Friday, May 29, 2015

Meet Your Merchant- St. Michaels Crab and Steak House

305 Mulberry Street St. Michaels, MD 21663
Phone number: 410-745-3737
Hours of operation:
Thursday-Tuesday (Closed Wed.)
11am- 10pm

Who are the owners?
Eric Rosen

How and why you started your business?  
The desire to own my own restaurant began when I became a chef in the Army. From there I went on to restaurant school in Philadelphia, PA where I am born and raised. After graduation, I relocated to the Eastern Shore of Maryland and began my career as a chef and general manager of a few establishments. When the opportunity came available to own my own restaurant I took a crazy chance and 22 years later I can proudly say my dream came true.

What do you sell/make/do? 
We're a crab & steak restaurant. The St. Michaels Crab and Steak House provides a full menu including entrees, sandwiches, salads, appetizers, raw and steam bar, desserts, etc. We have a full bar with many great drinks including our House Infused Bloody Mary.
Within the restaurant there are 4 dining areas that can seat approximately 300 people. Two of the dining areas are outside and two are inside. Additionally, we have an inside and outside bar, a favorite of locals.
Over the many years as owner, I have held rehearsal dinners, crab feasts, birthday parties, etc.
The restaurant is seasonal, so we generally open in April and close after the weekend of Christmas in St. Michaels, normally the second weekend in December.

Where is your business located and why did you choose your location?
St. Michaels, Maryland in what a few of us like to call the Heart of the Harbor. We sit directly in the St. Michaels Marina, overlooking the water and the boats coming and going.

What strategy do you use to draw people to your establishment?
Social media has done wonders for business. We have a great website and Facebook page that are updated almost daily with pictures of fun with customers and friends and photos of our good food and specialty drinks! Many businesses and hotels in town have copies of our menu. I can not forget our wonderful regulars!  They put the word out around town and other areas about us.  

What is your strategy for growth in the next year?
Continue to provide great meals and experiences to all customers that walk through our doors. Additionally, keep up with social media and changing times in the area of marketing online.

What is the best thing about running a business here?
All the great people I have come in contact with, and friends that I have made. It’s a great feeling to know that I have satisfied so many people from many different areas across the United States and other countries.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Meet Your Merchant - Calico Toys and Games

Name Of Business:  Calico Toys & Games
Location:  212 S. Talbot St
Phone number:410-745-6229
Hours of operation:
10:00am-5:30pm Sunday – Thursday
10:00am-6:00pm Friday & Saturday

Who are the owners?
Brad & Pamela Fout

How and why you started your business?
We purchased Calico Gallery in 2001 after Brad retired from Lucent Technologies. At that time, Calico was a large gallery of framed Chesapeake oriented art downstairs and a great toy store upstairs. It was also the highest quality Custom Framing shop in Talbot County. It was also our favorite business to visit when we were tourists.

So, we didn't actually start Calico Gallery, we just wanted to improve on one of the oldest retail traditions in St. Michaels.   After doubling sales after the first six years, we were hit by the recession. The “Framed Art” part of the business took a huge dive – folks stopped buying expensive pieces off the wall. So, instead of shutting down, we re-engineered the business to primarily all toys and children’s books.
Fun and Educational toys, books and games, too!

Though we do not advertise Custom Framing, we have kept almost all of our high level customers and actually added many through referrals.
The Framing Shop

What do you sell/make/do?
Calico Toys and Games offers fun, educational and retro toys, games and puzzles for Infant to 99!
We specialize in children's books, framed art and Celebrate St. Michaels posters from the St Michaels Art League. Brad makes all of the custom framed art.

The Fun Place in St. Michaels!
Where is your business located and why did you choose your location?
We're located at 212 S. Talbot Street, a brightly painted two story building, colored in fun primary colors, blue, red and yellow, in the center of the shopping district.  Look for our many toy displays out front!

What strategy do you use to draw people to your establishment?
We're always using local advertising, discount coupons and programs, throughout the year.  We also consider offering the best selection and customer experience possible for repeat customers and to help with word of mouth advertising. 

What is your strategy for growth in the next year?
Keep providing the largest selection of the best Toys, Games, Puzzles and children’s books under one roof on the Eastern Shore. Push shopping local via coupon mailers, and local discounts.
Games Galore!
What is the best thing about running a business here?
It is a beautiful place where people love to visit, so for the most part your customers are happy and excited to be here. It is especially nice when your business becomes a part of the customer’s tradition.
Calico Toys and Games...educational fun, like this puppet show.