Proprietor

Proprietor: Q&A with Dream Builders’ Owner Rod Womack

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Rod Womack has worn many hats. Restaurant owner, author, Director of Food and Nutrition for the Baltimore City Schools. But one of his favorite jobs – and the one he’s concentrating on these days – is in real estate development and entrepreneurship.

Realtor Rebecca Murphy is in the Business of Fostering Community & Connections

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Five years ago, Rebecca Murphy was at a New Year’s Day open house, talking with a new acquaintance.

Proprietor: AnnaMarie Fiume & Allie Wolf of Amaryllis Jewelry

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amaryllis-1For three decades, Amaryllis Jewelry has been a go-to destination for Baltimore’s most stylishly accessorized women.

Liza Byrd Boutique Moves to the Shops at Kenilworth – Grand Opening, Saturday, October 1

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Liza Jarrett, owner and founder of Liza Byrd.

Liza Jarrett, the owner of the women’s clothing boutique Liza Byrd, moves her popular shop from Stevenson Village to the Shops at Kenilworth this Saturday, October 1.

Proprietor: Ashley Ingraham of Home Perspective, LLC

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Photo Credit: Beverly Funkhouser Photography

Earlier this year, Ingraham called on her prior experience and her natural organizational abilities to start Home Perspective, a business focusing on professional organizing, home staging and moving assistance.

Proprietor: Gina Adams of Sunnyfields

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For years, Sunnyfields on Falls Road has been a go-to spot for elegant and classic gifts and home accessories. Over the past couple years, the company has undergone a significant transition, with new ownership, a renovated building and a brand new focus.

Proprietor: Lauren McQuaid of Granite Garage Floors

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Lauren McQuaid Owner / Principal

When you’re in your garage, do you ever look down and cringe at the cold, dirty, ugly floor beneath your feet? Lauren McQuaid, of Baltimore’s Granite Garage Floors, wants to make that downward gaze a less painful experience.

Granite Garage Floors outfits garage floors with high quality epoxy coating systems that make ordinary garage flooring look – and last – like granite. The floors are easy to clean, durable, and look great, making them both popular and smart.

Biking Gear Gets Sassy: A Q&A with SASSYCYCLIST’s Rebecca Redett

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SASSYCYCLIST’s Rebecca Redett

There’s no question about it: bicycling is good for your health and it can be a whole lot of fun. But historically, it has not been the sport with the best-looking outfits.

Proprietor: Pam and Brent Berwager of Sprezzatura Share their Gift-Giving Expertise

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In the two years since it opened, Sprezzatura in Stevenson Village has earned a reputation among Baltimore’s best gift-givers as a place to find sophisticated and well-designed items – to give as gifts or keep for themselves.

The duo behind the shop, husband-and-wife team Pam and Brent Berwager, pride themselves on their shop’s collection of high quality, interesting products. Here, they share a bit about what goes on behind the scenes at Sprezzatura and some of their favorite items in the shop right now:

 

How did you get started at Sprezzatura? What made you open the shop?

We recognized a need in Baltimore for a shopping experience that emphasized good design, attention to detail, and personal service in the areas of home décor, art and fashion.

 

What is it like working together as a couple?

Our business engages us seven days a week, so being both husband and wife and business partners provides certain distinct advantages: each of us has in the other a collaborator who is available 24 hours a day.

 

What’s the story behind the name Sprezzatura?

Valentino once said that Jackie Kennedy exemplified the notion of Sprezzatura; in a nutshell, it’s about living a life where one cares about, and is successful at, fashioning a life that values good taste, and a sense of balance in design. Overall, we would define Sprezzatura as an informed and enlightened approach to personal style.

 

Why did you choose Stevenson Village as a location?

What drew us to Stevenson Village initially was the beauty and pastoral nature of surrounding Greenspring Valley. It never disappoints and it always inspires.

 

How do you choose what to carry in the shop? And what makes your selection different from other local stores?

Over the course of a month, we look at hundreds of potential products to carry in our shop and only a few are actually selected. One might say that our criteria is subjective, but we look for timeless design, clean line, sophistication, superior construction and of course, beauty.

 

What is your favorite thing in the shop right now?

We have a number of favorite things in the shop – it’s hard to narrow it down to one thing. It depends on the season, too. Now that we’re in the holiday season, the thing that we like the most are our boxwood wreathes. They come in squares and rounds and different sizes; there’s also garland. Both the wreathes and garland are preserved, so they will keep their look for many years.

 

What is your go-to holiday gift recommendation?

Our Foo Dogs. We work with a high-end Chinese porcelain studio and we get very high quality work. Right now, the go-to thing for a gift is one of our variety of Foo Dogs. They are porcelain and in different colors. For example, one pair is white and another pair is blue in tone but has many colors.

A Foo Dog’s job is to guard the home and garden – and we think they’re a great complement to any home décor.

Sprezzaturra is located in Stevenson Village at 10429 Stevenson Road in Stevenson, MD. For more information, visit www.sprezzatura.us.

 

 

Proprietor: Alan Hirsch Knows Why We Love Donna’s

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A much-loved institution in the Baltimore region, Donna’s Coffee Bar & Café has been a favorite Cross Keys destination since 1999. The cute café is an ideal stop for shoppers who want to rest their feet over a cup of coffee or a salad, or for discerning diners looking for a more leisurely meal and an expertly mixed cocktail.

Owners Alan Hirsch and Donna Crivello are serious about great food and drinks – and about providing a great atmosphere to enjoy everything from coffee to a multi-course meal. Here, Hirsch shares some of their philosophy and his favorites, plus a look at what’s exciting at Donna’s right now:

 

How did you get into the restaurant business and get involved with Donna’s?

I had sold my first business and began thinking about the European approach to food, in Baltimore, as a business opportunity.  A mutual friend introduced me to Donna.  The rest, as they say…

 

What is your favorite thing on the menu at Donna’s?

If forced to pick one item, I’d pick our dinner entree, chicken Milanese, with pomegranate roasted tomatoes and zucchini.  Pretty basic stuff, but really well done, and satisfying.  And healthy, too.

 

What holiday meals or plans would you recommend for Donna’s diners?

Our Feast of the Seven Fishes is Christmas Eve.  It’s always a great meal and a lot of fun. It’s 6 courses, with more than 7 different kinds of fish. You are virtually guaranteed a good year next year if you eat here Christmas Eve!

We also do a wonderful prix fixe menu every Thursday through Saturday for just $30.  It’s three courses, always something special, and a great deal.

 

What celebrity could you imagine dining at Donna’s?

The President, Frank Underwood.

 

What’s new and exciting at Donna’s? This could include dishes, events, changes in the space, etc.

We hope to have some big news about some new ventures in a month or so. But I like to think the food is always worth getting excited about here!

Donna’s Coffee Bar & Cafe is located at 40 Village Square in the Village of Cross Keys in Baltimore. For more information, visit www.donnas.com.