Happening this week around the county …

Can you think of anything more soothing than a cup of hot tea and a scone? Neither can Penny Muller-Barr.

That’s why she is opening Pastries By Penny Thursday morning at 105 North St. in Elkton. Muller-Barr said first and foremost this is a bakery and a tea shop where she will offer a delicious array of treats including moist, soft scones, cookies, brownies, cream puffs, cupcakes, and more.

You will also find 20 varieties of loose tea and muslin bags to make your own, fresh hot cup. Muller-Barr said friends teased her about not having coffee.

“I am going to have a basic coffee but this is a bakery and a tea shop,” she insisted. Tea lovers can also buy the tea to take home.

Muller-Barr discovered the joy of tea when a friend took her to a tea house in Bel Air. She loved the idea of hand made teas steeped in dainty porcelain pots. Perhaps as things return somewhere close to normal she may do that again, but for now Pastries By Penny is take out only.

Every day she will offer up to nine varieties of scones and homemade cake by the slice. Call in advance if you need an entire cake. You should also know she does not profess to be a cake decorator.

“I can do the swirls and write Happy Birthday but I make a good cake,” she said.

Pastries By Penny will operate Tuesday through Friday 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Saturday 8-4. Call 410-398-SCON(e) (7266) to order in advance or for large orders and check out the menu on the Facebook page.

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Employees of Amazon in the Principio Business Park are sporting crocheted green hearts on their vests these days thanks to Brandy Bowers. A powered industrial truck trainer, she’s worked there more than 2 years.

“I teach them how to drive the equipment safely,” she said of her job at the global distribution center.

Bowers, from Aberdeen, said she and her co-workers, like pretty much everybody else, were worried when the COVID-19 pandemic arrived and caused so many changes.

“We were all very unsure of what’s going on. My anxiety level went up,” she said. However crocheting, a skill she learned as a teenager, was relaxing. Using green yarn, the universal color of safety, Bowers began to crochet the 1 1/2 to 2 inch hearts and share them with co-workers.”We liked to give each other hugs and high fives but we could not do that anymore,” Bowers said. “So this is my hug to them that we’re going to get through this.”

She figures she has cranked out more than 300 hearts, attached safety pins, and handed them to co-workers.

“When I hand them the heart it says “I care about your health and safety,” Bowers said. “There is light at the end of the tunnel and we’re going to get through this.”

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La Comunidad Hispana in Chester County, Pa., recently added new staff to its behavioral health team to better serve the area. Abner Santiago leads the bi-lingual team as behavioral health manager. Serving with him is Anna Roosevelt, Courtney Erroa, Meredith Sullivan and Marykate McShane. Daisy Lara, nurse practitioner, provides medication management.

“In addition to common hurdles like insurance, transportation, and language, there is a stigma that surrounds mental health and wellness, which is a barrier in itself,” Santiago said. The team at LCH is working to erase the stigma and barriers, which includes the addition of telehealth. “This has been a great way to reach our patients, especially during the pandemic. Patients that may otherwise be completely isolated are connecting with us and getting the support that they need.”

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Zoom chats aren’t just for business meetings and school lessons any more! The Cecil County Chamber of Commerce is hosting a “How-to” Zoom chat with Gail Jusiewicz, independent consultant for Tastefully Simple.

Learn how to make “magic chicken” and then turn that chicken into a pot pie and a stromboli.

The chat begins at 3 p.m. June 11 but you have to pay $10 per person and register now while there are still seats available. Go to cecilchamber.com and click on the events page for details.

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Skilled staff at nursing homes are the focus of a new service being offered by the Maryland Department of Health and the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems. Maryland’s COVID-19 Mental Health Crisis Support Program will address the stress felt by those working with the most vulnerable population during the pandemic.

Under the Maryland COVID-19 Mental Health Crisis Support Program, licensed mental health clinicians will be available virtually, with MIEMSS staff onsite at the facility to assist personnel with training and mental health services. This will include training on self-care, resiliency, stress management, and when requested, individual and/or group mental health services.

Funding for the project came from the federal CARES Act.

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Northeastern Maryland Technology Council is offering a Tech Talk entitled COVID-19 and the Future of Work June 24 from 4 until 5:30 p.m.

Hear from speakers on such topics as regional economic impacts; responding, recovering and thriving in a post-COVID-19 world; and societal transformations and the adoption of new tech.

Tickets are $20 per member for the virtual event. Non-NMTC members can attend for $35. Registration is advance is required. Go to https://nmtc.org/events/idisruptor3_4/

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Two Cecil County businesses are among the 15 finalists in this year’s run of Howard Bank’s ”Keep It Local” contest.

Bry Overhead Doors in Elkton and Impact Martial Arts in Perryville now go to the public voting cycle of the competition with the winning business receiving a $10,000 check. The first round of voting is open through June 8. The five with the most votes at that round move to the finals with public voting June 15-22.

The winner will be announced June 30.

This is the second year of the Keep It Local contest. last year’s winner was Rise N Grind Cafe in Rising Sun.

Business Beat is a weekly column on business happenings in and around Cecil County. If interested in having your business featured in this column, contact Jane Bellmyer at jbellmyer@cecilwhig.com or 443-245-5007.

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