup and take medication. Our pharmacists, myself, Matt Balish and Abby Horseman are always available for questions and consultations.

Housewares and Rise Up Coffee 
Our gift store is beautifully laid out with a wonderful assortment of gifts for all occasions. We do on site monogramming for items purchased in the store or elsewhere. Our unique sundries include apparel, accessories, beach goods, skincare, candles, pet speciality items, baby and mens gifts. There is something for everyone! We also have a wide selection of greeting cards, giftwrap & stationary, and provide free gift wrapping on in store purchases.

We just started offering the full line of Bare Minerals, the most renowned mineral make up and skincare line. There is always someone in the store who has been professional train by Bare Minerals to assist with color matching, application, and choosing the best product. In addition, we also offer other cosmetics lines, implements, skin care and nail polish. We have everything to help you look your best. 
Pemberton Pharmacy now carries the full line of Bare Minerals

Where is your business located and why did you chose your location?   We are in the heart of St Michaels at 204 S Talbot St right next to the municipal parking lot. We chose the location because of ease of access, being in the middle of town and the free municipal parking. We also liked the building, the ability to open up the space to accommodate the pharmacy, OTC and gift area into one big beautiful space. Plus, the landlord, Don Young was willing to spruce up the exterior with a coat of paint, new windows and a general cleanup of the outside of the building.

What strategies do you use to draw people to your establishment?    We are currently using many methods of advertising and promotion. The best promotion is word of mouth, taking care of your current customers and being active in the community. We love to promote the store in community events with sponsorship, advertisements and merchandise for silent auctions. We have an active Facebook page ( to introduce new merchandise, go over specials, promote events and give information about the store, health and the pharmacy. We advertise occasionally in the Star Democrat, Attraction Magazine and What Up Eastern Shore.
Pemberton Pharmacy St. Michaels location
celebrated their Grand Opening Oct 2014

What is your strategies for growth in the next year?   Our plan is to continue to improve the store with new and exciting merchandise, expanded product lines, even better service and continuing to partner with the community. We are always looking for new products and opportunities to expand the business, like the addition of Bare Minerals. We are going to get the word out about our delivery program and curbside pickup, especially in the busy tourist season.

What is the best thing about running a business here?    The community here is wonderful. It's very family oriented and everyone is friendly and inviting. There are so many community events and the town really puts a lot of effort into supporting everyone in the town including the local businesses. I feel very fortunate to be a part of such a close knit, family oriented community.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Meet Your Merchant - Two Swan Inn and Cottages

201-208 Carpenter Street
St. Michaels, MD  21663

Phone:  410-745-2929
Cell:  443-786-0513

Cathy Stinchcomb and Tad du Pont
during the 2014 Christmas in St. Michaels Parade
Who are the owners?   Tad du Pont, Bryon Reilly and Cathy Stinchcomb
How and why you started your business?  All of us have worked in St. Michaels most of our lives.  Tad and Bryon at Higgins Yacht Yard  and Cathy in Retail on Talbot Street until Cathy joined forces at Higgins and Two Swan.  When properties presented themselves we decided to buy, restore and give them a purpose.  Since St. Michaels’ main industry is TOURISM, we decided it was a perfect marriage.  And so it goes…

What do you sell/make/do?  We own the Two Swan Inn & Cottages, Sailshed, Sunset, Robert’s and Cygnet Cottages.  These cottages are short-term Vacation Cottage Rentals.  Each facility is unique.  They are located on Carpenter Street (201-208).  We can house up to 20 guests.  Several of our facilities are located on the harbor front, two short blocks to town center.  They are adjacent to Higgins Yacht Yard (in the event you may be interested in a transient slip).  Guests park their cars and walk everywhere.  ALL of our cottage guests have access to our Two Swan lawn overlooking the harbor front.  Our guests comment they keep returning because they enjoy the quaintness of our cottages as well as the lovely waterfront  lawn.  They find it extremely relaxing.  Our facilities are within walking distance to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, St. Michaels Museum at St. Mary’s Square, Yachting Tours, Bicycle and Kayak Rentals, Eastern Shore Brewery, Lyon Distillery, Winery, the Nature Trail and fabulous Retail Shoppes and Restaurants.
Scenic views of the St. Michaels harbor await you at the Two Swan Inn and Cottages
Where is your business located and why did you choose your location?   The Two Swan Inn and Cottages is located at 208 Carpenter Street.  Tad purchased the Two Swan several years after he purchased Higgins Yacht Yard.  It was located adjacent to  HYY.  Some years later other properties presented themselves and the partners decided it would be a good idea to expand.  The little cottages were already located on Carpenter Street and simply needed some TLC and a purpose.
Charming cottages within walking distance
of town center and views of the St. Michaels Harbor
What strategy do you use to draw people to your establishment?   Our advertising is done through the SMBA visitor’s guide, our website and  brochures.  Most of our business is word of mouth (and Cathy's).   We feel customer service is a very important part of our strategy.
What is your strategies for growth in the next year?   We will offer better incentives for weekly business.

What is the best thing about running a business here?
Imagine relaxing on your
cottage porch enjoying the waterfront views 
Being in business for yourself is very rewarding, provided you don’t mind working weekends.  In the Tourism Business it’s a must!  We enjoy working  on the waterfront and meeting people (whether it be on the docks or at the Inn or Cottages).  We also enjoy the challenge of maintaining our historic character.  Over the years we have met many people and have made some FABULOUS friends.  Many continue to come back year after year.  I believe that speaks for itself.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Meet Your Merchant - Ava's Pizzeria and Wine Bar

Name Of Business: Ava’s Pizzeria and Wine Bar
Location: 409 S. Talbot Street, St. Michaels, MD
Phone number: (410) 745-3081
Hours of operation: Open daily at 11:30

Who are the owners? Chris Agharabi
How and why you started your business?
Chris came to St Michaels from Montgomery County, MD.  Chris attended L'Academie de Cuisine’s professional school in Gaithersburg.

There was an empty building on Talbot Street that fit the bill for a main street pizza place. After extensive renovations that continue to this day, he contacted a fellow chef and classmate to bring on board to help run the kitchen. Ava’s Pizzeria & Wine Bar opened it’s doors in September, 2008.

What do you sell/make/do?  
Ava’s is best known for the thin crust pizza, baked in a wood-burning oven and made with the freshest ingredients available. In addition to pizza, we serve salads, signature sandwiches, our almost famous meatballs, local seafood and pastas and desserts. You will also note a nod to the cuisine of New Orleans, with items like our wasabi oyster po’boy, BBQ shrimp and eastern shore “beignets”. We make everything we possibly can on premise - our dough, salad dressings, desserts, tomato gravy and even our fresh mozzarella.

Where is your business located and why did you chose your location?
We are right on the main street in town, but a couple of blocks up from the central part of St Michaels where most of the shops and restaurants are located. The building was converted from an old goose picking house quite a few years ago. 
When Chris purchased the property, there was already a second building out back, which was converted to a prep kitchen, and room for a small parking area. A small addition was made to the back of the building to make room for the wood-burning pizza oven. Guests can watch our pizza guys in action from the dining room.

What strategies do you use to draw people to your establishment?
We strive to put out a consistently delicious product and like to provide our guests with friendly, prompt and knowledgeable service. We believe that's what keeps people coming back. We have been quite fortunate with word of mouth in the community, as well as travel websites such as Trip Advisor.
Ava’s also employs 40 people year round, and many of our staff have been at Ava’s for a long time.  One has even been here since day one. Many customers like coming back and seeing the same friendly faces.

What is your strategies for growth in the next year?  
We just enclosed our patio with a structure that keeps the rain and cold out during inclement weather, but can be converted back to an open space when the weather is nice. This provides guests with more seating through the winter, which helps reduce the number of people waiting and the wait times, especially on busy holiday weekends.
We also see growth in wedding and corporate event business.  St. Michaels is already a great wedding destination. With more room for event space at both Ava’s and Theo’s Steak House, we are hoping to partner with other businesses to provide packages  for rehearsal dinners, ladies weekends, corporate retreats and family gatherings.

What is the best thing about running a business here? 
Our customers. We have a great local clientele.  St. Michaels residents and businesses have been very supportive of our business from day one, THANK YOU!  
In addition to all sorts of visitors from all over the world, some guests come around the same time every year on their annual or semi-annual trips to the shore. Some of our customers have also reported that they have taken a day trip to St Michaels from the western shore just to come to Ava’s.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Meet Your Merchant- DBS Jewelers

Aida Leisure,
Owner DBS Jewelry and Silver Linings
Business: DBS Jewelers 

Location: 111 S Talbot Street, St. Michaels


Facebook: DBS Jewelers

Phone number: 410-745-2626

Hours: Open 10am – 5pm everyday except Wednesday.
 (Open everyday beginning in April.)

Owner: Aida Leisure

How and why did you start your business? I’ve been involved in the jewelry industry for 40 years. I've always enjoyed promoting and supporting artisans and jewelry designers, so opening my own fine jewelry store made sense. DBS Jewelers is now almost 30 years old.

Fine jewelry in the heart of St. Michaels
What do you sell/make/do? DBS sells fine jewelry made by national and international designers. We also provide repair services in-house, and custom fabricate pieces to meet client specifications.

Where is your business located and why did you choose your location? DBS is located in the heart of St. Michaels, next door to Carpenter Street Saloon and across the street from Acme Market.

I chose St. Michaels as the home of DBS for several reasons – from the town’s historic charm and natural beauty, to the close knit community and its proximity to urban areas.

In-House fine jewelry repair
What strategies do you use to draw people to your establishment? Excellent customer service is our highest priority. Fine jewelry can be intimidating. My staff and I make an effort to ensure customers of DBS feel comfortable and at ease. If they leave my store feeling positive about their experience, they will be back… and often they’ll bring a friend or family member.

I also believe that involvement in community activities and events is an important aspect of running a business, especially in a small town. Giving back to the people who support my businesses is very much a priority.

What are your strategies for growth in the next year? Continuing to grow DBS’ online presence will be one of our major focuses for the next year and beyond.

What is the best thing about running a business here? St. Michaels draws a diverse group of people, visitors and residents alike, from all parts of the world. You never know who will walk through the door, and what incredible stories they have to share.