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Biz Beat: Priapi Gardens for sale, Lt. Gov. visits viral Walmart employee

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Happening this week around the county …

Priapi Gardens in Cecilton is up for sale.

Vic and Mary Priapi are looking for the right person or group who will continue the organic farming operation they’ve run since purchasing the 10.5 acres on Augustine Herman Highway in 2002.

“We just want to slow down,” Vic said recently. “We don’t plan to retire. We just want to do something smaller so we’re not working quite so hard.”

Everything is included in the $1.55 million price tag, which Vic describes as “turn key.” The couple hopes the new buyers will keep their current staff, which Vic describes as “exceptional.”

At purchase in Dec. 2002 it was a cornfield. By the Spring of 2004 they had turned the roadside property into a garden center.

“It has since evolved into organic fruits and vegetables, which is a significant part of our business,” he said.

Although it is zoned highway-commercial, Vic and Mary would prefer it remain in agriculture. They’ve been trying to find the right buyer; and almost had one.

“This was going to be a therapeutic gardening center for veterans and returning military,” Vic said, envisioning men and women working the fields and greenhouses as a way to deal with the effects of combat and deployment. Unfortunately that deal fell through.

In the meantime, they keep doing what they do — offering their own vegetables grown through the winter, preparing for the spring plantings, selling at farmers markets and providing for the subscribers of their CSA.

“There’s a lot going on here,” Mary said, listing off recent and coming events at Priapi Gardens.

That included a recent visit from producers with Maryland Public Television. A camera crew spent a day at the gardens to tell the Priapi story.

Stay tuned for word on when that segment would air and in which program.

Anyone needing more information about Priapi Gardens, especially interested buyers, can contact Vic and Mary at 410-275-9438.

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Fair Hill Liquors is passing ownership on to the next generation. Tiffany Galyen has taken over ownership of the license for the package store at 3135 Telegraph Road north of Elkton.

Jason Allison, attorney for the Cecil County Board of License Commissioners, called the transfer from Robert Galyen, Martin Galyen and R.E. Galyen “intra-family.”

“It’s going from one generation to the next,” Allison said.

Tiffany Galyen will also carry a Class A license, rather than the current Class B, which Earl Bradford, director of the liquor board, said is more in keeping the Fair Hill Liquors’ operation.

“Class A is for package stores, which is what they should have been all along,” Bradford said. Class B is issued to restaurants with a full kitchen. “They don’t meet that criteria,” he added.

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Enzo’s Waterfront Italian Dining at 285 Plum Point Road is closing, and UnWined is moving in to the Elkton area restaurant, taking on the name UnWined on the Water.

John Bragg, owner of UnWined in North East, has approval from the Cecil County Board of License Commissioners of the lease/management agreement for the Plum Point property.

“I’m going to open a full service restaurant with upscale pub grub and lots of seafood,” Bragg said.

Bragg said he’s not a fan of picnic tables so he will likely upgrade the outdoor seating. His plan is to take the tables on the patio at North East and relocate them to Plum Point.

“There is a deck. I’m just not sure of the capacity,” he said.

Acknowledging that Enzo’s offered live music, he told the liquor board he was not sure if he would keep that.

“I want to be conscious of my neighbors,” Bragg said.

One wrinkle in the transfer is that the Maryland Comptroller’s Office informed the board that the current lease/manager owes taxes. Earl Bradford, liquor board director, said that should be addressed quickly by that party.

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Bainbridge Grill will open soon in the former location of Prost German Restaurant in Port Deposit.

Adam Kelso was approved for a lease-management agreement for the building at 1195 Tome Highway.

“We’re going to run it exactly as Old South Smokehouse,” Kelso said, referring to his father’s restaurant nearby. “It’s just in a bigger building.”

He told the Cecil County Board of License Commissioners he plans to enclose the deck on the building so there would be no outdoor dining.

He added that what is now the Old South Smokehouse will eventually get a new name and with it, an entirely new menu.

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Traffic leaving Perryville Station Shopping Center by way of Route 222 are being counted by the Maryland State Highway Administration. The traffic survey is an attempt to find a solution to the bottlenecks along that road in the area of the shopping center, particularly for the residents of the community across the street.

Devices have been attached to stop signs to count each vehicle passing through the shopping center on the Perryville Road side.

The SHA is responding to a request that traffic out of the center, which includes Food Lion, Subway, Dunkin’, and Domino’s, only be allowed to make a right hand turn onto 222.

Bob Rager, SHA spokesman, said the results would likely be revealed in the spring.

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TCC, which owns the Verizon store in the North East Plaza, recently donated supply kits to teachers at North East Elementary School.

Valued at $77, each kit contained pencils, pens, dry erase markers, erasers, glue sticks, paper, tissues, sticky notes and more to help in the classroom. Scott Moorehead, CEO of Round Room, parent company of TCC, said the Teachers Rock Supply Giveaway meets a real need.

“The U.S. Department of Education reports that teachers spend an average of $480 out of their own pockets to pay for school supplies each year,” Moorehead said. “It’s such an honor to be able to give back to educators across the country for the seventh year running. We want to show our deep appreciation for their hard work, and our Teachers Rock Supply Giveaway has been a great way to demonstrate how much we care.”

Supply kits were also given to Halls Cross Roads Elementary in Aberdeen, Md. and Denton Elementary in Denton, Md.

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Nationwide Mortgage Bankers held a ribbon cutting ceremony Friday to officially open its office at 103 North Bridge St. in Elkton.

Michael Losten, branch manager, said this office will also reach into Delaware with its line of mortgage and lending products including re-finance.

“We do all loan programs, VA, HUD, Maryland government programs, Delaware housing programs, USDA, FHA and conventional,” Losten said.

Nationwide Mortgage will become visible in the community, he promised.

“We are trying to get more involved ... get our names and faces out there,” he said.

Hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. Call 443-485-6404 or visit nmbnow.com

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Mie Mie Strickler will represent Maryland on the board of governors of the Asian American Unity Coalition. Strickler, from Elkton, will serve a two year term.

According to the AAUC website, the group has a very specific mission.

“The primary purpose of AAUC is to forge unity among a diverse group of multi-cultural (Asian American/Pacific Islanders) national and regional organizations to develop civic leadership, build political clout, fight against racial bias, and achieve equality for the AAPI community in the USA. The Coalition is an Advocacy Group to promote the best interests of the AAPI Communities.”

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Maryland Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford was impressed with the interior of Bog Turtle Brewery on East Main Street in Rising Sun.

Rutherford stopped in the western Cecil County town in July to see Rise N Grind Cafe and hear about all the changes coming. That included a tour of the former hardware store that would become the brew pub.

“You could see the open, raw building,” Rutherford recalled. “I did not know what it would look like.”

As he sipped the Rochambeau beer Rutherford was told by Chris Davis, one of the owners, how the beer is made on site. Davis also told the lieutenant governor how well Bog Turtle Brewery has been received.

“I could not have hoped to have the receptions we have had,” Davis said. “We’ve been open about four weeks and we are averaging 150 people per night.”

On the same trip here he also made a stop at the Walmart in North East Plaza to visit Charlene, an employee of the store that has become a viral sensation for her poses with store merchandise, which are then posted on social media.

Rutherford posed with her in sporting goods, pretending to fish and catching a hat off Charlene’s head.

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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