Open for Business: Maryland Bakes Co-Op Opens Shared Kitchen Space

April 24, 2017 / / News

By Allen Etzler, Frederick News Post
Monday, April 24, 2017

Terri Rowe founded Maryland Bakes, a shared kitchen and co-op space in downtown Frederick. The space opened in February. Rowe spoke to The News-Post about the new business.

58fd0b4db3276.imageCan you explain what Maryland Bakes is and who will or can operate out of the shared space?

Maryland Bakes is a Health Department-approved kitchen for food artists to produce their products. We offer dry and cold storage, as well as the use of our consultation and tasting room, with retail opportunities that will include a physical location to meet with clients and pick up orders.

The starting members of Maryland Bakes are

  • Aunt B’s Angel Cookies
  • Palmtree Catering
  • Diane’s Cupcakery
  • Perfect Little Bites

We are looking for other food artists, such as bread makers, cake bakers, food truck vendors, farmer’s market vendors and anyone who would like to grow their food business.

Why did you see this as a need in Frederick, and how did you come up with the idea?

I have known that there was a need for a co-op/shared kitchen for many years and in speaking with other independent food artists.

In the past, I have rented space at other facilities. There were limitations for availability and then came the grueling process of schlepping supplies in, time to set up and losing precious production time. And then after a few short hours of baking and cleaning, came the exhausting effort to pack up — that was 10 years ago.

Sure, I could produce my product at home due to “cottage food” laws, but it would take over my entire home and using just my home oven, I was limited to the number of cookies I was able to produce. I knew there had to be a better way.

What do you hope Maryland Bakes brings to the community?

The food scene in Frederick is exploding, with some amazing and creative food artists and the ability to source fresh, local ingredients.

I hope that Maryland Bakes will be an integral part of this diverse local food industry. We plan to source fresh ingredients from local farms, dairies, distilleries and breweries, providing high-quality ingredients in the products produced by our members.

We also hope to create a sense of community for our members by showcasing products though social media outlets such as Facebook and on our website. We want to encourage growth and support our members though shared ideas and cross-promoting each other’s products.

Being part of the Fredrick Community means caring about your neighbor and giving back, and we plan to do just that. At each of our monthly “Holiday Shops,” a member will be able to showcase a local nonprofit charity, provide information and donate a portion of sales to that charity.

In honor of Mother’s Day, Aunt B’s Angel Cookies will showcase Heartly House and Faith House. Both are local nonprofits that support women and children in Frederick County.

How would an interested party sign up to use the co-op kitchen?

Contact me for an application to get the ball rolling. You will need to provide a sample of your product and submit a copy of your license from the State of Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, along with a proof of product liability insurance. For those who do not have a license yet, the process is not as daunting as you may think. I’m here to walk you through the process, if needed.

What does your facility offer that someone wouldn’t get by using their own kitchen?

Legality, space and the ability to produce in larger quantities, a place to meet with clients for consultations and tastings, presentations and retail opportunities.

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Golden Mile Alliance’s Easter Celebration Puts Hop in Children’s Step

April 10, 2017 / / News

By Allen Etzler, Frederick News Post
Monday, April 10, 2017

Lisa Howard’s search for an Easter egg hunt led her to Hillcrest Elementary School.

Howard, her husband, Anthony, and her children — Jody, Riley, Lily and Aslan — joined more than 40 kids gathered on Sunday in the cafeteria at Hillcrest Elementary School in Frederick to take part in an early Easter celebration put on by the Golden Mile Alliance.

Youths participated in egg races, an egg toss, face painting, coloring and hula-hoop contests. Last year’s event featured an Easter egg hunt, but the Golden Mile Alliance decided to focus this year’s event on other Easter-based activities, said Deb Reynolds, president of the organization.

The Howards attended the event last year, and the children had such a good time that they chose to go again, she said.

“They have such a blast,” Lisa Howard said. “It’s such a great time for the kids, and they all get along well, so that’s why we came back.”

The event allowed children to take part in a community celebration a week before the family celebration takes place on Easter Sunday.

“Next week is going to be really busy for everyone, so it would have been hard to have it next Sunday, or even next Saturday,” Reynolds said.

Alderman Josh Bokee dressed as the Easter bunny for the event — posing for photos with youths and taking part in a dance competition and the egg race.

“He did such a great job,” Reynolds said. “Last year he said he wanted to do it for us, but we had already hired someone. So we had him do it this year, and it has gone really well.”

Riley Howard said his favorite part of the event was getting his face painted. He had the artist paint half of his face as a rabbit and the other half as a fox.

His brother Jody said he most enjoyed the lollipop tree. Children could choose a lollipop from a plastic tree and find a prize along with each.

Jody’s selection won him an Easter basket that included a flying disc, a yo-yo, a paddle ball and more activities for him to play at home.

“It was my favorite because I got to win all of this stuff,” Jody said. “Plus you get a lollipop.”

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Ball Starting to Roll for Planned Park at Hargett Farm in Frederick

April 10, 2017 / / News

By Mallory Panuska, Frederick News Post
Saturday, April 1, 2017

City officials’ vision for the Westside Regional Park at Hargett Farm seems to finally be coming together.

The proposed park is slated for a large piece of vacant, city-owned property along Butterfly Lane known as Hargett Farm. City leaders in 2009 paid $18 million for the land, which has since accrued roughly $1.5 million in annual debt service with little to no progress toward development.

Until now.

It may not seem like much, but the mayor has included $2 million toward infrastructure, design and construction funds in his fiscal 2018 budget. And a group of community members are appointed and ready to tackle fundraising and other efforts to move the project forward.

Mayor Randy McClement said Wednesday the investment would be the biggest one the city has proposed for development costs since the city bought the land.

The first meeting of the Westside Regional Park Task Force has also been set for 7 p.m. April 19 at the city’s Municipal Annex. Officials said the public is encouraged to attend and offer comment.

The task force will be made up of 14 people representing education, regional recreation, economic development, user groups, and neighborhood/other groups.

Members appointed thus far are:

  • Paul Lebo — Frederick County Public Schools
  • Chuck Mann — higher education
  • Bob Hicks — Frederick County Parks & Recreation
  • Joe Baldi — City Parks & Recreation Commission member
  • Deb Reynolds — Golden Mile Alliance
  • TBD — Chamber of Commerce
  • Melissa Muntz — tourism
  • Rob Fox — aquatics
  • Bo Eskay — soccer
  • Shauna Tunder — Neighborhood Advisory Council 5
  • Lance English — Neighborhood Advisory Council 8
  • Frank Strakonsky — resident
  • Ed Hinde — resident
  • Alderman Michael O’Connor — aldermanic liaison

City-hired consultants prepared a $98.5 million plan for the park and presented the intricate details to aldermen in August. The aldermen balked at the price and scope, which specifically called for a sports complex with multi-use fields and a stadium, a water park, an indoor swimming center, festival grounds and associated park facilities, among other developments. The plan was sent back to city staff members for tweaking and a new “bubble plan,” was presented and approved in January. The new plan identifies sections, or bubbles, and lists facilities, amenities and infrastructure that could go in each one.

Members of the task force are tasked with guiding development of the park as funding becomes available and soliciting private donors to help pay the cost. The project is slated to be funded through a public-private partnership.

Details about the plan are available on the city’s website at:

City snow app receives statewide award

Frederick may have only had one major snow storm this winter, but that did not stop the city from getting statewide recognition for a newly initiated app designed to track snow removal efforts.

The City of Frederick Snow Removal Application won first place in the professional category at the Towson University GIS Conference on March 20. Application designer Bill Adkins demonstrated the app during the conference and accepted the first-place award.

Mayor Randy McClement recognized staff members from the Geographic Information Systems and Public Works departments, who were responsible for developing the app, Wednesday during a workshop with the Board of Aldermen.

The application, which city officials launched March 13 and 14 during a storm that dumped between 6 and 8 inches of snow across the city, provides citizens and staff the ability to track snow removal progress after a winter weather event.

The app displays a map of all the streets in the city and updates which ones are cleared as crews plow them. Similar to an online utility map, it shows information such as road conditions, road classifications and snow removal regions. The road conditions have colors designating they are unplowed, treated, started or cleared and the colors change as crews tend to them.

Staff members spent about six months creating the application in-house to use this winter.

The app had about 1,100 hits during the storm.

A banner initiative

The Golden Mile Alliance is — presumably — just a few months away from putting up banners around the Golden Mile.

Economic Development Manager Bobby Baumler told alliance members at their regular monthly meeting on March 21 that only a few loose ends are left to tie up before 50 30-foot, by 60-foot banners are on display.

The banners, which are similar to ones set up around Everedy Square and Shab Row in downtown, are part of a new beautification and branding initiative.

Baumler said he has pretty much finalized a memorandum of understanding with Potomac Edison to put up the banners and is nearly ready to give the go-ahed to begin the work. He was leery about giving a set timeline, but said it would be soon.

Group members plan to give plenty of notice before putting them up so business owners and the public are aware when it happens.

Baumler said he is trying to work it out so all of the banners are put up around the same time.

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